The beautiful veranda of Marycrest Manor in Culver City was the perfect place to sit and watch the unfolding of a beautiful and inspiring event – the annual Mother Luisita Luncheon. The view revealed the heart and the essence of Marycrest Manor and the joy with which its residents, staff and friends greet each day. We watched the preparations, the event itself, and the final moments of good-bye. We saw love, companionship, teamwork, and just plain fun.

Carmelite Sisters converged early in the morning, driving up the winding hill to help out during the day. Young postulants and novices joined together with the Luncheon Committee to make the final preparations. Beautiful flowers abounded throughout the plaza and spilled onto the tables themselves. From our vantage point, we saw the love that went into each detail from those flower arrangements, to the table settings, to the lovely meal itself. Emcee Jim Drollinger kept the event flowing, between highlighting auction items and introducing the program, Jim made sure every guest knew just what was going on.

While enjoying their delicious lunch, guests had the pleasure of listening to a welcome by Sister Veronica del Carmen, Administrator of Marycrest, watching the magnificent presentation by the residents, listening to the singing of the Carmelite Sisters, and finally concluding with the following powerful words from Mother Judith, Superior General of the Carmelite Sisters.

“Our mission to care for the sick, the elderly, and the education of children is therefore a cherished legacy that has been entrusted to us by our Foundress, Mother Luisita, who is now a Candidate for sainthood. We embrace our mission as a precious gift, a singular privilege, one which no governmental regulations, societal demands or other challenges will take from us, PLEASE GOD! Our Mother Foundress was faced with many trials and personal sufferings, while living amidst a horrendous religious persecution raging in her native Mexico in the early part of the 20th century. But she never wavered in her efforts to serve the sick, the elderly and children. We, who are blessed to be her spiritual daughters can do no less. We are absolutely committed to being at the service of the family for LIFE.”

As we said our goodbyes to the final guest, a woman walked over and said “Excuse me. I’m here to inquire about bringing my mom to Marycrest; she has just had surgery and needs skilled nursing. I think I’ve found the right place.”

Yes, the right place, that says it all.