Little Sisters of the Poor welcome the public to anniversary Mass

Written by Ann Rodgers on .

littlesisterslogoIf you can't beat the Little Sisters of the Poor, join them.

At least for a Mass and open house.

Pittsburgh's community of the Little Sisters of the Poor, which runs an amazing home for the indigent elderly in Brighton Heights, is celebrating its 140th anniversary this year. On Sunday April 29, there will be a Mass of Thanksgiving at 11 a.m., followed by a reception and tours of the home. If you want to attend, it's important to RSVP at 412-307-1100 by April 22.

Their James P. Wall Home is located at 1028 Benton Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15212.

Seven Little Sisters came from France to Pittsburgh in 1872, arriving on April 25. The mission of the Little Sisters of the Poor is to care for the indigent elderly, and in those 140 years the Little Sisters have cared for 12,000 of the aged poor, regardless of their religion or race.

I was astounded when I toured the home in 2009. I had always heard that the sisters provided excellent care, but I figured it was mostly that they gave a personal and spiritual touch to fairly spartan accommodations. Although I was right about the sisters, I was wrong about the accommodations. The Wall home, which ranges from apartments for independent living through two levels of skilled nursing care, offers just about every amenity imaginable. Their view of the Ohio River Valley is spectacular. I hope I can retire to someplace as nice, but the sisters won't take me because I'm not indigent.

Even if you've never visited the home, you may recognize them as the sisters in white habits who regularly visit the Strip District to beg for food and other supplies. It's only within the past few years that they started a capital campaign. Part of their spiritual DNA is to depent directly on the providence of God. Begging is part of that tradition.

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