Students perform concert for nursing home residents

Danielle Huber

Staff Writer

Franciscan University of Steubenville’s nursing home ministry performed a concert Tuesday, Sept. 22, at Catherine’s Care Center for the elderly in downtown Steubenville.

Franciscan’s nursing home ministry, which is a branch of Works of Mercy, is going remote this year and one of the ways they reached out to the elderly was through their concert in front of Catherine’s Care, since visitors are not currently allowed inside the nursing home.

Co-leads Danielle Bovat, junior, and Elise Chabot, graduate student, organized the outdoor concert consisting of 19 students, two Carmelite sisters, and worship coordinator John Paul Von Arx.

At 6 p.m., the group arrived in front of the center and set up in the grass to sing for the residents, who were seated behind the windows of the building.

“We’re just really excited to finally get to go back there,” said Bovat.

The volunteers lined up in a row to sing for the residents. Each volunteer was given a sheet of paper consisting of popular songs such as “America the Beautiful” and “You Are My Sunshine,” but Von Arx also went off book to play classics like Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline.”

Afterwards, the students visited with the residents by moving closer to the window. Many were on familiar terms with the residents and shared stories from past visits. Chabot brought a poster of actor Johnny Depp, who is loved by one of the residents.

The volunteers surprised the residents with a banner that read, “Happy Fall To You All,” with certain letters swapped out for fall images.

Before leaving, the co-leads sent in a bag full of individual goodie bags made by the volunteers for the residents.

“Out of all the people, they’re the ones who need to have visitors,” said Sister Martin Marie King, OCD.

“I think it’s really important to play music especially for the older folks,” said Von Arx, “so that they know they’re not forgotten, that they know that they’re loved, that they know that they’re worth our time and intention.”