July 26, 2020
Dear Families and Friends,
If today were not Sunday, the Liturgy would have us celebrating the feast of Sts. Joachim and Anne, the grandparents of Jesus. It’s a great day to show special honor to our elderly Residents and to thank God for them.
This will be my last letter to you because as of midnight on Saturday, August 1, the transfer of ownership of our Home to VNA will take place. It is an historic moment and we surely do not take it lightly. We all have many wonderful memories of these past years…150 in Boston and 131 in Somerville. Jeanne Jugan Residence is 42 years old and our apartment building is 4 years younger than that.
These days I have been receiving phone calls and letters from people who are recounting beautiful stories from their personal encounters with the Little Sisters over these many years. These memories are very touching and only bring our hearts to an ever deeper gratitude to God for His many blessings, especially for the Gift of our vocation to be Little Sisters of the Poor. I only wish we were more in number so we would not be experiencing this painful withdrawal from Somerville.
In the name of all my Little Sisters, I thank you for bringing your special touch to our family spirit and for all the love you’ve shown all of us, your Little Sisters. As you go through this transition along with your loved one, I ask you to continue to maintain the family spirit upon which this Home was built. No doubt, there will be changes, but don’t hesitate to communicate any concerns you have to Joe Veno, administrator, or Linda Cornell, the president of VNA. Pat Moro will remain as our Director of Nursing and the other nurses whom you already know, will still be here. You can count on all of them.
The Sisters will remain here for a while after August 1, but we will not be functioning as we always have. The nurses will help schedule visits with your loved ones. Any concerns need to be directed to them. This will take a little adjustment on the part of all of us, but it will eventually come together for the good of your dear loved ones.
I’m sorry to tell you that we have been asked to remove all the outdoor shrines. I had thought they could stay, but I found out this past week that they cannot. We expect them to be removed sometime this week. I know they will be missed, but I pray your loved one will not suffer too much from the loss of the Catholic identity that has been so vital to our Home through the years.
This coming week 30% of our staff will be tested again for COVID-19. Everyone remains well and COVID-free, thank God, and we pray it remains that way. But I have heard that the federal government has declared that a very serious public health emergency still exists. A new normal seems to be taking hold. How I wish we could see all of you before we leave, but it doesn’t look like that will be possible due to the pandemic.
Before closing, I want to assure you of our heartfelt prayers always. Your loving kindness will never be forgotten, nor will we ever forget your loved ones. God bless you!
Mother Maureen and all your Little Sisters
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