St. Andrew’s Church celebrates the feast of St. Joseph (March 19th) annually with a visit to the Home for the Aged at Andheri. A Home, run on contributions. The mission of the Little Sisters of the Poor, an order founded by St. Jeanne Jugan in 1839 offer the neediest elderly of every race and religion a home where they will be welcomed as Christ, cared for as family and accompanied with dignity until God calls them to himself.

So, a jolly band of 30 volunteers assembled outside Holy Family Hospital to set off for the Home. A mere 30 minutes later, we were at our destination and met with the sisters and a few young volunteers who had separately arrived at the Home. Wishes for the Feast were shared with the sisters, volunteers and residents of the Home and it was time to celebrate!

We began the celebrations with a rousing game of Housie. The residents participated with gusto assisted by the volunteers. Prizes distributed to the winners and a stirring music session followed. ‘Golden oldies’ and original compositions were belted out by volunteers, young and old as some residents clapped along in harmony keeping time magnificently and others shook a leg to the memorable melodies.

Not to be outdone, a few of the residents too sang popular and unforgettable Konkani songs which brought back memories for some and allowed the younger generation a glimpse of a culture that they’ve perhaps not had before. As residents and volunteers bonded and chatted, families of some of the residents too joined in the festivities.

Sweets, gifts and a lively ‘masala’ later, time simply flew by and all too soon lunch approached. As it was time to bid farewell to the residents, some volunteers left determined to make it again next year and others left with a commitment of weekly visits. The visit was a memorable one, cherished for the ties and bonds created.

– Ayesha Martin