By Heather Cave, Director of Development
The activities team here at our home is staying busy this winter by hosting a variety of events aimed at keeping Residents’ spirits up during these cold, weary months. Most recently, they brought everyone together for a time of celebration – recreating the wedding feast from “the Marriage at Cana.” Our Residents were joyful in their role as the guests. The feast included everything from cheese and fruit laden platters and sparkling wine, to a twist on Jeopardy with questions about wedding traditions around the world, and other fun games like “Do Whatever We Tell You,” complete with brides, grooms, and even a wedding bouquet, and an exciting “Turn Water to Wine” relay race.
We were stirred by Pope Francis’ proposed meditation for World Day of the Sick – the Gospel account of the wedding feast of Cana (Jn 2: 1-11) where Jesus performed his first miracle through the intervention of his Mother. The theme chosen – Entrusting Oneself to the Merciful Jesus like Mary: “Do whatever he tells you” (Jn 2:5). The transformation of water into wine at the feast is the first miracle attributed to Jesus in the Gospel of John. Jesus, his mother and his disciples are invited to a wedding, and when the wine runs out, Jesus delivers a sign of his glory by turning water into wine.
According to the Gospel, when the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” [And] Jesus said to her, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.” Entrusting herself to the Merciful Jesus, Mary said to the servers, “Do whatever he tells you.”
Taking inspiration from Mary we played a “Do Whatever We Tell You” game. Residents sat in a giant circle, becoming the brides and grooms and passing a wedding bouquet from one to another until the music stopped. The bride or groom caught holding the bouquet then had to select a folded slip of paper and do whatever was written. Residents passed the bouquet as quickly as possible, but many were caught! While Richard had to share his favorite memory (buying his first car a Chevy convertible), Crista had to share a place that she would like to visit (Hawaii), and Debbie and Alejandra had to sing songs and everybody joined in singing You Are My Sunshine!
During an intense “Turn Water to Wine” relay race, Residents and employees competitive spirit came out on the word “GO!” The two Resident/Employee teams, each surrounding a 20 foot-long table, began emptying large water-filled punch bowls using ladles, passing the ladles from team member to team member and hand-to-hand to the opposite end of the table. The first team to empty the bowl would win. Laughing the Residents and employees shouted words of encouragement to the captains who then were responsible for pouring the water from the ladles into a variety of containers – a pitcher, a wine bottle, a tall container and a very small bottle. Brother Alex’s team edged out “team Francine” to win. However, if laughter, lifted spirits and enthusiastic participation are key indicators of success, then everyone in the room was a winner!