Happy Feast Day, Saint Jeanne Jugan!
Father James Sullivan, Chaplain
As Catholics we believe in the Communion of Saints – a living relationship with the friends of God who are our brothers and sisters in Christ. A feast day of a saint is a family celebration. As members of the Church, God’s family honors today St. Jeanne Jugan, the foundress of the Little Sisters of the Poor. It is a most special celebration for us here at Holy Family Home, for this residence serves as a living legacy of St. Jeanne Jugan’s life and mission: for God and for the poor.
Many years ago Father Randy Meyers wrote a book entitled “The Saints Show Us Christ,” that contains daily spiritual readings that show how Jesus first forms and then uses his friends the saints for others. I would not want you to think I know a great deal about St. Jeanne Jugan’s spiritual journey. There are Sisters here who know far more than I and perhaps have forgotten more than I will ever know. I have been here only two months, and in comparison to them I am in the preschool! I have read about her way of life; the Sisters live her way of life. They own it.
What is this way of St. Jeanne Jugan? First and foremost, it is a disciple’s way of life. Jesus formed her as he does all of his followers – through the school of his Holy Cross, grounded on the 3 “S’s” – Sacrifice, Self-denial, and Surrender – giving over all to the good Lord and for him with trust in the Divine Providence.
Secondly, the way of St. Jeanne Jugan is a way of love. In one of his maxims or short teachings, St. Ignatius of Loyola wrote, “to serve the servants of my Lord is my honor and glory.” In her care for the aged, with her life hidden for 27 years at the novitiate, St. Jeanne Jugan lived by this rule. When the Church declares a person a saint, it is a recognition of heroic virtue, which St. Augustine called “the order of love.” Empowered by the Holy Spirit, St. Jeanne Jugan lived the beatitudes – the way of Christ: the way of love that gives, forgives and believes, that in littleness God reveals his greatness, in the power of humility.
Finally, the way of St. Jeanne Jugan is a way of joy – joyful living. To be all for Jesus through Mary; to serve all for Jesus with Mary. Here is the way of St. Jeanne Jugan based on the word “joy”: “J” – Jesus first; “O” – Others second; “Y” – Yourself last. It is not the way of the world. It is the way of St. Jeanne Jugan and all the true friends of God. May it become by the grace of God and by the help of St. Jeanne Jugan, our way as we journey towards the kingdom of Heaven.
We are blessed to have so many dedicated and caring employees joining us in our work of caring for the elderly. This year’s Jeanne Jugan Award goes to Bobby Ports (above left), for exemplifying the spirit of our foundress, St. Jeanne Jugan. Bobby has been at Holy Family Home for 26 years, and is the pantry aide for the 3rd floor dining room. She looks out for our Residents, making sure all their dining needs are provided for and helping to make the meal times a pleasant time for them.
Mercedes Guerra (above right) is a CNA on the third floor and is this year’s recipient of the Ralston Center’s Caregiver Award. This award encourages “quality of life in aging” through a very personal and focused acknowledgement of Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) who exemplify the highest standards of compassion, commitment and excellent care for their patients.
Congratulations and thank you, Bobby and Mercedes!
This year’s St. Jeanne Jugan – Pot of Gold Raffle was another successful fundraiser, thanks to so many volunteers who helped sell tickets and raffles, and to the many generous benefactors who participated in the event! This year the founding members of the Home’s advisory board were honored. Click here to see a list of the winners, honorees, and sponsors. Thanks to all for your support!
Dinner at La Locanda!
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