Little Sisters of Poor, seeking alms

Little Sisters of Poor, seeking alms July 23, 2009

Sr. Maria Lourdes, L.S.P. makes her First Profession of Vows

Some of you may remember Sr. Maria Lourdes from her appearance on In the Arena a few months back. Making the acquaintance of Sr. Lourdes, Sr. Camille and Sr. Mary Richard was a memorable day; all three women were lit with uncommon joy and were so lovely to talk to. Sr. Lourdes stayed in my awareness (and my prayers) because she was so serenely composed, even when discussing her excitement that “if it pleases God,” she would soon be making her first vows as a religious.

Well, the big day was July 18. NET-TV had their cameras there and filed a really lovely and moving feature for their news broadcast (it is the first story):

The composure of these young women, who are choosing a very counter-cultural way of life, is very striking, isn’t it?

A day earlier, four postulants had become novices, receiving their veils and their names-in-religion, and four first year postulants moved into their second year (most religious orders require one “canonical” year and one “apostolic” year in the novitiate before first vows are made). You can see some of them behind the four newly professed sisters, here.

“You called me Lord, Here I am!”

Sr. Mary Richard was kind enough to forward these snapshots to me, and shares the excellent news that the community will be receiving 5 or 6 postulants to enter in October. “God is so good,” she writes.

The Charism of the Little Sisters of the Poor is primarily one of hospitality to needy senior citizens, aged 60 or over (given the times, how very important it is to communicate to our elderly, particularly if they are ill or financially strapped, that they are valuable and lovable!). They call it, The Art of Accompaniment, to “accompany elderly people of limited means, from the moment they first seek us out, until the moment of their death.” With this in mind, the Little Sisters take vows of poverty, chastity, obedience and specific to their mission, hospitality. “We employ our strength and spend our lives in the service of the aged.” Their 2,700 sisters serve over 13,000 elderly residents in 202 homes, worldwide.

Because I had asked her if there was a particular need within the community Sister Mary Richard alerted me to a small-but-important goal they’re trying to reach:

…we are in need of raising $4,000 to send novices and a Little Sister to the canonization of our Mother Foundress Jeanne Jugan in Rome on October 11! Each of our Homes is selling cookies, etc. to send Little Sisters and elderly Residents to Rome, but we don’t have the possibilities and contacts here in the novitiate that our Homes have. Any help would be more than appreciated. The young Sisters who attend the canonization will never forget this event, and will pass down their memories to younger generations—to keep the spirit of Jeanne Jugan alive!”

The incredibly inspiring story of their Foundress, Jeanne Jugan is here, and yes, she was something else! If you are inclined to help make this dream come true for these sisters and some of their residents, you can send a donation here:

Little Sisters of the Poor
St Ann’s Novitiate
110-39 Springfield Blvd
P.O. Box 280356
Queens Village, NY 11429-2513
Phone: (718) 464-4920

The Little Sisters of the Poor are remarkable women being Christ to a segment of our population that is often overlooked – older people who may in the near future become further detached from our increasingly utilitarian society, where if you’re not contributing to the tax base, how important can you be, and a bureaucrat looking at your file will decide whether you get medical treatment or not. I love these sisters, and their life-affirming, humanity-serving mission. The economy is scary, but we all know the value of sharing the mites in hard times; I hope you will consider making any small donation you can, to help them out. If you’ve been considering making a donation to this site, it would please me enormously to know you have made it to the Little Sisters, instead.

You know what the best thing about giving alms to nuns is? They give you the greatest receipt ever: they pray for you!

President Bush meets Little Sisters of Poor
Little Sisters of the Poor; With Incredible Love (pdf)

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