The weekend of November 12 and 13 brought many visitors to the home. On Saturday, November 12 Christmas was already in the air at the annual Christmas Craft Sale. Sr. Rose and her team of Residents, staff and volunteers work throughout the year to make the items for the sale. Tables in the auditorium were lined with their creations – beautifully made ceramic and woodwork Nativity scenes, angels, Santa Claus and Christmas trees, as well as a variety of other Christmas decorations. Other volunteers had made baby clothes, doll clothes, aprons, etc. for the sale. There was also a raffle and guests could stop for lunch in the coffee shop. Sr. Rose now takes her sale “on the road” to nearby parishes and also shares the crafts with our other Homes. Thank you to the hardworking team that worked together to make the sale a success!
Sunday afternoon we were honored to host a public veneration of the relic of St. Damien of Molokai during its visit to the Brooklyn diocese. St. Damien is revered for his ministry among the victims of Hansen’s disease (leprosy) in Hawaii and was canonized on October 11, 2009, the same day as St. Jeanne Jugan. The visit of the relic was made possible by Fr. Ray Roden, a friend of the Home. The chapel was filled as many people from the Diocese came to venerate this great saint. The program included benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, a one-act play on Fr. Damien and public veneration of the relic, which is a piece of bone from the foot of St. Damien. It was in his foot that St. Damien first realized that he himself had contracted leprosy after more than 10 years of caring for those afflicted with the disease. In his homily before benediction Fr. Roden reminded us that “Molokai can be anywhere.” Fr. James Sweeney played the role of Fr. Damien in Aldyth Morris’ inspiring Damien. Told from the perspective of Fr. Damien looking back on his life, the play brings out the many obstacles he encountered as he strove to respond to God’s special call for him with humility and great love. Following this powerful performance, the faithful came forward to venerate the relic, contained in a wooden reliquary made from a tree that St. Damien had planted on Molokai. The relic was also brought upstairs to bless the infirm Residents. May the intercession of St. Damien assist and guide us to more closely follow Jesus in the path of love.
Photo top: Association Jeanne Jugan member Mary Schlag and Sr. Maria Grace sell homemade breads at the Christmas sale.
Photo below: The faithful come forward to venerate the relic of St. Damien of Molokai. The table holding the relic was decorated with Hawaiian flowers.