May is associated with both Older Americans Month and senior proms, so what a fun way for Jennings to join in the fun this Memorial Day weekend! Trinity High School Student Daniella Flores planned a wonderful event as part of her high school service project. With the assistance of Jennings Life Enrichment Director Danielle Paluscsak, the Roaring Twenties/Flapper-themed event was a hit! Women donned feathered headbands and gentlemen wore rose boutonnieres as they entered to enjoy live music, dancing and refreshments. Attendees had props to take “selfies,” families joined the fun, and we even crowned a prom king and queen!
Jennings recently revealed its new mission statement: “Rooted in Catholic values, Jennings celebrates and nurtures individuals as they age, through exceptional choices and continuous innovation.” This month Jennings Director of Mission and Ministry Sister Valerie Sweeney, SND considers the five core values that support our mission statement.
In fulfilling our mission, we commit ourselves to these values: Respect, Compassion, Community, Discovery of Potential, Celebration of Life. One value was changed in that list from the five that had been in place since 1998. Did you notice it? Compassion took the place of Hospitality.
The value of Compassion was suggested by many of the 215 people who took part in the mission and values focus groups. It encompasses hospitality, yet is deeper and broader. Compassion literally means “to suffer together.” It conveys a consciousness of the suffering of others and a desire to alleviate it. Compassion is empathy in action, and is a Gospel value demonstrated by Jesus in his dealings with the sick, the sorrowing, the poor, and the sinner.
Our five core values build on each other. Respect is the foundation of any relationship: to treat the other as they would want to be treated. That leads to Compassion: to reach out to the suffering with care and love. That builds Community: to form a group, a network, a team, a family who are united with a common purpose. We can then Discover the Potential in each person, recognizing their gifts and abilities and encouraging them to develop and use them. All those values combined enable us to Celebrate Life in all its stages: the positive and negative, the joyful and the challenging.
Our mission statement and core values are simply the words we use to express the intangible qualities that make Jennings the special organization it is. No single statement can capture or embody those qualities completely. The important thing is that those qualities continue to grow and develop as Jennings does. And the only way for that to happen is for us to live them in our relationships and work each day.