“It’s the most unusual place I’ve ever been. You’re not conscious of people being ill here. We all have cancer and we’re all terminal, but it’s serene and there are lots of moments of fun and laughter.” (Harriet Boyle, resident of Rosary Hill Home in Hawthorne, NY)
I recently ran across a story about the Dominican Sisters Congregation of St. Rose of Lima, who operate a palliative care facility in Hawthorne, NY (north of New York City). The sisters care for the terminally ill in a home known as Rosary Hill, totally free of charge. Even more amazing is the fact that they don’t accept government funds or insurance reimbursements. They rely solely on God’s providence.
This story is inspiring in so many ways. For one thing, we see an example of women dedicating their lives to caring for the dying. These sisters aren’t doing this for money, they’re doing it out of love. We can also see a great example of trusting in God’s providence. In this Sunday’s gospel (Mt 14:22-33), Peter learned how easy it is to lose sight of the Lord, especially when faced with major problems. Although it’s often counter-intuitive, it’s precisely at these difficult times that we must rely on the Lord’s help. Both the sisters who work at Rosary Hill and the patients seem to seem to have a strong understanding of this concept. As a result, they are surrounded with God’s peace, even in the midst of uncertainty.
We can all learn so much from this great story. In addition to the obvious lesson of providing for our brothers and sisters in need, we are reminded of the importance of trusting in God’s providence. Just as St. Peter started to sink the minute he began to focus on the storm (instead of the Lord), we too will struggle when we attempt to tackle our problems without God’s help.
The full story about the Dominican Sisters’ work at Rosary Hill can be found here.