Feast of the Sacred Heart, Dunedin
Each year our home in Dunedin, called by the name of Sacred Heart Home and Hospital, marks the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in a special way. This year, the feast, which fell on the 19th of June, coincided with the second week of New Zealand’s reopening following the Covid-10 lockdown. It was a great joy to reunite residents and staff who had remained in their respective bubbles throughout much of March and all of April and May.
As a preparation, on the afternoon of the 17th, all the residents were invited to the hall for a special game of housie with the sisters and DT staff. Most responded to the invitation and an afternoon of family fun was enjoyed by all.
Mass on the morning of the 19th was celebrated by the Bishop emeritus of Dunedin, Bishop Colin Campbell, and was concelebrated by three elderly priests. Earlier an invitation had been sent to all the staff members to join in the celebration which was offered for their intentions and those of their families in gratitude for their loving devotedness during the lockdown period. Although many are not Catholics, a good number were present. In his homily, Bishop Colin stressed how great the Father’s love for each one of us is as he did not refuse to sacrifice his own son. The son too showed his love by his willingness to be sacrificed for us.
Following the Mass, a festive meal was provided to the residents in the hall while the staff enjoyed theirs in the residents’ dining room. A few staff members and volunteers stayed behind to assist the sisters in the serving of the meal to the residents. Before the meals were served the community was happy to recognize Linda McPhillips, a senior care worker who is retiring after 23 years of loving service. She will be greatly missed.
The residents and staff greatly appreciated the joyful occasion which was a welcome relief after the months of tense lockdown during the coronavirus threat. We pray that the Lord continue to watch over our home and our beautiful country of New Zealand.