The Southern Cross : October 2012
Page 16 October 2012 www.thesoutherncross.org.au The Southern Cross | news The Eucharistic rosary designed by the Vatican rosary makers will be sent out to all those who give a donation of $15 or more and tick this box. Southern Cross Aid to the Church in Need .... a Catholic charity dependent on the Holy See, providing pastoral relief to needy and oppressed Churches Seminarians studying in Nigeria With 20 years' experience in the aged care sector, the new Chief Executive of Mary MacKillop Care, David Ferrier, knows only too well the challenges facing providers. But he is confident the high quality of care provided by the four aged care facilities owned by the Sisters of St Joseph will hold the organisation in good stead as it moves forward with development plans. Uppermost in his mind will be the philosophy of St Mary MacKillop, whose respect for human dignity led her and Fr Julian Tenison Woods to establish the House of Providence in 1868. Providence provided residential care for aged and destitute women, firstly at a home on West Terrace and now what is now known as Flora McDonald Lodge at Cowandilla. More than 140 years on, the Flora McDonald Lodge continues to provide care for 83 residents, more than 60 per cent of whom are financially disadvantaged. St Catherine's at Berri and Tappeiner Court accommodate another 87 residents and the organisation also has an outreach service which it plans to expand to meet demand for religious and lay people to remain in their homes. Mr Ferrier, a Sacred Heart College old scholar and father of four, said the values of Mary MacKillop Care were those of the Gospel -- recognition, respect and dignity of the person regardless of whether you are Catholic or not. But he does not shy away from the Catholicity of the organisation and says that having daily Mass and an on-site chapel is greatly appreciated by residents. "Mass is well-attended and the chapel here (at Flora McDonald Lodge) is a good size so patients can even come in their beds," he said. "At Tappeiner, if you can't get to Mass it is piped into your room." Chairman of Mary MacKillop Care SA Colin Whyte agrees: "As people get older their faith becomes more important," he said. "People feel really sad if they can't go to Church when they go into an aged care facility." Mr Whyte said that amidst all the discussion on euthanasia laws it was important for elderly people to know that there was a place where they could enjoy their lives as much as possible and live and die with dignity. After working most recently with Eldercare, Mr Ferrier said one of the big differences at Mary MacKillop Care was the influence of the Sisters of St Joseph. "The influence of the Sisters is very strong -- they are very involved with pastoral care, they provide services and a quality of care that you don't see anywhere else," he said. "They will sit down with a dying person day and night at their own expense, just to be with that person." Similarly, Mary MacKillop's vision was important in their approach to aged care and the role of the recently-appointed Director of Mission, Sr Kateri Duke was to ensure the values of Australia's first Saint and the Sisters were "ingrained in all of us, from a Board level down". He added that holistic care with spiritual support was a critical component of the organisation. This did not only apply to Catholics. "It means we are all-inclusive to everyone, whatever their faith, and we will assist in that regard as much as we can." Mr Ferrier said there was a need to make people aware that the organisation did not only provide for priests and nuns but for Catholic lay people and others. But the biggest challenge was how to achieve financial sustainability while also remaining committed to the people who have the greatest need. "The biggest issue is mission versus margin," he said. "How do we look after the most needy but also be concerned with the realities." With an urgent need to rebuild Flora McDonald Lodge, the Board, in conjunction with the Provincial Leadership of the Sisters of St Joseph, is reviewing the funding model and looking at options to the building of the new complex to incorporate Tappeiner Court. "We have to work within the Government boundaries for accommodation bonds, which means asking those people who can afford to pay for accommodation bonds to do so," he said. The Board has commissioned a firm of architects to develop a master plan for each site and look at what can and can't be done. It is currently planning the rebuild of the Cowandilla site for 150 residents. Spiritual support for aged By Jenny Brinkworth Former Commonwealth Bank boss David Murray AO will speak at the Hutt Street Centre's fundraising lunch at the Adelaide Oval Member's Dining Room on Thursday October 25. Mr Murray, the inaugural Chair of the Australian Government Future Fund Board of Guardians and Chair of the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds, will be interviewed by journalist Mike Smithson at the lunch. Tickets are $125 and all funds raised will help support Hutt Street Centre's work with the city's homeless and vulnerable. Contact Danielle Bayard on 8418 2500 or Danielle@huttstcentre.org.au Economist to speak MEETING THE CHALLENGE: Mary MacKillop Care's new chief executive, David Ferrier (left), is congratulated on his appointment by chairman Colin Whyte.