Archived News Item

Blessing of New Community Centre in Honour of Patricia Hayes RSM

Gerard Houlihan, Lesley Schneider , Bishop Michael McCarthy and Michelle Landry MP


The blessing and opening of a new community centre at Bethany Mercy Health and Aged Care in Rockhampton has been held. The new centre has been named in honour of the late
Patricia Hayes RSM.


Just five short years ago in 2015, Mercy Aged Care Services celebrated 75 years of providing Aged Care services on the Bethany site in Rockhampton. During those celebrations, Mercy Aged Care Services Executive Officer, Lesley Schneider gave the following commitment “we will continue to develop and upgrade our facilities in the years ahead to further improve the comfort and care we offer to all whom we are privileged to serve”.



That commitment came to fruition to Thursday 13 August with the Blessing and Opening of a new Community Centre on the Bethany site. The Blessing Ceremony was performed by Bishop Michael McCarthy and featured a beautiful Liturgy prepared by Bethany Pastoral Care Coordinator, Caroline Humphreys.



In his Homily, Bishop Michael paid a very fitting tribute to the Sisters of Mercy for their dedication and commitment to providing caring and compassionate Health and Aged Care Services for the local community over many years.



The Opening was carried out by Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry, as the Commonwealth Government partly funded the building of the new Community Centre through its Building Better Regions Fund. The multi-purpose nature of the Centre ensures it will do much to enrich the lives of the residents of Bethany and of all in the wider Rockhampton community who will visit the Centre in the years to come.


The Community Centre was named the Sr Patricia Hayes Community Centre in honour of the late Sister of Mercy, Sr Patricia Hayes who passed away in 2016. It was wonderful that a number of the Sisters of Mercy were able to be present to see Sr Pat remembered through the naming of the new Centre.



For almost 20 years from 1978 when the Sisters of Mercy Health Services Board was formed to provide Governance for the Aged Care and Health Care Ministries, Sr Pat either chaired the Board or was the Executive Director of Mercy Health Services. Sr Pat was also a former Congregation Leader of the Rockhampton Sisters of Mercy.



In an address at the Blessing and Opening Ceremony, Mr Gerard Houlihan, who is currently a Director on the Mater Misericordiae Limited Board that provides Governance for Mercy Aged Care Services, paid a heartfelt tribute to Sr Pat.


Gerard said that Sr Pat was a strong, courageous and determined leader who had made the most amazing, selfless and significant contribution to the Health and Aged Care Ministry of the Sisters of Mercy here in Central Queensland. Gerard concluded by saying he could think of no one more fitting for the Community Centre to be named in honour of than Sr Pat Hayes.


The Blessing and Opening Ceremony for the Sr Patricia Hayes Community Centre concluded with a tour of the Centre and a lovely morning tea that was enjoyed by all.


Watch a video of the opening –


Written by Phillip Bowman, Mission Coordinator, Mater Health for the Rockhampton Diocesan Newsletter.

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