A Life in Service to Others
A little over two years ago, we told you about the mission of Sister Gerri Brake, M.M. in Panama. Sister Gerri works with the New Life Foundation, which operates a residential care facility for about 80 elderly men and women from all social strata, coming from all over the country. Some of them make a monthly contribution, but others have no resources for their needs for medications, personal care items and medical attention.
Caring for the impoverished and the old is among humankind’s most sacred work. Sister Gerri has been doing just that in Panama for over 30 years because of benefactors like you. She was living in a Maryknoll community there in 1989 during a time of great political unrest.
Many Panamanians lost their homes and even their lives. She saw firsthand the need of the area’s most senior residents and dedicated her life to improving theirs.
“The scope of my ministry is expanding,” Sister Gerri says. “Primarily it is offering pastoral services to the community of 80 residents, both men and women. Our Residence is now serving as a model of caring for the elderly poor, and offers a wonderful place of service for high school and college students and many other groups.”
Because of your continued support, together we have helped to build a community in the Residence. Due to the generosity of donors like you, Sister Gerri is in the process of creating an aquatic therapy pool to assist the elderly in the twilight years of their lives. We need your help to support them as they continue this work.
“I was grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Church and so many ecumenical and civic groups in responding to the needs of this Community,” Sister Gerri tells us. “This is where the story of my ministry begins and now, after almost 30 years, I continue to thrive accompanying men and women in Panama. The exception was when I served our elderly Sisters at our Maryknoll Residential Care from 2009 through 2014.”
You may remember the story of Ronald, a resident who helped lead his friends and neighbors in the daily rosary devotions. Ronald was in his early sixties and had both legs amputated. Without the facility operated by Sister Gerri and her colleagues, he would have nowhere to go. Ronald has since sadly passed away, surrounded by the loving family he found at the New Life Foundation.