There has been a special friendship blossoming for 23 years on Dover Point Road. Every year, it blooms anew as new groups of STA students meet the acquaintance of St. Ann Rehabilitation Home residents.
Over two decades ago, Theology teacher Mr. Patrick McCafferty organized the St. Ann Visitors Program at St. Thomas Aquinas. This program invites students to spend their free hour to walk next door and visit their neighbors. What has grown from an idea is a wonderful, long-term relationship between two genres of people- the young and the not-so-young.
With a simple knock on the door, St. Thomas Aquinas students ask residents if they’d like a visitor. Over the course of a few minutes or 40 minutes, residents and students share their stories. And those stories- although separated by generations- are remarkably similar. They are stories of family, relationships, love, loss, and the passing of time.
The rewards of this program come in priceless packages- laughter, smiles, and winks. What perhaps only a trained eye can see is that every encounter unwraps a deeper gift- the dissolution of loneliness, the temporary cessation of aches, the suspension of sadness.
Across the miles of time lies a beautiful bridge, one where the elderly and adolescents can meet… and forge a forever friendship.