The Health Care Association of New Jersey (HCANJ) presented Monsignor James Finnerty with the ‘Resident Better Life Award’ at the 70th Annual HCANJ Convention and Expo at Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City. Fr. Finnerty was nominated based on his outstanding contributions toward enhancing the lives of our fellow residents. With a personality inspirational to us all, Fr. Finnerty was selected by a panel of judges within the HCANJ.
In his 63 years of priesthood, Fr. Finnerty worked at St. Paul’s Church in Jersey City and has provided religious services at St. Ann’s for decades, while becoming a spiritual advisor for many. As a resident himself, Fr. Finnerty offers grief counseling for friends, families, and other residents who are in need of spiritual healing or have suffered a significant loss. He recently created a pen pal program with his former students, who have successfully worked with local schools and volunteer groups to send handwritten letters to our residents at Peace Care St. Ann’s.
Fr. Finnerty is best described by our staff as “a wise man with a good perspective on life, exuding a warm, loving, and welcoming feeling to those around him.” He believes small gestures, such as greeting passing visitors and residents will go a long way to ensure everyone is acknowledged at St. Ann’s and doesn’t feel ignored. He has even taught himself sign language in order to interact with the deaf or mute. Our residents appreciate his fun sense of humor and desire to cheer up anyone’s mood, going out of his way to show compassion and share social interaction.