“Little Sisters versus Goliath”
Tom Purcell summarized it well even in the title of his article on the Opinion Page of the Lincoln Journal Star yesterday. I am using his title here in mine “Little Sisters versus Goliath”. My personal experience with the Sisters is similar to his. The Little Sisters of the Poor are friends of ours, as a matter of fact they were the first large group to stay at our retreat house. Their foundress Jeanne Jugan was canonized two years ago, and about 30 of them came from across the US to Omaha where the gentleman who was blessed with the miracle for the canonization resides. They were thrilled when we had room for all of the Sisters as they don’t often see one another, so staying in one place was a Godsend!
The Sisters care for the poor elderly. They appeal to others for a vast majority of their funding and material needs along with food for daily operations, and have many people who regularly provide for those in their care. Ten years ago when I went with Mother Joan Paul to St. Louis where we were gathering information from those who knew Bishop Flavin, we interviewed an elderly lady. The kind, elderly lady met us at the door and said, “Shall we talk here or upstairs?” We asked her what she preferred, she said, “Oh come up to my room, it is beautiful, I never dreamed I’d get to retire in a beautiful place like this.” Her little apartment had a small kitchenette, sitting room and bedroom. The feminine border print on the wallpaper around the perimeter of the sitting room gave it a beautiful touch that was surpassed only by the smile on her face. There she told us many vignettes of Bishop Flavin’s influence in her life as a young married woman.
I had never experienced such a pleasant environment where the elderly were cared for. Pretty much everybody we encountered seemed like they felt like they had won a piece of the lottery to be living there. It wasn’t a joy borne of material possessions, but one borne of living in freedom and goodness in a truly Christian environment. Now why would you want to shut down such a place? The Sisters motherhouse is in France. If they are forced to, they will leave their 30 homes in the US caring for thousands of elderly with a solicitude only the Lord could inspire.
Dear Sisters, God bless you, my friends, fight to the end. Use your feminine genius, and goodness to show the contrast in what you are up against. Goodness will prevail, the question is how long will it take. The Lord is with you His Spouses, you make Him proud, me, too.
With you in the Spirit,