As hurricane Sandy threatened to devastate the Northeast, Jeanne Jugan Residence called in reinforcements from the nearby novitiate of the Little Sisters of the Poor. Three professed Little Sisters who serve as formation aides in the novitiate, Sr. Therese Marie of the Eucharist, Sr. Mary Grace of the Cross and Sr. Michele Mary, along with one second year novice, Sr. Elizabeth Mary de la Croix and two first year novices, Sr. Amy Catherine Joseph and Sr. Elisabeth de l’Eucharistie arrived at Jeanne Jugan on October 28th, the day before the Sandy hit our area. Each one came prepared to help in the event of an emergency and to assist with the care of the Residents in case any staff was unable to safely arrive at the home.
Many staff members were able and more than willing to stay overnight at our home during the storm and many others made heroic efforts and personal sacrifices to come to work during the storm and even to stay on for extra shifts. Our maintenance department in particular went above and beyond the call of duty. In a spirit of total self-forgetfulness, they remained up day and night to ensure that the building was secure and that the Residents had everything they needed connected to the generator power. They even went around to each of the Resident’s apartments and devised a creative way to connect all of their refrigerators to the generator so that minimal food was lost.
Along with the maintenance staff, our kitchen, housekeeping, nursing and administration staff edified all by their heroic example to serve our Residents during such a frightening storm. It was truly an effort that most exemplified the family spirit that reigns here at Jeanne Jugan Residence. The sisters and staff members collaborated to make the Residents feel safe and secure throughout the days in which the winds reached record highs, most electricity was out and the rain poured down.
Meal times had an especially “cozy” atmosphere with the soft lighting. Through it all, everyone had a smile and words of gratitude for the protection of St. Joseph over our home and our neighborhood. Even a hurricane is unable to defeat the spirit that was handed on to us from St. Jeanne Jugan who used to say, “In all circumstances we must always say, Blessed be God! Thank you my God! or Glory be to God!”