Blessing of St. Michael's Keenan Research Centre
On the afternoon of June 10, seven Sisters of St. Joseph attended a special blessing event. His Grace, Archbishop Thomas Collins blessed the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, a part of St. Michael's Hospital. The Keenan Research Centre of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute is home to researchers whose areas of expertise cover a wide variety of disciplines and methodologies.
Dr. Robert Howard, President and Chief Executive Officer, spoke enthusiastically of continuing the legacy of the Sisters of St. Joseph with this expansion. One of the attending Sisters, Sister Pat Boucher, admired the new building and said, "It's wonderful to know that the research will continue and that this beautiful mission will carry on as well."
Sister Agnes Teresa Sheehan, who also attended, said, "St. Michael's Hospital is special to me because it has been home to two of my Sisters, Sr. Mary Frederick, as head dietitian for about 25 years and Pat, as a nurse-in-training and a post graduate in obstetrics. For 75 years St. Michael's Hospital has also been a place of healing and healthcare for our family members." Sister Agnes Teresa went on to applaud the planners of the Research Centre "who have cleverly combined so many avant-garde technological scientific innovations with welcoming aesthetic features of enhanced light, space and colour where corridors come to life with inspiring works of Canadian artists producing a calming influence on staff and patients dealing with stress-filled situations and decisions."
The Sisters of St. Joseph founded St. Michael's Hospital in 1892, responding to the request for help from Toronto's Medical Officer of Health in the face of a diphtheria epidemic. Over the years, under the leadership of the Sisters, St. Michael's became a leading tertiary care, research and teaching hospital and had a number of firsts in healthcare including the first heart transplant in Canada. The Sisters transferred sponsorship of this hospital to the Catholic Health Corporation of Ontario in 1998.
By Gisela Côté