90 Years of Care and Compassion

On May 21, 1922 a twenty- three bed hospital was opened in what had formerly been a residence for working girls on the corner of Lemarchant Road and St. Clare Avenue.

The hospital was part of the vision of the Archbishop of St. John’s, E.P. Roche, who invited the Sisters of Mercy to take leadership in the administration of the hospital and in the nursing care of the people who came to them for medical attention.


May 21, 2012 is the anniversary of the opening of St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. Over those ninety years the hospital has grown from a twenty-three bed building where men, women and children were cared for to a sprawling seven-storey complex that provides the best of modern medicine, total care of body, mind and spirit, and the highest calibre of care and compassion for 207 adults.


In order to celebrate its ninetieth year a number of events had been planned. A celebration of the Eucharist on May 14 by Archbishop Martin Currie was the opening event. In her reflection during the liturgy Sister Elizabeth Davis, Congregational Leader of the Sisters of Mercy spoke of St. Clare’s being a ‘place of healing’, a ‘holy place’ and a ‘place where God’s mercy endures forever’. She reminded us of the words of Archbishop Roche at the opening of the new hospital in 1939 when he said “Verily, my dear Sisters, the acorn has developed into a mighty oak; the tiny grain of mustard seed has grown, as we hoped it would, into a mighty tree.” Cake and refreshments were provided to all staff and visitors on May 22 in the hospital cafeteria with entertainment by the Celtic Fiddlers.

Staff were treated to a visit from "The Spirit of St. Clare’s" on May 28. Sister Dolorosa Brennan dressed in the traditional habit (white for hospital) of the Sisters of Mercy. She greeted staff, patients and family members and gave them a pin that was struck to commemorate the anniversary. Later in the Fall there will be a special public lecture to commemorate St. Clare’s 90 years.

Vision and Mission

The Sisters of Mercy have been dedicated to the care of persons who are sick, with a special care for those who are dying. Many Sisters and those who collaborated with them over the years have provided thousands of years of care and compassion. Many men and woman are graduates of the St. Clare’s School of Nursing. They along with the current staff and volunteers have imbibed the spirit of the founders of St. Clare’s down through the years and continue to heal those who seek care. They continue to live out the values of care, compassion, excellence, integrity, and mercy.

Messages to: Diane Smyth rsm – Manager Pastoral Care and Ethics, Eastern Health

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Taking Action to Save Sandy Pond

Sandy Pond, once a pristine, beautiful lake on the Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland, Canada, now lies within the boundaries of one of Newfoundland and Labrador’s largest industrial sites.


The VALE nickel processing facility is under construction now at Long Harbour, Newfoundland.  The Federal Government of Canada has given VALE, and other mining companies, permission to use healthy bodies of Canadian freshwater lakes and ponds as “tailings impoundment areas” for toxic waste. They achieved this because of a loophole, known as Schedule 2, in the Metal Mining Effluent Regulation (MMER) of the federal Fisheries Act.
In March 2010 the Sandy Pond Alliance launched a legal challenge against the Federal Government of Canada to declare Schedule 2 in violation of the federal Fisheries Act.

The Mercy Centre for Ecology and Justice is part of the Sandy Pond Alliance, a coalition of concerned citizens fighting to protect Sandy Pond. The Alliance includes the Council of Canadians, Mining Watch, Nature Canada, the Newfoundland and Labrador Natural History Society, Sierra Club Atlantic, and scientists and activists in Newfoundland who are concerned with the imminent destruction of Sandy Pond.

How It All Began

In May of 2009, the local Chapter of the Council of Canadians organized the Sandy Pond Picnic to bring attention to the issue of the intended destruction of Sandy Pond by the Brazilian mining company Vale Inco as part of their Long Harbour Nickel Processing Plant development. On Friday, May 8, 2009, nearly 20 people visited Long Harbour and trekked into Sandy Pond. After that event several people including activists, academics and community members decided to meet regularly to discuss possible ways to prevent the destruction of Sandy Pond.

Our Mission

1.To protect and conserve Canadian waters and their ecosystems; and

2.To take appropriate actions to assist the Alliance in fulfilling its purpose, including promoting and recommending laws and policies, and informing and engaging the public; and

3.To join and/or co-operate with other organizations or institutions with similar purposes.
Sister Mary Tee RSM, coordinator of the Mercy Centre for Ecology and Justice in St. Johns, Newfoundland serves on the Board of the Sandy Pond Alliance.  This Board is still working to save Sandy Pond. In the event that construction on the nickel processing plant may proceed too quickly to save Sandy Pond before a successful ruling on the legal challenge is obtained there is still the hope of saving other bodies of fresh water from a similar fate by changing the law.
Mary Tee rsm recently visited Sandy Pond and was interviewed for “The Current” on CBC radio. 
To hear Mary Tee’s interview, click here

Messages to: Mary Tee rsm

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