05 Feb A Tribute to Our New Hope Valentines
By Sr. Mary Satala, former New Hope associate
The year was 1991. The date was February 14th – Valentine’s Day. It was in the evening that I arrived on my new Mission in Indianapolis. The drive down from Chicago had been treacherous because the roads were coated with ice all the way to Indy. Cars, big rigs, SUVs had slid off the road. Weather-wise it was a bitterly cold, sleety world that particular day. So much for Valentine’s Day. Little did I know, however, that the spirit of Valentine’s Day was not gone. Why? Because, after a few days I learned that part of my assignment would be to serve at New Hope. And, when I arrived there I knew my Valentine’s Day had just begun. I must confess that to this day New Hope still gives Valentine’s joy and warmth to my heart.
At that time our loved ones all lived in various wings of the New Hope building. It was as if the building were a great big gift box, wrapped in beauty, and topped with a huge bright multi-colored bow. This gift box contained the real gifts, persons with warm, caring, loving, welcoming, joy-filled hearts, each one a living Valentine. I walked up to the automatic door, it began to slide open and I was greeted by a large group of persons who were smiling warmly, some in wheelchairs, others standing; some able to speak, others gesturing a welcome; but all exuding a joy radiating from their hearts, hearts unencumbered by riches, competitiveness, status, hearts that had been formed by an acceptance of life as it is and each one striving to become their best self through sharing the unique gifts the Creator had endowed them with. How not to call those we serve, and those we serve with, living Valentines?!
Our loved ones whom we serve, as well as our loving staff, are authentic persons who through faith live in a hope animated by love. Each of you from 1991 to this present time have been and will continue to be my Valentines and true mentors in my life. All of you have found the courage and wisdom to walk with dignity through challenging times and various crises. Kudos to you! Also, no matter what you were living through, there was and always is, time for a New Hope Party!