Wartburg, an award-winning provider of comprehensive residential and healthcare services for seniors, hosted a Mary, Mother of Our Lord, Ecumenical Service of Remembrance, on Sunday, August 17, 2014 celebrating the dedication of the Wartburg Chapel Sacristy addition, tabernacle, Blessed Virgin Mary statue and the Mary Garden on Wartburg’s historic 34-acre campus in Mount Vernon, NY.
Reverend Carol E. A. Fryer, Wartburg Director of Spiritual Care and Church Relations and Pastor of United Lutheran Church (Mount Vernon, NY) presided over the celebration in the Wartburg Chapel. Joining Reverend Fryer was Sister Connie Koch, OP, of the Church of the Holy Family (New Rochelle, NY), Father Martin Biglin, of the Church of Holy Name of Jesus (New Rochelle, NY), Sister Pam Conte, OSF and Sister Helen Demboski, OP, both residents of Mount Vernon; and Reverend Jonathan Linman, of the Metropolitan New York Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Reverend Fryer remarked, “It gives me great joy to celebrate our beautiful Chapel and dedicate our new addition and the statue of Mary with so many of our Ecumenical friends. It has been said that the walls that divide us do not reach up to heaven. I like to think that we are blessed with a glimpse of heaven right here in this Wartburg community.”
The celebration was attended by over 120 individuals including Wartburg board of directors, benefactors, staff, residents, family members of current and past residents and members of the local community. The addition to the Wartburg Chapel includes a lovely new sacristy in which vestments, sacred vessels and liturgical items will be kept, office space and two fully handicap-accessible restrooms. It was made possible through leadership bequests from the Estate of Marie and Albert Spannagel and the Estate of Arthur & Juanita Friedrichs and a gift from United Lutheran Church (Mount Vernon, NY.) The tabernacle, donated by the Sisters of St. Francis of Hastings, NY, will be placed in the Columbarium at the back of the Wartburg Chapel.
Recalling the Wartburg Chapel expansion project started several years ago, David J. Gentner, Wartburg President and CEO, said, “Pastor Fryer envisioned this in her first six months here. Now, seven years later, her dream has become a reality through her steadfast determination to expand Wartburg’s ecumenical spiritual care ministry on our campus. With the Chapel’s expansion, Wartburg will continue our long-standing tradition of serving individuals of all faiths by continuously providing ministries of healing and hope through services which will continue to nurture the body, mind and spirit of all those entrusted to our care for generations to come.”
As part of Wartburg’s Campus Beautification Campaign, the statue of Mary was dedicated in memory of Maria Tapia-Belsito, Wartburg’s Director of Development until October 2013. The statue of Mary is nestled within one of the numerous breathtakingly beautiful sitting gardens located on Wartburg’s 34-acre picturesque campus providing residents, families and staff outdoor sanctuaries. Each sitting area is composed of memorial trees, benches and bricks, given by donors in honor of or in memory of a loved one. The “Mary Garden” has already become a special place of prayer and meditation for many of Wartburg’s residents and families.
“Wartburg’s Campus Beautification Campaign fulfills our mission bringing together nature and nurture, a vital part of the continuum of care that holds our community together and made possible through the generosity of Wartburg donors.” said Angela Ciminello, Wartburg’s Director of Development.
About Wartburg: Wartburg is an award-winning provider of comprehensive senior services, including independent living, assisted living, Alzheimer’s/dementia care, skilled nursing, rehabilitation, adult day services and hospice care. Its 34-acre campus in Mount Vernon serves seniors and their families in southern Westchester and the northern Bronx, and now the New York Metro area. Wartburg’s nursing home has been recognized by U. S. News & World Report as among the best nursing homes in New York State for the third straight consecutive year, in 2013. Over the past few years, Wartburg has launched an ambitious building expansion program, including the Friedrichs Residence, providing affordable housing for seniors with 61 independent living apartments, and a Rehabilitation and Adult Day Services Center of Excellence, both opened in 2013.