Friday, January 8, 2010

Visit to the Perley-Rideau Health Centre - Funeral of Constable Ireneusz Czapnik

The Perley and Rideau Veterans' Health Centre is a home for the elderly known for innovation and leadership in geriatrics, specialization in dementia programming and exceptional Volunteer, Recreation and Creative Arts services. Opened in 1995 the Perley Rideau is home to 450 residents, 250 of whom are veterans. The Perley Rideau offers long-term, short-term, respite, and convalescent care.

In partnership with the Alzheimer Society of Ottawa and Carefor Health and Community Services, the Perley Rideau manages the Guest House, Eastern Ontario’s only respite bungalow for people in the mid-stages of dementia.

Last Sunday on the Feast of the Epiphany, at the invitation of Perley-Rideau Catholic Chaplain Father Jean-Marc Gagne (retired from serivce as a military chaplain who recently celebrated his Golden Jubilee of Priesthood), I visited Perley-Rideau, got to meet many of its residents (and those who come from the nearby Alta Vista Manor) for the bilingual 10:30 Sunday Mass.

Afterwards, I met and lunched with some of the many volunteers who come out regularly, even every Lord's Day, to assist patients and visitors in attending Mass.

Herewith some photos:

Greeting the faithful after Mass

Outside a veteran's room one can see souvenirs of service to country and family photos

Sean and his sister Jennifer learn early the joys of volunteering

Some of the many volunteers gather for refreshments

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« Et l’homme qui est créé pour aimer Dieu, posséder Dieu, renfermer Dieu, que fera-t-il de toutes les forces qui lui sont données pour cela? » --St. Jean-Marie Vianney, Curé d’Ars

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Saluting a Fallen Hero

Yesterday, it was an honour for me to attend the civic funeral of Constable Erik Czapnik (eulogies, words of remembrance and music) and to take part in the religious dimensions of that service which followed the pattern of the Liturgy of the Word of the Catholic funeral rite (Scripture readings, bilingual Polish-English homily by his pastor Oblate Father Janusz Jajesniak, intercessions and final commendation).

Photos: Ottawa Citizen

Afterwards, I was able to meet his widow and family before the funeral cortege left for Beechwood Cemetery and offer them the condolences of the Church of Ottawa. Monday's Mass at St. Hyacinth Church and the civic celebration have brought some consolation to the bereaved in this difficult time.


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