Village Mosaic: Celebrating Five Years
On February 12, 2014, Fontbonne Ministries' Village Mosaic celebrated five years of offering a gathering place on Lake Shore West for seniors. Back in January 2009, Sisters Anne Marie Marrin, Conrad Lauber and Elaine Guidinger arrived at 2794 Lake Shore Boulevard West. Guided by a needs survey and applying all their rich experiences and skills, they founded Village Mosaic, with the participants’ help. “The seniors guided us in the evolution of this program,” said Ministry Director Sister Conrad. “We were seniors inviting other seniors to build community together.”
Sister Anne Marie had been asked by the Congregational Leader, Sister Margaret Myatt, to become the first director of this ministry. Sisters Conrad and Elaine asked to join her in this ministry, serving as Coordinator and Foot Care Specialist respectively.
The first group of seniors to visit were the women’s group from Christ the King parish.
One of them became Village Mosaic’s line-dancing teacher and “the rest is history,” according to Sister Conrad. This fun activity brought in more people. Today, the ministry has an active roster of 99 people who participated in 6000 visits in 2013. Regular activities and a host of special events combine to meet the social, physical, mental and spiritual needs of participants.
Village Mosaic’s special moments are many. Especially joyous were the two occasions where the seniors line-danced for Sisters at their residence. Another ‘coming together’ was the creation of the Village Mosaic sign, pictured above, made up of teacup shards from Morrow Park and stones from the Lake Shore.
Sister Conrad credits the participation of 24 volunteers, three new staff members and students with adding much vibrant life, creativity, energy and technical knowledge to Village Mosaic.
She is inspired by participants, especially those who, despite grave health issues, attend cheerfully, offering their heroic example to others. Participants themselves are grateful for this ministry, as shown in the following verse of the ‘Anniversary Song’ by Marlene Gaudet:
Sometimes we get sad because life has its way
The Sisters they know what to do, what to say
The comfort they offer is warm and sincere
For seniors in need, our Sisters are here.
Participants, staff and volunteers at Village Mosaic gather in front of the sign. Sister Conrad Lauber, the Ministry Director of Village Mosaic, is seated second from right, second row.
At the five-year anniversary party, staff, seniors and volunteers enjoyed food, drink, song and memories. During the celebration, participants shared their feelings about Village Mosaic on comment cards:
“Village Mosaic is a place where the body, mind and spirit are nurtured, where we are encouraged to share our gifts and talents, and where there are opportunities to develop new skills.”
“One of the best things that happened last year was when my neighbour introduced me to Village Mosaic. As soon as you walk through the door, you feel welcome.”
“Village Mosaic has always been a place of warm hospitality, love, joy, caring, sharing and learning. We feel very grateful for being part of this home away from home.”
“This haven of caring is filled with hope, humour and friendship.”
“This place has made my life more enjoyable. Everyone here is very nice and accommodating.”
“I appreciate the opportunity Village Mosaic gives to meet and socialize with others. Congratulations on your fifth anniversary.”
“Village Mosaic is a wonderful place.”
“At Village Mosaic, I find warmth and companionship. I enjoy all the activities that take place here. The Sisters are wonderful people who listen. I am enriched mentally, spiritually and physically.”