Open House, Open Hearts
By: Madeleine Wilmsen, development assistant
As part of the Little Sisters of the Poor’s yearlong 150th anniversary celebration of service in the United States of America, yesterday April 14, St. Mary’s opened its doors welcoming its neighbors to see what they are all about.
I had the pleasure of playing the flute with my duet partner, Evan van Breemen, to provide background music for the guests. As I strolled throughout the building, I began to see why the Sisters find such joy in serving.
Everywhere I looked, I saw smiles. There were Residents with their families, introducing them to the Little Sisters, who care so dearly. Old friends embracing each other and laughing over shared memories. I saw children running around and taking in the new space. While performing, I met many new friends, who would sit and listen to my music. I met a little boy in awe of the instrument’s intricacies and a Resident, who seemed lost in the memory of her own past experiences playing music. Each person I encountered was so grateful for the beautiful music. The air was filled with wonder and nostalgia.
The event reflected the warmth of St. Mary’s Home, to be not only a place of care, but to be a family to those in need of a home. These Sisters open their hearts to those less fortunate and do so with the belief that each person holds an inherent dignity as a child of God. I hope to continue to see them serve the elderly poor yet another 150 years, with the same joy and hospitality.