Blessing of the St John of God Hospital
BLESSING OF THE ST JOHN OF GOD HOSPITAL GEELONG SPECIALIST CENTRE CELEBRATED BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS HART ON WEDNESDAY 21 APRIL 2010 AT 5.45 PM
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I am pleased to be with you here at St John of God Hospital, because I value highly the presence of Catholic Health Care in Geelong and the particular initiative of the St John of God Sisters and their collaborators in this magnificent hospital. I am delighted to bless the Specialist Centre which will provide more extensive facilities for those who have come to esteem so highly the dedicated professional service and Gospel-directed compassion of all here at St John of God.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I rejoice with you in the opening of this Specialist Centre at St John of God Hospital. Many years ago, when I was stationed at the Cathedral, I remember the tremendous efforts made to continue to provide a Catholic Hospital in Geelong, and I pay special tribute to Monsignor Jim Murray, the Sisters of St John of God and those who worked so hard at that time to ensure the continuance of Catholic Health Care and the development into the magnificent facility we have today.
Life and physical health are precious gifts entrusted to us by God. We must take reasonable care of them, taking into account the needs of others and the common good. This Specialist Centre is a generous fulfilment of the Gospel values of care and respect for the dignity of the individual. We must remember that God's greatest gift, which is unique to each of us, is the gift of life. We have a serious responsibility to respect and sustain that life from the earliest moment of conception to natural death.
Each Christian has a dignity because we are made in the image and likeness of God. This dignity has to be respected and also nurtured by appropriate medical care.
I pay tribute to the developments in medical science which mean that people are living longer, that their quality of life has increased and that, in times of sickness and frailty, through competent medical care and gifted spiritual counsel and ministration, people are enabled to be surrounded by the love and care that Christ would have them receive. Here at St John of God this new Specialist Centre is an extension of that care and I congratulate all those who conceived this magnificent development who will work in it, and I thank them for the personal care, the respect and the dignity that they will convey to people in an often difficult time of their lives.
Through most of my priestly career I have been associated with Catholic and non-Catholic hospitals. I have great admiration for the medical and nursing professions, and the standards of care and the principles which operate are I find, in Catholic facilities, strictly in accordance with the Gospels and with the vision that Jesus Christ has of what St Iranaeus described, the glory of God is human beings fully alive.
May the care which is given here, the respect for human life and its dignity, the compassion and encouragement which this facility provides, be always a blessing for the people of Geelong and beyond.
+ Denis J Hart
ARCHBISHOP OF MELBOURNE