Carolers have been singing in the season and bringing Christmas cheer to the elderly residents of SS. Joachim and Anne Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Coney Island.
Nancy Kaufman, director of therapeutic recreation, has coordinated the visits of nearly a dozen Catholic schools and parishes over the last few weeks.
“On behalf of the residents, family members, volunteers and staff, we wish to express our gratitude for the support of the Catholic community this holiday season,” Kaufman said.
“Some of the groups sang a wonderful selection of religious hymns and more secular joyful tunes. The members of the church and school groups shared lots of joy, peace and love with our elderly residents.”
Among the groups that visited were: St. Athanasius Church and Choir, Bensonhurst; St. Bernadette’s School, Dyker Heights; St. Edmund’s School Band and Youth Service Group, Sheepshead Bay; St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Academy, Crown Heights; the Catholic Young Adult Community from Our Lady of Grace Church, Gravesend; Bishop Loughlin Memorial H.S., Fort Greene; Good Shepherd Catholic Academy, Marine Park; St. Mark Catholic Academy, Sheepshead Bay; Catherine Laboure Special Education School, Canarsie; St. Thomas Aquinas Church Youth Group, Flatlands; and Visitation Academy, Bay Ridge.
A Personal Touch
At the conclusion of every musical program, visitors shook the residents’ hands and spoke to them. Some shared homemade Christmas cards and candy canes. Other groups conducted holiday craft projects and led residents in a holiday-themed Bingo game.
The majority of the center’s residents, when living at home, were active members of their Catholic communities through regular attendance at Mass, involvement in social and service clubs at church or by serving in local Catholic schools.
Seeing new and familiar faces from the parishes they know and love helps residents continue to be part of the larger Catholic community.