Merry Christmas! Thanks to the generosity and help of our friends and benefactors the Residents enjoyed a beautiful Christmas (and continue to enjoy!). Here are some photos of the festivities.
The student choir of Kellenberg Memorial High School performed for the Residents on December 11 and then joined them for a sing-a-long of Christmas favorites. This brought back memories of Christmas past for the Residents. Even St. Jeanne Jugan joined the choir to sing of our Savior’s birth!
The Residents’ Christmas party and dinner took place in the auditorium on December 12. Sr. Rose and her helpers transform the auditorium each year into a sparkling Christmas wonderland. Several volunteers were on hand to help the Little Sisters serve the Residents a delicious dinner prepared by the kitchen staff. The son of one the Residents made his annual appearance as Santa Claus, bringing a gift for each one.
The Brooklyn band “Trilogy” put on a special benefit concert on December 16 to honor Bishop Ignatius Catanello and the Resident priests of the Home. Band member Dr. Michael Grady planned the show as a sign of gratitude for Bishop Iggy and the Resident priests’ years of service. Led by lead singer Samantha Echo, the group wowed the crowd with its renditions of well-known songs from the 1960s to the present and ended with Christmas carols brought to life by the electric guitar. The Residents and guests had a great time and were especially impressed by the vocal talents of Ms. Echo. Thank you, Trilogy, for honoring our priests and sharing your love of music with us.
Due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy, our employee appreciation dinner, usually held in November, was combined this year with the employee Christmas party on December 18. This year the Jeanne Jugan Award was presented to Nurse Pamela dela Cruz, whose cheerful and dedicated service of the Residents on the second floor is an inspiration to all. The Jeanne Jugan Award winner is chosen by his or her peers as the employee who best exemplifies the spirit of our Mother Foundress St. Jeanne Jugan and is not an easy choice, as so many of our staff share this spirit. Long-time employees and those retiring after many years of service were also honored. One of our staff members is also a d.j. and after dinner everyone enjoyed his variety of music from the different countries and cultures present.
Our friends from Kellenberg Memorial High School joined us again on December 20 for Lessons and Carols, a Christmas program which brings together readings from the Word of God and Christmas carols. The program takes place in the chapel and for each reading, beginning with the Old Testament, a student brings forward a Resident carrying a symbol pertaining to the reading (a rose, a globe, etc.) The symbols are arranged on the altar with lighted candles and the last symbol to be brought forward is the Baby Jesus, as everyone lights their own small candle and sings Silent Night. Students and Residents also served as choir members under the direction and musical accompaniment of our friend George Bush (no relation!). Lessons and Carols is a meaningful time of reflection and preparation for Christmas.
The Glenn Mohr Chorale blessed us with their performance of their original musical Christmas in Heaven on December 23. Heavenly singing and a touching story made for an afternoon that put us in the Christmas spirit, if we weren’t in it already! The Glenn Mohr Chorale also animated our Christmas Eve Vigil Mass. Several benefactors give poinsettias and Christmas flowers to decorate the chapel. The beautiful chapel and glorious singing made for a special celebration of Jesus’ birth. New resident Betty Nielson was happy to bring forward the Baby Jesus so he could at last be placed in the manger.
For our Christmas Day Mass, the Friends in Christ choir led us in another joyful celebration of Christmas. The children of the choir members were in the offertory presentation and also sang with their parents, coming with them to sing in the Residents’ dining rooms after Mass. Our wonderful kitchen staff worked hard to prepare yet another savory dinner!
Here are a few of the Nativity scenes here. Blessed and Happy New Year! Peace and Goodwill to all!