11th February 2021- Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, always a very special day for the residents and we made a point of preparing it in a special way. Our first plan was to go in procession to the beautiful grotto in the garden but the icy cold weather quickly changed our plan. A big statue of Our lady of Lourdes was delicately adorned with yellow primroses and candles in the chapel and a special rosary was prepared. All our residents priest s were present and a good number of residents always respecting the social distancing in the chapel. A meditated rosary with hymns between each decade were heard over the loud speaker system. At the end of the rosary Father Cooley blessed a basket of rosary beads. These rosaries had been given in quantity when Pope Benedict XV1 visited the home in 2010. In this space of time most of the actual residents were not here for this visit so to get a rosary in a packet with a reminder of the Papal visit was a treasured present for all who received it. The afternoon ended as most event do with a welcome cup of tea in the concert hall. This afternoon of devotion and get together gave a glimmer of light in these times of restricted family visits.
That same day a very large quantity of daffodils was given to us by Marks & Spencer’s, enough to give all the residents a bouquet and even enough for the staff who were there. This once again brightened the day and Our Lady of Lourdes was surely honored.
The residents are so grateful for whatever they receive and it is great to be able to give them pleasure. We see this several times each week as our dedicated AJJ members and volunteers go to Marks & Spencer’s to collect surplus food. The residents in the flats appreciate the bread and of course the cakes and doughnuts are always a treat for all. We thank God for His Providence that we receive always in abundance.
14th February 2021– Feast of St Valentine- Another occasion to break the monotony and do something special. An effort is made to decorate the dining room and the residents – ladies of course – are invited to wear something red. They accept the invitation and red dresses, trousers and cardigans and a few red flowers as headdress brighten up the dining room there are even some red ties as the men join in the celebration. The tables are beautifully decorated with red table mats and small red miniature lights around the place along with decorations of hearts everywhere. The residents were asked what music they would like and Elvis Presley songs seemed to be what was most requested! We see a younger generation coming along!
After a delicious meal Julius the chef brought in a most unusual cake in the shape of a heart and pink and red miniature hearts decorated it. It was a joint effort in the kitchen by our staff who are always ready to oblige and give pleasure to the residents. It was another occasion to exchange on past memories and pass a very animated moment and forget about the pandemic although the table separators don’t seem to stop the conversations
The residents also celebrated Chinese New Year!