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May 18, 2005


May is Older Americans Month but at all times you can find Catholic Social Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia working for seniors. Some examples can be found in the Norris Square and Hunting Park section of Philadelphia ~ bringing seniors and young mothers together for knitting and life lessons.

The Casa Godmother Program (Las Madrinas de Casa), is an intergenerational program which brings older adults who are participants at the Norris Square Senior Community Center with young mothers at Casa del Carmen, a Family Services Center. Both Norris Square and Casa del Carmen are programs of Catholic Social Services (CSS) in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Every Friday, the Norris Square seniors use their talents in knitting, embroidery and sewing to create baby blankets and baby clothes to be given to these mothers of newborn babies. In addition, the older women, the "Madrinas," teach their handicraft skills to the young mothers. Together the different generations create baby clothes and blankets which will be used by the mothers for their newborn sons and daughters. The seniors also hand down the wisdom they gained raising their own children. It is a sharing of gifts of both handicrafts and life experiences.

Casa del Carmen Family Service Center and the Norris Square Senior Community Center are located in predominantly Latino sections of North Philadelphia. Both facilities are supported by the annual Catholic Charities Appeal.

Catholic Social Services in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia operates five Senior Service Centers in Philadelphia. There are also programs for seniors at the CSS Family Services Centers, located in all of the counties of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties).

For a complete listing of CSS Senior Service Centers and Family Service Centers, visit the Catholic Social Services web site.

Donna Farrell
Director of Communications

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