Covenant Health CEO Patrick Dumelie announces construction of Villa Marie in Red Deer.
RED DEER – This city's new 100-bed continuing care centre will be named Villa Marie to honour the Daughters of Wisdom, the order of sisters who founded Catholic education in Red Deer.
"We are so pleased to honour the Daughters of Wisdom, one of our founding congregations," said John Brennan, chairman of the board of Covenant Health.
"The sisters established Our Lady of the Rosary Hospital in Castor in 1911, and their commitment to upholding the dignity of each person with compassion and respect is at the core of our mission," Brennan said.
Sister Marie Agathe was the first superior of the Daughters of Wisdom in Alberta, arriving in Red Deer in 1908. The name Marie also honours the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Wisdom, and was common among the sisters who served in Red Deer.
The Daughters of Wisdom congregation was founded by St. Louis-Marie de Montfort and Blessed Marie-Louise in France in 1701. The ministry began with caring for those in need - nursing the sick, feeding the destitute and running hospitals.
The congregation's priority is to work "for those whom the world rejects," believing that every person is sacred, created in God's image. Daughters of Wisdom have ministered in education, health care, and social and pastoral outreach, with a special concern for those who are neglected by society.
"The sisters who have served here in Alberta – including those who look down from their heavenly dwelling – smile upon us today," said Sister Harriet Hermary, a Daughter of Wisdom who grew up and served in Red Deer and area Catholic schools and parishes.
"They will be rejoicing to see that the vulnerable of our society will be cared for with dignity and love by Covenant Health. May Villa Marie carry out its great mission with fidelity and tender compassion," Hermary said.
The Alberta government announced in January that Covenant Health's 100-bed continuing care centre in Red Deer will be one of two demonstration sites that will provide a continuum of care in one location from basic supportive living to long-term care for high-needs residents.
The centre will allow seniors to age in place as their health needs change.
The Red Deer facility will be built in the Clearview North subdivision on 4.67 acres of land at 10 Carrington Drive. Construction could start as early as April. The other 100-bed continuing care demonstration site will be built by Covenant Health in Calgary.
The Daughters of Wisdom arrived in Canada in 1884. Members of the order now serve in Ontario, Quebec, New-Brunswick and Alberta. Today, the order is present in more than 20 countries on all continents.
The spirituality of the Daughters of Wisdom is that of seeking wisdom in ordinary, everyday experience. The congregation has a special devotion to the Virgin Mary, Mother of Wisdom.