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Little Sisters of the Poor - A Mission of Hospitality
Following in the footsteps of Blessed Jeanne Jugan as we journey into the Third Millennium
The Congregation of the Little Sisters of the Poor, an international Institute, was founded in 1839, when Blessed Jeanne Jugan opened her home to Jesus Christ in the person of an elderly, poor, blind woman. Following in her footsteps as we journey into the Third Millennium, we Little Sisters desire that our hospitaller mission of humble service to our elderly brothers and sisters, witness to them the compassionate love and mercy of God.
Therefore we affirm:
- Our commitment to welcome the needy elderly, regardless of race or religion, into our Homes, and to receive them as members of our own family, caring for them and preparing them for God’s call in death.
- Our desire to respond with ingenious charity to the profound aspirations of the elderly: acknowledgment of their dignity, desire to be respected, esteemed and loved; a longing to feel useful; apprehension of solitude, desiring both freedom and privacy; a need for security, in health and in sickness, until death.
- Our promotion of the role of the elderly and our assistance to the elderly themselves, "sources of wisdom and witnesses of hope and love," so that all recognize the valuable contribution the elderly make to society and to the Church.
- Our fostering of the role of the elderly in their families and of the "covenant" between generations.
- Our collaboration with one another, volunteers, staff, the Residents and their families to create a family-like atmosphere where there is respect for human dignity and human life, understanding and mutual concern.
- Our total adherence to all teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, especially those concerning the sanctity and inviolability of human life.
- Our opposition to all practices of euthanasia and assisted suicide and our protection of the elderly from these practices and from all forms of abuse and neglect.
- Our support of the Residents in their psycho-physiological aging, alleviating and comforting the suffering of the sick, accompanying the terminally ill, helping them to maintain their personal dignity and maintaining a prayerful and attentive presence to the Residents who have entered the natural dying process. Essential therein is the Christian meaning given to suffering and death "radically transformed in the Paschal Mystery of the Lord Jesus."
- Our absolute trust in Divine Providence, source and sustenance of our mission and Institute as Little Sisters of the Poor. Countless lay collaborators, intermediaries of the Providence, support our work through material assistance and voluntary service. By the ongoing practice of the "collecting" we express our reliance on Providence without, however, neglecting human means. We believe that through their selfless charity, a channel of grace is opened in the souls of our benefactors.
- Our conviction that a creative fidelity to the spirit and initial inspiration of Blessed Jeanne Jugan requires from each Little Sister a daily living of poverty, simplicity, humility of heart, vibrant faith and loyalty to our missionary tradition and family spirit.
Hospitality to the elderly poor, founding charism of Blessed Jeanne Jugan, remains our inheritance. We hear her reminding us, "Never forget that the poor are Our Lord." In continuing her charism, we share this vision of faith and draw our strength from the charity which the Holy Spirit pours into our hearts. To all who are journeying towards the Kingdom, we wish to show respect for life -- of which God alone is the Master -- and the primacy of eternal values and the boundless love of God.
Local History and Mission of the Little Sisters of the Poor of Greater Boston, Inc.
On September 13, 1868, the Little Sisters arrived on the American shores. In 1870 they opened their first home in Massachusetts (Roxbury, MA) - one of the original 13 homes built in America. A second Home opened in Charlestown, and then a third in Somerville in 1889, to accommodate the great number of elderly reaching out to the Sisters. In 1978, these three original Homes were replaced by the Jeanne Jugan Residence, on the Somerville property. Over 7,500 elderly poor have spent their final years in the care of the Little Sister in Massachusetts.
Permanent Care Program
The Permanent Care Program - the main "Home" - is licensed for 84 beds and provides two continuous levels of care - two non-skilled floors and one nursing floor. Each resident resides in a particular care unit according to their personal needs. All residents have personalized private rooms that reflect the efforts made for a "home-like" feel and not one of an institution
Services & Activities
The Little Sisters of the Poor of Greater Boston are committed to serving the needs of those over the age of 60 with limited or no income and assets. The Jeanne Jugan Residence accommodates 110 residents with a Permanent Care Program and Low-Income Independent-Living Apartments. Each resident is placed in the appropriate care unit according to the individual’s needs, and all are encouraged daily to strive to live life fully. A visit to the Jeanne Jugan Residence and one feels an immediate sense of warmth, love and care.
Low-Income Independent-Living Apartments -- Jeanne Jugan PavilionThe Jeanne Jugan Pavilion was built in 1982 to accommodate the increasing need for affordable housing of the independent elderly of low-income. The residents of the 27 efficiency apartments, or self-care units, are able to retain their independence and feelings of dignity and self-esteem, while also enjoying the benefits of the Little Sisters of the Poor family (i.e., the many social and spiritual activities of the Home). The proximity of the Pavilion to the main House - next-door - also affords the residents feelings of security and peace.
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