The Community of Holy Family Home rejoiced to have Father Dennis Gill celebrate Holy Mass in our Convent Chapel (the first Mass there since the onset of the Pandemic!) on June 21, 2022 to offer thanksgiving for the all the years of consecration of our Sr. Benedict (75 years) and Sr. Elisabeth de St Jean Baptiste (60 years)
The joy of a jubilee is in the remembering. The stories of our two of our jubilarians gave us double cause for joy:
On December 10 Sister Benedict de St. Vincent will mark 75 years of Consecrated Life. She was originally from New Jersey. Her parents sent her to Boston, MA to study at Emmanuel College. While there, she went as a volunteer to the Home of the Little Sisters of the Poor in Somerville, and God changed her parents’ plans for her! When asked: “What was your first impression of the Little Sisters of the Poor?” Sr. Benedict responded without batting an eyelash: “Loved them!” She sensed that her attraction was a Godsend, so she pursued it, and entered the Congregation and Professed my first Vows on December 10th 1947. Now, 75 years and many missions later, Sr. Benedict responds to the question: “What is your impression of the extended Family of the Little Sisters of the Poor now?” with an even stronger affirmative: “Love ‘em even more!” To any young woman who might be seeking to know God’s will for their lives she would say: “Pray & Listen! Scared to follow? Go ahead—He’s worth it!”
On May 2 we joined Sister Elisabeth de St. Jean Baptist (AKA “JB”) in thanking God for her 60 years of Consecration. Right here in Philly is where it all started, so it’s providential to rejoice together, right here! Sr. Elisabeth was born and raised in Most Blessed Sacrament Parish, a few blocks away from Holy Family Home. In her own words: “When I was 15, my girlfriend asked me to come with her to that big home inside the walls at 54th and Chester. I went along for the fun of it, but that was the end of it—I was hooked! The sisters were nice and very hospitable and made me feel important by asking me to take a Resident for a walk on the grounds or to help serve dinner. I kept going back for more! Only gradually did it hit me that the Lord had something to do with it. Little by little I got to know the Little Sisters and how down-to-earth they were. Little by little it was easier to relate with the old folks and enjoy their company. Little by little I grew in an awareness that the Lord really wanted me to follow him for good. So, when I was 18, three months after graduating from West Catholic High School for Girls, I entered the Little Sisters of the Poor on September 8, Professed my First Vows May 2, 1962, and here I am, still hanging in, 60 years later! As time passed, I was missioned for various assignments in many different Homes in the U.S. and in each one, I had the same feeling: THIS is what God wants for me!
When I would meet young girls searching for their way in life, I would tell them to come and see for themselves if they felt the way I did, and still do: THIS is what God wants for me! Sure, there were times when I thought about “throwing in the towel,” but the Lord always came along with a nudge from a Resident or one of my Little Sisters that would make me realize that would be crazy. THIS is what God wants for me! Yes! It’s wise to “jubilize”, it’s great to celebrate! THIS is what God wants for me!”
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