Sisters and residents from Queen of Peace visited Chaminade Wednesday to accept donations from an annual drive.
The Queen of Peace Basket Drive, a longstanding Chaminade tradition, provides the home with enough toiletries for an entire year. During a three-day period, students donated items such as soap, body lotion, tissues, and body and mouth wash. Donations are presented during the offertory at Chaminade's Thanksgiving Mass. The drive is an important effort for Queen of Peace, according to Sr. Maria Catherine, lsp.
"Every week, I can find the supplies we need to take care of our residents," she explained.
Family spirit is at the cornerstone of the Chaminade experience – just as it is for Queen of Peace residents.
"Some of our residents come to us without any family, and take them as our own," Sr. Maria Catherine said. "We welcome the neediest financially and spiritually, and we share special moments like today's Mass and a Thanksgiving meal."
Residents sat front-and-center for the Mass. Wilfred Pleau reflected, "I was impressed beyond words. Seeing all the Chaminade students give back gives me such hope for the future."
Richard Tobin said it was, "awesome and astounding to see so much kindness coming out of the hearts of young men."
Students from Chaminade and Kellenberg Memorial High School visit Queen of Peace several times each year. Aside from Thanksgiving, students visit at Halloween and sing Christmas carols in December. At the annual Junior/Senior Prom, students from both Marianist schools volunteer an evening to dine and dance with the residents. Every participant always has a smile on his or her face.
On the way to Chaminade's Mass, Sr. Maria Catherine told residents, "You might recognize some of the boys. We get to know them from their many visits to our home. We share our family spirit and it overflows – especially on a day like today."
While the faces may change over time, the memories for residents remain.
"I'm just hoping to be here long enough to see many more of you graduate, but some back in the meantime and visit us" said Josephine Guy. "It's a real joy to see you."
The Queen of Peace Residence in Queens Village is a mission of the Little Sisters of the Poor. Eighty elderly residents call Queen of Peace home, and come to the sisters with little to no financial means or family or social support. The Little Sisters may be found in more than 30 countries around the world. Their work in the New York area began in 1868.