You can drop by the kitchen at Holy Family Residence any four or five days a week and find Joe Bilotta, one of our faithful volunteers, helping to take care of whatever needs to be done. As I talked with Joe, he was busy cleaning and trimming grapes for the evening supper.
Joe told an interesting story about how he came to be at the Little Sisters of the Poor. His wife of many years, who is now deceased, suffered with MS. She was wheelchair- bound and had the opportunity to take a trip to the Holy Land. Unfortunately the battery to her chair was damaged in transit. Her friends proceeded to carry her through the streets of Jerusalem so she wouldn’t miss a thing. Following the trip, she wrote a short story, “On Wings of Angels” which recalled the story and was very meaningful to Joe. Shortly afterwards while attending mass, he saw a familiar white-haired priest who had blessed their marriage many years before. That priest happened to be the Chaplain here at Holy Family Residence. Joe visited the priest at the Residence, read about and bought into the mission of Jeanne Jugan and the rest is history!
As Joe works diligently on the grapes he thinks aloud, “For one person, Jeanne Jugan, to have such strong faith, to do so much for the poor and to have come so far is absolutely amazing to me. I thank my wife every night for helping me to be strong and faithful and for guiding me, through her angels, to be a part of the Little Sisters’ work.” Joe is taking his commitment one step further as he is currently preparing to become a member of the Association Jeanne Jugan which serves as the extension of the Little Sisters’ hands and hearts. Holy Family is blessed to have you, Joe!