Holy Cross Church in Dryden sends extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist every Sunday to bring communion to Oak Hill Manor Nursing Home in Ithaca, except the weeks that Fr. Malachy (Eloo) Nwosu celebrates monthly Mass. After one of the monthly Masses earlier this year, Geraldine Patterson, 97 years young, asked if she could still make her confirmation.
A cradle Catholic, Patterson was baptized Feb. 3, 1919 at Immaculate Conception Church in Ithaca. She received first Holy Communion but had never celebrated confirmation. Fr. Eloo readily said yes to her request and proceeded to ask permission from Bishop Salvatore R. Matano to celebrate Gerry’s confirmation. Catechesis was done with Gerry by Mary Ann Kozak, pastoral associate for Holy Cross Parish.
Gerry’s daughter, Patricia Herbison, served as Gerry’s sponsor. Gerry’s son and daughter and their families came on Monday, May 9, and witnessed Gerry’s joyous confirmation along with the nursing home residents and Holy Cross pianist, Jeanne Pellerin and Holy Cross coordinator of extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist for Oak Hill Manor, Nan Lisk. The Holy Spirit inspired Gerry to become the first 97-year-old for whom Fr. Eloo had ever celebrated confirmation!