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Tuesday, 26 May 2015

"I miss the bacon...."

That is an elderly religious sister who has succumbed to the necessity of living out her days in a Jewish nursing home.
For 98-year-old Sister Angela Rooney, it was one of the most jarring moves of her life.
She always thought she would live out her days as she had for decades, in a convent under the time-honored Roman Catholic tradition of younger nuns dutifully caring for their older sisters.
But with few young women choosing religious life, her church superiors were forced to look elsewhere for care, and in the past year have sent Rooney and dozens of other nuns to Jewish Home Lifecare, a geriatric-care complex in the Bronx....
It's an unusual situation that reflects a reality of the nation's Catholic nuns in the 21st century: Fewer young women are devoting their lives to religious orders, and those who are already nuns are aging and facing escalating health care needs.
(The bacon "remark" was just a silly aside, these women actually seem cheerful, and obedient to their calling and accepting of their situation.)
I wonder that more Catholic institutions with under-used facilities have not turned to a new vocation, that of elder care.
I do know of one seminary with no seminarians that was transformed into a lovely assisted living facility.
One of the sisters in the article mentions missing their chapel, Stations... me, when the time comes, (and it's hurtling toward me, or I it, at breakneck speed, I sometimes think,) I want to be within walking distance, or tottering distance, or wheeling distance, to liturgical splendor.
I remember seeing buildings that seemed shabby enough that I'd be able to afford them on whatever SS and pension and IRA accumulated, in the environs of St John Cantius, but that neighborhood grew a bit too gentrified, doubt it's in my reach now.
Well, who knows, I can't predict what my life or the world will be like two weeks from now, much less two decades!

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