Congratulations to John J. Feenan, named the recipient of the 2011-2012 Spirit of St. Jeanne Jugan Award! John serves as the Business Office Manager, a position he has held for the past 15 years. But his connection to the Little Sisters spans over 50 years, back to his childhood. He truly exemplifies the spirit of our foundress through his kindness and compassion; not only in his work, but also through his thoughtfulness. He can be seen many days, volunteering during his lunch hour serving our Residents and visiting with them. His personal reflection below echoes the heartfelt dedication and respect he has for the work of the Little Sisters.
“As a lay person, I have, since my youth, revered and been influenced by the life of St. Jeanne Jugan. When I was a child at St. George’s Grammar School, we were given an assignment to research the lives of saints who inspired us. I selected Sister Mary of the Cross (as Jeanne Jugan was known) because I had served as an altar boy at the Little Sisters of the Poor in Paterson. I felt a very real connection to the life of Jeanne Jugan, as I witnessed firsthand the love, compassion and deep commitment the Sisters gave to each Resident for which they cared. I knew in my heart that it was not possible to give to humankind the way she did, and not be a saint. Many years later, it was truly a poignant experience for me to travel to Rome and witness her canonization into sainthood.
The work of the Little Sisters of the Poor inspires and touches my life in very profound ways, as they provide homes to those who would otherwise not have them. They continue to this day to use begging as their major source of receiving donations and in-kind gifts, which support them in their mission. They give our Residents not just a place to live, but a home and a life filled with joy, spiritual presence and dignity until God calls them to their eternal life.”
– John J. Feenan