By MOST REVEREND WILTON D. GREGORY, Archbishop of Atlanta | Published May 8, 2008
Six very charming ladies made an appointment to meet the Archbishop this past week, and I was very glad that they did. Like so many activities on my calendar, I did not know very much about the purpose of the encounter before it took place, but since they had introduced themselves by letter as members of the OLPH Auxiliary, I surmised that they wanted me to do something to assist them in support of the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Cancer Home. And I was quite right in that assumption.
For nearly 70 years the OLPH Auxiliary has worked with the Hawthorne Dominican Sisters in providing assistance to this wonderful yet unobtrusive apostolate. Initially in the early days, they told me, the auxiliary had actually helped with doing the laundry at the Cancer Home. Today, they organize an important annual fund-raising gala, which will occur this year on Saturday evening, Oct. 18, at the Cobb Galleria. This single event generates much needed finances for the mission of the Cancer Home. They sought my endorsement of their efforts, which I gladly assured them they have.
What is most important for them is to make their gala event much better known throughout the Archdiocese of Atlanta. The autumn festivities will include a banquet and social gathering as well as a grand drawing that produces the funds that they present to the Sisters for the benefit of the residents.
The Cancer Home receives terminal patients who come to live out the last weeks of their lives under the gentle care of the Sisters, generous staff, professionals and volunteers. The patients come from every walk of life and represent every faith tradition as well as those who profess no faith at all. Each patient receives the tender and compassionate care of the Sisters and the staff as an expression of the tenderness that they would receive from Christ Himself.
The Cancer Home is a treasure for this local Church and for all the people of Atlanta. Many folks whose loved ones are served at the Cancer Home know little about the Catholic Church except the compassion that they encounter at this wonderful facility.
I urge all of you to become more familiar with the work of the Hawthorne Dominican Sisters and our Cancer Home on our archdiocesan Web site. I also invite you to consider supporting the OLPH Auxiliary gala event by perhaps attending the festivities, taking a chance or two on some of the many prizes, or perhaps even providing a donated item for the event.
Even if those suggested activities are not within your ability at this time, please remember to pray for the success of the mission and outreach of the Hawthorne Dominican Sisters who run the Cancer Home and for the comfort of those who reside in this gracious dwelling before they encounter the Lord of Mercy who surely will reward all those who care for the least of His sisters and brothers.
The Our Lady of Perpetual Help Cancer Home web page can be found at www.archatl.com/about/ourladyofperpetualhelp.html.