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Pentecost Sunday – A Birthday to Celebrate

At 2.45pm our doorbell rang and in came Thérèse Divine, a 92 year old Sister of Providence. Using her walker she had come to invite us to come to the birthday party because she thought we may not have seen the invitation or heard the reminder over the intercom – she was right we hadn’t seen or heard about the party. Connie Piska, Elsie Herle and myself followed her down to their common room where we were given a very warm welcome.

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Two sisters of Providence , one Fille de Jesus and Connie Piska UJ

In the Emile Community room all the sisters were gathering – everyone who could walk or be wheeled in, came to celebrate. When the Sisters of Providence opened their home to us and to other congregations they opened their hearts also. A month ago we were welcomed to celebrate the entrance of Mary Phillips into their novitiate, today it was for the feast of Pentecost – a birthday party to celebrate the Church; as Alwina, one of the coordinators of the Emile Community said, we need to find opportunities for all to come together. The room was set with small tables and tablecloths; a decorated table with “munchies” – potato chips, small bread sticks, corn chips, small squares of cheese, a wonderful variety of fruit, cookies, coffee, tea, pop or punch.

Present were the Srs. of Providence, Precious Blood Sr. ( who is over 100years old), Filles de Jesus, Daughters of Wisdom (3, including their 102 year old), Sr. of the Assumption, Srs. D’Evron, Handmaid of the Holy Child and UJ’s. I think there were about 30 in all.

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Pecious Blood Sister (over 100 yrs. old,)Table for a feast two sisters of Providence Elsie Herle UJ

After a very nice tea party we sang some songs from a very ancient song book accompanied by Thérèse Divine on the piano.

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Thérèse Divine, 92 yrs. old accompanying us on the piano

We may be living in a large complex which could appear institutional but it is far from it – we have our own area where we can come and go, eat there or go to the cafeteria, have our own celebrations and at the same time are welcomed into the larger community for celebrations, meals, prayers, funerals, jubilees and fun, which we can choose to go to or not. Last night they had a film “The Life of Pye.” We didn’t go because we had already seen it – but we would have been welcomed to share the film, popcorn and juice.

Ann Christine Coster, UdJ