Jude Franko has provided pastoral care to hospice patients at Our Lady of Peace for almost a decade, and now it’s time for her to do the other things she loves, with best wishes from a grateful community.
This is a second retirement for Jude who came into our residential and community hospice programs following a notable career in nursing and teaching. During her time here, she has given the gift of spiritual care to patients and families and provided support as they said their final goodbyes.
Jude reaches out and interacts with clergy across denominations, within the faith communities that serve her patients. “You don’t have to be Catholic to receive pastoral care at Our Lady of Peace,” she said. “We are here to provide support to everyone, regardless of their beliefs, and the team can relieve a lot of anxiety for families and provide a lot of support.”
During her time at OLP, Jude has worked on multiple residential and community hospice teams, alongside nurses and social workers, and says she has enjoyed every moment of it. “I’ve liked working with every team I’ve been on,” she said. “The people at Our Lady of Peace practice what they preach, putting the patient first, and working together. I can’t tell you how good this organization is.”
Jude Franko has given to OLP in so many ways, including a monthly donation that helps us provide care at no cost, and the gift of comfort crosses that come from Bethlehem. And, together with OLP volunteers and staff, she gives her time when it’s needed most. “I remember a 96-year-old woman who said she didn’t want to die alone” said Jude. “I got her some prayer books with big print and we spent time together.” Before the patient passed, she looked at me and said, “I won’t die alone.”
The patients and families of Our Lady of Peace are among Jude’s fondest memories. “I get close to them,” she said. “And, I miss them when their gone.” Memories of Jude Franko will also remain vivid at our Lady of Peace. “Jude has brought her years of nursing experience to her Chaplain role where she blended her sense of spirituality with her ability to provide TLC,” says Nancy Larson, Director of Community Hospice & Homecare. “She has a unique way of meeting patients ‘where they are’, without judgement or hesitation. She has blessed many of our patients, families and staff members with her loving presence.”
Jude’s final thoughts as she exits Our Lady of Peace to travel and go antiquing with her husband: “Thank you very much for this beautiful experience. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. And, if I hadn’t had it, I never would have known about this place and where to come, when I need it.”