On Monday, Feb. 3, 2013, we donated 7 prayer shawls to Our Lady of Peace Home, Health and Hospice in St. Paul.

Volunteer coordinator Kim Perez gave us a tour when we arrived, and told us about the history and operation of Our Lady of Peace. "We are a very small hospice center," she said. "This is perfect."

We donated only prayer shawls to Our Lady. They didn't need lapghans because their patients are at end of life, and already have blankets and hats.

Their motto is: Care for the body. Comfort for the soul.

The rooms inside look upon an outdoor courtyard.
Our Lady of Peace has 21 rooms. Each has a flat screen TV, clock and radio. The rooms have two beds, separated by partitions. Handmade quilts add a splash of color to each bed. Patients range from 18 to the elderly. Our Lady is currently working with Children's Hospital to offer hospice services for children, as well.

The Dominican sisters who founded the organization were very forward thinking, and made sure that each room in the facility has a view of the outdoors. In the chapel, natural light streams through windows and skylights. They also made sure to provide large storage areas.

In the main floor lounge, the is an aquarium. The second floor lounge has an aviary stocked with exotic birds. "It's a nice diversion," said Perez.

The average patient stays at Our Lady for nine days. Perez has seen the average stay drop during her time there. People typically come to Our Lady when they have exhausted their medical coverage and are in crisis. "We're not governed by Medicare because we're free," Perez explained.

The majority staff at Our Lady has been there a long time, including Perez, who began working there 25 years ago as a housekeeper.

Our Lady began in 1941. Back in those days, those with cancer were sent to an island to die alone, according to Kim. Rose Hawthorne Lathrop saw the discrepancy between those with money and the poor in their treatment. She began caring for the poor and sick, and from that, an order was born.

At one time, there were 8 homes in the United States, but that was pared to only one in 2009 because there weren't enough sisters to manage the homes and the Franciscan Health Community took over the operation. However, the Dominican sisters did form a partnership with 4 sisters from India, who still help provide the care in St. Paul. Fifty volunteers lend a hand to help things run smoothly.

In addition to the hospice facility, Our Lady also provides home health services to the nearby community.  The Highland Block Nursing Program is housed at Our Lady, and it has provided good partnership opportunities for each organization.

Read this post: http://teamyarn.blogspot.com/2014/02/history-of-our-lady-of-peace-home-in-st.html

Our Lady of Peace is located at 2076 St. Anthony Ave. in St. Paul. Call 651-789-5025 or browse ourladyofpeacemn.org for more information.

Nathaniel Hawthone, the father of Rose Hawthorne Lathrop/Mother Alphonsa.
(Formerly Our Lady of Good Counsel Home)

This facility has served the Twin Cities area since Pearl Harbor Day, Dec. 7, 1941, when the doors of the newly renovated Tri-State telephone building at 2076 St. Anthony Ave., St. Paul, were opened to care for those terminal cancer patients who were unable to afford care in other nursing homes, or to continue home care. This home was one of several such homes in the United States owned and operated by the Servants of Relief for Incurable Cancer, known as the Hawthorne Dominicans, named for the location of their Motherhouse in Hawthorne, N.Y. (Franciscan Health Community assumed operational responsibilities of the Home Feb. 1, 2009.)

This order was founded by Rose Hawthorne Lathrop, daughter of Nathaniel and Sophia Hawthorne. Rose’s background was cultured and protected, but she was moved to answer the call from God to serve His suffering and neglected poor. As she searched out the direction her life should take in God’s service, her choice was determined by the experiences of two people who died from the effects of cancer.

Emma Lazarus, a wealthy, Jewish poetess, who wrote the quote for the Statue of Liberty, had all the comforts and attention money could buy. Rose’s other friend was a seamstress, whose illness had deprived her of any means of support. She died, neglected and alone, in a pauper’s ward on Welfare Island. This contrast formed Rose’s decision to “serve the neediest class of people she knew: those with incurable cancer and without the means to provide care for themselves.”

Leaving her comfortable and cultured surroundings, her stimulating and artistic friends and achievements, Rose established herself in two small rooms on the lower East Side in New York City. Alone, amid a raucous and frightening environment, she began her apostolate with a clinic and visits to the home-confined.

From the beginning, her dream envisioned free care “provided by women who were willing and inspired to give up their comforts and desires to care for these outcasts of fortune.”

She yearned to give them back their dignity and self-respect by surrounding them with a clean, cheerful, home-like atmosphere, and by alleviating their suffering with patience, love and understanding.

Soon she was joined by a promising young artist, Alice Huber, who became the co-foundress. Alice’s steady and practical assistance balanced the impetuous compassion and generosity of her companion. Together, they developed the dream that Rose expressed: “My great hope is to take the neediest class I know, both in poverty and suffering, and put them in such a condition that if our Lord knocked on the door I should not be ashamed to show Him what I had done.”

In 1900, they were accepted as Third Order Dominicans and continued developing and expanding the work as religious. Rose Hawthorne became Mother Alphonsa, and Alice Huber took the name of Sister Rose.

Mother Alpohonsa never faltered in her belief in the providence of God and in the generosity and compassion of the public.

The well-equipped Homes provide the loving care and cheerful surroundings which she envisioned. The homes are entirely supported by voluntary contributions of goods, money, time, service and effort. No remuneration is accepted from the patient, family or government agencies. The  Franciscan Health community has a strong commitment to see that the mission of the sisters, to provide free care to those with incurable cancer, continues here at Our Lady of Peace Home.

More at ourladyofpeacemn.org
We left this month's Team Yarn meeting with a whopping 117 in donated items. We received 2 large boxes of handmade items.

First, Kelli McCully dropped off the 48 items made by the Northeast Metro School District 916 Special Education students under teacher Karen Aalund (a former Isanti County resident).

We took guesses on how many items filled the box from District 916. There were 48!
Then Cha Posz of Mount Olive Church in south Minneapolis carted in a box of 34 items. The majority of the items in the box were made by Kate Sterner, the woman who taught her how to crochet.

Cha carries in a box of 34 items.

Look at that tight single crochet!

Cha tags the items she brought from Mount Olive Church.
Cha's hubby tried on one of the caps for us.

With we add in the other fantastic items others brought, our grand total for the February meeting rose to

I know I've said it before, but you all are simply amazing!