St. Pat’s nursing home in St. John’s not Roman Catholic archdiocese property

The Telegram [St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada]

March 30, 2021

By Barb Sweet

Facility is owned by the Sisters of Mercy

St. Patrick’s Nursing Home in St. John’s is still owned by the Sisters of Mercy, but their properties are not tied to the Catholic archdiocese, which is going through a financial restructuring.

Congregational leader Sister Elizabeth Davis said Tuesday the order’s properties are separate from the Archdiocese of St. John’s.

The Sisters of Mercy own St. Patrick’s Mercy Home, and Eastern Health partners with the Catholic order to use the facility to operate its long-term care program, Eastern Health said this week.

If Eastern Health no longer required use of the property, it would go back to the Sisters of Mercy. Eastern Health has not been involved in any discussions about buying the property.

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador owns St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital, which was originally a Catholic hospital operated by nuns.

A total of 34 public schools are still technically owned by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. John’s, but they are protected from being sold because they are still in use by the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District (NLESD).

St. Patrick's Nursing Home in St. John's. — Keith Gosse/The Telegram
St. Patrick’s Nursing Home in St. John’s. — Keith Gosse/The Telegram

However, St, John’s lawyer Geoff Budden, who successfully won a ruling for early Mount Cashel abuse victims, told The Telegram recently that while it is true the episcopal corporation cannot claim or sell those schools, it can sell or assign its reversionary interest in them.

The archdiocese is going through a major financial restructuring, working with a team of advisers, as it must settle compensation claims with victims of sexual abuse by certain Christian Brothers at the former Mount Cashel boys’ orphanage in the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s.