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Kiner's Korner: St. Joseph's Residence and the Little Sisters of the Poor

Bill Kiner talks about his father-in-law's experience at St. Joseph's and the wonderful work done by the Sisters.

From time to time, Kiner's Korner pays tribute to one of Enfield's own and to those who have made a difference in the lives of people living in our community. Today that tribute goes to the Little Sisters of the Poor of St. Joseph's Residence.

My father-in-law passed away last week. He was 94 and was blessed with reasonably good health until the last weeks of his life. He was a resident of St. Joseph's for six years, and during that time I got to know a lot about the Residence, about The Little Sisters of the Poor who manage the residence, and the staff who care for the those who lived there.

First a little history. The Little Sisters care for the elderly poor regardless of race, religion, or national origin. The Little Sisters have been caring for Connecticut's elderly since 1901. For the past 40 years, they have been at their current location at 1365 Enfield Street.

After my father-in-law had been living at St. Joe's for a few months he told us, "This is where I want to die." This was a very positive assessment of what he came to love and where he wanted to remain until the end of his days. He got his wish.

When my father-in-law came to live at St. Joseph's, he lived on the fourth floor. As all residents, he had his own room, bathroom, and shower. All the residents have their dinners served to them in a dining room on that floor. He was ambulatory and was able to do things for himself. As age started to slow him down and he needed more care, he moved to the third floor. Again, everything was the same as it had been on the fourth floor, but now he had a little more assistance. Ultimately he was moved to the second floor of St. Joseph's, where he needed constant care. That is where he would die.

The Sisters and staff treat each individual resident with respect and dignity. The facility is immaculate. Residents are so very vibrant and so full of life thanks to the wonderful care they receive. All residents are free to come and go as they please. The residents are dressed every day in the clothing of their choice. No pajamas or "johnny coats" for these people. The women all seem to have stepped out of a beauty parlor with their hair all made up. One woman, I think her name is Lucy, wears a different color bow in her hair every day.  The men likewise are handsome in what attire they wish to wear. The staff at St. Joseph's understand that the way you look determines how you feel about yourself.

The Little Sisters depend upon the good will of the community to survive. Though they do receive state Medicaid funding, they are a not for profit facility and thus have to reach out to the community for help. And this brings me to ask you, my readers, for assistance.

The St. Joseph’s Residence Annual Jazz Brunch will take place on Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012 at the Aqua Turf in Southington, and will benefit both St. Joseph’s Residence and the elderly in Enfield.  This is a major fundraiser for the home.  This fundraiser is crucial as they are in need of a new generator, which will cost the home $200,000. The building’s generator is over 40 years old and was in danger of malfunctioning during last year’s October snowstorm.  Replacement parts are either prohibitively expensive or not available.

There are many ways to support this wonderful event.  St. Joseph's has various sponsorships levels, and there are two raffles the day of the event. Tickets for the event are $50. You can also become a sponsor of the event for $100-$1,000. You will be entitled to one guest pass for a sponsorship.  Any level of support you or your business can give for the Jazz Brunch will be greatly appreciated.

Volunteers and charitable donations are always welcome by the Sisters. For more information about this event, or to purchase a sponsorship or raffle ticket, please contact Maureen Pellegrini, Chairperson at 860-749-7643 or 860-989-4148 for further information.

For information on purchasing a brunch ticket, please contact Kathy White at 860-741-0791 – St. Joseph’s Residence.

Sponsorships are also available for groups or businesses. Online donations are also available at our website:  www.littlesistersofthepoorconnenecticut.org.

Carolyn P Bacon September 26, 2012 at 03:05 PM
Thanks for covering and posting this Tim. I went to high school and graduated from Our Lady of the Angles, next door. As a major influence in growing up I will always have a special place in my heart for the the Sisters. Hopefully,I will be able to support and attend this benefit.

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