In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Village at Marymount staff gathered daily for standing meetings to hear updates of discharges, admissions, activities and to pray.
They prayed for their residents at the senior living campus in Garfield Heights, the families of their residents, their fellow team members, their surrounding community and themselves so they could carry on their mission even when the numbers and shutdowns increased.
The daily prayer is: “Mary Mother of God, pray for us, St. Joseph protect us, St. Francis and St. Clare show us the way.”
At the time, the way was not an easy one. It involved setting up a separate 15-bed unit with plastic, zipped walls for patients who tested positive for COVID-19. It involved having to explain to family members they could not visit their loved ones in person due to restrictions. It involved having to cancel daily masses and deal with overwhelming feelings of isolation.
Their tenacity to adhere to regulations and go beyond what was expected kept the majority of their residents safe. One resident died due to COVID-19, and that person had complicated health issues that exacerbated their condition.
“I’m proud of the way our staff leaned on the faith-based part of what we do and how we live our mission,” says Sister Mary Alice Jarosz, director of mission integration at the Village Marymount, which was founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis. “As busy as we are, we still have our daily meetings. It brings everyone closer.”
While the Village at Marymount is a faith-based nonprofit, Sister Mary Alice emphasizes that no one has to be Catholic to be admitted and no one has to be Catholic to be an employee. She just asks everyone to “bring their best spiritual self.”
Guided by its mission to provide an environment of compassion, competence and celebration of life to all entrusted to their community of care, the Village at Marymount pivoted during the pandemic, but never faltered.
“We maintained a real heir of transparency with our team, residents and staff,” says Vince Farinacci, senior director of donor advising. Executive Director Sue Nail kept everyone in the loop. She was our Amy Acton through it all.”
In her weekly online updates, Nail included COVID-19 statistics at the campus, which is located next to Cleveland Clinic Marymount Hospital. In a recent update, there were no active staff cases and no active resident cases.
“What happened here was miraculous,” says Sister Mary Alice. “In the Franciscan way, it is not becoming to be braggadocios, being humble is preferred. But this calls for a celebration. It’s time to reflect on a mission that was accomplished by staff and residents together.”
The Village at Marymount will host its 12th Celebration of Life Gala on Sept. 24 from 6 to 11 p.m. at Embassy Suites by Hilton Cleveland Rockside. For more information on the gala, campus or to make a donation, visit villageatmarymount.org.