Saturday, November 9th marked the opening of the new Alfond Center for Health in Augusta. It marks a major change for all of us who receive medical care. I am sure that it has been at times a challenging, at times an exciting, and at time, a transition demanding great patience and generosity on the part of all those in our area who work in the medical profession and for their patients and families. It will certainly change health care throughout the Kennebec Valley.
The priests in both St. Michael and Corpus Christi Parishes have worked diligently with the staff at the Alfond Center for Health to develop and determine how Catholic Pastoral Care will be exercised at this hospital of about 200 in-patient beds while maintaining availability to Thayer and Inland Hospitals in Waterville. I pray that all of this will be a positive development both for the Catholic presence and for health care in general in the Kennebec Valley. The corporal work of mercy of visiting the sick will be a regular part of being Catholic, not only for priests, deacons, and religious, but also for extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist and for all of the faithful as we together strive to live our faith at this particular place and time.