August 2018

Notre Dame Village officially opened with a dedication ceremony held Thursday, August 16, 2018. Bishop Roger Gries and Father Dan Schlegel blessed the grounds and buildings with an intimate gathering. Following the blessing, guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and tours of the apartments, cottage homes and small houses. Jennings President and CEO Allison Q. Salopeck acknowledged the synergy between the Sisters of the Holy Spirit, who sponsor Jennings, and Sisters of Notre Dame, Chardon​, in an effort to serve people of all faiths. “The partnership that has been forged to create this new community, this new neighborhood, is set to begin a new era of two women religious communities and two organizations whose mission it is to serve.”

From left: Sister Eileen Skutt, SND, together with Jennings President and CEO Allison Q. Salopeck, escorted Bishop Roger Gries as he blessed the Notre Dame Village apartment building.

In her welcoming remarks, Mrs. Salopeck shared that Jennings is proud to have been the trusted developer and now the operator of Notre Dame Village. “We are excited to offer these new homes in the form of cottages, apartments and the assisted living houses and most importantly to welcome the people that will live here. Jennings intention is to take full advantage of the campus of living and learning and create an intergenerational community that includes opportunities, engagement and relationships that allow for continued growth for all ages.”

Sister Margaret Mary Gorman, Provincial Superior, commented on the reason the sisters brought this project to life. “The Sisters of Notre Dame have a rich history of service in a variety of ministries, specifically education. With the addition of Notre Dame Village, we have the opportunity to extend our charism and expand our ministry in healthcare.”

Sister Margaret explained that there is a historic connection between Jennings and Sisters of Notre Dame. When Monsignor Gilbert P. Jennings passed away in 1941, he left a planned gift to establish a rest home in his name. The Diocese of Cleveland first approached the Sisters of Notre Dame, who were already committed to a ministry of education. The Diocese engaged the Sisters of the Holy Spirit, who had recently ended a ministry to orphans due to the opening of Parmadale. Thus a new era of ministry began in Garfield Heights by establishing Jennings, which now provides a continuum of care across four locations.

In closing, Mrs. Salopeck acknowledged the many hearts and hands that were part of creating this new neighborhood. “I want to acknowledge and thank each of you- those who were there at the beginning of the idea to those of you who joined us yesterday- thank you for being part of this new community and I applaud and congratulate you for the wonderful place that it is and the wonderful place that it will continue to be.”

(Notre Dame Village​ photos by Left of Center Photography​)

Check out our Facebook album for more photos.

Mission and Ministry Matters

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

in News

Have you ever thought about dying? Have you imagined how you would like your final days to be? Thinking about your death may not be your first choice of things to do, but it is an important one. Life is fragile, and none of us knows how long we will live. One concrete thing we can do to prepare is decide what type of care we would like at the end of our life, and let others know about it ahead of time. In this article and next month’s I would like to consider the importance of end of life decisions.

In a message to participants in the World Medical Association’s 2018 European Meeting on End-of-Life Questions, Pope Francis said that when it comes to end-of-life care, treatments should always be based on human dignity with the person’s best interests in mind. He stressed that the medical options provided must avoid the temptation either to euthanize a patient or to pursue disproportionate treatments that do not serve the integral good of the person. He pointed to the importance of palliative care, “which is proving most important in our culture, as it opposes what makes death most terrifying and unwelcome – pain and loneliness.”

Here at Jennings we have supported people at the end of their lives for seventy-six years. We believe that human life is sacred, but not absolute. Death is an inevitable and natural part of life. As Pope Francis said, we are here to support people in their final days and hours. Our own Jennings Hospice carries out that mission in a most beautiful and caring way. The most helpful way each person can prepare for their journey from this life to the next is to consider the kind of care they would like to receive at that time, and express their wishes formally by completing the Advance Directives, to inform their family, friends, and health care professionals. Next month we will consider the importance of the Advance Directives in setting the stage for the final act of our lives on earth!


Mission and Ministry Matters is written by Sister Valerie Sweeney, SND, Chief Mission Officer at Jennings