90 Years of Care and Compassion

May 30, 2012

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