by Catherine M., volunteer at the Heart’s Home St Ignatius
“Prior to beginning our year in the student Heart’s Home in Spokane, WA, we were invited to Brooklyn for a retreat. While we were there, we prayed alongside the community and also visited their friends in the neighborhood.
Among the most impactful of my experiences was the visit to one of the nursing homes in Brooklyn. On this particular day, Cecilia and I visited the third floor of the building. We searched for our friends and greeted the people in the foyer. Suddenly, we turned around to see one of our friends rolling down the hall in her wheelchair, a beaming smile on her face. We spoke with her, and, even though she was unable to speak, she responded to us with bright smiles, nods, and laughs. She beckoned us to follow her to her room, and there she showed us some of her belongings and an important scripture passage. It was at that point I could not help but notice the picture near our friend’s bedside: a picture of her and a Heart’s Home volunteer who has since left Brooklyn. I commented on the picture and asked our friend if she missed that particular volunteer. The smile that had not left her face throughout our whole exchange suddenly disappeared as she began to weep silently. It was clear that our friend missed that volunteer. My heart ached for our friend’s sorrow, but at the same time I was overwhelmed with love for our new community. Seeing the effect this volunteer had on our friends created a deeper enthusiasm within me for this coming year. I felt so grateful that I could be a part of such an impactful organization as Heart’s Home, and live such a beautiful charism.”