Frequently Asked Questions
- What is SALT and who is it for?
- How long is SALT and what does it cost?
- What do missionaries do during SALT?
- What can I expect to get out of my time at SALT?
- How do I apply and when is the application deadline?
- Where will the missionaries stay for the 2021 Program?
- What COVID-19 precautions will be taken throughout the 2021 program?
- How and when should missionaries travel to the Motherhouse?
- What should I bring with me?
- I’m not comfortable joining in person for 2021, can I participate virtually?
Serving the Aged Lovingly Today (SALT) is a mission program hosted by the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm. Young women ages 18-40 serve in one of the 20 nursing homes sponsored by the Carmelite Sisters. We average 5-7 participants on each program and offer the opportunity to engage with other women who are passionate about service tothe elderly. Past locations have included Dublin, Ireland; Columbus, OH; Albany, NY; Staten Island NY; and Naperville, IL. Missionaries do not have to be discerning avocation to religious life or even be Catholic; however, we ask that all missionaries attend daily Mass and prayers with the Sisters and residents.
It costs nothing! Room and board, as well as our signature blue SALT t-shirts, are provided free of charge. However, missionaries are responsible for taking care of their own travel expenses and pocket money. Each SALT program is approximately a week long with an option to extend an additional week.
Our mission is to serve the elderly who often feel abandoned. This can take many forms. We strive to incorporate the unique talents of our missionaries into service, whether that be arts and crafts, singing, or even baton twirling! Each day begins with a half hour learning session on an aspect of spiritual or geriatric care followed by Mass with the residents and Sisters. Following the Liturgy, a combination of group activities and outings are scheduled with the residents, as well as plenty of time for one-on-one visits.
The richness and depth of a week of giving of oneself to others can best be experienced rather than described; however, our missionaries consistently report that SALT changed their lives. They say that they “fell in love” with the residents and experience the awakening of a desire to give their lives as a gift to others. Several heard a call to join the Carmelite Sisters during SALT and have since entered our Congregation. All leave with deepened spirituality, listening and life skills to bring to every future relationship, and an understanding of how meaningful their presence is to those in need.
When applying, please submit an application, agreement, emergency/health form, and reference. After submitting all pieces of the application, we will contact you for an informal interview. The purpose is to get to know you and answer any questions you have. Applications are due a month before the beginning of each program, or until the limited number of available spots are filled.
Missionaries will have individual accommodations in the retreat house at the Carmelite Sisters’ Motherhouse in Germantown, NY.
What COVID-19 precautions will be taken throughout the 2021 program?
We will follow the guidance of NYS regarding the mask mandate, asking that participants wear their masks when in public spaces and gatherings of people who are not vaccinated.
Each missionary will have use of a personal sink in their room, to decrease the amount of time and traffic in the communal bathroom.
Our activities will be dictated by our ability to travel and visit local nursing homes; based on the established protocols for each facility. If we are not able to visit the residents in person, our programming with them will be done virtually from the Motherhouse (or remotely if you would like to participate from home.)
How and when should missionaries travel to the Motherhouse?
The Sisters will help any missionary traveling from a distance to get from the airport/train station/bus station to the Motherhouse.
Kingston Bus Station
Poughkeepsie Train Station
Rhinecliff Train Station
If it is more convenient to travel the day before or after the program, the SALT Team will assist and accommodate missionaries as needed.
What should I bring with me?
We will give you a blue SALT t-shirt to wear for the week during program hours, so you won’t have to pack too many shirts.
2-3 shirts to wear outside the program hours
sturdy, comfortable closed-toe shoes
shorts, pants, or skirts- jeans are just fine, but remember that we are representing Christ to our residents and should dress respectfully
a sweater or 2, as it might be chilly in evenings
a jacket or rain coat, just in case
I’m not comfortable joining in person for 2021, can I participate virtually?
Yes! Whether our in-person participants are visiting the homes or ministering virtually we will have a virtual component so that those of us who are not comfortable traveling yet can still participate. We will be serving the residents with a companion for the week, whether that be through phone, email, letter, or video call. Please join us for a few hours a day from the comfort of your home.