April is always a special month for Sisters Hospitallers as our communities celebrate the feast day of our Founder St Benedict Menni. During the previous days, the hospitaller community held a triduum in each care home in preparation for the feast. We thank God for blessing St Benedict Menni with a hospitaller vocation, thanks to which our Congregation is now caring for over two million people around the world.
To celebrate the great event, a “triduum” was prepared by the Pastoral Team. This year coincided with the Sunday of the Good Shepard, the day dedicated by the Church to pray for vocations. One of the most special moments of the triduum took place on the last day, with the participation of residents, staff, volunteers, visitors and sisters. It was very enlightening, deepening into the ethos of the Sisters and the sense of belonging, which marks the Hospitallers Identity.
On the Feast Day, we had a double celebration as it was the Golden Anniversary of Religious Life of Sister Ana Maria Oroz. The Morning Prayer embraced both events and equally, our hearts gave thanks to the Lord for the life of our Founder and for the 50 years of fidelity and committed service of Sister Ana Maria.
On the run-up to this very special day, we held our Triduum Services on 21st, 22nd & 23rd April. On the last day, we talked of St Benito Menni Prophet of Hospitality and recited the following prayer:
Oh God, good and compassionate Father
who called and sent St Benito Menni
to announce your gospel of mercy
by word and work,
give us, through his intercession,
the graces that we ask for,
so that by following his example
we may love you above all things
and always serve our needy and sick
brothers and sisters
in all the work we do
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Our Founder’s Day celebrations began with Mass, with Fr Michael being the main celebrant together with Monsignor David Cousins and Fr David Lloyd.
On the 24th, we started with a Thanksgiving Mass at 11 am attended by the management team, staff, residents and some of their families, friends and sisters. The Offertory procession was very moving and lively, bringing to the Lord all the instruments of our daily activity in the fulfilment of our caring activity in the centre.
It was a joy to be part of the St. Benedict Menni feast day, the Mass was so moving and uplifting, giving all those who attended a great sense of purpose and belonging, and all felt very proud to be part of Sisters Hospitallers. It is very important to remember the founder of our Congregation, where it all began, and the kindness given by the sisters. We are still benefiting today and will do in the future from all the sisters who work tirelessly and selflessly to help others.