Written by Katie Hirl
Many people see nursing homes as a place filled with sadness and death. At Holy Family Residence, where I was blessed to be able to volunteer at over my spring break, it is filled with love and life. The staff at the home recognizes the dignity that each Resident has, as a human being created in the image of God. They will the good of their Residents by serving the Residence joyfully and selflessly.
Another beautiful thing I noticed during my time there was, the staff recognizes that the human person is body and soul. Both parts of a person need to be cared for and ministered to and at the home they are. I was able to help with caring for both body and soul while I was there. As I helped with meals, exercise and various other activities I saw the great concern the workers there have for the well being for the Residents’ body. I was also able to participate and bring people to daily mass, rosary and divine mercy chaplet, which help the soul by keeping it close to God. However, the Residents have a choice whether or not they attend any activity.
Even the Residents, who choose not to go to activities which have a focus on the Lord, still have their soul cared for because the staff working to help preserve a Residents’ intellect and will which are both parts of the soul. Also the sacrificial love of God pervades every part of the home and even if one does not recognize it as such, a person cannot help but encounter it and be changed interiorly for the better. I loved my time volunteering at the home not because of the specific things I did, but because I learned how to care for people in their entirety and my love for the Lord was strengthened by being immersed in an environment dedicated to serving people until they may receive eternal life in heaven.