Warm hearts reign at residence for the elderly poor


Just after the New Year, Mary Louise Doetsch sat at a table at the St. Louis Residence of the Little Sisters of the Poor folding cloth napkins, with about a dozen or so in a pile waiting for her caring touch. The 89-year-old resident, a former St. Gabriel parishioner in south St. Louis, conversed with other residents in the room, joking and laughing with them.

Doetsch loves everything about the residence, explaining that there's things to do for everyone.

"If you're bored, you're bored because you want to be," she said.

Retiring head of senior agency continues to advocate for elderly

Sister Suzanne Wesley, CSJ, is retiring as the executive director at Cardinal Ritter Senior Services. She has served for 15 years in that position. She talked with Ann Jones and Rick Hrach during a staff Christmas party.

As an outspoken advocate for the health and well-being of elderly people, Sister Suzanne Wesley's leadership — which has helped improve the quality of life for thousands of seniors the last 20 years — will be missed as she heads into retirement.

Read, Right, Run Marathon has a calming effect


Outside, the kindergarten through fifth-graders were chatty, energetic and a bit difficult to corral at times.

But once inside Alexian Brothers Sherbrooke Village nursing home, the St. Mark School students were calm and focused. The difference? A couple big bags full of books and a task of reading the books to some of the residents at tables in a commons area.

POPE'S MESSAGE | Ignoring, abandoning the elderly is a sin

Pope Francis greeted the crowd as he arrived to lead his general audience March 4 in St. Peter’s Square.

VATICAN CITY -- Seeing the elderly only as a burden "is ugly. It's a sin," Pope Francis said at his weekly general audience.

"We must reawaken our collective sense of gratitude, appreciation and hospitality, helping the elderly know they are a living part of their communities" and sources of wisdom for the younger generations, the 78-year-old pope said March 4.

Continuing a series of audience talks about the family, Pope Francis said he would dedicate two talks to the elderly, looking at how they are treated in modern societies and at their vocation within the family.

Pope: Greed, throwaway culture fuel 'hidden euthanasia' of elderly

Pope Francis greeted people during an encounter with the elderly in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Sept. 28.

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis warned against the abandonment and neglect of the elderly, calling it a "hidden euthanasia" rooted in today's "poisonous" culture of disposal and an economic system of greed.

In the presence of his predecessor, Pope Francis also thanked Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI for staying to live at the Vatican and being like "a wise grandfather at home."

"A people who don't take care of their grandparents and don't treat them well is a people with no future. Why no future? Because they lose the memory (of the past) and they sever their own roots," he said.

MOMENTS OF GRACE | Elderly find God’s grace shines through others’ love

Lou Jobst

John Donne's famous quote, "No man is an island" has resonated with me in the last few months in notes and emails that I have received and in the lives of some beautiful people to whom I take Communion every few weeks.

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