Friday, June 10, 2011

Summer Community Service

Now that the school year is over, I am performing "community service," helping out where needed at the monastery. Instead of driving Miss Daisy this week, I have been driving Sisters at Saint Scholastica Convent to their eye, ear, teeth and orthopedics appoinments. Saint Scholastica Convent is our retirement and assisted living center for our elderly Sisters.

For the most part the retired Sisters no longer drive. After the nursing staff makes the necessary appointments for an individual Sister, driver-Sisters transport her to her appointment and pick her up when she is "ready."

Since this sytem has been in place for some time, the Sisters are usually very patient and accommodating to the driver. Sometimes three Sisters are ready to be picked up while the driver is in the process of delivering a fourth to her appointment. By the time the one who was finished with her appointment first gets picked up, she may have been waiting for thirty minutes or more.

I usually apologize for being late, but they are ever so grateful for the service that they board with a smile and sometimes even crack a joke. Sometimes we have very intriguing conversations if we go the almost eight miles to CentraCare Plaza where specialized services and procedures are provided at the Woodlands entrance, or River East or the Surgery Center.

Since I do not do this service every day, I often times have quite an adventure trying to find a particularly hidden location. Two times this week, a Sister and I drove around a three or four block area, even saw the place, and could not get to it for about 15 minutes. This is a great lesson in humility for me because I find my Sisters very forgiving and understanding.

Also humbling and cause for contemplation is to experience the very best in humanity while watching these dear Sisters who have given up their independence graciously accept the way that God has provided for them in their old age.

If you are interested in volunteering as a driver for Sisters at Saint Scholastica Convent and accompanying them to their doctor's appointments, contact Sister Marina Schlangen, the volunteer coordinator. It will be a blessing for you, I'm sure, as it has been for me!

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