St Joseph Adult Care Home isn’t on the way to anywhere, except St Mary’s Villa, a retreat center that the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate have been hosting for decades.  The Sisters also run the Adult Care Home. Both the retreat center and Adult Care Home are part of a 40-acre property that this Ukrainian Order of nuns inherited from the last living relative of the Hamilton-Morgan family for whom the mansion was built in 1900. Located in Sloatsburg NY, it is on the border of New Jersey, and hugs the border of both the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Regions of the Sai Organization.

And so, for more than 20 years, SSIO members from both regions come to the retreat center each October for a weekend of Sai-lent reflection and prayer. And a visit to the adult nursing home became a very natural service opportunity. At every retreat, about 20 of the more than a hundred retreat attendees make a trip to the nursing home and hold a fun sing-a-long for the residents.

This year, we were met by the sad news that this might be the last year for holding the silent retreats at this location. Like many Catholic Orders of Nuns, the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate are getting older with fewer younger women choosing to join their order. Even now, Saint Joseph Nursing Home residents include a mix of the aged members of the Ukrainian Catholic community as well as nuns who can no longer serve them. The nuns intend to put a portion of the property on the real estate market as they prepare to no longer host retreats.

Sadly, the future is unclear for them and for us.  But for the Sai members who sing and play music to brighten their day, this year was an especially poignant beautiful interfaith gathering at the nursing home set in the middle of a weekend of Sai reflection. We could not help but be inspired by these Sisters who call themselves Servants and have devoted their lives to serving the elderly, even as they become the elderly themselves. To see the Divine Lord in them is not a difficult task.