“Mercy above all” since 1922: a tribute to a hospital

March 8, 2011

“In this respectful tribute to St. Clare’s, The Mustard Seed, Sr. Kathrine Bellamy chronicles the hospital’s development from its opening in 1922 with 20 beds, its growth to an institution of 375 beds and its national recognition in 1992 by Chatelainemagazine as one of Canada’s 12 “great” hospitals.

Since 1842, the Sisters of Mercy had been ministering to the sick, poor and needy of St. John’s, thus when this established tradition of care was redirected toward hospital patients it was not difficult for St. Clare’s to live up to the motto “Mercy Above All.” Accordingly, St. Clare’s became home to Newfoundland’s first alcohol and detoxification centre and its first palliative care unit, and absorbed the chronic care of tuberculosis patients following closure of the city’s sanatorium; from 1922 until the obstetrics unit closed 70 years later, 83 000 babies were delivered…”

From the book review by J.T.H. Connor PhD, John Clinch professor of medical humanities and history of medicine, Faculty of Medicine Memorial University St. John’s, NL

Read the rest of the review here