This year’s Annual Catholic Appeal theme, “One Faith, One Family,” is lived every day by families in the Diocese of Norwich.
Many of our parishioners face daily challenges in their lives. One very difficult challenge that many confront is the selection of an assisted living center for an elderly loved one. Choosing a long-term care facility or assisted living center is a decision that is not easy. It often involves multiple family members with varying opinions. Saint Joseph Living Center, a ministry sponsored by the Diocese of Norwich, was established in 1988. It is on nine acres in picturesque Windham and offers short-term rehabilitation, skilled nursing and end-of-life care.
While the community is a Catholic faith-based healthcare facility, St. Joseph Living Center welcomes residents of all faiths. Its suburban location affords privacy and a relaxed atmosphere with plenty of parking and accessibility. Saint Joseph Living Center has indoor and outdoor special features, including a beautiful chapel that hosts a daily Mass. Residents and guests can also enjoy an enclosed courtyard with lovely gardens and a Koi pond.
My family was faced with the challenge of caring for my grandmother not too long ago. We made a tough decision and selected an assisted living center for her. Two of the most important considerations were how welcome our family felt and our ability to visit her daily. We also needed to be assured that grandma would receive great medical care and have things to do.
The facility offered an excellent selection of activities to the residents and their families. My grandmother was more active in her new living center than she had been at home, and also had the 24-hour medical care she needed. One of my favorite visits was during Easter time. A local farmer volunteered to join us for Family Day. She brought in baby animals for the residents to interact with, and their smiling faces lit up the room that morning.
St. Joseph Living Center is one of the many ministries and programs that our ACA donations support. When you decide to make a gift or pledge to this year’s ACA, please be confident that your hard-earned money will have a major effect on the lives of your friends and neighbors. Whether it allows for the care of the elderly as at St. Joseph or the provision of food at St. Vincent de Paul Place, Norwich, or St. Vincent de Paul, Middletown, or the education of our youth in faith, your ACA donations go a long way in helping many.
The diocese relies on the kindness of each and every one of us to support its ministries and programs. Mary Ellen Mahoney, the Executive Director of the Office of Development, reflected on the importance of parishioner participation in the ACA.
“We know that in order to fund our ministries to allow them to continue to impact the most people possible, it requires all of us working together as one family of faith. The Annual Catholic Appeal provides the vehicle by which we can all do our part to help keep our ministries strong. Last year, 22 percent of our parishioners donated to the ACA. This year, we are hoping to increase this number and are asking everyone who is able to make a donation, no matter how small. As this year’s ACA theme reminds us, we are “One Faith, One Family.”
-- Gina Foster