Jeanne Jugan Center - Kansas City
Kansas City, MO - Assisted Living, Nursing Home, Independent Living, CCRC
As Little Sisters of the Poor we care for the elderly poor in the spirit of humble service we have received from our foundress, Saint Jeanne Jugan. We welcome the elderly as we would Jesus Christ himself and serve them with love and respect until God calls them home.
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Time: 9 min 56 sec
Filmed June 2009. Edited October 2009.
1792 was a tumultuous year in France the French Revolution had begun three years earlier and left its mark on Europe people lived in fear and poverty and yet in the fall of that year a baby girl was born who had also impact history only her mark would be one of grace and humility which ultimately led the Catholic Church to bestow on her the honour of sainthood on October 11 2009 the journey for Jean jugen was not an easy one but what she began so long ago has impacted the lives of over a million agent poor around the world and inspired generations of young women to follow in her footsteps they are the Little Sisters of the Poor on October 25th 1792 Jean jugen was born in the small fishing village of Ken Cal in the Brittany region of France born into a poor family Jean learned the effects of poverty and hardship early in life at only three and a half Jean lost her father at sea at an early age she began to work in the homes of people in the community this is where she began to witness the hardships of the agent poor whom she would later come to serve she saw a need and did something about it you know we all see needs and some of us kind of turn our face away I'm sure I've done it when you saw something that really stirred you up and and you felt like we ought to do something about it but she did something about it Jean felt a calling from God when she was a young woman however her work was not to be revealed until several years later it was in the winter of 1839 that God's plan for Jean began to unfold she brought home a blind aged woman who was also paralysed carried her up winding stairs and gave her her own bed she she just she had that and that deep feeling when she first took in that first little blind lady that it showed a very deep and sincere compassion somebody who needed help she was a woman who heard the word of God and lived it she didn't just listen but you really put it into practice her whole spirit of the way she treated people the elderly for example we're all children of God and that gave them an inherent dignity that had to be respected soon after there was an increasing number of agent poor to care for and more women to help Sean Sean open more homes across France during these years as she brought in the aged poor she went out into the community with a basket to beg for their needs this is still practiced in the homes today sister Anna Marie and sister Andrew go to businesses seeking food and monetary donations Jean always had an absolute certainty in divine providence that God would never forget about the needs of his poor the sisters also take their needs to the congregations protector st. Joseph all little sisters carry a small statue of him in their pockets at all times we really need something and it just comes in and that is a miracle and yet that happened in her time st. Joseph also stands tall about the Motherhouse of the Little Sisters of the Poor at Latour France always watching always protecting the little sisters and their agent poor John's work was taken away from her after she had led the Congregation for many years it was a young priest who claimed credit for starting the congregation John graciously accepted that emotion and was moved to the Motherhouse Inlet or to work with the novices she died never knowing she would eventually be recognized as the first little sister of the poor her total detachment from the actual work and living 27 years to see someone else received the credit for that and take the credit within her own religious family shows the depth of the humility and that's her charism it's the littleness it's the humility of shanshu gan that God was able to use to bring about a great good for the elderly for Needy for the poor throughout the world because she was that way she passed on to her future daughters the congregation that cure ism to do what God was there where we were I was so overwhelmed with with happiness and gratitude that God called me to walk in her footsteps to be a daughter of of st. John shegaon and to be a daughter of the church that's an extreme and awesome honored to be called to be totally consecrated to Christ and to follow a beautiful Saint to follow in her footsteps Shawn's work spread to the United States in 1868 the first house was in Brooklyn the second Cincinnati the third New Orleans Baltimore st. Louis Boston Philadelphia New York Washington and Cleveland soon followed by 1912 there were 52 houses in the United States and 800 little sisters they were serving over elderly poor and their work hasn't changed this old movie footage shows what life was like in the homes in the 1940s ladies sewing and mending clothing the laundry room little sisters serving meals and men working in their shops doing projects for the home today it's a familiar sight resident Ben Nellis cuts wood to make a sleigh and reindeer for the upcoming Christmas boutique ladies are still busy in the laundry and on their quilts and the sisters still serve the residents during mealtime nor John Geoghan when she founded our homes she found them to be families to be a family that replaced the family that they knows people left or if they had a family and it's amazing the way that family spirit has continued in the congregation they don't call her heaven on earth but his dar nearest I always thought you know special after my mother died here and the nuns prayed around her always thought Lord when I get older this is where I want to be so I think my prayers are answered the sisters and residents attend a daily Mass in the home the sisters always responding to the needs of their beloved residents later they share time together during one of the many activities in the home the residents love the music and the sisters love to see them laugh whatever the activity whether it's video bowling on TV or saying the rosary the sisters are beside the residents making them feel loved and carrying on the work of their foundress one of the greatest honors for the sisters is to be with the residents as they are reunited with their Creator we're made for God and we have the privilege to let them go back to God you have the privilege to be there when they take their last breath the sisters also draw a great strength from one another sharing prayer time sister Alexis also spends quiet time alone to pray and reflect but all community life is not so serene Valley ball is on the calendar for today we pray together we laugh together he share our meals together and that's important because we all need to draw our strength first of all from our Lord and we all see our Lord in each other the spirit of John Geoghan remains alive in homes of the little sisters around the world and her timeless mission to the agent Moore continues making the elderly happy she would say words that have manifested themselves thousands of times across the years although Jean died not knowing she would eventually be recognized as the first little sister of the poor she did live to see Pope Leo the 13th officially recognized the congregation she knew she had begun her complete faith in God and His wisdom led John on a beautiful journey that little sisters around the world still experienced today her sainthood is so befitting such a humble servant of the Lord Pope Benedict the sixteenth declared John a saint on October 11 2009 glorifying a work begun by God so long ago