Sister Eleanor McNichol SSJ
came to the Villa in 2012 when the convent where she was living, Corpus Christi in Lansdale, PA closed.
While at Corpus Christi Parish, Eleanor visited the sick in hospitals and nursing homes, taught in the RCIA Program, greeted families coming to the Funeral Masses and helped to prepare funerals — all of which she described as ‘wonderful.’ Today Eleanor calls Saint Joseph Villa ‘home’ in every sense of the word, and in a new way continues the ministries she loved.
She lives on the 7
floor in the Xavier Community and her days are full and rewarding. Eleanor says, “The Villa is home to me. I’ve gotten to know many SSJs I didn’t know and greet them with a smile and share stories.
I am responsible for ordering the paper products for our community Dining Room. I download the weekly SSJ mailings and get copies made. I put a copy in the Community Room and one on each corridor, so sisters can sit down and read the mailings. I give out the mail each day to the sisters in the Xavier Community.
Sister Mary William SSJ
asked me to join the choir. I told her that we need sisters on the other side of the chapel to sing and respond to the choir. She agreed with me!”
Eleanor spends a large portion of each day visiting lay residents and sisters on the second, third and fifth floors. “I enjoy my visits. I’ve gotten to meet Grandparents, children and grandchildren. I visit some sisters I lived with on a Mission and some who entered the community with me — ‘our party.’ I help sisters in wheel chairs take their place in Chapel or to their rooms after Dinner in the Main Dining Room.”
Although those tasks keep her busy, her favorite time of day is when she can spend time in the Villa Chapel. “We call the Villa
Our Powerhouse of Prayer,”
Eleanor says. “I love the Chapel and all of us together for Mass. Those who cannot come to the Chapel can watch Mass on television and then have Eucharistic Ministers bring them Communion. Our Sunday liturgies and Holy Days are excellent. Sister Mary William and the choir sing hymns that refresh my heart.
Each day when I go in to the chapel to pray, I put a long list in the Chapel Book for prayer requests. Then I go to my pew and pray two or three rosaries. I pray for all those in need around our world. I pray for SSJ Associates and volunteers. My parents, along with Bob and Margo Zuccarello were the first SSJ Associates. The SSJ charism is in my family.”
Eleanor takes delight in the simple things. “I love the view from my bedroom window. I see the Mount and Motherhouse. I see the changing seasons and God’s creation — birds and deer out on the lawn, beautiful sunsets, the moon and when it snows it is magnificent! I thank God for all creation.
For me the Villa is where my heart is, where our charism is and where I can be with people and be conscious and aware of anything that can bring us together with God and one another. I feel like I have had a very blessed life and being here at Saint Joseph Villa is wonderful. All I can say is that the Villa is truly home to me.”