Ladies and Gentlemen and Dear Friends of Rosary Hill Home, There are times during the existence of every institution, business or organization when things are not going well, when difficulties and challenges seem overwhelming. Some very promising endeavors go “belly up” due to poor management, economic conditions and other detrimentals to their future growth.

Rosary Hill encountered and struggled with many challenges and difficulties during its 79-year existence. The Home’s beginnings were very humble and hardly promised further development. There were joyous periods of fulfilled plans and welcomed growth interspersed with troubled times of hardship and uncertainty regarding the future and character of our place. Trust in God’s Providence combined with perseverance and sacrifices of the Sisters combined with people of good will helped to determine our present status and lay a solid foundation for our future.

I shell not test your patience with presenting a long list of accomplishments that Rosary Hill is gratefully proud of, but shall emphasize the importance of the role people like you play in our life and ministry. This role has a material aspect to it as well as a spiritual one. Your initiative to help us in our ministry of care taught us one simple but a vital spiritual life lesson. You have taught us that we could achieve more in life and ministry if we allowed others to help us. We have learned that the good we have accomplished has been through the prayers, sacrifices and generous love of others. A great part of spiritual growth is accepting the help of others, to welcome it, be grateful for it, and to give back by serving those in need with greater dedication and love. And for this greatly enriching spiritual lesson we, Dominican Sisters, thank you with our hearts.

Now, let me add a few more words about the material aspect of your help. I remember that over 20 years ago, encouraged by some of our longtime friends who kept inquiring how they could be of assistance to Rosary Hill Home, I sent a letter out to all of them and to the family members of our residents welcoming their initiative and inviting them to work together for the wellbeing of Rosary Hill. The response was very encouraging, and the first one to respond was Mr. Patrick McGowan. He, and Mr. Irv Pfeiffer became the “movers” of things to be done. They came with fresh ideas and plans and created a committee which to date plans, organizes, and runs our fund raising events, which in the span of 20 years contributed enormously to the growth of Rosary Hill. The vision, talent, energy and skills of the committee members enriched our lives by creating a well-organized network of dedicated friends and supporters and by placing on our calendar such perennial events as: the Annual Picnic, quarterly Newsletter, the Second Sunday of each month Masses for family and friends of Rosary Hill, and the Fund raising Dinner and Dance enriched with various attractions. All those initiatives and broader engagement of many of you in the life of Rosary Hill has brought forth wonderful results for example, our facility was extensively renovated twice in last the 20 years, a new convent for the Sisters and the Retreat Center were erected, other existing buildings were renovated, grounds beautified and a security system upgraded. We have been able to do all this as the result of your advice, encouragement, prayers and sacrificial donations. One of our donors described his donation as “God’s money,” and this reminds me of the following story:

A notorious gambler offered to donate $2,000 to the Sisters of the Poor’s project for the homeless. The offer greatly upset the financial manager of the endeavor. He confronted the Mother Superior, “We cannot take his money. It is the devil’s money.” “If that’s the case,” the Mother Superior replied, “the devil has had his hands on it long enough. Now let’s see what God can do with it.”

Dear Friends, you have joined us in our ministry of care and evangelization without asking questions, setting conditions, demanding recognition or applause. Stating simply, you have blessed us with what is best in the human heart. We feel that we received more than we gave, but we had no quarrel with such a favorable exchange, seeing in it God’s loving design, to which we try to respond with by doing our best as we strive to serve those who entrusted themselves to our care.

Many times you have made your hearts known to us, let me therefore assure you that, even though we find ourselves quite limited in ways of expressing our appreciation, there truly is a very special place for each one of you in our hearts. There is a long list of names I should mention in this address, the names of tireless members of the organizing committee, the excellent band under the direction of Eddie Korosa, many generous donors who provided prize items to make this event most attractive; and, of course, the owners, management and workers of this wonderful banquet facility. Their outstanding hospitality and high class service deserve our special recognition and thanks. So let us give them all a round of applause.

I would like to close my address with a short announcement. On Sunday, April 12, 2015, at 9: 30 AM we will be celebrating a Mass of thanksgiving for all members, past and present of the Fund Raising committees, who for 20 years toiled very hard to benefit Rosary Hill Home. You are all welcome to participate in this manifestation of our appreciation and friendship. Lastly, let me take this opportunity to recognize once again Mr. Patrick McGowan and present him with a humble and symbolic token of an appreciation for his outstanding involvement in the life and ministry of Rosary Hill Home.

Thank you for your gracious presence here and for your unceasing friendship and support. May

God reward you with every blessing of his love.

Sr. Natalie Pekala, OP