On Saturday 14 October the Little Sisters of the Poor celebrated the Official Blessing and Opening of Holy Family Villa with a blessing from Archbishop Hart, and financial support from the Melbourne Catholic Archbishop’s Charitable Fund. The event marked the completion of their St Joseph’s Aged Care Home redevelopment in Northcote.
The Sisters have been fundraising for this project for the last three years in their ‘It feels like home’ campaign and have relied on the generosity of benefactors and patrons. The redevelopment included enlargement and renovation of existing resident bedrooms and living areas, and the addition of a new 2-storey wing incorporating twenty-two self-contained independent living units.
The addition of twenty-two units means more people can be accepted into the Little Sisters family. The new independent living units are designed to accommodate the varying needs of the elderly and ensure the dignity, independence, and freedom of choice for residents. They were designed by local design firm smith+tracey architects, which places an emphasis on ecologically sustainable design, and quality of life in aged care.
In a statement, Archbishop Hart said, ‘The Little Sisters of the Poor are true lovers of the elderly and the poor. The care that they give is unequalled and it has my deep admiration.’
The Little Sisters of the Poor are an international congregation of religious women in the Catholic Church. St Joseph’s Northcote, along with the Sisters’ other Homes, caters for those in need, especially the financially and elderly poor in the spirit of service and humility of their Foundress, St. Jeanne Jugan. The Little Sisters arrived in Melbourne in 1884 at the invitation of Archbishop Goold, and have maintained an active presence in the city ever since. Their compassion serves the neediest and most vulnerable in society.
Sister Angela is Mother Superior to the Little Sisters of the Poor Melbourne Community. On this much-needed extension to their facility in St Joseph’s, she commented, ‘there is no shortage of applications from potential residents! We know that St Jeanne Jugan will be very pleased that we will be able to accept even more elderly people into her family and provide them with a home where they can feel secure and loved … Our prayers of thanksgiving go to all our friends like you who support and help us to make this dream a reality, enabling us to bring much comfort and joy to many disadvantaged elderly people for generations to come.’