Catholic-run senior facility in Normal to add nursing and memory care units
“We think there is a real need in this marketplace to extend our mission through skilled nursing and memory care units we want to construct here,” said Dan Noonan, chief financial officer for Franciscan Ministries, which is sponsored by the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago.
Noonan said the expansion was anticipated when Franciscan Ministries acquired the facility — located near the intersection of Raab and Towanda Barnes roads in northeast Normal — last August from the Meadows Mennonite Retirement Community. At present, independent and assisted senior living is offered in 60 apartments and four villas.
“We feel blessed with the support and investment in our future by Franciscan Ministries and the Franciscan Sisters,” said Chris Beymer, executive director of The Village at Mercy Creek since January.
Speaking at blessing and ribbon-cutting ceremonies marking the one-year anniversary, Beymer said the addition of skilled nursing and memory care units will provide “a continuum of care” as the community’s residents age.
“Change is difficult,” said Beymer. “To know you can still be on the same campus with a Catholic ministry and be seen through that whole continuum is comforting.”
Construction on the new buildings is expected to begin in mid-2020 and take more than a year to complete.
“SERVING CHRIST HIMSELF”
Beymer said the anniversary celebration “wrapped a lot of things into one,” including a blessing of the facility by Msgr. Eric Powell, a ribbon-cutting sponsored by the McLean County Chamber of Commerce, and a reception in the facility’s main gathering area.
“May God bless us with grace so that in serving the people of The Village at Mercy Creek, we may come to know that we serve Christ himself,” said Msgr. Powell, who is pastor of Epiphany Parish in Normal. God “showers His love and mercy in a particular way on our elders who have journeyed through life and may now find themselves in need of care,” he added.
After leading those assembled in the Prayer of St. Francis, Msgr. Powell sprinkled holy water at the facility’s entrance.
The Village of Mercy Creek welcomes those of all beliefs and has spaces for religious services and spiritual activities, including a weekly Catholic Mass.
Prior to the ribbon cutting, State Rep. Dan Brady read well-wishes from the Illinois House of Representatives for “the success in all future of endeavors of this loving facility and the residents who call it home.”
HONORING THE PAST
Beymer also paid tribute to the associated churches that built the facility — originally known as Meadows at Mercy Creek — in 2012.
“Without (their) initial investment, this property would not exist today,” said Beymer, noting a plaque will be placed in the courtyard to honor the community’s roots.
Also present for the celebration was John Glover, chief operating officer of Franciscan Ministries. He thanked Beymer and the facility’s leadership team and staff for their continuing work to serve residents.
The Franciscan Sisters of Chicago were founded in 1894 by Mother Mary Theresa Dudzik, a Polish immigrant. Moved to action by the need she saw among Chicago’s aged, infirm, and poor, she and her new community founded St. Joseph Home in 1898, the first Catholic nursing home in Chicago.
Today, Franciscan Ministries continues the mission to “celebrate life and serve with joy” at senior living communities and other outreaches in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky.
EDITOR’S NOTE: More photos from the anniversary celebration have been posted to The Catholic Post’s site on Facebook.