New Jersey Friary Staff Member Receives Francis Medal

Wendy Healy Around the Province

RINGWOOD, N.J. — A generous spirit, a cheerful heart, a listening ear.

For these reasons, and many others, Evelyn Manger, director of operations, activities and admissions at Holy Name Friary in Ringwood, recently received the Francis Medal.

Whether she’s doing errands for friars on her free time, shopping for items they need, or simply being their confidant, Manger is an essential member of the friary team, according to guardian A. Francis Soucy, OFM.

“A dedicated employee since 1991, Manger has shown an excellence in every area of responsibility that is attached to her title,” he said. “In addition, she has gone far beyond her job description to act in areas that needed attention to keep the friary in compliance with state and federal regulations.”

Manger, who received the award at a recent staff meeting, said she was taken by surprise. “I was busy writing some notes about the meeting, when Fr. Francis described the medal and then said my name.”

Manger holds a license in nursing home administration and enjoys taking continuing education courses to keep her license current.

“She is deeply loved by the friars,” said Francis, “because they can confidently approach her with any concern, and she will resolve it, or, if necessary, bring it to the attention of the guardian for resolution.”

In addition, he added: “She is extremely conscientious in making sure the friars have everything they need (and reasonably want) and that the care they receive from the staff is not just good, but excellent. I can’t praise her enough for her compassion, dedication, love, and determination to ensure the friary’s goal of providing each friar with the quality of life he deserves.”

This friary is an exemplary well-run facility, and is often cited as one of the best nursing homes in New Jersey. Francis said: “Largely because of her efforts, the friary has been repeatedly declared deficiency-free after annual inspections. The administrator’s duties are significantly lessened because of her trustworthiness and competence.”

Manger responded to the award with humility and gratitude.

“Working at Holy Name Friary has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. It is unlike working at any other facility. The interaction between the friars and the staff and the concern for each other lends itself to a more homelike atmosphere. Once again, I can only say ‘Thank you.’”

— Wendy Healy, a Connecticut based freelance writer, is a frequent contributor to HNP Today.