Amazing. That’s the first word that comes to mind when trying to understand the connection of food to families, holidays, and memories. One of my most vivid memories is from when I was around 5. My Grandpa was carving a standing rib roast for our Christmas dinner. I don’t remember if it was any good, if it was under cooked, or over cooked, but I do remember the spectacle. It was our family extended family, sitting around multiple tables, watching my Grandpa proudly carve the meat and serve his family (wife, 4 kids, 6 Grandkids, multiple cousins, and a few Jewish friends). The pride in his eyes as he served his grandchildren first, then up the age ladder, will never be forgotten. It was a moment of pure joy for him (he always served the kids first, saying “I need to grow my legacy”) and a feeling for me that I was loved. I don’t know why that moment stands out to me. Was it the start of a great meal? Was it the beginning of hearing our family give thanks for our many blessings? I don’t have the answer why, just thankful that that moment, our family Christmas dinner, is forever with me.
I could go on and on with my family’s traditions around holidays, but one thing that remains constant, is all of them include food. Whether it’s our candle light dinner in front of the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve, or the special Christmas pastry on Christmas morning, food is a large part of them. The sights, the smells, the sounds, the mess! The family bonding that takes place during each stage of the celebration will be recalled for years. Each family has the stories to tell…the one year that junior ate the whole pumpkin pie, or the crazy uncle who had too much Seagram’s 7 and fell asleep at the dinner table (okay, maybe that was just my crazy uncle), or when the newest member of the family was introduced. Food is what brought everyone together.
We strive to help create memories with food on a daily basis, within our community. I could quote research that shows that dining within community adds to overall intake, willingness to try new items, lower levels of stress markers, and the release of endorphins, to explain why we do, what we do. That would really short change the reason we do it. All of those above reasons are by products of what we do. We simply do it because we want to be one of the reasons that memories are made. We do that with different ways. Whether it’s a favorite recipe, the singing of happy birthday, the casual Sunday brunch, one of our many parties and events, or trying new recipes and ingredients, we always strive to nourish the mind, body, and soul of our MCH family.
This past year, we partnered with Wild Ridge Farm to purchase a small amount of organic produce on a weekly basis. Realizing the added benefits of the locally, organically grown produce, we began looking to see how we could enhance our organic offerings. Realizing that MCH serves approximately 350# of vegetables weekly, we couldn’t partner with enough organic growers to meet our weekly, monthly, or yearly needs. Looking forward to 2015 and beyond, I am beyond thrilled to announce a new venture that we are entering into going forward. We have been allowed access to 3+ acres of land on which to start growing our own sustainable vegetables. Clare Gardens, in partnership with the Franciscan Friars in Burlington and local farmers, will be planted this spring, producing tender greens by June, and root vegetables into Fall!
From our family to yours, may joyful memories be made this holiday season.
This week, Fox 6 News recorded “A Day in the Life of Santa,” following Santa Claus for a whole day as he spread Christmas cheer. One of Santa’s favorite stops was Milwaukee Catholic Home, where he visited the students from Maryland Avenue School and their “grandfriends” during the Book Buddies program. The segment will air on Fox 6 on Christmas Eve at 9:00 pm.
Enjoy some great pictures and video below!
UPDATE: Here’s the finished segment from Fox 6 – enjoy!
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It’s become an annual event – once again, Santa and several live reindeer stopped by Milwaukee Catholic Home to visit with residents, staff, and family. The kids from Nurturing Nook child daycare joined us for the visit, including a great educational program about reindeer. Enjoy some pictures below!
Below, enjoy some incredible photos of the artisan at work on our new altar, ambo and other furnishings, and their transportation and installation in the newly renovated St. Anne Chapel.
Gianfranco Tussara is an Italian artisan in residence in Milwaukee at Inspired Artisans Ltd. His exquisite craftsmanship is the crowning touch on the successful renovation of our two chapels, supported by so many residents and other donors.
More support is still needed – to find out how you can be involved, contact Mike Brauer at (414) 225-8246.
The St. Anne Chapel will be re-dedicated on Thursday, January 22nd at 4:00 pm. Mass will be concelebrated by Fr. Chuck Keefe, Fr. Jim Connell, and Fr. John Puodziunas, OFM. All are welcome!
As we observe the season of Advent and look ahead to the joys of Christmas, we have lots of opportunities to prepare and celebrate through music! Below are just a few of the great musical performers and ensembles who will be sharing their gifts with us this holiday season. Please join us!
The Residence – 2462 N. Prospect Avenue
Marquette University Faculty Chorale
and Happy Hour
Friday, December 5th, 4:30 pm
The Astor Room
Haasler Studio for Strings
Sunday, December 14th, 2:00 pm
The Astor Room
Pius IX High School Madrigal Choir
Prelude and Postlude Concerts for 4:00 pm Mass
Monday, December 15th, 3:30 pm and 4:30 pm
St. Anne Chapel
MCH Staff and Resident Choir Concert
and Residence Christmas Party
Thursday, December 18th, 4:30 pm
The Astor Room
Zoe Biller, Classical Pianist
Sunday, December 21st, 1:30 pm
The Astor Room
Health and Rehabilitation Center – 2330 N. Prospect Avenue
Marquette University High School Boys Choir
Wednesday, December 3rd, 10:15 am
Third Floor Multipurpose Room
Dominican High School Choir
Wednesday, December 3rd, 1:30 pm
Strolling throughout building
St. Monica’s Girl Scout Carolers
Wednesday, December 10th, 3:00 pm
Third Floor Multipurpose Room
Lake Park Lutheran Church Choir
Sunday, December 14th, 12:00 pm
Transitions Rehabilitation Dining Room
Carlton Elementary School Carolers
Monday, December 15th, 1:30 pm
Memory Care Lounge
Intergenerational Christmas Play
with Nurturing Nook Child Daycare
and the MCH Staff and Resident Choir
Thursday, December 18th, 2:30 pm
Third Floor Multipurpose Room
Autumn is a grace-filled time when the crisp leaves and the brisk winds accompany one of the most beautiful seasonal transitions we know. As summer ends, there are certainly mixed emotions as we recall the warmth, relaxation, and fun of the past few months. The void, though, is soon filled with the newly made memories and with the hopefulness of what is ahead.
As nature begins its hibernation process, members of the human family begin our ascent toward the holiday season by embracing a centuries-old tradition of giving thanks for the abundance in our lives. Before we enter into our various practices of giving gifts to family and friends, we pause and we give thanks for all we have received. Interesting, isn’t it?
It is almost as if we first need to cultivate our souls — to ready ourselves by offering thanks — before we can freely enter into the act of giving.
Charitable gifts to Milwaukee Catholic Home are most often given out of gratitude. Residents make gifts because they are grateful for the care they or a spouse receive from staff. Family members frequently offer their thanks to the MCH community for the support it has provided to them and to their loved ones by making a gift in their honor or memory.
The Benevolent Care Fund exists as a source from which we as a community can meet the unexpected financial needs of a resident. This Fund was initially established through charitable gifts made as an expression of thanks to Milwaukee Catholic Home. Today, due largely to people living longer lives, that fund is inadequate. MCH is actively seeking significant gifts of cash, appreciated securities, and estate gifts to help meet the growing need for these supplemental funds.
As this holiday season unfolds, our prayer is that our community remains outwardly thankful for all the graces of this past year. We ask God to continue to bless our residents and their families and may all of our hearts be open to the impact we can have by offering sincere thanks and by generously giving.
In honor of its 100 Year Anniversary, Milwaukee Catholic Home is planning a trip to Italy, open to residents and friends of the organization as well as members of the broader Catholic community. The trip will take place from April 19-29, 2015.
Fr. Tim Kitzke, pastor of Three Holy Women, Old St. Mary, Sts. Peter and Paul and Our Lady of Divine Providence parishes, will be the chaplain on the trip and will offer Mass each day.
The trip will include stops in Rome, Assisi, Venice, Spello, Laverna and Ravenna. Some of the trip’s highlights include St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, participation in a public Papal Audience with His Holiness Pope Francis, the Basilicas of St. Francis and St. Clare, the church of San Damiano, St. Mark’s Square, and numerous other sites of historic and spiritual interest. The trip will also allow ample time for independent sightseeing and enjoying Italy’s culinary and cultural riches.
The cost per individual for the trip is $3,499 plus $699*, which includes airfare, accommodations, and several meals.
Milwaukee Catholic Home is excited to share this unique experience with the many friends and supporters who have shared its mission of compassionate care for older adults since 1913.
For more information, click the link below to view the brochure, or contact Anne Catalane at (414) 220-3250 or email@example.com.
*Estimated Airline Taxes and Fuel Surcharges subject to increase/decrease at 30 days prior.
Milwaukee comic legend John McGivern is in the process of helping his mom move in to our community here at Milwaukee Catholic Home. Click here to enjoy his recent radio interview with Dave and Carole on WKLH on the humorous challenges of the moving process and why his mom choose MCH!
How many times have we heard the expression: there’s no place like home? Our homes provide more than shelter from the elements; our homes are where we feel most comfortable, where we can create a space that reflects our style and creativity, and where we create memories with family and friends.
Most older people find the thought of changing their housing overwhelming. Earlier housing transitions are often accompanied by a new job, a growing family or belief that a new home is improving one’s circumstances. For seniors, a move is sometimes a result of less desirable circumstances. The top reasons seniors share with me about why they consider leaving their homes include maintenance and the never-ending responsibility of caring for a home, health and mobility issues, lack of companionship and increased transportation issues.
Continuing care communities like Milwaukee Catholic Home provide ease in living, access to a wealth of services, health monitoring and endless opportunities for recreational programming and companionship. A move to a community seems like the simplest of solutions for our loved ones who reach a certain age, yet the decision is a very personal one that often requires hours of researching and contemplation before being realized.
So why does it seem like so many seniors avoid making a move when it seems so logical? First of all, there are many choices available and on the surface many places seem alike. It takes a thorough investigation into the overall operation and offerings of a prospective community. They may be more drawn to one community’s mission statement, reputation, activity programming, pricing plans or health care options.
These attributes are certainly important, but an appreciation of the culture of the community is even more critical. By touring 3-4 communities, an individual will resonate with one or two more than the others. Prospective residents will relate that they just feel more comfortable with the environment, staff and residents they encounter during their visit. By narrowing the scope and perhaps getting on a wait list for just the right apartment, it becomes easier for people to imagine a new beginning and begin to deal with the “chores” related to downsizing, preparing a house for sale, and planning for a new apartment and lifestyle.
Along the way there are usually obstacles, big and small, that may create a sense of upheaval and uncertainty. It is important that the individual feels supported by their family, friends, staff at chosen community and the professionals assisting with the transition. Often seniors want to “go it alone” as they have in past transitions because they want to be perceived as independent, but the acceptance of a little help and guidance from others during this period can greatly alleviate stress for all those concerned.
Over the past 20 years, I’ve assisted hundreds of seniors move from their very comfortable homes, condos and apartments to a continuing care community. Not a day goes by when I don’t feel a sense of privilege to have a career that allows me such deep relationships with the people we serve. I love to work with seniors and their families during this difficult yet exciting period of life. The most rewarding part of my job is seeing how soon after a move our new residents adapt to a new care-free lifestyle, make new friends, learn new things and embrace their new “home.”
Click here to hear John McGivern discuss his mother’s experience with making a future move to The Residence at Milwaukee Catholic Home!
The new issue of our Focus newsletter is now posted in our online archive. Click on the image below to find donor listings, news, events and more!