100 years of care, healing

GALESBURG — The yearlong centennial celebrations of OSF St. Mary Medical Center will culminate this month at a special Mass celebrated by Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC.

The Mass will be at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 25, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, 2401 N. Broad St. Msgr. Ernest Pizzamiglio, pastor, will join Bishop Jenky as a concelebrant. A reception will follow at Costa Catholic Academy. The public is invited.

This year’s celebrations have helped OSF St. Mary to underscore the key and central place of the medical center’s mission, according to Richard Kowalski, who is president and CEO of OSF St. Mary Medical Center and of the western region of OSF Healthcare System.

Serving a seven-county area in west central Illinois from its three Galesburg locations, OSF St. Mary Medical Center is a part of OSF Healthcare System, which is owned and operated by the East Peoria-based Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis.

“Through the sisters, we have essentially the same mission that we had 100 years ago — to care for anyone who comes to us regardless of their situation,” Kowalski told The Catholic Post.

“That mission is very much supported and discussed a lot here, to see what we can do to carry it out,” he continued.

“The mission isn’t going to change, but how that mission is carried out has been changing almost from the beginning, as time goes on and medical technology improves,” Kowalski said.

With the theme of “Foundation for Tomorrow,” the 100th anniversary commemorations began this year with a Jan. 17 concert by the U.S. Air Force Band of Mid-America “Shades of Blue” Jazz Ensemble. Also visiting that day was Willard Scott of NBC’s “The Today Show,” who is known for featuring people turning 100 years or older.

Another event was a March 27 lecture at Knox College in Galesburg by Jim Stovall, author of “The Ultimate Gift,” which was made into a movie starring James Garner and Abigail Breslin in 2006. In addition, Sister Magdalena Ezoe, OP, gave a June 13 piano concert at Knox College in honor of the medical center’s 100th anniversary.

It is also hoped that the medical center will be able to sponsor a lecture in October by Dr. Robert Wallace, a syndicated columnist and Knox College graduate, but that event has not been confirmed.

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