On Tuesday, 18th October, The Feast of St Luke, a Diocesan Service of Thanksgiving to mark the Sesquicentenary of the Foundation of Saint Luke’s Home, Cork in 1872 was held at Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork. Saint Luke’s is a voluntary organisation under the patronage of the Church of Ireland in Cork, Cloyne and Ross, and the Right Rev. Dr Paul Colton, Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross serves as President. The Home provides residential, respite and day care services for older people, with an emphasis on Alzheimer care and other forms of Dementia.
The Dean of Cork, the Very Rev. Nigel Dunne introduced the service by extending a welcome to the guests including the CEO of Saint Luke’s Home, Tony O’Brien, the Director of Nursing, Orla Coleman, Senators Jerry Buttimer and Tim Lombard, Cllr Derry Canty (representing the Lord Mayor of Cork), Cllr Ben Dalton O’Sullivan (representing the County Mayor), ecumenical guests, and representatives from the City Council, An Garda Síochána, the Defence Forces, the Naval Service, and other Cork based charities and healthcare providers.
The Rev. Meghan Farr, Chaplain of Saint Luke’s Home, and the Rev. Bruce Pierce, Director of Education at Saint Luke’s Home Education Centre, led the Prayers. The Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, Dr Paul Colton preached at the service. The music was provided by the School Choirs of the three Second-level Schools of the Diocese – Ashton School, Bandon Grammar School and Midleton College – under the direction of Peter Stobart. The Principals of Bandon Grammar School, Niamh McShane, and Ashton School, Adrian Landen, as well as their Music Teachers, Ms Laura Power (Bandon) and Dr Mary O’Brien (Ashton) were also attending the service. During the Silent Thanksgiving and Commemoration led by Bishop Colton, three representative students of the schools lit candles as an act of thanksgiving and remembrance. The Service was streamed online to the residents and staff at Saint Luke’s Home in Mahon.
After the service, Bishop Paul Colton, President of Saint Luke’s, said:
The anniversary celebration of 150 years of Saint Luke’s Home, Cork on Saint Luke’s Day 2022 was a truly joyful occasion. Our thanksgiving was hugely enriched by the singing of students from Ashton School, Bandon Grammar School and Midleton College. The act of remembrance was poignant. Most of all, this occasion gave me the opportunity, as President of the Charity and Home, to say thank you to everyone who continues our caring work today.
Tony O’Brien, CEO of Saint Luke’s Home, commented:
This year is an important year for St. Luke’s Charity and Home as we celebrate our 150th anniversary. It is a significant achievement to continue to be a leader in the care of the older person. The Diocesan service of thanksgiving to mark this special occasion at the Cathedral Church of Saint Fin Barre was a wonderful way to thank all those who have been associated with Saint Luke’s during its 150 years of service to the Cork community.
The Very Rev. Nigel Dunne, Dean of Cork, said:
It was a great pleasure to host the Saint Luke’s Home Charity here at the Cathedral for such a significant milestone in their history. There was a real sense of joy and celebration as we gave thanks for 150 years of care and compassion whilst also praying for the good work that continues today. The fact that residents in the Home were able to join us via our livestream system was a lovely point of connection too.
The Rev. Meghan Farr, Chaplain of Saint Luke’s Home, said:
It was a blessing to be part of such a spirit-filled celebration of Saint Luke’s Home’s 150th anniversary. I am grateful to join with the administration and staff to share in the legacy of the Home as well as its continued ministry in Cork.
Peter Stobart, Director of Music at Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, commented:
For the first time ever – we think – the choirs of our three Secondary Schools came together to sing for the service. There were around seventy children crammed into the choir stalls and they were singing in four parts. As well as leading the hymn singing, they had rehearsed Bob Chilcott’s ‘Irish Blessing’ which they sang before the prayers. It was great to see the enthusiasm on the students’ faces as the three schools came together for the first time in the rehearsal. My thanks to their music teachers for preparing them so well over the last few weeks.