By Carol Zieba, Coordinator of Pastoral Care
Jenkins Senior Living Community
Paul Casey serves as a Pastoral Care Volunteer with the Neighborhoods at St. Elizabeth, Catholic Charities’ nursing and rehab facility in Southwest Baltimore. As a retired lawyer, Casey brings extensive experience in leading legal teams especially in the areas of affordable housing and other poverty-based issues. After retirement, connected with Ignatian Volunteer Corp (IGC) to continue his commitment of service but in a more spiritual manner. His service is an invaluable presence to our older adult residents, their families and staff alike.
Paul serves as a Eucharistic Minister two days a week. He also frequently helps set up the chapel for Mass, brings Holy Communion to elders in their rooms, assists wheel-chair bound residents into the chapel, serves as a lector, and completes numerous other jobs when we asked.
However, the most unique service he gives is his one-on-one visits. Our elders always look forward to the time they spend with him. He displays a genuine love and respect for our senior residents, and they respond accordingly. He listens to them and honors them in such a special way. He always looks for the positive in everyone and has a sincere compliment for each. Elders and staff inquire about his whereabouts on the days he does not volunteer. Many ask if he is a priest or a member of the staff.
Paul Casey’s has had a demonstrable, positive impact on the elders, their families and the staff at St. Elizabeth. His sincere kindness helps our elders to open up and discuss their concerns in a way that no one else has been able to do. Our residents share with him, because, they know he really cares. He is never in a hurry and always has time to make them feel listened to and honored in a special way. When he prays with them, they feel that God is truly present in the prayer. Many of our residents have few visitors and are lonely until Paul enters with a big smile radiating joy. They always look forward to his visits. Paul is a model for the staff, elders, and families of what it is like to live the commitments of Catholic Charities.