Notre Dame Village officially opened with a dedication ceremony held Thursday, August 16, 2018. Bishop Roger Gries and Father Dan Schlegel blessed the grounds and buildings with an intimate gathering. Following the blessing, guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and tours of the apartments, cottage homes and small houses. Jennings President and CEO Allison Q. Salopeck acknowledged the synergy between the Sisters of the Holy Spirit, who sponsor Jennings, and Sisters of Notre Dame, Chardon, in an effort to serve people of all faiths. “The partnership that has been forged to create this new community, this new neighborhood, is set to begin a new era of two women religious communities and two organizations whose mission it is to serve.”
In her welcoming remarks, Mrs. Salopeck shared that Jennings is proud to have been the trusted developer and now the operator of Notre Dame Village. “We are excited to offer these new homes in the form of cottages, apartments and the assisted living houses and most importantly to welcome the people that will live here. Jennings intention is to take full advantage of the campus of living and learning and create an intergenerational community that includes opportunities, engagement and relationships that allow for continued growth for all ages.”
Sister Margaret Mary Gorman, Provincial Superior, commented on the reason the sisters brought this project to life. “The Sisters of Notre Dame have a rich history of service in a variety of ministries, specifically education. With the addition of Notre Dame Village, we have the opportunity to extend our charism and expand our ministry in healthcare.”
Sister Margaret explained that there is a historic connection between Jennings and Sisters of Notre Dame. When Monsignor Gilbert P. Jennings passed away in 1941, he left a planned gift to establish a rest home in his name. The Diocese of Cleveland first approached the Sisters of Notre Dame, who were already committed to a ministry of education. The Diocese engaged the Sisters of the Holy Spirit, who had recently ended a ministry to orphans due to the opening of Parmadale. Thus a new era of ministry began in Garfield Heights by establishing Jennings, which now provides a continuum of care across four locations.
In closing, Mrs. Salopeck acknowledged the many hearts and hands that were part of creating this new neighborhood. “I want to acknowledge and thank each of you- those who were there at the beginning of the idea to those of you who joined us yesterday- thank you for being part of this new community and I applaud and congratulate you for the wonderful place that it is and the wonderful place that it will continue to be.”