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Nursing Home Resident Learns to Read for Confirmation in the Catholic Faith

July 20, 2009

Shirley Vandebogart, a 52 year-old resident at St. Catherine Labourè Health Center at Sisters of Charity Hospital, will be receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation during a special ceremony being held at the hospital.

What makes this story truly special is that Shirley, who suffers from developmental disabilities, among other medical conditions, learned to read in order to make this important commitment to her faith. After receiving the sacraments of Baptism, Reconciliation and Eucharist earlier in her life, Shirley had always wanted to be confirmed, but felt not being able to read was holding her back from taking this next step in the Catholic faith.

With the help of the St. Catherine staff, including Chaplin intern Dave Richards, a seminarian at Christ the King, and literacy volunteers, Shirley spent the last two years learning how to read and preparing for her confirmation. In addition to developing a deeper understanding of her faith, the ability to read has opened up a whole new world for Shirley, who has been a resident at St. Catherine’s for the past three years.

The confirmation takes place on July 22, 2009 at 11 a.m. at Sisters Hospital Chapel.

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