Sister Elizabeth Marie Mason recently received word that she had been named Volunteer of the Year for St. Catherine’s Convent and Health care Center. The award came from the New Jersey Activity Professional Association based on a letter of recommendation from Kathryn Richards, Recreation Director for St. Catherine’s.  A copy of the award ant letter of recommendation appear below.
IMG_8701On April 30, Sr. Elizabeth Marie Mason, OP received the Volunteer of the Year Award from the New Jersey Activity Professional Association. Sr. Elizabeth was nominated by Kathryn Richards, OPA, Director of Activities at St. Catherine’s Health Care Center. The award is given to those who give their time and talent in the health care field.

Valerie Lewis-Mosely, OPA was invited to celebrate the Feast of St. Catherine of Siena with a presentation for all Residents and Staff. Her talk, Set the World on Fire was enthusiastically welcomed and most appreciated. Catherine’s gifts of strength, courage, love and healing were examples that inspired all attendees.

Hurray for Volunteers! (Letter of Recommendation support of Sr. Elizabeth Marie Mason)

Having worked in both assisted living and long term care for the past 16 years I have grown more and more appreciative of the role and value of volunteers in the health care environment.

Today, I nominate Sister Elizabeth Marie Mason, OP as Volunteer of the Year. Sr. Liz or Liz as she is affectionately called by staff and residents would be an excellent example of dedication and service. Sr. Elizabeth is 90 year old Caldwell Dominican Nun and has been in the order for 73 years. She has spent 56 of those years educating New Jersey’s youth. After her retirement from teaching Sr. Liz kept busy volunteering everyday in the community’s archives. One day she launched the question that every activity director loves, “Do you need any help?” That was three years ago and she has been helping me every day since.

Sister Liz’s energetic spirit, sense of humor and practical nature are qualities that have made it possible to develop and accomplish a variety of innovative programs at St. Catherines. Of special note is the Annual Christmas Pageant that involves Residents and Staff. The pageant, which carries a specific theme every year has become quite a sensation in the area. Sr. Liz helps makes costumes, backdrops, assists with rehearsals, distributes invitations, prepares refreshments and meets and greets our guests. I know I would not be able to tackle all these details without her help.

Sr. Liz also helps with the distribution of monthly calendars, arranges the bulletin boards in the residents’ rooms, waters plants, helps residents read their mail, invites and assists residents to activities. Decorating the facility for holidays and preparing for special events are tasks that take time and are important. With teaching in her genes, Liz instructs and helps our residents enjoy our computer system, it’s Never2 lat. (A program designed especially for Seniors) Sisters’ one on one assistance with crafts, cooking projects and games with our residents with dementia have been remarkable. Sister Liz also offers comfort and support for the dying with her presence and prayer.

It is truly wonderful to have a person like Sr. Elizabeth assisting in the many facets of life in community like ours. How I appreciate her greeting every morning “What’s on the agenda today?” And of course the cup of hot coffee she hands me isn’t a bad deal either!

Prepared by: Katheryn Richards, BA ADC, St. Catherine of Siena Health Care Center, Caldwell, NJ

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