Media and Communications
In Greenvale, only a stone's throw from Melbourne Airport, is a place that was particularly close to Mother Theresa's heart.
Corpus Christi Community (CCC) was originally founded by Mother Teresa and her Missionaries of Charity in 1974. Mother Theresa and her nuns intended Corpus Christi Community to be a community for men doing it tough due to homelessness, unemployment, family breakdown, and alcohol addiction; men who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. They were driven by a mission that everyone should feel valued and supported, no matter their place in society.
The facility was opened by Archbishop Little and Mother Theresa in 1975 and began working with marginalised and vulnerable people in Melbourne wanting to make a fresh start. The Missionaries of Charity entrusted the Community to the Archdiocese of Melbourne in 1977. From then o it was managed by the Australian Jesuits, and run with the aid of the Sisters of Mercy, alongside dedicated lay volunteers who worked and lived alongside the residents.
Now, 45 years later, redevelopment work has been completed on the site and the new facility has been opened to residents, with the official opening and blessing taking place on Tuesday.
‘Mother Theresa understood that we all need hope and we all need a home,’ said CCC Chair of the Board Bernie Cronin in his opening address. ‘Homelessness is a huge demand on us as a society and we need to respond.’
Archbishop Peter Comensoli blessed the site, and spent time speaking with residents.
Included in the redevelopment program was the construction of a 90-bed resident facility, new Administration facilities, Laundry, Kitchen and Dining Hall.
The works totaling $23.9 million were funded by an $11.9 million grant from the Australian Government and $12 million from Villa Maria Catholic Homes.
These facilities enable CCC to continue its mission of providing contemporary care and support to men who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
To date, Corpus Christi Community has been home to more than 725 men, and has evolved from a hostel staffed by religious and lay volunteers, to a fully accredited and professionally staffed Aged Care facility.
‘It’s a facility for men who’ve had rough lives and would otherwise be homeless,’ said Archbishop Comensoli. ‘It’s lovely to be here and to know there’s somewhere where even the most downtrodden can find a home and be happy and form friendships.’