It took Sarah Worthington Peter eleven years and a lot of persistence to realize her dream of bringing the Little Sisters of the Poor to Cincinnati, but she would have found it well worth her efforts had she attended our 150thanniversary celebration, held on Saturday, October 20, 2018!
The Mass of Thanksgiving took place at St. Monica-St. George Church, a Franciscan parish located just a few minutes from the Home on Riddle Road. Once used as the archdiocesan cathedral, the church was built in the 1920’s; its decor reflects the influence of the city’s German immigrant population. Dark wooden beams, ornately painted embellishments and stained glass windows imported from Munich, Germany all foster an ambiance of faith and devotion and an intimate feeling of community.
The celebration’s planning team left no stone unturned, from the beautifully arranged fall flowers, the placement of the sesquicentennial tapestry of Saint Jeanne Jugan and the carefully chosen and rehearsed hymns for the Mass, to the homemade decorations lovingly placed in the reception hall and the delicious buffet lunch following the late morning Mass.
Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr was the principal celebrant for Mass; he was joined by eight concelebrants, including Rev. Al Hirt, O.F.M., the pastor of St. Monica-St. George, and several deacons and seminarians. Music director Jill Krienbrink led the parish choir and Resident Ted Wartman served as cantor. Lucy Kotzbauer, the parish sacristan and one of the home’s devoted volunteers, played a central role in preparing for the Liturgy, and Barry Davis, who volunteers in the activity department and works in the dining room at the home, and is an experienced florist, had the pleasure of arranging all the flowers.
Led by the Knights of Columbus honor guard, Joseph Schnirring carried the Jeanne Jugan tapestry in the entrance procession. Joseph Finke, chairman of our Advisory Board, Sr. Mary Imelda of the Trinity and Deacon Mark Alexander, who is also the home’s Medical Director, proclaimed the readings from the Mass of Saint Jeanne Jugan. Our holy foundress surely would have been pleased seeing this collaboration on the part of so many people associated with the home.
There was a warm family atmosphere during the reception as many longtime friends of the home reminisced about old times and shared news with one another and the Little Sisters, especially the elder members of the community. Before leaving our guests were offered a small plaque of Saint Jeanne Jugan as a souvenir of the event. Once everyone had left our devoted staff remained behind to dismantle the room, as we Little Sisters returned to the home for a time of fraternal sharing before our Sisters from Indianapolis and Louisville who had come for the celebration. It had been a lovely fall day and a truly beautiful day of celebration as we thanked God for the blessings of his loving Providence these past 150 years!