posted by Michael Raia
This past Saturday I had the pleasure of visiting St. Adelaide's in Grand Prairie, TX (west of Dallas), one of two Gospel of Life Dwellings. The other, St. James, is in Oklahoma City, while plans for a third dwelling in Norman, OK are currently being developed. Over the past few months I have had the pleasure of getting to know the founder of the Gospel of Life Disciples, Sister Maria Faulkner, and hearing her vision. Each Gospel of Life Dwelling is a place of work, prayer, and community living that provides care for elderly residents as well as opportunities for inter-generational activity. Volunteers including children, high school and college students, young professionals, and adults all regularly visit the dwellings to assist with various tasks and spend time together.
Appropriately named for both St. Adelaide (patroness of people with challenging life circumstances that may have separated them from family) and the Gospel of Life that values the equal dignity of every human life from conception to natural death, the Dwelling bustles with life. On Saturday, I arrived with a friend from Austin who is assisting with the development of the Norman Dwelling, and saw activity and energy everywhere. Some residents were watching a movie, some working on crossword puzzles. The two youngest residents, ages 9 and 11, between turns playing on a tablet device, were playing with two small dogs, a cat, and four ducks who all seemed quite happy with their surroundings. The oldest, age 97, shared stories of his time in the Army during the Second World War, as well as a recent recognition of his service at a Texas Rangers baseball game.
Several other regular volunteers began to arrive. After a quick tour and some time preparing the food, we prayed the noon Angelus, enjoyed a nice meal together, and took turns around the table sharing stories about each of our backgrounds. We then spent a little more time praying together in the chapel that is part of the dwelling. The afternoon that followed included several different household tasks, games, and classic western movies while Sister Maria, Elsa and I discussed the plans for the new Dwelling, which included the learned wisdom from the residents and volunteers at both St. James and St. Adelaide. The vision that is unfolding is an exciting one.
News on the development of the future Dwelling in Oklahoma will follow. Please pray for the work of Sister Maria and all of the Gospel of Life volunteers and supporters who are making the ministry at these two communities possible. To read more about the ministry of the Gospel of Life Disciples and their Dwellings or to inquire about how you might be able to assist their efforts, visit www.gospeloflifedisciples.org.