by Brad Heidrick
Away in a manger. During the Christmas season, it’s impossible not to hear those words over and over as we’re surrounded by holiday music; the song makes the scene sound peaceful, almost ideal.
But as I thought about it a little more, I realized: God was born in a barn. Now, I’ve been in plenty of barns, and it’s not a great place for a newborn baby (particularly the hay trough). But it is this reality that the heart of Christ is first revealed to us in the Gospel — he chose to enter this world not in opulence and majesty, but in poverty and humility.
As we care for seniors who do have the financial means to receive our health care offerings, they help us care for those who don’t. This guides, inspires and motivates our mission.
Imagine receiving a phone call that a loved one is being discharged from a rehab hospital by taxi back to her apartment. Having been gone for 60 days, she would arrive to a home with no food; and with no means to pay her hospital or utility bills, no electricity. With no power, there would be no way to run her oxygen concentrator or to charge a cellphone for emergencies.
The person had no family. Our Catholic Homecare staff was her family prior to hospitalization and acted as a team to make sure everything was in place to return to a safe environment.
This is what our CCH staff proudly refers to as “Mission Moments” as the only Catholic home care and hospice provider in the Kansas City area.
As Catholics, we value taking care of each other as one family, and the needs and rights of the poor and vulnerable are given special attention in God’s eyes. This is one of our core Catholic social teachings.
Villa St. Francis in Olathe is one of the only facilities in our area to accept Medicaid-pending referrals and is the largest nursing facility provider for Medicaid residents in Kansas — and this is just one way that we’re carrying out Christ’s mission to serve the sick and poor.
I get to witness this love every day as our caregivers, volunteers, Sisters and chaplains serve our residents: mind, body and soul. In the elderly, infirm, sick and dying we are able to encounter Christ in a real way and receive a gift greater than any we will receive this holiday season. “For I was sick, and you cared for me” (Mt 25:13).
If you’re interested in joining us on this healing mission, we’re always in need of volunteers.