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51 Seminary Avenue
Reading, PA 19605

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“You’ve Got Mail!”

“You’ve Got Mail!” Moviegoers and AOL subscribers should recognize that phrase. It is AOL’s option for announcing that you’ve received an email. It is also the title of a popular film starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. To many lonely people in Berks County and beyond, it’s a welcome reminder that someone cares.

With the introduction of commercial greeting cards in 1846, the effort needed to express one’s feelings and thoughts was somewhat reduced — the need to compose your own personal thoughts was also reduced. At least, you could sign your own name in your own handwriting.

The advent of computers and printers meant you could create a letter-perfect letter and still sign your name for that personal touch. Emails and texts are quick and easy, but the only personal touch is the recipient touching the screen or keyboard. None of these methods of communication is bad — they are just missing a hard-to-explain but tangible personal touch, dulling the sheen of individual personality.

The use of store-bought cards has increased as personal contacts have decreased in this age of COVID restrictions. Written and electronic communications are more necessary than ever, and the need to handwrite notes seems unnecessary. However, as any faraway soldier or otherwise “remote” person can tell you, that phrase, “You’ve got mail!”, tells the recipient to get out the letter opener (or butter knife or whatever is at hand). A phone call, email, or text is better than nothing, but nothing counts quite like a handwritten epistle, and the feeling of opening an envelope and unfurling a piece of paper containing the invisible fingerprints of the sender.

We may be hesitant to write notes because we think we don’t know what to say, and besides, greeting card writers work hard and get paid a lot to express “our” feelings. However, only you know what you want to say, and to have a handwritten note with a few personal words is a precious gift to the recipient. A lot of love and support flows through that pen when it meets paper, and knowing that our words are directed to that one person and not thousands of shoppers is priceless. And like fine leather, little flaws make a handwritten letter more authentic. Sharpen your quill, open your heart, buy a stamp, and make someone’s day!

The Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ created Sacred Heart Villa (formerly St. Michael Convent) in 2003 with the vision of providing a personal care home for the Sisters and other seniors of southeastern Pennsylvania. The Sisters renovated St. Michael in order to create 35 personal care residential rooms. Sacred Heart Villa officially opened her doors to her first new residents in May 2004, with space for 57 Sisters and 40 other senior residents.

The facility has two residential buildings, a remodeled dining room, a new fireside lounge, library, café, and beauty shop. The chapel remains in the middle of the facility for it truly is the Heart of the community. Each new residential room provides an individual with privacy, safety, and security in an environment of beauty and grace. Mass is celebrated each day and is open to the public.

Sacred Heart Villa is now accepting residents. If you are seeking care for yourself or a loved one, contact Sacred Heart Villa today at 610-929-5751 for a tour. You can also visit us at