Saturday, April 21, 2012

News from Dighton Community

On March 10 we enjoyed a concert in our chapel offered by Glenn Giuttari played on three modern replicas of historic instruments.

Our Holy Week devotions were a little different this year, the Blessed Sacrament was placed beneath the cross in the conference room (former chapel).
Sr. Gertrudis is seen here in adoration in her wheelchair. She told us that she offered up her pain on our behalf.

On Good Friday, the stations were set up in the same room to make it easier for the sisters with walkers to follow.

Sisters went to our parish St. Nicholas of Myra for all the Holy Week and Easter Services. Many also attended the Chrism Mass at the Cathedral.

Our generous benefactors gave us beautiful flowers for Easter and our chapel looked gorgeous.

Sr. Ana Maria was impressed by the attendance and fervor of the people as she attended the “live” Stations of the Cross done by the Hispanic Ministry at LaSalette Shrine.

“Spring has sprung” in Dighton, as some say. This also means garden spring cleaning. Our “young” sisters were out there with their rakes and the “toy,” to clean up the winter mess. For those of you who do not know, the “toy” is the swivel dump cart that we attach to the sit down mower to haul debris. We had to make it clear that everyone has a turn to drive it!

The property is looking happy again with all the flowers blooming, the flowering trees showing off, (even the jubilee trees planted last year are full of flowers.

Sr. Lucia is doing very well after her hip surgery. She had so much pain before this pain is not to be compared with it, she tells us.

Sr. Gertrudis has ventured to taking little walks with her walker. Of course, she is anxious to leave her bed and wheel chair, which she still needs.

Friday, April 6, 2012

News from St. Anne's Community

The mission of Saint Anne’s Community continues with our presence and ministries at Saint Anne’s Hospital even as the Hospital is now under new ownership, the for-profit Steward Health Care System
Our presence is as important as ever in order to uphold Catholic Health Care. 

               This continues to be a challenge in our everyday ministries.
                                   Ministry on the Geriatric Psychiatric Unit

Patients’ needs vary requiring multiple services. One highly demanded service offered at Saint Anne’s Hospital to meet patients’ needs is the Geri-Psyche In-Patient Unit (GPP). The three members of our community contribute to the care of the patients in this Unit, ministering to them directly, be it at the level of Spiritual Care, Patient Advocacy and Human Rights, or Medical Interpreting.

Sister Karen shares her experience

In my role as Patient Advocate I am responsible for responding to all patient and family concerns and ensuring they are addressed by appropriate hospital leaders.  I also follow-up with each concern in writing.  My responsibilities also include acting as an advocate to ensure that patients’ rights are upheld, particularly on the Geri-psyche unit (GPP).

The patients on the Geri-psyche unit are most vulnerable and they as well as their families have special needs in which the staff is well trained to respond to.  As Human Rights Officer on the Geri-psyche unit I am available to patients and families with any questions or concerns related to their rights as a psychiatric patient.  Last year I took a continuing education course in psychiatric nursing to help me prepare for my ministry on the Geri-psyche unit.  I also attended a day long training in Boston, sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health for Human Rights Officers.

I feel that it is important to maintain a presence and witness to the Healing of Jesus Christ on the GPP.  Every Wednesday morning along with a volunteer, who is a retired nurse, we meet with the patients on the GPP for a Spirituality Group.  We take the time to quiet ourselves, listen to reflective music and pray together.  Often it is difficult for some of the patients to focus and quiet down as they can be restless and agitated.  Others suffer from major depression and are withdrawn. 

But once we play the music, it seems to have a positive and calming effect on the patients.  The patients are all from different faith backgrounds, but nevertheless once we start praying the rosary most of them join in.  It is a challenge, but it brings tremendous satisfaction to know I am participating in some way to the healing and wholeness of the patients on the GPP.

Sr. Karen Champagne