Mass of thanksgiving at Villa Raffaella

Bishop Joseph A. Galante was the principal celebrant of a Mass of thanksgiving at Villa Raffaella Assisted Living Community, Pleasantville, on Wednesday, July 28.

As an assisted living facility, Villa Raffaella has personal and health services available 24 hours per day to residents who have been assessed to need these services, including residents who require formal, long-term care.

The facility is staffed by the Hospitaler Sisters of Mercy, a community that came to America in 1966, invited by Archbishop Celestine J. Damiano. They currently staff and administer two nursing homes operated by the Diocese of Camden, Our Lady’s multi-care center in Pleasantville, and Bishop McCarthy Residence in Vineland.

Villa Raffaella is the first community in the United States to be owned and operated by an order. Established in 1821, the order is devoted to the sick and poor.

Besides the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience that other religious take, Hospitaler Sisters of Mercy take a vow of serving in hospitals and other socio-medical activities. They refer to it as the Vow of Hospitality.

Members all have specialized training in the medical field. Some are doctors, some administrators, and in general, nurses or social workers. All formation and apostolic works are directed to one aim: caring for the sick.

Hospitaler Sisters of Mercy currently minister in Italy, Switzerland, Madagascar, the Philippines, India, Nigeria, and Argentina where they administer hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living residences.

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