SASKATOON — A blessing and dedication was held Nov. 20 for Trinity Manor at Stonebridge, a faith-based retirement and assisted living residence in southeast Saskatoon.
Built by Emmanuel Care — formerly known as Catholic Health Ministry of Saskatchewan — Trinity Manor offers an “aging in place” model of care, permitting residents to transition from independent living to assisted care as their needs change. It is adjacent to Samaritan Place, a long-term health care facility that is also among the Catholic facilities administered by Emmanuel Care on behalf of Saskatchewan’s bishops.
“As a ministry of the church, the mission of Emmanuel Care is simple: we go out, we look for unmet needs and we try to fulfil them,” said president Scott Irwin.
“We thank God for all the people who were involved in the visioning, the planning and the building of Trinity Manor, and of Samaritan Place across the street,” he said at the start of the celebration. “In a special way we want to thank those we have passed the torch on to: Doug Vaughn, the chair of Trinity Manor board, and (CEO) Suzanne Turmel and her staff who make Trinity Manor what it is — a vibrant, faith-filled community.”
Turmel also spoke at the start of the celebration, presenting the building and the chapel to the bishop and asking for his blessing.
“At Trinity Manor we put the emphasis on creating a warm, welcoming community for all,” she said. “Our hope is to create a life-giving community, where residents become neighbours and neighbours become lifelong friends. At Trinity Manor we are happy to offer a holistic approach to carefree living that nourishes the body and the mind and the spirit.” Spiritual care is one of the amenities at the faith-based facility, which includes a chapel.
The blessing of the chapel and the altar took place during the celebration of the eucharist, with Bishop Donald Bolen of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon presiding.
In his homily, Bolen reflected on the concept of home and Scriptures that speak about how God comes to dwell among us. “We all need a home, love the sense of belonging to a home, being at home,” he said.
“A chapel is a place of silence, and a place to encounter God. The tent of meeting was where the people of Israel encountered God in a direct and particular way,” Bolen said, citing the first reading, with its “beautiful rich imagery of encountering God face to face, coming to us as friend and as Lord.”
The Word that speaks to all of creation and through whom all things were made comes to dwell among us “in the flesh,” as described in the prologue of the Gospel of John, he continued. “Literally, the Word ‘pitched his tent’ among us,” Bolen said. “God has been revealed as one who comes to where we are, to dwell among us.”
God encounters us in every place and every time of our lives, in all the moments of everyday life, including the pains and frustrations, he said. “Christ dwells with us and calls us to share our lives with him and with each other. May this place be a true home, a place of joy and a place of love. May all that you experience here be held in the merciful hands of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in this Trinity Manor.”
Bolen was joined by Bishop Albert Thévenot, M. Afr., of Prince Albert, and Bishop Emeritus Gerald Wiesner, OMI, in anointing the altar with the Oil of Sacred Chrism. Bolen, Thévenot and Rev. Paul Fachet, OMI, also anointed the walls of the chapel during the dedication.
A relic of St. Marguerite D’Youville, founder of the Sisters of Charity (the Grey Nuns) was deposited in the altar as part of the celebration. At the conclusion of mass, Sister Carol Borreson, SGM, presented an image of the Canadian saint to Turmel for the chapel.
Following the mass, Bolen blessed the Trinity Manor building, and two pieces of stained glass artwork dedicated to the memory of Urban Donlevy and Rod Donlevy, and recognizing their contributions to Catholic health care in the province, including the construction of Trinity Manor and nearby Samaritan Place.
Open to those of all faith backgrounds, Trinity Manor is also home to many retired sisters from several congregations of women religious, members of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, and other retired clergy. That came about partly as a result of the vision and determination of members of the Donlevy family, Bolen noted.
“Urban Donlevy, in conversation with the sisters, came up with the idea that Catholic health could build a facility that would at once respond to the needs of women religious and the needs of the people of this region, and the needs of Catholic health,” said Bolen, admitting that when the idea was first presented “it seemed like a long shot.”
Bolen continued: “It is very fitting that we honour Urban and Rod Donlevy for their tremendous contribution to Catholic health, and their contribution in a very particular way to Trinity Manor and Samaritan Place, which would not have come about without them. They didn’t do it alone, but they were the driving force.”
Members of the Donlevy family were on hand for the celebration, and for the blessing of the two pieces of art.
A panel of stained glass art by Canadian artist Sarah Hall, showing Saskatchewan trees as depicted in the Incarnation stained glass window at the Cathedral of the Holy Family, was placed near the Trinity Manor chapel in memory of Urban Donlevy.
Another panel of art glass by Hall, showing a portion of the diocesan cathedral’s Resurrection window, with words from Scripture in Aramaic, the language of Jesus, was placed near the Samaritan Place chapel in memory of Rod Donlevy.