When Daniel Celmer brought his Aunt Clare to the Angela Hospice Care Center, she looked around her room, taking it all in – the furnishings, the blanket made with care that hung over the reclining chair in the corner – then, once settled in her bed, she asked Daniel where she was. He told her that she was at Angela Hospice. She simply nodded, seemingly comfortable with this knowledge of her new home.
Families often feel that peace at Angela Hospice, finding tranquility in the picturesque grounds, the sounds of the fountains, the calmness once they enter the building.
“She was comfortable with that,” Daniel said. “She was at peace, and that brought me peace.”
As his aunt’s caregiver, Daniel had discussed her wishes with her if she ever needed hospice care. She made it clear that she would like to be at Angela Hospice, a Felician-sponsored ministry, so she could stay within the Felician Sisters community. That community had been her home and family since she took her vows in 1946 at only 17 years old, taking the name Sister Mary Valentine.
The whole time she was in the Care Center, the entire family felt the comfort, understanding, and love from the Angela Hospice staff and volunteers.
“Angela Hospice did a wonderful job,” Daniel said. “If anything ever happens to me, I’ve directed people to use Angela Hospice as well.”
These types of conversations with loved ones are so vital, yet so many of us don’t have them as often as we should. Having had that conversation with his aunt lead to not only a beautiful hospice experience for her, but the rest of her family as well.
Sister Mary Valentine was from a very Catholic family and she had many aunts who were also nuns. She taught at Manistee Catholic Central and St. Alphonsus in Dearborn, and also worked at Ladywood High School and Madonna University, two Felician-sponsored ministries.
Those students she taught were quite impacted by her. Daniel said people would see his last name and immediately put their connection together, telling him stories about what a great teacher she was.
After her passing last fall, Daniel received letters from students she had taught, ranging from more recent to those she had worked with 50 years ago.
“When you were around my aunt, you knew she was someone special… close to God,” Daniel said.
Sister Mary Valentine certainly impacted Daniel and his family as well.
“She was just a very enlightening woman,” he said. “You just felt that spirit around her, you know? Like, going to church. And I miss it to this day.”
When she was brought to the Care Center Daniel was told she would likely only have a few days before she passed, but he had an inkling she wouldn’t pass until Nov. 21, which she did. That date was Daniel’s father’s birthday, and also the day Sister Mary Valentine’s mother passed many years ago, making it extra special, a day she now shares with multiple family members.
“The Lord gave me comfort knowing how special that date is now,” Daniel said.
Families are able to create precious memories at the end of life together in the Angela Hospice Care Center because of supporters like you, whose donations help provide compassionate care for those under our wing. To continue making that work possible, please consider making a donation here.