Pillars In Action: Community
Another school year has come to close which means our time with the amazing student volunteers from St. Xavier High School and St. Ursula Academy ends for the summer. Lucienne has had the opportunity to spend some time over the course of the year with those volunteers and at a thank you breakfast last weekend, she was able to share some of her thoughts on that time and the impact that the students have on the SHJ Community…
As I reflect back on the last 8 months that I have had the privilege to be part of the St. Joseph Home Community, I think about all of the people that make up that community. I think about everyone here giving so much of themselves to make this building into a home for our residents and respite guests. I think about our DSPs who invest so much emotional and physical effort to provide a dignified, productive, loving, and comfortable home for our residents. I think about the folks in our dietary department who make sure that everyone who eats by mouth is able to enjoy their meals without fear of choking or aspiration. I think about all of the administrative staff that work on continuity of care and making sure that everyone is living to their full potential and able to share their gifts with all of us here. I think about our nursing and therapy staff who provide the highest level of both medical care and compassionate care every day. I think of our activities department and how they always make sure that each and every resident gets out into the community doing things they actually enjoy and care about as individuals. And, of course, I think about our loyal volunteers.
St. Teresa of Avila said:
“Let me not forget:
Christ has no body but ours,
No hands, no feet on earth but ours,
Ours are the eyes with which he looks with compassion on the world
Ours are the feet with which he walks to do good
Ours are the hands with which he blesses all the world.”
You St. X and St. Ursula students bring so much joy to our community and with that joy you bring Christ into our midst. Our residents and respite guests truly look forward to seeing you every week. I have been there to see their faces light up with smiles to see their new and old friends returning to spend time together. Everything you do from sitting down to talk to one person and just being there with him or her, being present in the moment to the karaoke parties you guys have been having make this place special for everyone living here and working here. We all have a great time when you’re here!
“Each of you has been blessed with one of God’s many wonderful gifts to be used in the service of others. So use your gifts well. If you have the gift of speaking, preach God’s message. If you have the gift of helping others, do it with the strength that God supplies. Everything should be done in a way that will bring honor to God Because of Jesus Christ, who is glorious and powerful forever.”
As I was thinking about my reflection to share with you, I read one that Libby Riggs, a volunteer at Catholic Volunteer Network, had written and I’d like to share some of that with you today. She wrote, “I’ve seen the beauty of giving and the beauty of receiving; the beauty of the spring and the beauty of the fall, the beauty of black, brown, and white; the beauty of endings and the beauty of new beginnings; the beauty of unexpected good-byes and the beauty of new friendships forged; the beauty of silence and the beauty of voices heard; all the beauty of God’s love, grace, and mercy that abound when the eyes and heart are wide open.” This part of her reflection really reminded me of you. As young men and women making your way in the world and trying to find your place, the volunteer work you do is so important. You can be sure that you have all had a great impact on St. Joseph Home and that we will look at your time here with gladness. We know that you will continue to make a difference in the lives of others as you progress through your own. Always remember that giving of yourself is not only a gift for others, but a gift you give yourself. Thank you very much to all of you here today. We truly appreciate your friendship and your part in our community.
Lucienne Driehaus, Major Gifts Officer