Posted February 24, 2009 in MH Edmonton AB:
A Place Where Your Family Can Live

by Miriam Stulberg.

Miriam, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, was transferred from Combermere to Marian Centre not long ago.

I am so grateful for the vision and attention that make Marian Centre Edmonton an ideal house for staff who have physical disabilities and other special needs.

It has ramps, an elevator, a toilet and shower for the handicapped, not to mention a therapeutic bath and railings along the walls installed by Darrin Prowse.

Some of these features have been here for a while, but before my arrival, the director of the house, Patrick Stewart, consulted with Genevieve Jamin, a former long-term guest at MH who now works as an occupational therapist. The night I arrived, a bright red three-wheel electric scooter awaited me at the door!

Welcoming and integrating people with limitations into the daily life of the house is part of the restoration of a Christian civilization. When I asked Patrick what had moved him to make Marian Centre such a place, he replied, "To me it’s just normal—you try to make your house a place where your family can live."

Just as much, if not more than the physical accessibility of MCE, I have been moved by the support and help of the staff—by the willingness to serve, an absence of complaining, and striving towards mutual acceptance. I wonder if part of the grace of this house lies in the fact that, by reverencing Christ in the poor, we are helped to accept our own poverty and the poverty of each other.

Marian Centre is a place of contrasts. It is a very active house, but as Catherine so often reminded us, "What you do matters, but not much; what you are matters tremendously!" Perhaps one aspect of the contribution of staff who cannot carry a physical load is to affirm for all of us the intrinsic importance of our "being."


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Combermere Diary (February 2009)



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