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Photographer / Jubilee Edgell

Earlier this year, the Maria Center in Donaldson celebrated its 30th anniversary. On June 23, they hosted an anniversary celebration. They hosted a time capsule ceremony and provided tours of their facility.

The Maria Center was first opened in January of 1989 by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, a religious sisterhood. They were looking for an effective use of their Mother House. The decision to turn the space into a senior living facility came to be after the sisters took a survey. It proved to be a good decision, as 16% of people in the United States are over the age of 65.

Today, the Maria Center is a busy place. Residents are constantly involved in different activities, particularly, they try to provide plenty of volunteer programs.

Some of these volunteer activities directly impact resident enjoyment and the Poor Handmaids’ ministries, like this year’s Valentine’s Day fundraiser. They offered Singing Telegrams, with the proceeds going to the Poor Handmaids. Around Easter, the Center hosts an annual egg hunt, for which residents of the Maria Center can volunteer to help stuff eggs.

Residents focus a lot on organizations outside of the area, too.

“We help to sort and organize items for the local Operation Quiet Comfort that supports troops overseas,” says Resident Manager Becky Anspach. “We also most recently hosted a Strawberry Shortcake fundraiser, where the funds were directed to Sojourner Truth House in Gary.”

Coming up on October 23, the Maria Center will be hosting a Senior Summit, which welcomes all seniors and their caregivers. Participants will have the opportunity to hear from senior living experts, as well as opportunities to learn about laws and benefits. There will even be a fashion show during the event. Perspective attendees are invited to watch for more details coming soon.

Those looking to live within the Maria Center are certain to feel at home in a comfortable, safe, religious community.

“[Our rent includes] three meals a day (seven days a week), 24-hour emergency health services (EMT on staff), quality activities, bi-weekly cleaning, cable TV, exercise, culture, [intergenerational] activities, wireless Internet, reserved parking or local transportation, education through Ancilla College, and utilities, with the exception of phone, all within a religious community,” Becky explains.

In order to live at the Maria Center, individuals must complete an application. Applicants must be at least 62 years of age. They must have a physician’s statement of independent status, and they must meet additional medical and financial criteria.

Hopeful residents who need some help with daily activities need not worry about being denied — the Maria Center offers support services to be as inclusive as possible

“There is so much to learn about us,” Becky says. “We invite you to visit us soon.”

You can visit the Maria Center at 9601 Union Road in Donaldson (about 7 miles south of Plymouth). You can also visit them online at catherinekasperlifecenter.org. For more information, give them a call at 574-935-1784.

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