The house that once served as the main office in Wetaskiwin was renamed after St. Dymphna, during a blessing ceremony on Wednesday, September 7.
Previously named 1871, the residence, which is home to people with disabilities, was welcomed into the Catholic Social Services family in the mid-1980s.
“We are committed to being fair and honest with the individuals we work with, and we help support them in developing the skills needed to improve their quality of life,” said staff member Arceli Canlas. “We have supported countless individuals over the years, and made a difference in many lives.”
The house is named after St. Dymphna because she was a role model in how she cared for people with cognitive disabilities or disorders, team leader Gloria Gamez explained.
St. Dymphna was born in Ireland during the seventh century, but fled to Geel, Belgium upon learning of her father’s intent to marry her after her mother’s death.
“Upon entering the City of Geel, St. Dymphna and her attendants built a hospice to care for the sick and the poor of the area,” Gloria said. “It was St. Dymphna’s example of loving care that led to people of the town opening their homes to care for people with various disabilities and disorders.”
At the age of 15, St. Dymphna was tracked down and murdered by her father after she refused to return to Ireland and marry him.
Although the original Church of St. Dymphna was destroyed in the 15th century, a new Church of St. Dymphna was built and consecrated in the century that followed. It is located where her body was buried in Geel.