The Shrine Has Gifts in Mind
By Dan Valenti (Dec 4, 2012)
One of the most compelling aspects of the Christmas season is giving.
Christmas celebrates the greatest gift of all time, which was God's gift of salvation to the world through the birth of the Jesus, the Messiah. All of the other forms of giving over this joyous season stem from that one essential fact. Most of us, for example, have fond memories of beautifully wrapped presents under a lovely, decorated Christmas tree.
Celebrating Christmas without the notion of "giving" would be like trying to welcome the morning at midnight or the evening at dawn. In this spirit, the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy, Eden Hill, Stockbridge, Mass., has launched its annual giving program, the Christmas Giving Fund.
The money raised by the fund will be used to provide lap blankets and holiday plants to senior residents of Providence Care Center in Lenox, Mass.
Father Ken Dos Santos, MIC, rector of the National Shrine, says the fund hopes to raise $1,500 for the blankets and plants. Though they are simple gifts, Fr. Ken says, they will be greatly appreciated, and 100 percent of the funds will be used for gifts to help those in need.
"It is true, that giving is its own reward," Fr. Ken says, "but these blankets will remind our seniors that they are in our thoughts and prayers. For many of our elderly, the holidays come with bitter-sweet feelings, remembering Christmases past, when their children were young, spouses were still with them, and family and friends regularly gathered. On a basic level, these gifts provide warmth and joy. On a deeper level, they serve as a reminder to seniors that they are still valued as people, that they are not alone."
Lois Fusco, pilgrimage director at the National Shrine, says there are three convenient ways for donors to make their contribution to the fund. Donors can place cash contributions in the Christmas Giving box located in the Shrine Chapel through Dec. 16, they can donate online through our website, or they can send donations in the mail, payable to the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy, Attn. Lois Fusco, Two Prospect Hill Road, Stockbridge, 01262.
Those needing more information or who have questions can call Lois at 413-298-1119 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Providence Care Center of Lenox is a fully accredited and licensed facility that services residents who are there for a brief rehabilitative stay or who have selected long-term residence. Residents receive medical and nursing care, medication administration and monitoring, intravenous therapy, pastoral care, hospice care, and other services. Providence also offers education, counseling, and support for residents and their families.
The National Shrine of The Divine Mercy is administered by the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception, whose United States province is located on Eden Hill. The Very Rev. Fr. Kazimierz Chwalek, MIC, serves as provincial superior for Marians in the U.S. and in Argentina, where the Marian Fathers have a mission.