Grace Adams volunteered at Queen of Peace Residence from January 3-18, 2014.
Hello! My name is Grace Adams. This month I have had the pleasure of having a two week live-in service at Queen of Peace Residence. I came by train from Rochester, so naturally, I was a bit nervous. However, all of that melted away when I arrived and found a wonderful little family waiting for me. All of the Sisters are so sweet! They welcomed me with overwhelming warmth and friendliness. During this stay, I first helped on the third floor with Sr. Regina and Sr. Leema, and then moved down to the second with Sr. Cornelia. I helped serve meals to the Residents, assisted at some of their numerous activities, and had a marvelous time visiting them during the slower points of the day. I also had the joy of attending daily prayer throughout the day with the Sisters, which gave me a lovely pearl of peace in the midst of my constant bliss. I could scarcely believe how quickly each day passed, and how happy I was! The family dynamic among the Residents, Sisters, and staff made me feel perfectly at home. I shall always be grateful for the hospitality and graciousness with which they so lovingly surrounded me.
I was also blessed to be able to attend the Epiphany weekend discernment event at the novitiate. It was very peaceful and was a great retreat where I was able to dedicate a lot time to prayer. Although the entire weekend was wonderful, my favorite part was the Lectio Divina on Luke 8:4-15. Mother Mary Richard, the Director of Novices, gave us some pointers and I really enjoyed reflecting on the text. Just like Queen of Peace, everyone at the novitiate was really kind and I was happy to be with them!
Twice during my stay I was generously invited to go to market, and both times I was amazed by the kindness of the benefactors. I could hardly believe my eyes when they selflessly gave so much to the Sisters. I loved being around Sr. Elizabeth, Sr. Julie and Sr. Leema during these two trips, all of whom were indefatigable in both cheer and energy. Altogether, it was a great experience that I will cherish and reflect on for a long time to come.
During my stay, I learned that Jeanne Jugan once said, “In serving the aged, it is he himself whom you are serving… They are the suffering members of Our Lord.” I found this to be entirely true. He smiled at me from faces creased with age; He reached out to me with frail hands; He spoke from the voiceless; there was never a moment when I did not feel both surrounded by and a part of His love. In this modern age sources scream from all around that happiness can only arise from self-obsession and material possessions.
Now I have seen firsthand the best happiness which can be achieved by serving the Lord and loving Him with all your might. The Sisters have created a beautiful family with that in the center, and I can hardly wait to come back again!