February 18, 2007

New Psychiatric Hospital Opens in the Philippines (Buffalo/Americas)

Buffalo, New York: February 13, 2007- Sisters of Mercy in the Philippines recently celebrated the opening of a newly-built psychiatric hospital and sponsored ministry serving the people of Iligan City and the southern islands of the Philippines. Fifty years ago, Buffalo Sisters of Mercy established the Philippine Community which has grown to nearly fifty sisters with sponsored works that include Mercy Community Hospital, Mercy Junior College (K-12), Mercy Mobile Health Clinic, and McAuley Center, which provides safe housing for abused women and girls.

Madre Ignacia Casa de Misericordia
Hospital workers line the pathway to greet visitors to the blessing ceremony and opening of Madre Ignacia Casa de Misericordia, a new psychiatric hospital in Iligan City, Philippines.

Madre Ignacia Casa de Misericordia is located next door to Mercy Community Hospital and plans call for the two facilities to have a connecting corridor in the future. The new hospital is a collaborative venture of the Sisters of Mercy, RSM and the Religious of the Virgin Mary, RVM. According to Sister Rose Palacio, M.D., RSM, coordinator of the Sisters of Mercy Philippine Community, the new hospital was built by the RVM sisters and given to the Sisters of Mercy in a blessing ceremony on September 30, 2006 in the presence of Bishop Elenito Galido of the Diocese of Iligan.

Sister Yolanda Reyes, the local RVM superior and president of St. Michael’s College in Iligan City, spearheaded the idea to the RVM Community to construct the psychiatric facility that would not only would offer a vital service to the community but provide a valuable training ground for her nursing students.

Now considered part of Mercy Community Hospital, Madre Ignacia Casa de Misericordia is fully air conditioned with four wards of ten beds each, an isolation room and two private rooms. It also features a common dining room, recreation room, oval nurses station, and courtyard garden for patients.

“For me, this is another way of helping the unloved, uncared, abused people who are the poorest of the poor,” Sister Rose said. “Our problem now will be the cost of medicines because a number of the patients cannot afford the expensive medicines. We hope the affiliated student nursing program will help subsidize the costs for those people who cannot afford the medicine, the board and lodging.”

“We know that Mother McAuley (Catherine McAuley, Foundress of the Sisters of Mercy) would have loved this venture…so does the God the Almighty,” she said.

In addition to ministries in the Philippines, the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, Regional Community of Buffalo sponsors Mount Mercy Academy, a private secondary school for young women in Buffalo; Trocaire College, a private Catholic two-year community college in Buffalo; Warde Center, a GED educational program; the Speech Center serving clients with speech and/or language disorders; and the Altar Bread Ministry, a distribution center serving the churches of Western New York. The Regional Community is also a co-sponsor of Gerard Place, a transitional housing program; Catholic Health East and the Catholic Health System of Buffalo. The Regional Community’s ongoing mission is to serve the poor, the sick and the uneducated.

Messages to Melanie A. Griffis Director, Communications
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas
Regional Community of Buffalo

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