The House of St. Raphael held a special renaming ceremony on Tuesday, August 23. The residence, situated in Wetaskiwin, was renamed after St. Raphael, the patron of travellers for geographical and spiritual journeys.
Staff and residents of the home were all smiles during the joyous occasion, greeting guests who drove in from Red Deer and Edmonton for the ceremony. Father Nilo Macapinlac of Sacred Heart Parish in Wetaskiwin was in attendance to offer a special blessing to the home and those currently living there. Guests were also treated to a special Filipino meal prepared by the staff of St. Raphael.
Previously known as Group Home 1987, the House of St. Raphael has been serving individuals with disabilities who require extensive medical attention and assistance with day-to-day living since 1992. In September, the residence will provide care to six individuals.
In Christian tradition, St. Raphael is one of the seven Archangels, known for being a miraculous healer and the most sociable of all the Archangels. According to the book of Tobit, St. Raphael was disguised as a human, sent down by the Lord to travel alongside Tobiah, Tobit’s son. Throughout their journey, St. Raphael’s healing and protective powers were revealed on several occasions — most notably, the binding of a demon in the desert located in Upper Egypt.
Upon returning from his travels with Tobiah, St. Raphael told Tobit that he was sent by the Lord to heal Tobit from his blindness. St Raphael also delivered Tobiah’s future wife, Sarah, to him from the demon Asmodeus. It was during this time that St. Raphael revealed to Tobit that he is one of the seven Archangels.
Staff of the residence are truly inspired by the work and mission of St. Raphael, and believe his guidance will carry on in their work and those they serve.
“We believe that St. Raphael really suits the needs of individuals we serve in both Program 1987 previously, and now moving forward here as the House of St. Raphael,” shared Normita Santos, Service Coordinator of the residence.
“We have five individuals with high medical needs, who are also sociable and have a sense of humour, similar to characteristics of St. Raphael. For the individuals we serve, we believe St. Raphael will guide, protect, and heal them spiritually and physically.”