Children that go to Catholic schools learn that there are different varieties mothers in this world. There are biological mothers or those that give birth their children. There are adoptive mothers that adopt another person’s child and raise it as their own. There are stepmothers that marry someone with children and raise them as their own. There are mothers that never got to be mothers so they mother other people and animals. Then, there are nuns who take the vow of chastity so they are never allowed to get married or bear children, but they mother many people within the communities in which they serve.
Locally, we have the Little Sisters of the Poor in Palatine, Illinois. These ‘mothers’ take care of the elderly poor within the community; mothering them back to health and giving them respite and dignity in their twilight years.
Today is Mother’s Day. Have you celebrated all of the mothers in your world? Has your mother passed on so that you cannot celebrate with her and you want to celebrate with someone? Why not celebrate the Little Sisters of the Poor as they continue the work of Saint Jeanne Jugan to offer the neediest elderly of every race and religion a home where they will be welcomed as Christ, cared for as family and accompanied with dignity until God calls them to himself?
These women should be acknowledged for the good work that they do for so many. Although their mothering skills are not provided to young children, they are nurturing human beings, so they are still using the skills God provided to them.
Following in the path of Jesus’s mother Mary, these women want all people to feel loved and cared for; whether they have money or they don’t, they are all equal in the Sisters’ eyes and in God’s eyes. The Sisters provide shelter, food, drink and clothing (all of the basic needs) to each individual in their home. They do their utmost best to show each person that they are loved and cared for. Their unselfish acts of kindness can be witnessed in the faces of those around them.
So, while we are out thanking those that gave us life, sustained our life, or made our life worth living, why not include the Little Sisters of the Poor? These wonderful, caring women may just be some of the very best ‘mothers’ that we know!