August 13, 2021

A Unique Perspective: A Letter from Father C.J. of Saint Mary’s Parish

Father C.J.

This letter ran recently in the Saint Mary’s Parish newsletter and describes his reflections on our amazing residents and staff at Levitt Family Jewish Home. Take a look:

A Poster: We Work in Their HomeEvery time I go to the Jewish Nursing Home here in Longmeadow to celebrate Mass or anoint a Catholic resident or simply make a visit, I can’t help but ponder this powerful quote. Read it again, “Our Residents Don’t Live in Our Workplace, We Work in Their Home.” Wow! I first saw this quote years ago on a poster at the JNH and every time I read it, it reminds me to stop and think and thank God for the dedicated women and men who work as caregivers in long term nursing facilities here in our town and across the country. These amazing people go to work each day and try their very best to keep our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, husbands, wives, aunts and uncles and family members as active, respected and well cared for as possible. It’s not an easy job to be a caregiver, but so many women and men are wonderful at this unique profession and we need to be reminded of them and the job they perform every day throughout the year.

The quote also reminds me of the millions and millions of resident who live in nursing facilities as well as assisted care facilities here in the USA and around the world. As you may know, my Mom lived in one up in The Berkshires from January 2020 to February 2021. My sister, brother and I will never forget the excellent care she received during those 14 long months. The quality of her life in that facility was impacted greatly by the Covid-19 restrictions that she and her fellow resident were forced to live under. I know the staff tried their very best to keep her dignity and humor at the forefront of her daily life.

As I write this article, I am thinking that tomorrow (Tuesday) I will resume celebrating Mass at the Jewish Nursing Home for the first time since the pandemic hit our part of the country. It will be a day I will not soon forget. St. Mary’s Church has for years brought Holy Communion to the Jewish Nursing Home, once a week, so that Catholic residents (which make up a sizable portion of the home) may receive Our Lord Faithfully. Deacon Higby has brought The Holy Eucharis every Tuesday to the JNH for years and years and the residents (and our parish) are so grateful to him for his ministry.

Now that visitors are once again being allowed into the Home, we are looking for other teams to bring Communion to these needy residents. Please know you don’t have to bring it on Sunday. You and a friend could choose another day of the week. If this ministry interests you even slightly, please contact the rectory office at (413) 567-3124 and let’s talk. We will be happy to train you and when you’re ready, you can begin bringing The Holy Eucharist to these lovely residents. Believe me, the benefits of this unique ministry are priceless.

Thank you,
Father C.J.
August 1, 2021
Saint Mary’s Parish
Longmeadow, MA