Jul 03, 2024

Archbishop’s Heartwarming Visit Brings Joy to Aged Care Residents

Archbishop's Heartwarming Visit Brings Joy to Aged Care Residents
Image courtesy of Kyla-Jane Rickard.

Estia Health Melton South had the distinct honour of hosting Archbishop Peter and Father Alex from St Anthony’s Catholic Church, Melton South, for a heartwarming visit that deeply touched the residents and staff alike.

The visit was inspired by Patricia, a dedicated Enrolled Nurse at Estia Health, who approached Lifestyle Coordinator Sue with the idea. Recognising the profound impact such a visit would have on the residents, Sue reached out to St Anthony’s Catholic Church. The church happily confirmed that Archbishop Peter would visit to anoint and give Holy Communion to the Catholic residents.

On the morning of June 22nd, the Estia Health team prepared the activity room with great care. Two tables adorned with white tablecloths and Catholic ornaments, a gold-framed cross-stitch of The Last Supper, and a red carpet laid down the centre of the chairs created a reverent and welcoming atmosphere.

Upon arrival, Archbishop Peter and Father Alex were warmly greeted by Melissa, the Residential Aged Care Manager, and Sue. Melissa introduced the Archbishop to the home, highlighting the close-knit community and dedicated care provided to the residents, before guiding him to the beautifully prepared area where everyone eagerly awaited their arrival.

Archbishop Peter made a personal connection with each resident, greeting everyone individually with a handshake and kind words. A particularly touching moment occurred when Maria, a resident from the Memory Care Unit, was moved to tears of joy as she held and kissed the cross worn by the Archbishop. Afterward, Maria warmly embraced Sue, thanking her for orchestrating the visit.

Dressed in his ceremonial gown, sash, and cap, Archbishop Peter led the group in prayers and invited everyone to join in The Lord’s Prayer. Naim, from St Anthony’s Church, further enriched the occasion with soulful guitar music. The Archbishop then anointed the Catholic residents and offered blessings to others, filling the room with a profound sense of peace and joy.

The visit continued beyond the group setting, as Archbishop Peter expressed a desire to see residents who were unable to attend the ceremony. One resident, Richard, a distinguished architect and Order of Australia recipient, was profoundly moved by the Archbishop’s personal blessing and prayer. This emotional moment highlighted the significant impact of the visit.

The residents shared their gratitude with Sue through hugs and heartfelt thanks, illustrating the profound impact of Archbishop Peter’s visit. This beautiful occasion brought immense joy and spiritual comfort to the residents of Estia Health Melton South.

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