Time to Celebrate Our Social Workers!

To reflect on Social Work Month 2015, Villa St. Francis hosted lunch for a group of social work practitioners and students who are very much change agents and advocates for older adults.

At Villa St. Francis, our social workers and social work interns meet a variety of needs related to emotional well-being, connecting to resources, adjustment to assisted living, future planning and transitions. If you wonder how your loved one might benefit from working with one of our social workers, please contact us.


L to R: Roberta Hanus, Field Liaison at Helen Bader School of Social Welfare; Jackie Seibel, Social Work Intern at Villa St. Francis; Lisa Richardson, Director of Marketing/Community Relations at Villa St. Francis; Shari Azinger, Social Work Intern at Milwaukee Christian Center; Kelly Hagerty, Resident Relations Liaison at Villa St. Francis; Nicole Back, Support Services Manager at Villa St. Francis.

Wisdom of Ages: Maureen Haglund


Maureen, who is 95 years old, has been part of our Villa St. Francis community since January 2013. She took a quick break from her busy day to chat with us about travel, playing cards, and music.

What did you do for a living, Maureen?
“I worked at St. Francis Hospital as an admitting clerk for 22 years,” she said. Maureen considers her work at St. Francis to be her greatest life accomplishment.

“You had to be on the alert for any emergency coming in, get them banded, rush them down,” she said. “It was fun. In 22 years…I could tell you stories! I would’ve stayed longer, but my husband retired. So I quit, and I thought we could travel together.”

Did you and your husband travel together?
“Yes, a lot of bus tours. We got to see a lot of stuff,” Maureen said. “We went to western Canada, eastern Canada, Florida, California, the New England states. It’s just nice. You put your suitcase on the bus and go!”

Do you have a hobby?
“I love cards,” she said. In fact, Maureen has been in as many as four different card clubs at any time, and she plays gin rummy, 500, and sheepshead.

“I used to live in an apartment on 88th and Oklahoma. I met so many nice ladies there, and that’s where I had a sheepshead club,” she said. “We’d just go up one floor or down one floor to play cards together. So the ladies there would joke, ‘It’s raining, are you still going to make it to cards tonight?’”

Do you listen to music?
Maureen said, “Yes! I like jazz, and polkas, and waltz.”

“And Lawrence Welk, I always watch that, I just love that program,” she added. Her one “ungranted” wish?

“I never had one of these machines that you played music on,” she said. Sounds as though she’d like to have an iPod one day!

Go Red for Women!

On February 6th, Villa St. Francis participated in “National Wear Red Day” to raise awareness for women’s heart health. The Go Red for Women cause is near and dear to us, as many of our residents need to make healthy heart choices as part of their day-to-day lives. Villa St. Francis supports our residents not only by raising awareness, but also by encouraging exercise and serving up nutritious food in our Dining Room. If you visit us in the morning, you may find the residents doing balance class, tai chi, or yoga!

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Kelly Senior Center Cook-Off

Our very own Chef James Monfre recently participated in the Kelly Senior Center Cook-Off, making his famous Pumpkin Curry Soup for a good cause! (Apparently, pumpkin consumption helps with wrinkles. Who knew?) Spectators paid $5 to taste a cup of soup from each competitor. Congratulations to Wilson Commons, who won the competition’s traveling trophy with a delicious Potato Soup. Villa St. Francis is proud to have helped raise $255 to purchase items on the Kelly Senior Center “wish list.”


Here’s the Pumpkin Curry Soup recipe from Chef James:
2 T olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 qt. chicken broth
1 29oz can pumpkin puree
3 C potato, diced
1 T curry powder Salt and pepper, to taste
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

In a 4-quart soup pot over medium heat, sauté the diced onions in the olive oil until they’re transparent.

Add chicken broth, pumpkin, potatoes, and curry powder. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally until potatoes are tender. (Add water if the soup becomes too thick.) Add salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro before serving.


Lent Begins at Villa St. Francis

The residents of Villa St. Francis celebrated Mardi Gras with pączkis from the Polish Center, and began the Lenten season with Mass on Ash Wednesday. As a community, we’ll use Lent to prepare our hearts and minds for Easter. You’re welcome to join us for Stations of the Cross in the Villa St. Francis chapel on Fridays at 2:00 p.m.

Save the Date for Our 25th Anniversary!

Have you heard? The 25th Anniversary of Villa St. Francis is right around the corner. On June 20th, we’ll host a celebration here, so mark the date on your calendar!

Wisdom of the Ages: Dorothy Blasier

We’d like to introduce you to Dorothy, a resident of Villa St. Francis and the subject of today’s “Wisdom of the Ages.” Dorothy, who won our Crazy Hat Day prize for “Best Crazy Hat,” shared her story.

Do you have a fond memory you’d like to share?
“As a child, I picked cherries, apples, you name it! Once I met my husband, I moved from Door County to Milwaukee, where he worked at Caterpillar for 40 years.” Dorothy loved being married to her husband, and they were together for 62 years.

Do you have a favorite kind of music?
“I like polkas, jitterbugs…I was doing that today!” The Tichigan Two, a husband-and-wife duo, came to visit Villa St. Francis to play classic country/blues/polka tunes. Can you believe that Dorothy left her walker behind to dance to the music?

How would you suggest that a person be happy?
“Get out and get yourself a job,” she said. “And be good to people. Don’t fight. I’m the kind of person that if I have something, I’ll share it.” You’ve been at Villa St. Francis for 5 years.

What kind of advice would you give to a new resident?
“Get out of your room, that’s the only way to get to know people,” Dorothy said. “We play coverall every night, and bingo too, when they have it. If some people want to join, the more the merrier.”

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Villa St. Francis Spirit Week


Jan. 19-23 was National Activity Professionals Week! To celebrate, Carina Pabon, our Life Enrichment Coordinator, organized a “Team Spirit Week” for us. Villa St. Francis had something going on every day, like Crazy Hat Day, Heritage Thursday, and Sports Team Day, to name a few!

Both staff members and residents participated, and we awarded a prize every day for the “best dressed.” The residents voted by a show of hands or a round of applause. “It makes us, as caregivers and professionals, more human. And it makes us all family, which I think is wonderful,” said Lisa Richardson, our Director of Marketing and Community Relations.

In spite of the Packer loss against the Seahawks in the NFC Championship game, most of us did wear green and gold on Sports Team Day. We have a lot of loyal Packer fans here at Villa St. Francis, so we celebrate the colors whether Green Bay wins or loses!

Christmas Spirit is Alive & Well


There’s Christmas cheer to spare at Villa St. Francis! In keeping with tradition, Sr. Barbara blessed our beautiful Christmas tree. We’re happy to be thankful for the blessings we’ve been given–especially the presence of our family and friends.

To celebrate the Christmas season, the Wilson Senior Center Recorders and students from St. Martini Lutheran School stopped by to entertain us with carols. Our residents love to hear music in the lobby!

Giving Tree Benefits Hope House

To help end homelessness in Milwaukee, Villa St. Francis uses our Giving Tree to support Hope House. During the Christmas season, our residents, family members of residents, and employees have donated clothing, children’s books and toys, winter coats, hats, and mittens, and toiletries to bring comfort to others.

Hope House provides a long-term place to stay for homeless men, women, and children in Milwaukee. Villa St. Francis is honored to demonstrate our Felician Core Values of respect for human dignity and solidarity with the poor by providing assistance to help others. Sr. Barbara will deliver the donated items just in time for Christmas!