“To love someone is to see a miracle invisible to others.” – Francois Mauriac

Miracles happen every day at Catholic Charities, and they are evident in the interactions that occur throughout Catholic Charities every single day. We are highlighting one such story here, shared by Susan Kaiser, who is a Licensed Social Worker at St. Ann Adult Day Services at our Jenkins Senior Living Community Campus in southwest Baltimore. St. Ann’s provides medical supervision to older adults in a structured environment so that participants can continue to live at home, instead of moving to a long-term care facility. Here is Susan’s story:

Susan told the story of Joe, a very special man who lived with his beloved wife in one of our senior housing communities in southwest Baltimore. When his wife had to move into our nursing home at St. Elizabeth’s, he started to come to St. Ann’s. He and his wife had a very large family, and most of their children were extremely involved in their parents’ care. Susan and her colleagues at St. Ann’s would arrange for Joe and his wife to have lunch together at St. Ann’s, or they would escort him to St. Elizabeth’s at the end of the day so that they could spend some time together.Eventually, Joe needed more care and moved to St. Elizabeth’s, too.

When he was young, Joe played baseball with Babe Ruth at Carroll Park, and he loved baseball. Throughout his life, Joe coached countless children and instilled in them his intense love of competition and a sense of pride and accomplishment in an athletic feat well done. Because she knew how much he loved the game, Susan arranged to have him throw out the first pitch at an Orioles game. Before the big game, Joe became ill and was unable to attend. But she told him about her plan, and she said that he was “beaming like a lighthouse” because he was so delighted at the thought of doing that.

When he died, his children, who knew how much Susan cared about Joe, asked her to deliver the eulogy at his funeral. For Susan, this was a great responsibility because of how much she loved this dear man; but it was also one of the great honors of her life.

Susan remembered him with great affection, “I feel fortunate to have encountered this extraordinary man during his journey through life. He touched me as he touched the lives of all of us, and I will always remember his smile, his wonderful wit, his optimism and his humanity. It was a privilege to know this noble man, and I will miss him.”