Bittersweet is the word that pops unbidden into my thoughts today. Just as two much loved Little Sisters prepare to depart our Home, another Little Sister has arrived here from Mobile, Alabama.
Sr. Bernadette, Sr. Ophelia and Sr. Pauline received their obedience earlier this month. “This is the life of a Little Sister,” Sr. Janet reminds us, “to receive your obedience means that you are being assigned to another location.” “For each Little Sister in her heart,” she explains, “this is like saying yes to God all over again, a re-commitment to do God’s will.”
So, our “little family” of Little Sisters, Residents, employees and volunteers responds to this news as we so often do, with tears and a party. We congregate in the French Café and bid adieu to Sr. Bernadette and Sr. Pauline and offer words of welcome to Sr. Ophelia. This Hello Goodbye Social — coordinated by our activities team and Sr. Camille Rose was complete with yummy food, drinks and of course, ice cream — and results in priceless smiles.
Sr. Ophelia spends time getting to know us and takes a few photos with Residents. She came to us from our Home in Mobile earlier this week and will care for the Residents on the second floor of the Jeanne Jugan Residence.
Sr. Bernadette regales us with stories of the “new therapeutic puppy” named Daisy at our Home in Cleveland, where she is headed as their Director of Nursing.
Sr. Pauline joins Bill “the piano-man” Morris in entertaining us — singing some of our favorite tunes. Sr. Pauline heads to Newark, Delaware, where she will continue in her 49-year role as a “begging sister.” “I am just so grateful to everyone here in the D.C. metro area that helps us,” said Sr. Pauline “thank you, thank you, thank you!”
And Sr. Jeanne Veronique, herself just a few months in our Home, brings smiles to our long faces by successfully balancing a large tray of cookies on her head for several minutes. She will become our newest “begging sister” upon her return from spiritual renewal at La Tour St. Joseph in May. This means she will travel daily to churches, markets and public places to ask for donations to fund our mission.