Telling the Stories of Catholic Eldercare is a Blessing
For almost two years, I’ve had the honor of telling the stories of Catholic Eldercare, published within Connections Magazine, and within the news section on the CEC website. I’ve written about remarkable people who do remarkable things; dedicated staff and volunteers who bring joy to residents, loving and compassionate caregivers, generous donors, and devoted chaplains.
I was drawn to the story of Jerry and Trish Hartlaub. Trish grew up eight blocks from CEC, and she and Jerry were married at St. Anthony of Padua Church. The Hartlaub’s give generously to CEC, and their financial support ranges from memorials to benches to the beautiful St. Anthony Garden and shrine. They are humble, but remarkable people who do remarkable things.
Recently, I had the privilege of interviewing the only living founder of Catholic Eldercare, Tom Glodek, for an article published in the spring issue of Connections Magazine titled, A Labor of Love in Northeast. I also interviewed family members and friends of founders Al Hofstede, Bob Hannah, and Sister Ruth Roland. They shared the details of how four people came together to build a nursing home where their elderly Northeast neighbors would be cared for with dignity. Now celebrating 40-years, CEC is providing physical and spiritual care for elderly people from across the Twin Cities because remarkable people did remarkable things.
The CEC Adult Day Program specializes in Alzheimer’s and dementia care. In an interview last year, Director Roxy Tietz told me her staff strives to keep clients physically strong with exercise, working on balance, and maintaining muscle. The program is filled with energy and activity, and there is a culture of support from caregivers and participants. Roxy says, “No one is a stranger here, and everyone feels loved.” Love drives these remarkable people to do remarkable things.
Steve Johnson has a heart for kindness and spreading joy. As activities director for RiverVillage, he begins each day with music, and love fuels every song he sings with residents in memory care. With gratitude in his voice, Steve says, “I’m working with the angels and am blessed to do purposeful work.” Steve is a remarkable person doing remarkable things.
What is it that drives people to do remarkable things? Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Catholic Eldercare is blessed by people who live the words of this scripture passage every day, intentionally and instinctively. They are remarkable people who do remarkable things.