The Christmas message proclaims Emmanuel – God is with us! The angels bring tidings of great joy: “Do not be afraid!” Light has dawned, hope springs anew. Christmas challenges us to look around, to look beyond, to see the signs of God’s presence in flesh and blood, in caring and tender words and deeds.
Here are just a few of those wondrous signs – thrills of hope — that we have witnessed this season. As the New Year of Our Lord 2020 dawns, may they lift your heart and strengthen your spirit! May you be moved to make your own list of good news, evidence that “the kindness and generous love of God our savior” has indeed appeared. (Paul’s letter to Titus 3)
- The Sisters currently living at the Assisted Living Program (ALP) will soon be moving to Kittay Senior Apartments (both at the New Jewish Home in the Bronx). For the Sisters’ last Christmas Eve dinner at the ALP, Sisters Arleen Ketchum and Kathy Byrnes, along with Kathy’s sister Pat, made the occasion special by serving a delicious meal prepared by Alan & Kathy Re.
- On Christmas Eve In decades past, the Mother of the community carried a statue of the Christ Child up the aisle of the Chapel and placed it in the crèche by the main altar. April Boone, director of pastoral care at Mount Saint Vincent Convent, gave new life to this cherished SC tradition. She invited Sr. Donna Dodge, our current President, to lay the Child in the manger, accompanied by four former Presidents – Sisters Jane Iannucelli, Dorothy Metz, Elizabeth Vermaelen and Carol Barnes.
- During the days before Christmas, members of the Leadership Team visited Sisters and staff at each retirement residence and care center, bringing gifts and loving greetings.
- At Christmas, the goodness of so many people to those in need is evident – God’s love made flesh.
- On Dec. 21, Salem United Methodist Church in Harlem again hosted the annual Christmas party of LEFSA (Life Experience and Faith Sharing Associates) Team for about 300 friends who are without homes. Generous benefactors provided gifts for each one who attended and all enjoyed a superb meal including shrimp, lobster, turkey, ham, yams and all the fixings. Sisters Kathy Byrnes, Carol DeAngelo, and Karen Helfenstein joined the LEFSA Team and others in serving the meal.
- The NY Foundling’s children and families were blessed with gifts, parties, etc. from employees of Macy’s, PJ Clarke’s, NY Jets, Healthy Families Staten Island, TD Bank, Santa Frank & the City Santas, and BTA MTA, among others – https://www.nyfoundling.org/the-foundling-community-gives-back-for-the-holidays/
- Among those whose presence and gifts brought joy to the children at Elizabeth Seton Children’s in Yonkers & White Plains were: the Oswald family, IAFF Local 628 Yonkers Firefighters and Local 274 White Plains Firefighters, Forsaken Angelz SC, Toys for Hospitalized Children, Transfiguration School, Hodder Farenga, White Plains Police Dept. Special Operations Division, and Sammarco Stone & Supply. https://www.facebook.com/SetonChildrens/
Sr. Regina, a writer, retreat leader, speaker, and spiritual director, serves as Charism Resource Director for the Sisters of Charity of New York.