The Blessing of St Catherine’s

April 04, 2024

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The Blessing of St Catherine’s

The Grafton community came together to celebrate the completion of the redevelopment of St Catherine’s Residential Care recently with a special blessing.

Presided by the Most Reverend Gregory Homeming, OCD, Bishop of Lismore, the event was attended by CEO Monique Reynolds, SCC Board Chair Lawrie Hallinan, Board Director Mike Christensen, Sisters of Mercy, community leaders, staff, volunteers, residents, and their families.

The ceremony commenced with a heartfelt Acknowledgement of Country delivered by Andrew Hegedus, a respected elder of the Gumbaynggirr and Bundjalung communities, and concluded with a musical performance by the choir from St Mary’s Catholic Primary School.  

Officiating the blessing, Chair Lawrie Hallinan acknowledged the challenges encountered during the prolonged refurbishment due to floods and the pandemic yet expressed his profound satisfaction at the outcome.

Reflecting on the legacy of Venerable Catherine McCauley, founder of the Sisters of Mercy, he drew parallels between her altruism and the ethos embodied in the revamped facility.

"I know you’ve all endured a few years of renovations which were delayed due to floods and then COVID, but having seen it I’m sure you’ll agree it’s definitely worth the wait, it's absolutely beautiful,” he said.

"It’s like a resort, and I think the Sisters of Mercy and their foundress Venerable Catherine McCauley would be absolutely chuffed with the result.

"She was a child that had no home, she was a young woman who created a home for a few, and as a middle-aged woman created a home for many.

"I think what we are doing here is in that tradition. This beautiful building is because we think you are beautiful people and deserve the best.

"And while the building is really important, it's the person-to-person care makes all the difference, and we hope you are very happy here.”

St. Catherine's Residential Care facility holds a special place in the hearts of many and the expansion from 63 to 83 beds not only signifies increased capacity for quality care but also heralds new employment opportunities for the Grafton community.

Nestled around a majestic fig tree symbolising resilience and continuity, the redesigned home integrates modern amenities with a reverence for its past.

New features include café facilities, resident kitchens, a chapel, and a wellness hub which incorporates a library, hair salon, lounge, indoor and outdoor seating areas, a children’s playground, community workshop and sensory courtyards.

New resident Della said living at St Catherine’s was like being on a permanent holiday.

“The staff are incredible here; you can’t fault them, and the facility is just lovely, it’s like waking up in the Hilton every day,” she beamed.

“Fred and I really believe that coming here was the best thing we’ve done in a long time.

“There’s nowhere like your own home but gee this place comes pretty close.

“There’s not one thing we like about it, we like everything and are so glad we made the decision, we are in the right place.”

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