Editor Emeritus - Ed Wilkinson

Staff Discovers: It’s in Giving That You Receive


DeSales Media Group, the parent company of The Tablet, offers its staff opportunities to grow spiritually as well as materially. Last weekend, as part of our quarterly retreat program, the folks who work for The Tablet, NET-TV and the Catholic Television Network participated in a day of service.

We visited the residents at SS. Joachim and Anne Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, a Catholic Charities-sponsored facility in Coney Island. On this plot of land, youngsters once enjoyed their summers as part of the Catholic Youth Organization day camp. Times have changed, and now it’s senior citizens who enjoy the fruits of this coveted piece of property on the Atlantic Ocean.

We greeted residents and then escorted them to their chapel for the celebration of Mass by Msgr. Kieran Harrington, vicar for communications. Concelebrants included Father Walter Mitchell, chaplain; Father Dan Weiscopf, a resident; and Msgr. Terence Mulkerin, who was rehabbing and has since moved to Bishop Mugavero Residence in Douglaston.

For many of our fellow workers, especially the younger ones, this was the first time they had been inside a nursing home. It was an eye opener to some.

The residents of SS. Joachim and Anne seemed to be happy to have visitors, but let’s face it: Living in a nursing home can have its lonely moments. They chatted with our workers, reverently joined in the celebration of the Eucharist, enjoyed a musical interlude with the Juan Morales trio and participated in a sing-along of carols with the DeSales staff.

It was hard to decide who benefited most from the day – the residents or the visitors. We genuinely enjoyed our time with the seniors who live there. We came to appreciate the fact that in giving of ourselves, we receive many benefits.

The same is true of our readers who donate to The Tablet’s Bright Christmas Campaign. So many of them relate to me about how they participated in a group project to raise funds for Bright Christmas and how much that means to their eventual enjoyment of the Christmas holy day. For some, it’s a family project; for others, it’s a class project.

In case you are new to Bright Christmas, The Tablet has been conducting it for more than 40 years. The Tablet staff conducts this drive in which we ask you, our readers, to donate money, and then we send it out to priests, religious and lay leaders in our diocese to purchase Christmas gifts for the needy at this joyous time of the year.

Last year, we collected more than $140,000 – a record for the program. This year, we are challenged to do as well. To date, we have collected $30,000, with more still in the pipeline to be counted.

Representatives of the program that need help have been writing to me and explaining how they would use the funds. Checks have begun going out to them. We need your help to keep the flow of funds moving.

To donate to Bright Christmas, simply send a check to The Tablet’s Bright Christmas at 1712 Tenth Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11215.