Never Alone: Ministry to the Elderly

Our mission is to bring Christ’s love into the world by serving the elderly and dying, particularly the lonely. We bring them the light of Christ by engaging in outreach activities and glorifying God in all we do.

During the pandemic, we have shifted our focus from in person companionship in order to ensure the safety and health of the elderly. Our volunteer opportunities down below highlight alternative outreach activities that students can be involved in remotely and at a safe social distance while still demonstrating to the elderly love and care.

Get in Touch

Maggie Stordy, Student Ministry Leader

Julie Haskell, Parishioner and Volunteer Coordinator

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Caring Cards: We provide loving, handwritten cards to Elderly residents
  • Calling Party: We call an elderly one-two times a week to check in on them and engage in good conversation
  • Sunday Night Dinner: We feed St. Tom’s families and students with a special home cooked meal, fostering community and fellowship
  • Prayer Warriors: We pray for a specific elderly and create a spiritual bouquet for them

History of our Group

The Never Alone Ministry to the Elderly was started at the suggestion of Lora Beard, a student at Purdue University who worked with the elderly before coming to Purdue and wanted a way to continue working with them while she was away from home. She approached Fr. Joseph Minuth, OP who made Lora’s dream a reality in 2012. Students and Parishioners were recruited to work with Serenity Hospice and the number of volunteers has continued to grow.

Because not everyone is comfortable with working with the dying, the Ministry expanded its outreach in 2014 to visitation at the Indiana Veterans’ Home and University Place. Those who want to visit and interact with residents arrange a time and day they will volunteer to spend time with them.

As other needs began to become known, a music ministry, Movement D, was added for those who have a talent for playing a musical instrument, singing or dancing or who love storytelling.

A one hour training and orientation is offered by arrangement with Julie Haskell. After identifying the ministry choice and placement facility, the volunteer coordinators are given the name and contact information for the volunteer. A TB test and background check will then be arranged before assignment with a resident.

Please consider bringing your love and talents to the lonely, alone and unwanted people in our community who will reward you with their love and appreciation for your generosity and kindness to them. After a few visits you will realize how lucky and how blessed you are to be a part of this ministry.

Meet the Coordinators

Joanna McCormack

Major: Civil Engineering

How did you get involved at St. Tom’s?: I have been going to Mass here since I was a freshman and I found the NAME ministry on the website. I was warmly welcomed to the ministry and have had a great experience it with it, and am looking forward to see the new innovative ways we will continue involvement this semester!

Favorite Bible Verse: John 8:32 “and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free”

Bio: I grew up in Naperville, IL, along with my 8 siblings. I am exactly in the middle, with 4 older and 4 younger siblings. I am the odd one out in my family- the only one with blonde hair. I love to play sports, especially soccer and basketball, and stay active in general. I honestly spend so much time with my family and friends, having a good conversation, and going on adventures. I have learned so much from them. During this quarantine, I have discovered a new interest in reading nonfiction, in particular, in regard to the world today. I am always trying to expand my knowledge and experiences and really grow, especially in my faith! I look forward to getting to know all of you guys. Reach out if you need anything!

Maggie Stordy

Major: Public Health

How did you get involved at St. Tom’s?: I was heavily involved in my high school’s youth group, and wanted to continue that in college. I started by teaching confirmation with LifeGuides freshman year and loved being around the people here. I went on the New Student Overnighter, came to Sunday Night Dinners, and attended Boiler Awakening 18 Spring of my freshman year. After my freshman year I found NAME and fell in love with the mission and the point of this ministry.

Favorite Bible Verse: Romans 8:28: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.”

Bio: I was born and say raised in New Hampshire, but have moved around my whole life. I have lived in 6 different states and moved 7 times: New Hampshire, Georgia, Massachusetts, Colorado, Texas, and Indiana. My current hometown is Westfield, IN. I am a cradle Catholic and have been to public and private schools. I love hanging out with my friends, immediate and extended family. There are 5 kids in my family, and I am the middle child. All my extended family lives in Massachusetts, so I love to frequently take trips back out East to see them and go to the beach! My sister and I love to bake, and we officially opened up our own online bakery this past spring (2020)!! If you ever see me on campus or at St. Tom’s do not be afraid to say hi!