Hello! My name is Br. Jose Maria Barrero. I am one of eight Dominican novices for the Western Dominican Province. We live and move and have our being at St. Dominic’s Church in San Francisco, CA. As a part of our novitiate year, we are given the opportunity to do ministry in the city of San Francisco. Br. Philip Gerlomes and I have had the opportunity to go to St. Anne’s Home in Laurel Heights and spend time with the Residents every Monday for the past several months. We lead a faith-sharing group, assist at Mass, help out with lunch and play bingo and bridge with the Residents.
Some of the most cherished moments of my novitiate year have been at St. Anne’s Home. Discussing matters of faith, family and everything in between has been a true delight. The Residents are some of the greatest people I have ever met! It is a very humbling experience to listen to and answer questions from men and women who have gone throughout their life with many trials and difficulties but remained faithful to Jesus Christ and His Church. I was given the opportunity to pray the rosary at the bedside of one of the dying Residents with one of the sisters, Sr. Diane. As a young religious, I hope I can emulate the joyful, fervent spirit of all those who live and work at St. Anne’s. The dedication of the Little Sisters of the Poor and the hard-working staff is such a treasure to behold.
This experience has taught me to never take life for granted. Our lives are a true gift from God and we are truly blessed for all the things he has done for us. All life is precious and it takes a great grace and insight to look back at our lives (through the good and the bad) and reflect on where God has acted in our turbulent lives. While it is hard to know what is in store for us, we know that God’s infinite mercy, forgiveness and love is abundantly shared for those who seek Him. God bless the Little Sisters of the Poor and St. Anne’s Home!