Part 3 Franciscan Friends Music Mission Diary

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My name is Wendy Grady and together my husband Denis Grady and I organize a yearly Music Mission. Are you a musician who enjoys sharing the gift of music with those less fortunate?? Perhaps your gift is not using an instrument but you are someone with a gift of compassion and a great love for Jesus. We are looking for people who believe in working together in community to serve for the betterment of those less fortunate such as the palliative, the addicted, those imprisoned, and the poor living in the West Indies and Grenadine Islands. If you feel called to serve in a new and exciting way please join us as part of the Franciscan and Friends Mission Tour. I have included an excerpt from my diary of 2008 to give you an idea of what you can expect. I can promise you one thing. You will grow in your love for Jesus. Please check out our website at www.franciscanandfriends.com or call Denis and Wendy Grady at 403-243-1049

Next stop was the “Nursing Home” where we found one of saddest places I have ever been. It was home for the elderly, palliative, deformed and any other type of disease or mental illness. June our wonderful host and driver informed us before we entered that we were there to help celebrate five women’s birthdays. June thought of everything! She brought all kinds of tiny sandwiches and treats along with ice cold drinks followed by “birthday cake” and presents. Those in our group who were not musically inclined helped to seat those who were able to come, in a brightly decorated room. We assisted June in preparing tiny plates of delectable delights and handing out cold refreshments. The musicians on our team entertained the group with lots of cheerful upbeat tunes. They loved it! Some even stood and moved gently, fully enjoying every note. Smiles were everywhere even though some of them were not able to communicate verbally it was evident they were having fun. I couldn’t help but notice that many of them were very concerned with caring for one another. Then June turned and handed me a tray full of the same treats and asked me to take them upstairs to those who were unable to walk down to where we were celebrating. She pointed outside but I couldn’t see any stairs. Suddenly a young man appeared and pointed the way. Up I went coming to a complete standstill when I heard the sound of women screaming. I took a deep breath before saying a quiet prayer. I asked Jesus to give me strength and courage to face whatever lay ahead of me. Later I found out the screams came from women being hosed down in the showers. When I walked through that doorway it was like entering another world. The first woman I saw was sitting on the end of her bed, both legs amputated at different places. Her blouse was nearly off exposing her flat dark breasts completely. She had eyes full of tears. I tried very hard not to cry and did not. I just asked Jesus to guide me to say and do what he would do in my place. I reached over and touched her leg then hugged her and helped her cover up. I gave her a plate of the tiny cakes June had prepared. Suddenly they were all wanting some as they reached out for me. They were all on beds less than a few feet between them. There was a woman screaming and moaning in pain as she lay on her bed. She was large in both stature and shape. Her eyes were closed with what looked like some sort of infection. I went to her and touched her face asking if I could help her. She answered only by moaning. I brought a tiny piece of cake to her lips and asked if she was hungry. At first there was no reaction as I waved it under her nose. Then slowly she bit into it as she took it from me. She quieted down as I gave her more and a sip of lemonade to wash it down with.

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About Author

Susan Bailey is the author of River of Grace Creative Passages Through Difficult Times (Ave Maria Press), and Louisa May Alcott: Illuminated by The Message (ACTA Publications), part of their Literary Portals to Prayer series. Along with her blogs Be as One and Louisa May Alcott is My Passion, Susan writes for the Diocese of Worcester newspaper, The Catholic Free Press.

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