Sr. Ann and a few members of the Association Jeanne Jugan (AJJ) collaborated with St. Mary’s Home Activities Director Helen Miner to come up with a unique event to commemorate St. Jeanne Jugan’s birthday. It had to be something that the Residents, their friends, and family could enjoy. Helen suggested a tailored version of the game everyone loves to play. Because both of the words “Jugan” and “bingo” consist of five letters, she came up with the clever idea of Jugan Bingo!
Prior to the event, Virginia Barlow, AJJ member, created the unique game that included all the names, dates, places, and other relevant items of St. Jeanne Jugan’s life for the “Jugan” card. It was very impressive how she made was able to present all of these interesting facts to help us learning more about St. Jeanne Jugan in a fun setting. She arranged for a $.50 per win on a bingo card, and $1 per win on the Jugan card. It was a “keep your card game” ‘til the end of the afternoon to ensure the maximum number of winners.
Helen started the game by calling out, “I – 22, I – 22.”
Then Sr. Ann took the microphone saying, “J – Oct 25, 1779, J – Oct. 25, 1779. Why is Oct 25, 1779 significant? Because
Oct. 25, 1792 was the date St. Jeanne Jugan was born.”
Since playing the Jugan card was more challenging, the AJJ members assisted the Residents, as did many of the Sisters.
It was Helen’s turn again and she said, “G – 57, G – 57.”
Sr. Ann followed with, “G- 2009, G – 2009. 2009 is when Jeanne Jugan became a Saint.” She explained that on Oct. 11, 2009
Pope Benedict canonized her along with Fr. Damian of Molokaʻi and three others.
Helen spoke into the mic saying, “I – 19, I -19.”
Then it was back to Sr. Ann who said, “U – attic, U – attic. The attic is significant because St. Jeanne Jugan brought the first
elderly person to her home and gave the woman her bed. She then went to sleep in the attic.”
Helen called out, “B – 4, B – 4.”
Sr. Ann said, “A – LaTour, A – LaTour. LaTour France is where Jeanne Jugan spent the last days of her life and that is where the
Helen was up again saying, “G – 60, G – 60.”
Sr. Ann said, “N – Auguste Le Pailleur, N – Auguste Le Pailleur. Le Pailleur was the priest who tried to suppress knowledge of St. Jeanne Jugan as the founder of the Little Sisters.”
Helen said, “O – 72, O -72.”
And so it went until finally a Resident Jeannette P. shouted “BINGO”. Then for the second round AJJ member Ann King called off
the numbers. Soon another winner followed.
“Keep your cards,” Helen and Sr. Ann yelled in unison, “Keep your cards,” and the game continued.
Finally from the back of the room a Resident called “JUGAN.” The first winner of a Jugan card! Everyone was silent as Sr. Pauline
called off the squares. “A winner in the house,” she declared! AJJ member Josephine Mendoza ran to give Resident Jean R. her
winnings. So it went, with AJJ members and Little Sisters helping to call out winner’s cards.
The fun eventually had to come to an end so that the refreshments could be served! What birthday would be complete without
some cake and noodles? AJJ President Shonie Lintag said that in her native Philippines it is customary to serve noodles on
someone’s birthday for luck. Her husband Vern served a delicious platter of spaghetti, which he made for everyone to enjoy,
before we all sang and had cake.
Mother Marcel went around the auditorium so everyone could see the beautiful sheet cake before cutting into it. AJJ member
Charmaine Biskup wanted to bake some special dessert for the occasion as well. After hours of scouring cook books and the
Internet and voilà! A beautiful red rose chocolate cake from scratch was created (it looked like the one featured in the Neiman Marcus catalog)! At first we thought that it would be a shame to cut into it, but cakes are meant to be enjoyed. And so Sr. Ann led everyone in a merry rendition of “Happy Birthday” before beverages, cake and cookies were served. While Mother Marcel sliced
up the cakes, the AJJ members and Little Sisters passed out the refreshments.
It was a lovely afternoon with more winners than losers. Everyone left a bit fuller in mind, spirit and body. This birthday celebration
for St. Jeanne Jugan was one that will certainly go down in the log books.