A FAMILY HAS FORMED AT MAISON BON SAMARITAIN
Below is an excerpt of the February 28th Global Sisters Report, of National Catholic Report,
by Geri Lanham, a volunteer living in community with the RJM in Gros Morne, Haiti.
Its name, Maison Bon Samaritain, “the House of the Good Samaritan,” speaks to the fact that it is a place where the hands of others come to support and heal those who were broken. The hands of the four-person nursing staff act as the healing hands of God.
Miss Carmel, director of Maison Bon Samaritain, calls the residents by their names, but she adds the titles of matant, aunt, or tonton, uncle. By bestowing these titles, Miss Carmel places herself inside the Maison Bon Samaritain family, and she invites visitors to the nursing home to do the same by introducing the residents as Matant Ange or Tonton Wally.
Sr. Jackie Picard, a Religious of Jesus and Mary sister who has been in Gros Morne for 20 years, has been on the board since 2002 and was instrumental in the transformation of the center. Although the majority are older than she is, the residents call her manman, mother. As the residents will tell anyone who enters the center and asks about its history, “Sister Jackie is a mother for us.”
As care and compassion are given to the residents, they themselves are invited to participate in the life of the community, which is the life of their family. It is not the family into which they were born, but it is the family they have formed with one another.
Some of them have family who occasionally visit, while others only have the family of Maison Bon Samaritain, their newfound brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles. Those who are more physically capable offer encouragement and assistance to those who are less capable in a manner that shows what service the residents can give to one another. With 21 onsite residents and two daytime residents, the nursing staff stays busy as they strive to continue the good work of making this center a place to call home.
The full article is available at: http://globalsistersreport.org/blog/gsr-today/ministry/family-has-formed-maison-bon-samaritain-52256.