Nursing home ministry brings Bibles to spiritually needy residents


Collection boxes have popped up around campus in the dorms and Christ the King Chapel. A local nursing home is in need of Scripture, and Catherines Care ministry of Franciscan University is restoring this malnutrition. Realizing the particular need of this nursing center, the Catherines Care ministry of Franciscan is collecting Bibles on campus for those most starved of the Gospel.

Catherines Care is one of the multiple nursing home ministries under the organization of Franciscans Works of Mercy ministry. Serving the immediate area of Steubenville and surrounding areas, the group is composed of five solid members. Convening on a weekly basis, the ministry focuses its time and efforts specifically at this nursing home downtown.

Many people tell me they no longer have their own Bibles since moving to the home,explained senior nursing major Rose Achey, one of the co-leads of the ministry along with Molly OKeefe.

Achey herself has been a member of this particular ministry for four years. While on mission, she was inspired to start collecting Bibles for the residents of the center. Starting off with one Bible, the drive was aimed at getting as many as it could for the 24 residents living there currently in need of Bibles this semester.

According to Achey, many residents of the home are elderly on Medicare and Medicaid, along with a few residents who are not as elderly but have disabilities that require them to be in a nursing home. The poverty of Scripture is present especially in this vulnerable time of their lives life.

Employing small boxes with a flier outlining the collection drive description stapled to it, the drive, said Achey, has been relying upon the free-will donation of students living in the various residence halls on campus.

Any translation will do, Achey said. So many of these people are in need of the Gospels, especially with many in the last stages of their lives, Achey explained. The plan is to collect the Bibles and give each resident one, something they have yearned for continuously.

So far, nearly 32 Bibles have been donated by Franciscan students to the ministry. However, the need reaches beyond Catherines Care. Wheeling Hospital, who also reached out to the ministry, is in need of Bibles for their residents as well. This hospital is likely to be the next recipient of a Bible drive.

In addition to the donated Bibles, students had the opportunity to Venmo a donation to the ministry to be used for the purchase of large-print Bibles. With the money donated, these Bibles would be given to those with limited or deteriorated sight, allowing them to have the personal experience of reading it themselves again.

The Bibles collected thus far have been taken to Catherines Care. However, the boxes will remain in the dorms and Christ the King Chapel for as long as people are willing to donate Bibles.

Achey said that participation in the weekly ministry is always welcome. The ministry convenes at the Rosary Circle every Wednesday evening at 5:30 p.m. and returns at 7:15. Students are more than welcome to become a part of the ministry to the nursing home, Achey said.

When asked about the future of this Bible ministry for Catherines Care, Achey said she could see the possibility of a Scripture-oriented aspect to the visits, such as a Bible study being plausible.

As of now, Catherines Care ministry is doing what it has always done: caring for those most in need here in Steubenville. The collection boxes will remain here on campus, supporting those in starvation of the Gospel to be remedied, one Bible donation at a time.