By LaVerne Sihelnik, SCN

In May three sisters from Belize were visiting at St. Louise Convent. When I met them and asked if they would like to see Vincentian Home and share with some of our sisters about their experiences in Belize, they were happy to be invited. The visit was arranged for after the usual Sunday activity at the Home. Our sisters and residents who usually gather to pray the rosary with Sr. Lorraine Marie attended. We had 16 residents who stayed for almost an hour questioning Sr. Barbara Lammers, Sr. Rosemarie Kirwan and Sr. Bev Hoffman on Belize and their ministry experiences. It was surprising at the number of questions the residents had and one even asked for more reading material on the sisters and Belize. It gave me a better appreciation of the residents interests. We may see the residents as physically handicapped, but we at times forget how they still want to learn and interact with others.

At the Vincentian Facilities, we are encouraging a program called “Encore, the best of life at Vincentian.” The purpose of the program is to bring cultural, educational and community programs into the facility, or to take residents out to activities, such as the Nutcracker; or Bach, Beethoven and Brunch. Seeing how they enjoyed the visit from our sisters from Belize, we want to continue to nurture the bond with the residents and families as they come to know our religious community. It would help them to recognize our name, Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, and get a sense of the richness of our extended community.

We want to invite our sisters to come in and share with our residents. It can be: playing an instrument; reading and discussing a short story or their experiences in religious life; sharing a hobby or travel experience; or bringing some students or friends to entertain the residents.

Sisters, please Contact Sister LaVerne Sihelnik if you’d like to learn more or volunteer your time.