By: Sr. Dolly Pascual –
Full of enthusiasm, love and respect were some of the values present in the outreach program of the Shrine of Jesus to the San Lorenzo Ruiz Home for the Elderly in Lancaster, Pasay City on January 11, 2020. The said activity was considered a post-Christmas Outreach of the Shrine volunteers expressing their gratitude and respect for the elderly as well as by remembering them while they are already getting on in years.
The San Lorenzo Ruiz Home for the Elderly, operated by The Little Sisters of the Poor, houses around 37 resident elders with ages ranging from 63 to 103 years old. They are being well-taken care of by the nuns providing them food, medicines and other personal needs, through the help of some people with good and generous hearts.
This is not the first time that the Shrine of Jesus community through its Rector, Rev. Msgr. Roberto C. Canlas and the Shrine Volunteers visited the said institution, but aside from being considered a neighbor of the church in the city, it is one way of sharing the blessings received to the elderly people managed responsibly by them.
Some of the Shrine Volunteers who joined the outreach program arrived at the nursing home early in the morning who were welcomed not only by the sisters but also the elders who were already doing their morning routine, and walk for some. A Holy Mass was also celebrated by the volunteers seated with the lolo’s and lola’s on their sides which gave them a chance for some brief chit-chats about their family, daily living and leisure time. Then after, a short program comprising of dances, song numbers and some games made the day filled with fun and lively hearts. This helped alleviate somehow even just for few hours the low mood, loneliness and longingness experienced by the resident elders. Aside from the games, some messages and catechism were also delivered and imparted to the lolo’s and lola’s about affection, gratitude and family including the significance of Christmas to everyone. A simple lunch was also prepared for the elders where the Shrine volunteers tried their best to assist the lolo’s and lola’s while enjoying each other’s company.
One of the highlights of the outreach program is the turn-over of donations, in which the Shrine Volunteers formed a Christmas tree out of diapers, milk and juices intended and requested for and by the elders. The said activity was also done during the Shrine of Jesus Volunteers’ Christmas Agape where each of them took part of the donation of items needed. This symbolizes that no Christmas tree will be formed without the participation and self-giving of each member of the group – the Shrine of Jesus’ Family.