Raven Learned Why Saints Served the Elderly

The Gregorian Fellows Leadership Program at Benedictine College promotes Catholic identity in public life by forming a new generation of leaders who unite faith and reason in their work. On Fellows Fridays, the Gregorian Institute will introduce you to some of these extraordinary students.

Rori Richardson spent the summer in service to the elderly.

Richardson is a Gregorian Fellow, class of 2022, from Traverse City, Mich., who is a dual-major in Biology and Spanish.

She worked at Medilodge serving its elderly residents, providing one-on-one discussions and conducting group activities for residents with dementia.

“I grew in flexibility as I served wherever my help was needed each day,” she said.

Mother Teresa often spoke of the importance of serving the elderly, saying that “Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.”

The Little Sisters of the Poor devote their lives to serving the elderly. “Making the elderly happy — that is what counts!” said Mother Jeanne Jugan, who founded the Little Sisters of the Poor which seeks to show “reverence for the sacredness of human life and for the uniqueness of each person, especially those who are poorest and/or weakest.”

Medilodge is a secular organization, but Richardson said she was inspired to work with the elderly because of her faith. “My Catholic middle school made a monthly field trip to Medilodge, so I grew up visiting the residents that I now serve daily.”

Medilodge does offer religious services to its residents. “We take into mind all of their needs, not just their physical ones,” says the facility’s website. “Because of this, we host religious services regularly.”

“I was surprised by the joy that I experienced while working,” she said. Service turns out to be the most fulfilling kind of work available. “I had an amazing time,” she said.

Benedictine College

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is honored to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report, the best private college in Kansas by The Wall Street Journal, and one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. Benedictine College is dedicated to transforming culture in America through its mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.