Special gifts enable unique cancer care program
For the past two years, Sister Elizabeth Oleksak, SP has found herself in a unique position. She has received two generous donations to Genesis Spiritual Life and Conference Center with the ability to use the funds at her discretion.
As foundress of Genesis 45 years ago, Sister Elizabeth could envision many ways to expend these funds, but among them, she wanted to select an approach that touched on the Sisters of Providence mission to bring hope and healing to those in need. One program she chose is using the funds to offer free stays at Genesis Spiritual Life Center for individuals, whether living with cancer, in remission from cancer, or people caring for loved ones or family members with cancer.
“I usually talk to the persons initially after the inquiry since everyone has a remarkable story to tell,” commented Sister Elizabeth who herself is a breast cancer survivor. “I have had seven people in my immediate family with cancer so I’ve had a lot of experience with cancer in my family.”
Sister Elizabeth arranges for persons selected to design their own stay, such as an oncology massage, a spiritual direction session or a BioSpiritual Focusing session, or an appointment with Genesis’ in-house yoga therapist. Others may take advantage of the opportunity to do artwork, journaling or reflecting about their process. The respite stays, which include lodgings and home-cooked meals, can be for one or two nights from Monday through Thursday. During a stay, visitors also can enjoy their comfortable bedrooms, walking the spacious, meditative grounds, and spending quiet time in chapel.
Eight women have experienced the presence of a loving God through the warmth of human caring, a listening ear, and the natural beauty that surrounds them at Genesis. In the words of one guest: ‘I feel like I have been hugged.’”
—Sister Elizabeth Oleksak, SP
Commenting on the encounters to date, Sister Elizabeth said that “Eight women have experienced the presence of a loving God through the warmth of human caring, a listening ear, and the natural beauty that surrounds them at Genesis. In the words of one guest: ‘I feel like I have been hugged.’”
“I am honored to have received these very generous donations,” she added, “and feel my friends have blessed, not only the recipients of their goodness, but all at Genesis Spiritual Life Center.”