Though Sister Isaac has moved and settled in with her community in Rhinebeck, her spirit certainly lives on at the Center. The reception room, where we greet 35+ guests most morning, has a memory wall.
There are some of the awards presented to her over the years, pictures of volunteers past and present, framed newspaper clippings and magazine articles in her honor, as well as inspirational wallhangings and a print of a sunflower (Sister’s favorite).
The Center office is very warm and inviting. The walls are exposed brick, the floors are covered with print carpets, the lighting is soft and there are two windows simply covered with shears to allow the sunlight in and to allow a view of the historic oak tree. (Sister refused the addition of a window air conditioner; she didn’t want it to obstruct the view!)
The walls are full of icons and other interesting artwork. There’s a large dreamcatcher hanging from the ceiling, one of a few touches of Indian culture in the room in honor of Sister’s namesake, St Isaac Jogues, a Jesuit priest, missionary and martyr who ministered to Native American Indians. And to add to the ambiance, there is usually a scented candle burning.
All in all, it creates a comfortable setting for a one on one talk with a guest requesting financial help to better understand their needs. Often times, they are able to expound on their personal plights; we offer them a safe place to discuss their burdens without being judged and we offer any advice we may have. Many times it’s relief for them to tell us their story and just to have someone listen and give encouragement. We offer financial assistance if we determine it is appropriate and timely (In order to spread out our help throughout the community, we limit financial help to once every six months.)
Feel free to stop by sometime for a tour.