Archbishop Currie's Homily
60th Anniversary of St. Patrick's Mercy Home
Caring for the sick has always been at the heart of the Gospel, "I was sick and you visited me - lonely etc. and it has found its way into the social teaching of the Church.
When Archbishop Skinner arrived in the city and saw the state of affairs of the poor, the sick and elderly he published in the Monitor announcing his intention to build "an institution dedicated to succoring the poor, the infirm and the aged".
He explained, "The institution will provide a desired haven of quiet and care for the aged and infirm... it will be open to all creeds and to all classes with or without sufficient means.
On September 8, 1957, an impressive ceremony took place with the official opening of St. Patrick's Mercy Home & Convent although the home was not ready for occupancy.
On January 6, 1958, the Sisters began making the home ready and on January 20, 1958, the Sisters welcomed their first guest in the person of Father Andrew Nolan.
The building quickly filling up under the leadership, dedication and sacrifice of the Sisters of Mercy, who for the past sixty years have given their time, talent and treasure to the ministry of caring so that the reputation of St. Patrick's Nursing Home is recognized far and wide as a place of caring and compassion rooted in Gospel values.
The gathering here tonight speaks to the relevance of the Word of God that as Isiah reminds us the word that went out has achieved what it was sent to do.
You who have gathered here tonight are links in a chain, an organic chain, more of a vine, really, that traces its history and spiritual roots right back to the person of Jesus Christ.
In Jesus' life and ministry when the sick were cared for, the lonely comforted, aged given dignity then the Good News was made manifest for all to see, hear and be transformed.
The same signs of the Reign of God that takes place at St. Pats proclaim Good News today. You gathered here are some of those who are proclaimers.
Through your compassion, dedication, training and skill others come to know the presence and the healing, and the transformation and the power of Jesus Christ.
You and those caring like-spirited souls, with, and among, whom you labour, day in and day out, are the means through which the Gospel is proclaimed today.
Jesus the revelation of God the healer, the caring one continues to be the foundation and cornerstone of St. Patrick's Mercy Home.
The vehicles and means through which that very Gospel centered vision of care is delivered may have changed greatly over the 60 years but its continued vitality and relevance are signs of the power of the Resurrection and transformation of Jesus alive in our midst.
The Good News is not something extraneous to St. Pat's Mercy Home it is its very identity.
Those dedicated nurses, doctors, pastoral care workers, cleaners, laundry etc., are all, in their own way Good News for the sick, the lonely, and the troubled and for their families and loved ones.
Through your skills, and dedication you not only heal and care but you bring hope and dignity where at times it is trampled underfoot, possibilities for sensitive caring flourishes where once it seemed lost. The Good News still being proclaimed in our hearing.
Caring and compassion was the hallmark of Jesus' ministry, it continues to be the ministry of Church and it is made real by the staff of St. Patrick's Mercy Home who exercise a vital ministry in the Church.
In addition, your concern for ethics in the ministry of caring reminds the world that technology and advancement for its own sake is not acceptable as everything must always be placed at the service of the human person, with dignity and the common good weighing into the balance.
I am very pleased to be part of this gathering. I wish to extend a heartfelt thanks to the Sisters of Mercy for all that they have done at St. Pat's over these past 60 years, and to all the staff from the Administration, doctors and nurses down to the cleaners and laundry who have done so much to make St. Pat's a light shining in the darkness.
May God continue to bless you and give you the wisdom and strength to continue your ministry of caring.