With the astronomical cost of nursing homes, Monsignor Ray Lopatesky, the Director of Nazareth Village and the Director of Ministry to Senior Clergy, requested funding from Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli and the Presbyteral Council of the Diocese of Paterson for permission to construct a “home healthcare” facility that can accommodate some of our priests at a fraction of the cost of assisted living facilities. Home health care is more than simply living in a retirement residence, but less than living in a nursing home.
The home health care residence houses priests with special health needs, but not long term health care. The home health care model allows our priests to “age in place,” by providing them with shelter, companionship, hospitality, utilities, meals, and some, although limited, health and rehabilitative services.
The Bishop and the Presbyteral Council unanimously approved Monsignor Lopatesky’s request and provided the funding to construct this new facility. Bishop Serratelli named it “the Cabrini Residence” in honor of St Frances Xavier Cabrini, a nurse, teacher-missionary with special devotion to priests and the first naturalized American Saint.
Since diocesan priests are not called to live in community, like monks or friars, and have lived alone or with one or two other priests throughout their years of active ministry, privacy is an important concern. It is imperative that the priest residents have a secure feeling in their home.
The Cabrini Residence was built on an existing foundation. the Director and the architect tried to make the best use of available space. The Cabrini Residence has two non-split levels with an elevator and is totally handicapped accessible without appearing institutional.
The Diocese of Paterson pays for the continued day to day operation of Nazareth Village and the Cabrini Residence. In addition, the primary financial burden for construction of the Cabrini Residence is shouldered by the Diocese of Paterson, and the generosity of the people of God. However, the Director felt that the furnishings and accoutrements should be raised by the priests, and Friends of Nazareth Village apart from the capital expenditures placed on the diocese.