The Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids Pastoral Care Team delivers the gift of mercy to those who are healing, and to their families. In recognition of their extraordinary care for seniors, the Pastoral Care Team received the award for Group Volunteer of the Year from LeadingAge Michigan at the Member Awards Gala on Tuesday, May 23.

LeadingAge Michigan holds the annual event to honor those who embody excellence in leadership, care, and service innovation, and who have made outstanding contributions to their communities and the field of aging services. The Awards celebrate stories of employees, volunteers, residents, programs, communities, initiatives, best practices, and organizations that have made a significant difference in the lives of others.

The Sisters on the Pastoral Care Team at Marywood Health Center include Kateri Schrems, Mary Ellen McDonald, Diane Dehn, Cecilia Faber, Ann Hehl, and Jean Reimer. The Sisters visit residents every day, spending as much time as each person needs. Because it is a particularly vulnerable time for the residents, they approach each person with reverence, offering a simple nod or gentle eye contact, sharing a thought or moment of prayer, and sometimes simply sharing the silence together.

Sisters also support family members who may be struggling with a loved one’s illness, explaining that their presence comes from the presence of God in the world. This faithful presence is a blessing and comfort to the residents and their families and enriches the caring environment at Marywood Health Center.

A ministry of the Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids in partnership with Porter Hills, Marywood Health Center provides holistic, restorative healing that focuses on clinical and spiritual care for people recovering from illness or injury.

Since 1968, LeadingAge Michigan has been representing mission-based providers who serve frail seniors and adults with disability. It is the only statewide association in Michigan that represents providers of the entire continuum of post-acute and long-term services.

Sr. Mary Ellen McDonald shares time with Sr. Reparata Faubert.

Sr. Kateri Schrems and Tom Valle reminisce about Tom’s school years and Sister teachers.

Each Sister on the Pastoral Care Team at Marywood Health Center dedicates herself to encouraging patients, family members, and employees and assuring them that Sisters are remembering them in prayer.