Mission & Values

Our Mission

Villa St. Francis continues the ministry of Jesus by providing person-centered services to meet the contemporary needs of aging individuals and their families.

To publish a mission statement is a bold action. It takes conviction and is at the heart of a ministry. At Villa St. Francis we cherish our Mission Statement. It gives us our identity as we strive to put it into action each and every day. It serves as our guide in caring for our residents.

At the Villa we all believe in and put into practice the Five Felician Core Values for Ministry:

  • Respect for Human Dignity
  • Compassion
  • Transformation
  • Solidarity with the Poor
  • Justice and Peace

Taken together these provide a road map that gives purpose and direction to the care we provide to those who have chosen to live here.

Our Core Values

Mission & Spirituality Corner

The past year has been difficult for all, our residents, their families and our staff. When times are as difficult as they still are, just getting through the day can be a challenge with hopes of a better tomorrow. Our Mission at Villa St. Francis Assisted Living and Memory Care calls us to treat all persons with compassionate care. This is not only a call for Villa St. Francis, but a call for all humanity to recognize God in every person we meet. We all go through rough patches, struggles and trauma. Remembering that behind the eyes of every person you meet is a story.

As Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” What we say and what we do, and how we say it and do it, makes a difference. Be the difference with compassionate and caring words and actions affirming our humanity. Compassion can be contagious and inspirational!

The definition of compassion is a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering. Though they are sometimes used interchangeably, sympathy, empathy and compassion are very different. All consist of feeling, but it is the depth of the feeling and what transpires from it that make the distinction.

  • Sympathy – When I feel sympathy, I feel FOR you. I feel sad that you’re having a bad time, but there is distance between me and your pain. I don’t actually feel it. It’s more of an intellectual exercise than a participative one. I can recognize that things are awful for you, but I’m not affected.
  • Empathy – When I feel empathy, I feel WITH you. I tune into your emotional experience. I more than intellectualize what you’re going through; I vicariously experience some of it. Whether or not I have gone through a similar experience, I can imagine what it would be like and, in my brain, my understanding of your emotion has me experiencing it myself. I am definitely affected, sometimes profoundly.
  • Compassion – When I feel compassion, my empathy provokes me to take action. Doing something seems to be the distinguishing feature of compassion. True compassion puts your needs ahead of my own. I stand with you.

When the emotions we feel cause us to do something to help others in a vulnerable situation, we are closer to compassion. We recognize (sympathy), identify with and feel their pain (empathy), and are inspired or impelled to alleviate it. So we bring a blanket when someone is cold, sit with another and listen when they are lonely, whatever we can do. Maybe all we can do is meet their eyes with ours to let them know we care.

Prayer for Compassion

God, thank you for loving me. Clothe me with compassion towards others. Make it radiate from my actions and deeds. You are the example for love. Help me to be a similar example for other people. Give me a selfless spirit that seeks first to serve others. Amen.
Colossians 3:12 adapted

Questions for Reflection

What does your faith, tradition or spirituality say about compassion?
When you have been suffering, what compassionate act was helpful to you?
Reflect on some ways you can be more compassionate.

Carolyn Grunfelder, Director of Mission Integration
Villa St. Francis Assisted Living and Memory Care, Milwaukee, Wisconsin | Sponsored by the Felician Sisters

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