Jennings supports individuals through life’s changes and challenges with residences and services that emphasize choice and person-directed care.
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Have you ever taken a selfie? You know what a selfie is—the ability to use your iPhone or Smartphone to take your own picture, often with a famous person or in a significant place such as the Great Wall of China or the Lincoln Memorial. Taking selfies is different from me taking a picture of you. It’s about ME—I am in the picture recording this moment about myself. I am the focus of attention. I have control and determine the setting and can erase it if I don’t like it. It’s all up to me!
Sister Rita Mary Harwood, SND wrote an article describing the difference between “selfie spirituality” and “encuentro.” Encuentro is a Spanish word that we usually translate as “encounter,” but the meaning of the word is so much deeper and richer. It communicates feelings of care and concern, attentive presence and peace. Pope Francis uses that word 36 times in his apostolic letter “The Joy of the Gospel.” He describes Jesus as going into the very heart of his people in encuentro: “How good it is for us to contemplate the closeness which Jesus shows to everyone! If he speaks to someone, he looks into their eyes with deep love and concern: ‘Jesus looking upon him loved him.’ (Mk. 10:21)”
We are called not to a selfie spirituality, but an encuentro spirituality. Pope Francis writes: “Moved by Jesus’ example, we want to enter fully into the fabric of society, sharing the lives of all, listening to their concerns, helping them materially and spiritually in their needs, rejoicing with those who rejoice, weeping with those who weep.” We do so not as a burdensome duty, but as a personal choice which brings us joy and gives meaning to our lives!
The five core values of Jennings Center for Older Adults remind us to think of others instead of focusing on ourselves. Respect, Hospitality, Community, Discovery of Potential, and Celebration of Life help us encounter and value the giftedness of each person we meet.
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