A historical celebration: 125 years of St Vincent’s Hospital

Thursday 1 November 2018

Media and Communications Office
This month, St Vincent’s Hospital celebrates 125 years of servicing the Melbourne community. To commemorate the occasion, a Celebratory Mass was held on All Saints Day at St Patrick’s Cathedral celebrated by Archbishop Comensoli.  
The congregation was welcomed by St Vincent Hospital’s Executive Director Mission, Margaret Stewart, who celebrated the enduring identity of St Vincent's, and its rich history in public health ‘in the tradition of the Sisters of Charity and their role in the church of Melbourne,’ she said.
 St Vincent Hospital’s Executive Director Mission, Margaret Stewart
‘In so doing we are absolutely thrilled and honoured that Melbourne’s new Archbishop Comensoli is our Principal celebrant.’
Archbishop Comensoli’s Homily reflected the spirit of the occasion, reflecting on the influence of St Vincent de Paul’s work on the ethos of the hospital.
 Archbishop Peter Comensoli
‘This saint who lends his name to your hospitals and clinics, research centres, healthcare and aged care facilities founded by a community of people inspired by his life,’ he said.
‘The 125th anniversary of St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne is an anniversary of an intentional way of living for us all, a spiritual effort for the sick and the poor.’
 The Mass was followed by a special morning tea held at Hotel Windsor, with a line-up of speeches to mark the occasion.
The CEO of St Vincent’s Hospital Public Division (in both Melbourne and Sydney), Professor Trisha O’Rourke spoke of the Sisters of Charity’s legacy.
‘They were part of a strong legacy, these determined and visionary women who led the way with their dedication to those needing help, consoling, encouragement and compassionate care,’ she said.
 CEO of St Vincent’s Hospital Public Division, Professor Trisha O’Rourke
‘I often wonder what the Sisters who established the hospital would think today. It’s natural to believe that they would be in awe of our achievements, both of the hospital and the advancement in technology in health. But the Sisters were visionaries. I doubt they’d spend too much time pondering our achievement. I think they might start planning what would come next.’
 Sister Marianne Concoy
Sister Marianne Concoy concluded with a reflection of the occasion, addressing those past and present at St Vincent’s Hospital. ‘It’s my privilege and pleasure to stand here as a Sister of Charity and to thank each one of you who is here as someone who has been part of the story of St Vincents Hospital, Melbourne,’ she said.
Sr Concoy spoke about the dream of Sisters of Charity founder Mary Aikenhead 175 years ago as a calling by the love of Christ.
‘And we’re here today looking to the future in the present and realising we are all here because of the past. The past that has gifted us with such a heritage.’
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