Latham 1                                                        Latham, New York

 

A treasured time for the USA region was the period from 1982 to 2012 when many Sisters lived at the Sisters of St. Joseph infirmary in Latham, New York and experienced the great charism of hospitality and love offered by the Sisters of St. Joseph.

 

During Christmas week of 1980 the Sisters in Cincinnati learned that the Sisters of St. Joseph in Latham, New York would accept seven of the senior sisters into their infirmary.  This was indeed a momentous event and a wonderful experience of collaboration.  There was much preparation for the Sisters move.  They received the news of their forthcoming move with hope and joy though there was a good mixture of pain leaving the Cincinnati community.

 

The days preceding the move were filled with many goodbyes from friends and family.  Personal belongings were shipped prior to the actual move.  Departure was set for January 21st and the day began with a final Liturgy in the chapel.  Following that the Sisters had brunch and then the departures and goodbyes:  wheel chairs, walkers, canes, suitcases, and the dear seven Sisters.

 

Latham 2The drive to the airport was uneventful, but on arrival, it was learned that the original non-stop flight was cancelled.  There were three options:  take the same flight tomorrow, wait until 4pm for a flight involving a change of planes or take a plane leaving in 8 minutes, involving a change enroute but which they would hold for the Sisters.  They chose the third option with a stopover in Buffalo.  Because of boarding last the Sisters were seated throughout the plane but it worked out fine.  Sandwiches, cookies and fudge had been prepared ahead of time and so the Sisters were able to eat their lunch with complimentary drinks from the airline. 

 

Latham3The Buffalo trip went very smooth and the Sisters arrived at the Albany airport.  Because of the limited accessibility at the Albany airport the Sisters had to deplane down a stairway onto the airfield.  They were met by fifteen St. Joseph Sisters and quickly whisked away in waiting cars and vans.  After a light supper the Sisters were escorted into a much larger dining room so that the community of active sisters at the St. Joseph provincial house could meet them.

 

Thus began our collaborative journey with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Latham, New York.  Until 2012 many of the SMR Sisters were cared for lovingly by Sisters and Staff at Latham.   26 Sisters of Mary Reparatrix were cared for, temporarily or permanently at the St. Joseph Sisters infirmary and eighteen died at Latham.  A deep bond of sisterly love developed over the years between the two religious communities because both entered into a collaborative relationship of trust in each other and in God.

 

Ann Kasparek,smr