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Reflection for fourth week of Lent

Sunday, March 26, 2017

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Whoever hears my word, and believes in the One who sent me has passed from death to life.
John 5:24

“End stage melanoma,” the doctor pronounced, after Mary requested complete honesty. It seemed unfair to those who knew her: an ebony spot, unnoticed on her back, soon would bleed its ink across her death certificate. For Mary, though, the irony lay not in her diagnosis, but in the thought that so few people really knew her or would care.

An unmarried, retired teacher, Mary was an only child. With only distant cousins, she had made the parish her family. She was a daily communicant, a diligent contributor and respected neighbor. Mary knew this, but for decades, she had still gone home each night to a lonely house and a solitary life.

How surprised Mary was when, during her final weeks in hospice, visitors came in waves to comfort her. Students spoke of her steady influence; neighbors of her charity. Colleagues remembered her patience. When one visitor lamented Mary’s situation, she stopped him, mid-sentence. “I have never been happier,” she said. “I had no idea so many people loved me.”

Life’s circumstances can conspire to convince us that we are unimportant, unloved, even useless. Sometimes, these perceptions are self-imposed. At other times, they are pressed on us by hostile forces, as they were on Jesus at the end of his life. But Jesus assures us in this week’s readings: “The one who believes in me will never die.” He touches the blind man with light and the royal official’s son with resurrection. Jesus calls us to trust that we are infinitely loved. Believing it, we have the strength—even the joy—to go with him to Calvary.

Reposted courtesy of Catholic Health Association USA. For the 2017 Lenten series, CHA collaborated with Sr. Renee Yann, RSM, D.Min., a Sister of Mercy of the Mid-Atlantic Community, who graciously authored each of the reflections. Retired after more than 50 years in education and health care, she now ministers through spiritual writing and consulting. She can be followed on Twitter @ReneeYann

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1942 Dedication. Friends of the Sisters of the Holy Spirit and supporters joined us for the dedication as Bishop James McFadden presided. #75years

1942 Dedication

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Commemorating World Water Day

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

In his encyclical, Laudato Si, Pope Francis writes, “access to safe drinkable water is a basic and universal human right, since it is essential to human survival and, as such, is a condition for the exercise of other human rights. Our world has a grave social debt towards the poor who lack access to drinking [more…]

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Jennings is growing and seeking quality caregivers

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Jennings is growing, and we are currently seeking quality caregivers to be part of our ministry to adults. Providing high quality care and services depends on people pulling together toward a common mission. By extending our hearts and hands to others, we form relationships that inspire growth and enables us to become whole. Our connection [more…]

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Lent Reflection: Whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst.
John 4:14
During Philadelphia’s harsh winter, Joe lived on a steam grate in center city. George had met him there while volunteering with a homeless outreach program. Joe, articulate and engaging, was easy to befriend. Nevertheless, he was afraid to come in to the shelter.
One morning, on [more…]

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Garfield Heights Students of Promise visit Jennings

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Jennings enjoys experiences to connect with students and create opportunities that enable residents to be engaged in the community. Nearly a dozen students from Garfield Heights High School’s Students of Promise USA group joined about 15 older adults from Jennings Hall to embark on an interactive discussion surrounding the topic of African American [more…]

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Jennings celebrates Founder’s Day with Mass and Brunch

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Thank you to everyone who came to Jennings Sunday, March 12 to celebrate Founder’s Day. The event kicks off a special week: the 75th anniversary of our organization thanks to the vision of our founder, Monsignor Gilbert Patrick Jennings. We gathered for Mass, followed by a delicious brunch, and we were delighted to share it [more…]

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Jennings celebrates Mardi Gras!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

“Oh when the saints go marching in…” it must be Mardi Gras! We celebrated Fat Tuesday with paczki, hurricanes, beads and the sounds of New Orleans jazz. Our seasonal favorite, the Mike Petrone Band, had us singing and dancing in our seats to jazz and Mardi Gras favorites like “Minnie the Moocher,” “Just a [more…]

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Spirituality and You: Ash Wednesday

Thumbnail image for Spirituality and You: Ash Wednesday Monday, February 27, 2017

Ash Wednesday—Beginning of Lent
As children, how we loved a treasure hunt—hidden jellybeans and pennies turned to gems and gold doubloons in our young imaginations!  Even as adults, perhaps on an antiques adventure, we thrill at the thought of a secret only we can know, at the challenges and possibilities of an undiscovered trove.
On Ash Wednesday, [more…]

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Spirituality and You: Heaven

Monday, February 20, 2017

You don’t go to heaven; you learn how to live in heaven now. And no one lives in heaven alone. Either you learn how to live in communion with the human race and with all that God has created, or, quite simply, you’re not ready for heaven. If you want to live an isolated life, [more…]

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