A Happy Helper
Seventy-one years ago, Carl Guida came into the world in the middle of a January blizzard. God blessed him with an amazing memory, loads of patience and a spirit to work hard and to help others. After he finished high school, Carl’s mother got him a job working in St. Joseph’s Hospital in Paterson, transporting patients to and from the operating room. In 2014, after 47 years, Carl decided to retire. He explained that, “Because they always need help in the hospital and I still wanted to keep busy, I signed up to be a hospital volunteer.” So twice a week, Carl is back at St. Joseph’s Hospital, still helping to transport patients.
When Carl came to St. Joseph’s Home in 2016, he was eager to volunteer his services around the house. He is part of our bulk mailing crew and he also picks up packages at the front desk which he then delivers right to the Resident’s doors. Carl is happiest keeping busy and helping his fellow Residents. He said, “I see someone who needs help and I want to do what I can. It feels good doing something for my friends here.” Carl truly represents the family spirit that can be found in our Home and we are blessed to have him!
Our New Chaplin
Cead Mile Failte to Fr. Sean Mc Donnell. Father Sean has been with us since September 2018 as our Chaplin. Father comes from a small village in Co. Mayo, Ireland. His parents are deceased, he has 3 sisters, Kathleen, Bridie and Peggy and 2 brothers, Martin and Paddy along with 33 nieces and nephews, 72 Grand nieces and nephews and 15 great Grand Nieces and Nephews.
Father was ordained on June 12, 1988 and has served as Priest in Ireland for 7 years and here in the Paterson Diocese for almost 24 years. He has many talents which he shares with all the Sisters, Residents and staff of St. Joseph’s Home. He brings a breath of fresh air to all who have come to know and love him. Father Sean is very happy here with us as our Chaplin and regards it as a great honor to serve the Lord and the people of St. Joseph’s Home for the Elderly here in Totowa. We are blessed to have Father as part of our family here in Totowa.
From Father Sean - Dia Linn agus Muire (God and Mary be with you all)
Resident John Di Paolo is a man of many talents. In his 84 years, he has gone from writing classical music to designing computer hardware for NASA. And he can design and build pipe organs too! After high school, his musical talents got him into the Juilliard School. While at Juilliard, John’s hobby of tinkering and design, along with his interest in airplanes, led him to make a big career change, from music to engineering. John worked for several companies but it was when he landed a job at Kearfott, that his career really took off, right into space. When NASA began the Space Shuttle program, Kearfott was awarded contracts to make parts for the shuttle. John is most proud of his designs for the components that allowed the shuttle’s computers to communicate with one another. Throughout his career, John never lost his passion for music, continuing to compose both spiritual and classical pieces.” Nowadays, John does all of his composing on the computer. “I use the sounds played on real instruments,” he said. John will continue playing his music for everyone at St. Joseph’s to enjoy. John is pictured here with one of his patents and a certificate from the FBI.
To say that Resident Dolores Nichols loves to quilt would be an understatement. There is never a time when she is not working on one quilt and planning the next. Dee spoke of what sparked her interest in quilting, “My son said quilts had a lot of character and that he loved them. So to make him one, I began to research everything about quilting. I found out that a friend of mine gave quilting classes so I signed up.” That was 27 years and many quilts ago. Dee is a member of The Clifton Quilters club where she picks up new patterns and new ideas. Recently Dee made a quilt with a “Greek key” design and gave it as a surprise gift to our Chaplain, Father Fulgens Katende. Father was so happy to receive this beautiful handmade quilt, made in the bright colors seen in his native Uganda. One of Dee’s more intricate creations can be found hanging in the coffee shop. Dee wants everyone to know that everything she makes is “stitched with love!”
Our Residents enjoy keeping themselves busy. Barbara Mahler is a retired bookkeeper and sought meaningful work and to be of service. So she took on the task of organizing and recording the entire contents of our library. Using her computer skills, she created a searchable database and print catalog making it easy for everyone to find books, cds and movies. Milada Solej, a keen organizer herself, offered to help and thus a great team was formed. Now they both are bookkeepers of a different sort!
If you would like to read Barbara’s poem about their adventure in the library, click here>>
In an effort to raise funds for our Home, mailings are sent out soliciting donations and announcing fund raising events. We have a team of Residents who label and stuff the envelopes for each mailing, usually in the many thousands of pieces. During the busiest times, Volunteers come in as well.
Pictured from left to right are Residents John Armagno, Cathy Payne, Milada Solej, Faye Kennedy and Lizzie from housekeeping who stopped in to say hi.
Ask Mary Ulrich how she feels about being a Resident at St. Joseph’s Home and she’ll reply, “living here is a joy!” Since Mary came to live here she has found so many things to do, as she explains, “I feel so useful, I fell such joy being able to help and do things for others.” At 92 Mary is still a talented musician and she brings joy to others through music. Each morning Mary plays the baby grand piano in the main dining room and several afternoons a week, she entertains the Residents in the sitting rooms on the skilled nursing floor. Mary even dresses up, in her own costume, as Mrs. Santa Claus and plays Christmas songs during our Christmas Craft and Bake Sale. She feels that God meant her to be at St. Joseph’s because He still had “things” for her to do.