Numerous celebration events, including a Mass with Bishop Matthew H. Clark, are being planned throughout 2008 to honor the 100th anniversary of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Elmira.
Bishop Clark is scheduled to celebrate the 7 p.m. Mass at Elmira’s Ss. Peter & Paul Church on Sept. 24. The liturgy will take place 100 years to the day from when a group of Sisters of St. Joseph of Rochester and several local physicians opened the doors of St. Joseph’s to the Elmira community.
Among the other special activities planned for the upcoming year are the St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation Spirit & Centurion Awards Dinner on May 14 and the St. Joseph’s Auxiliary’s centennial gala on Sept. 27, both at Elmira Country Club; as well as a community celebration event featuring “Neil Berg’s 100 Years of Broadway” performance on Dec. 11 at the Clemens Center. Recognition nights also have been scheduled at an Elmira Jackals hockey game (Jan. 19) as well as an Elmira Pioneers baseball game (June 13). Several events are being planned for St. Joseph’s employees as well.
Eight honorary cochairs have been selected for the jubilee year. They represent volunteers, employees, clergy, physicians and other key constituents who will serve as guests at the hospital’s various centennial events. The cochairs were selected for their long tenures serving St. Joseph’s. They are:
* Dr. Joseph Calderone, a member of St. Joseph’s medical staff since 1971.
* Father Richard Farrell, St. Joseph’s chaplain from 1990-96 and now pastor of St. Mary’s Southside Parish.
* Sister Marie Michael Miller, SSJ, a St. Joseph’s employee and volunteer since 1950.
* John Gough and Sister Elizabeth LeValley, SSJ, members of St. Joseph’s board of directors since the early 1980s.
* Helen Coughlin, Rose MacFeiggan and Mary Rosenberg, all members of the St. Joseph’s Auxiliary since its inception in 1954.
"The fortitude, courage and insight of our honorary centennial cochairs have and to this day still continue to make St. Joseph’s what it is today — a place for those in need of healing in mind, body and spirit,” said Sister Marie Castagnaro, president/CEO of St. Joseph’s. Sister Castagnaro added that the honorary chairs "represent and symbolize all of the many people over this past century who have contributed to the vitality and success of this institution.”
In other centennial-related news, a special photo exhibit has been unveiled that recalls several of St. Joseph’s historic milestones over the past 100 years. The exhibit, which will be a permanent wall display in the hospital’s front lobby, was designed and constructed by employees Eric Coons and Lisa Davenport.
Also this year, the hospital’s foundation will conclude its $1.7 million fund drive. Nearly $1.2 million was raised in cash and pledges during the silent phase of the campaign for endowment and the eventual renovation of the hospital’s emergency department. The remaining $500,000 being sought would serve such purposes as financial assistance for the uninsured, patient programs and equipment upgrades.
St. Joseph’s, located at 555 E. Market St., is one of only two Catholic hospitals in the Diocese of Rochester. The other, St. James Mercy in Hornell, is also located in the Southern Tier.