Association Jeanne Jugan
The Association Jeanne Jugan (AJJ) is a group of men and women, married and single, who choose to share in the life and mission of the Little Sisters – “to serve Christ with joy and love in the elderly by following the example of humility and confidence left by Jeanne Jugan.” New members are then welcomed into the AJJ by making a promise to imitate the example of St. Jeanne Jugan by serving Christ through the care of the elderly poor. This promise is renewed annually. They live out their promise through ongoing spiritual formation and by sharing in the ministry of the Little Sisters.
Usually the AJJ renew their Promise each year on or near the Feast of St Joseph’s the Worker (May 1). Because of the pandemic, last year most of the AJJ around the world were not able to renew their Promise.
On Saturday, May 15, we were delighted to hold a Mass celebrating the Promises and Renewal of Promises of the AJJ. In line with current restrictions, the Mass was held on our patio.
In honor of this year dedicated to St Joseph, Sr. Juliana, the AJJ coordinator, shared some of her personal reflections on our dear patron saint.
“Jesus says, ‘out of the abundance of the heart the mouths speak’ (Mt 12:34). My desire to do so increased during these months of pandemic. When we experienced, amid the crisis, how our lives are woven together and sustained by ordinary people, people often overlooked. People who do not appear in newspaper and magazine headlines, or on the latest TV show, yet in these very days are surely shaping the decisive events of our history. Doctors, nurses, storekeepers, and supermarket workers, cleaning personnel, caregivers, transport workers, men and women working to provide essential services and public safety, volunteers, priests, men and women religious, and so very many others. They understood that no one is saved alone… How many people exercise patience daily and offer hope, taking care to spread not panic, but shared responsibility. How many fathers, mothers, grandparents and teachers are showing our children, in small everyday ways, how to accept and deal with a crisis by adjusting their routines, looking ahead and encouraging the practice of prayer. How many are praying, making sacrifices and interceding for the good of all. Each of us can discover in Joseph – the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence – an intercessor, a support and a guide in times of trouble. St. Joseph reminds us that those who appear hidden or in the shadows can play an incomparable role in the history of salvation. A word of recognition and of gratitude is due to them all.
Isn’t this what you have been doing as members of the AJJ of St Joseph’s Home during the pandemic? Every week Debby Cicero (AJJ coordinator) sends Meditations for Holy Hour, Gospel quotations for the Rosary, and the Litany of St Jeanne Jugan or St. Joseph to all the AJJ. Debby asks for prayers for the Sisters, Residents, and staff and especially the sick and those who with COVID. Our AJJ sent cards for the Residents for the Valentine’s Day, Easter and Christmas. Others brought donations to the Home. You were not able to come into the Home as you did before the lock – down, but you are doing what is most needed, that is praying. Yes, we do need prayer for our Home, for the Church, for vocations and for some new members to the AJJ. May St Jeanne Jugan watch over you and intercede for you.”
Our profound thanks and gratitude to all of our dear AJJ, who have reached out their hearts and hands to help us in any way that they can to meet the many needs of the elderly that we serve.