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Words of Wisdom from our Saint Therese Friends

At the start of every New Year, we tend to look back at the past year, reflect on it and then quickly move forward to what we want to accomplish, or change about ourselves, in the year ahead.

To give us some advice on how to conduct ourselves in 2024, last year we asked residents at our Saint Therese senior living communities in Woodbury, Brooklyn Park and New Hope, to share some “words of wisdom” or a tip that they’d like others to know. With January almost in our rearview mirror, we now want to offer up their thoughts. (We didn’t ask for permission to use their names, so only include names for those we have.)

  • Alice Houchins (right), a resident at Saint Therese of New Hope, wanted people to remember that “faith, family and friends are what’s most important.” For those who are married, she also suggested “give your spouse space.” That is something she did during her 76 years of marriage to her husband, Ken, who passed away last year.
  • Said another, “It is not what you did that you regret, but what you didn’t do.”
  • One resident from Saint Therese at Oxbow Lake borrowed from a quote by theologian John Wesley: “First of all, do no harm. Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, to all the people you can, as ever long as you can.”
  • “Thank Jesus every day for the gift of faith. Prayer is powerful!”
  • “Do not spend money you don’t have. If you can’t afford it, you don’t need it. Do not carry grudges— forgive and forget. Value your siblings; they are a gift. Help out your neighbors.”
  • One resident said to follow the acronym PUSH: Pray Until Something Happens.
  • Said Sally Riepe (right) at Saint Therese of Woodbury, “Always treat others in a way you would want to be treated. A smile and a “how are you?, always brings out a smile in others. Look for ways (even small ones), where you can make a difference. Thank God every day for the life and blessings he has given us. Pray for the unfortunate people who have no respect for human life.”
  • “Wake up each morning with a song—even when things go wrong. Keep a stiff upper lip, grin and bear it, when you are feeling good or not, at least you are still ‘upright,’ tell yourself, well that is ‘downright’ good.”
  • “Use your talents and act with piety in your relations with others. Always speak respectfully.”
  • “Be holy and walk with truth before God. If married, show honor and respect to your spouse. Exercise moderately and eat a balanced diet.”
  • And finally, Forrest Christofferson (right) at Saint Therese of Oxbow Lake offered up a song with some implied advice about the benefits of living at Saint Therese. A portion of his lyrics are, “I got a new lease on life…No more shoveling snow, no grass to mow, no more back and forth to Home Depot. I got a new lease on life. Now I’m meeting new friends and the longer I’m here, the more the friendships increase!”

Thank you to all of our sage residents for their thoughts! Good advice for 2024.