Day Care

Following from the very rich, divergent, ministry carried out in our communities for a number of years, the time comes when many of us have to slow down due to age and sickness. As far as possible we like to continue in some form of ministry to others, having up to this point tried to live according to the ideals of our foundress Catherine McAuley in ‘making mercy the business of our lives’.  

Several of our Houses are now fitted out for the care of the elderly and frail Sisters of the Institute. In Doncaster, for example, some visitation of the house-bound has continued but in a very limited way. To enable this to continue further and also have our elderly Sisters involved, we started what is called "The Tuesday Group". About 15 or 16 housebound and elderly people are brought to the house every Tuesday by bus - financed by the community. They arrive for coffee at ten, then the buzz begins and goes on till lunch-time when sisters and visitors all dine together. For many of our visitors this is the highlight of their week as they get a good nutritious meal and enjoy being served with plenty of chat and merriment. During the afternoon the Sisters who are able, join in the various activities of the group. This pattern of care, involving the local community in various ways, is replicated around the Institute. Holidays are also arranged in our sea-side houses for the elderly who are sufficiently able to enjoy a time away. Other houses also provide day care facilities for both the disabled and elderly.

Sister Mary Baptist sharing a meal in Worthing

Social occasions are also an important part of life for our sick and elderly Sisters. They like to be taken out for drives and enjoy the countryside, the Lake-side being a great favourite with the Doncaster community as there is a lot of wild life to be seen there. During the better weather the Sisters love to use motorised wheel chairs round the garden and one or two even travel to the local shops. Since most of the Sisters are unable to go on holiday their families are encouraged to come and visit them, accommodation being available for such visits.

The spiritual life of each sister is also attended to. In Doncaster we have installed a system in the chapel which is linked to each bedroom consequently those upstairs never feel isolated. Our convent chapels are often places of prayer for individuals and local groups and the place where the Eucharist is celebrated. The prayer dimension of our senior Sisters cannot be over emphasized. Individual people request prayer for their intentions and our Sisters also support the ministry being carried out by other members of the Institute. Prayer for our missions in Peru, Kenya and Romania is also a priority as is the latest disaster or other intention gleaned from the TV News!

In these ways we try to ‘make Mercy the business of our lives’, always remembering that when we give we also receive. Many of those who formerly received visits from our Sisters, now come to the convent to share their joys and sorrows with those who continue to provide a listening ear, to empathise with them and thus continue together on the journey through life.