Merciful Like the Father...

Posted on: May 2, 2016 2:00 pm
Tags: Blog, Associates,

At the start of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, Sisters and Associates of Notre Dame shared the day-to-day acts of mercy that touched them recently. (As seen in the spring 2016 issue of The Pulse.) 

Sr. Mary Dolores Giblin:

Last school year, Sr. Mary Paul Ann Hanneken contacted a retired dentist she knew and asked if he would consider doing dental work and providing one of our parents with a denture, so that the parent wouldn’t be so painfully aware of missing front teeth.  Her act of concern for this parent and the doctor’s willing response were acts of mercy that the parent so gratefully acknowledged.  This parent smiles broadly and often now, not feeling like she needs to cover her mouth when she speaks and smiles.

Sr. Mary Harietta Gausepohl:

I was in a small store waiting for my order to be filled. A man, who looked in appearance as though he could have been homeless, came in and whispered something to the cashier. The cashier in turn sent a message to the back of the store. Out came a gentleman who spoke with the man and then reached in his pocket and gave the man some money. The man said something to the gentleman and the gentleman again reached in his pocket and gave the man more money.  I was touched by this act and the cashier told me this man was a “regular.” To me this was truly an act of compassion and mercy.

Sr. Ann Marie Pflum:

1) The sisters in the provincial house sponsored two families for Christmas from Hosea House in Newport, KY.  A single father had a boy four years old and a single mother had a girl four and a boy five.  The sisters pooled their money and were able to buy all the items on the families’ wish lists.  They also gave each family a gift certificate to buy shoes or whatever else was needed.

2) At Christmas each sister is permitted to spend a small amount of money for an item they would like to have for a Christmas gift.  More and more sisters are giving their money to places like the Notre Dame Urban Education Center or one of the Catholic inner-city schools where we teach.

Jan Ferguson, Associate:

I was very blessed by acts of mercy during my rehab after knee surgery. Notre Dame Associate Ruth Averdick and her husband brought us dinner one evening. My sister-in-law Marilyn Polley, also an Associate, made sure I had everything I needed and made dinner whenever we needed her. A friend stopped by multiple times to do healing touch on my knee. She brought essential oils that she thought would be soothing. Just having her visit and talk to me made me feel better. On my last day of physical therapy, I stopped at Reality Tuesday to pick up some muffins to take as a thank you gift. Dr. Mark Collett, the veterinarian next to the Sisters of Notre Dame, was in front of me and asked about my using a cane. I told him about my surgery and therapy.   He then paid for the muffins I was buying and told me he was grateful the PT had helped me, his friend, get better. So many kind people. Feeling blessed.

Marilyn Polley, Associate:

My sister, Carole Poole, makes beautiful wreaths. This past fall, she made one and worked with Sr. Mary Sebastien Schmidt to raffle it off to raise money for a food pantry in Harlan, KY.  Sr. Sebastien, a dear friend of mine, worked in Harlan for years and still does so much for the community there. Their wreath raffle brought in $550.00. Creativity and compassion at work.


Rita Hargett, a Notre Dame Associate, recently  finished making a lap quilt for a breast cancer patient and she volunteers every week at Bridgepoint Nursing Home.

Sr. Nicole Marie Varnerin:

Our next door neighbors at the National Novitiate are a kind older couple who raised many children, grandchildren, and foster children. We would see them at Mass weekly if not daily. The husband had battled three different cancers, and this fall he succumbed to a recurrence. He was very sick, in and out of the hospital. We were worried because we stopped seeing the wife at daily Mass and even Sunday Mass. Finally, very close to Christmas, one of the couple’s children knocked on the door to ask if we could keep the parking spot by their back door clear because their father would be coming home by ambulance that day. He had been put on home hospice. Not only did Sr. Marla Monahan make sure the door was clear, but she went over when he arrived to sit with him and pray with the family. Our neighbor did not make it to Christmas and Sr. Marla attended the wonderful celebration of life for all of us, since we were out of town. The night Sr. Mary Rose Moser and I returned, Sr. Marla suggested we visit our widowed neighbor and ask if she wanted a ride to Mass in the morning. Our neighbor was so grateful for the visit and ever since, we have been bringing her to Mass. I have seen a glimpse of the Lord’s loving kindness in Sr. Marla’s actions and in return we have all gotten to know our neighbor much better.

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