By Marcia Moore
For The Catholic Messenger
Bishop Martin Amos traveled with three other people to reunite with pilgrims of a June 2015 pilgrimage to Greece and Italy.
The reunion took place at St. Joseph’s Home operated by the Little Sisters of the Poor in Palatine, Ill., where two of the former pilgrims reside.
The Little Sisters of the Poor began in France in the mid-1800s when Jeanne Jugan began caring for elderly people in her home.
Over time others joined her and a community formed. The communities began to spread and today the Little Sisters of the Poor number 2,210 and are found on five continents caring for the elderly.
In 1876, six Little Sisters were invited by then-Bishop Thomas Foley to Chicago to care for the needy elderly. The current home in Palatine, a suburb of Chicago, was built in the 1960s.
It has been updated and offers independent living apartments, minimal assisted living and intermediate to full care. Eighty-five people live there.
We found the sisters delightful. Some of them raced through the shiny hallways on their scooters while a young member of the community blushed with laughter relating a funny song. At present, 18 sisters care for the elderly in Palatine. St. Jeanne Jugan was canonized in 2009 by Pope Benedict XVI and is well known in the French School of Spirituality along with St. John Eudes. The Little Sisters continue their work by begging, a requirement set forth by St. Jeanne Jugan.