It is difficult to believe that we have already flipped over the calendar into the month of April! March seemed to evaporate as we celebrated one event followed by another! It was an exceptionally busy month. First of all, was our Annual Mardi Gras Ball.
It seems just like yesterday that our auditorium resounded with the sounds of “When the Saints Go Marching In” and the décor of our home’s auditorium was awash in the Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and gold! The tables had been decorated with centerpieces of balloons hovering over each table. The indispensable throws were scattered throughout the room. On the back wall of the auditorium a floor to ceiling mural of New Orleans spirited us away in spirit to the Deep South. Our party began in mid-afternoon, on Sunday, March 6 as our Royal Court assembled at the entrance to the auditorium decked out in regal attire. King James MacInness and Queen Leona O’Neill, both Residents of the fourth floor were selected to head up the Royal Court. They reigned regally. Jim looked sharp in his suit and sported a light blue and gold cape. Leona looked quite elegant in her dusty rose gown. Our court jester, portrayed by Joan Eagan, did a great job of getting all the members of the court to their proper places. After our entire court had taken their places, Jim and Leona took to the dance floor for the King and Queen’s Dance and the good times rolled! A good number of the Residents’ families and the staff were also on hand and joined in the fun. Our auditorium was packed. Our DJ for the afternoon was Jeannie, who has often DJ’d various events here at the home, was soon working her magic once again! A wireless headphone set allowed her to move freely about the auditorium where she actively animated the crowd, encouraging them to their feet and getting everyone up and dancing! Wheelchairs and walkers weren’t an obstacle to the fun, everyone was moving!
It was quite a colorful afternoon to say the least. Two days later, on Shrove Tuesday, March 8, we were happy to welcome back the staff of the Boston Sheraton Hotel who visited our home once again and served an authentic Cajun meal to our hungry Residents! Our auditorium was still decorated in our Mardi Gras theme from our own Mardi Gras Ball just two days prior, so hues of purple, green and gold were everywhere in the auditorium. The auditorium was filled with Residents as the staff rolled up their sleeves and went to work.
Many of the hotel staff wore colorful masks as they served. The first course was Gumbo; this was followed by Chicken Jambalaya and corn bread, topped off with a dessert of warm bread pudding drizzled with maple syrup. Jazz music played in the background as everyone dined! Our Residents certainly look forward to these visits and it was evident that the Residents had endeared themselves to the staff as they expressed their joy at being able to come to the home and serve these meals!
St Patrick’s Day
The purple, green and gold decorations soon faded and were replaced by forty shades of green as we prepared to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day! Because it was nearly impossible to get entertainment on the actual day, we moved our celebration up a day and celebrated all things Irish on the 16th. We happily welcomed the “Twiddlers” who kept everyone’s toes tapping with their lively repertoire of Irish music.
One of our Residents, Mary Ireland (her real name) was visited by an authentic Irish lad and lassie sporting matching “Kiss me I’m Irish” bibs. Their mother hails right from the old sod and is a friend of the family. Needless to say these two darlings were the center of a lot of attention throughout the afternoon!
Thanks to Angela Cotter, our retired cook, we had plenty of homemade Irish soda bread to enjoy. Although she is retired, Angela is always happy to lend a hand baking. Her bread has gained such a reputation that we also make it available to anyone from outside who wishes to buy it. Angela’s bread has become an Irish tradition in its own right! Several visitors were seen leaving the home with four and five loaves in hand.
Everyone seemed to enjoy the music, the food and the fun and unfortunately our afternoon came to a close much too quickly!
St Joseph’s Day
Just two days later we happily welcomed Sean Cardinal O’Malley, O.F.M. Cap., for the celebration of our patron, St. Joseph on March 19. The feast of St. Joseph is always a special day as St. Jeanne Jugan regarded St. Joseph to be the special protector and provider for the Little Sisters.
Cardinal O’Malley arrived shortly before Mass at 10:30 a.m. He took the time to meet the young grandson of our social worker, Mary Segalla, Jake. Jake had spent the night at his grandparent’s house and wanted to come with them for this Mass. He also wanted to meet the Cardinal and was very excited about doing so. He had his chance and the Cardinal took the time to chat with him and gave him a special blessing. A number of our staff and our Association Jeanne Jugan members came as well for our celebration of the Eucharist.
Our chapel was decorated for the occasion with two large floral bouquets and a special altar cloth which matched the Cardinal’s vestments.
Concelebrating with the Cardinal were our assistant chaplain, Father Roman Schaliszewski, O.F.M. Conv. and the Cardinal’s secretary, Rev. Robert Kickam.
The Cardinal seemed to be in no hurry and he lingered long enough to join the Residents in the main dining room for dinner. After saying the blessing, he dined with Father Roman and Father Kickam. Our kitchen staff served a sumptuous meal, beginning with a choice of appetizers—stuffed clams or spanakopita. There was also a choice of entrees—tender roast beef or chicken cordon bleu. The meal finished with an assortment of cake and ice cream.
Later in the afternoon, the Residents were invited to share in the bounty of our St. Joseph’s Table. The table was filled with goodies of every sort provided by the home, our Association members and some of the staff. There was everything from brownies, quick breads, homemade candy and pies. Father Roman, our assistant chaplain, blessed the table then everyone dug in! What a sweet way to bring the day to a close!
Residents’ Art Show
Last but not the least, with the month fast drawing to a close, we held our second annual Residents’ Art Show on March 29th. Since last year was the inaugural event, Kim had only just begun her classes with the Residents, so the number of pieces exhibited was limited. This time around the group had an entire year to prepare and it was evident. Many of the Residents had several of their works on display. Many family members and friends of our budding artists as well as most of our staff came by to admire their handiwork. It was quite a family affair. Their works were available for purchase and many of the pieces were snatched up by the crowd. The artists milled about showing off their handiwork. Family members leisurely perused the various subjects that covered the walls, pillars and nearly every available bit of wall space in the auditorium. There were bright splashes of color everywhere!
For one member of the art class, Jim MacInnis, the class has been a therapeutic outlet as well. During the year Jim saw two close friends, Alexandria and Bob Ring called home to heaven and two of his works were of the dear friends he lost. He did a remarkable job as both works bore a striking resemblance to his dear friends.
The Residents really shone with this event. Many discovered hidden talents and others capitalized on them, now being able to enjoy a hobby long unused.
March did indeed march on but not an uneventful passing having lightly tread upon our hearts leaving cherished memories in its passing.
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