Helping Sisters with the voting process for the November election; One-on-one lunches; Transportation; Assistance attending daily Mass; Facilitating communication with Sisters’ friends and family; Daily visits; Alterations and repairs to garmets; and Day Visits to Nazareth. It is all of this and more. The list would be never-ending if you tried to name every single thing, big or small, that this unique ministry offers to Sisters.
The Community Service ministry is housed at the Sisters of Charity Nazareth Apartments near Nazareth Home in Louisville. It acts as an all purpose provider of non-medical services for SCN residents at Nazareth Home. This ministry also assists Sisters not living at Nazareth Home. In fact, in the most recent quarter, 341 transportation runs were provided for non-residents. Transportation runs can be for many reasons including doctor appointments, shopping, and assistance getting to and from work.
Director Barbara Von Bokern, SCN has been a part of this ministry for 9 years. She, along with Marie Underwood and the rest of her helpful staff divide up the responsibilites. Some are “contact people’ which means they are assigned to meet the needs of certain Sisters, while others are responsible for transportation runs.
Sister Barbara says that visiting the Sisters, “that’s the thing I like the most to do.” She explains, having that close contact with the Sisters, we just sit and talk about everyday affairs. We talk about our prayer life, that’s how I get to know them. The close contact we have with the Sisters – that is our whole mission- to be in contact with the Sisters and to pass on any community news that we would have.
Marie, who is the niece of SCNs Mary Burns and Charles Mary Burns, said she is so glad she joined the staff nearly 22 years ago. “This is the perfect job. I’m just so grateful.” Over time she has held every job within the Community Service ministry. She said her co-workers and the residents have become like family. “I had no idea I would need these people, the residents and staff. I dont know what I’d do without them. I receive so much in return.”