My mom’s been out of the rehabilitation hospital for a couple of months now but she prefers to go back there each Sunday to attend Mass in their chapel. It’s easily accessible with her walker and she’s definitely not the only parishioner there who uses one.
So my husband and I make a trip out to her place to pick her up and then we attend the service with her. We don’t mind, except for the fact that, unlike our own church, you have to pay for parking!
It’s a great place to see good deeds in action, though. Not only do many of the patients need to be wheeled in by volunteers, but depending on the temperature in the room, they also often need sweaters or afghans brought in to keep them warm, along with other care.
Many of the seniors are Alzheimer’s patients in the adjacent long-term care facility. Some talk throughout the service or let out the odd shriek, but no one bats an eyelash.
And instead of a stampede to the front for communion — which I’ve seen at my own parish, you’d think it was Boxing Day Madness at Sears — every able-bodied (and -minded) person waits patiently for the residents to be served first.
On this visit, along with putting a bigger-than-usual donation in the collection box, I also tried to squeeze in some extra prayers for certain friends and family members I don’t always remember to include. And I added a big prayer for all the gentle souls sitting in those pews who had no family members with them.
Oh, and one more small thing. You know the section of the Lord’s Prayer that says, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”? Well, sometimes I rush through that last bit — I tend to be a grudge-holder. This time, however, I said it like I really meant it.