Stories of Our Sisters
In her heart, mind, and soul, every one of our Sisters follows the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. That call, the voice driving her, helps each Sister find that niche, her own particular challenge. Whether it is heard in teaching the "unteachable," nurturing the physically distressed, or feeding the hungry, each particular cadence resonates with hope. Below is Sister Mary Cumbo's. Sister Mary is a Concierge at the Jewish Home of Rochester and a Pastoral Care Volunteer at Monroe Community Hospital.
Presence, Prayer and Service
The section on Ministry in our Sisters of St. Joseph Constitution says in part that we are called to live according to the Gospel and work to unite all people with God and one another. Our various ministries of presence, prayer and service help us to effect this mission. By our presence we try to lend a loving, caring support to whomever we serve, especially seeking to promote and safeguard a reverence for the dignity of all persons.
My present ministry as part time Concierge / Receptionist at the Jewish Home of Rochester very much includes presence, prayer and service for the residents, visitors and staff of this home and rehabilitation center. Its mission is to improve the health, well being and quality of life of the Jewish community’s elderly as well as that of our general community. Values implicit in the Jewish heritage are respected and celebrated and there is a Rabbi on staff. Services for other faith traditions as well as a Catholic Mass are provided monthly. Respect, quality care, well being and quality of life are values we all treasure.
My work at the Concierge desk involves greeting visitors of residents, having them sign in and wear a visitor pass and giving them room numbers when needed. I also assist people with scheduled appointments with directions and notifying the employee they have come to see. New residents are welcomed and the concierge does computer input on admissions, discharges, hospital leaves, readmissions and room changes.
One of my major duties is to be the eyes of the lobby area to be sure that wander alert residents do not go outside unless they are accompanied by a family member or a care giver. What I enjoy most is interacting with the people - residents, visitors and staff. Many of the residents who regularly come down to the lobby area I know by name and many will stop and chat for a while. Many visitors come in daily or more than once a day to visit and be with their loved ones. I also get to know these people more as they share with me. Promises of prayer often happen in these conversations. Offering someone a listening ear, or praising someone’s creative work from art class, or pushing a wheelchair for someone who is having a hard time moving it themselves are all ways that presence, service and prayer become part of my ministry. Many know I am a Sister so to some I am Mary and to some Sister. I often feel blessed with the kindness, thanks and gratitude that are expressed to me.
In addition to my work at the Jewish Home, I also volunteer one day a week at Monroe Community Hospital helping in the Pastoral Care Department. Here, too, visiting, praying with, being a caring presence, and transporting to and from Mass are ways of ministering to the residents and a gift to me.
I have enjoyed all of my ministries – teaching, administration, faith formation, and being one of the coordinators at our Motherhouse. All of these experiences, but especially my work at the Motherhouse with our senior sisters and priests and our nursing staff, have helped me grow in appreciating our senior adults and those who live with illness. My ministry at the Jewish Home of Rochester and at Monroe Community Hospital seems to be a perfect fit for me at this time.