The cross overlooking St. Boniface Hospital, a well-known landmark of Winnipeg’s landscape, especially at night when it’s lit up in red, underwent a substantial makeover this winter.
In fact, a new cross was erected and blessed by the Archbishop of St. Boniface, Albert LeGatt, on February 11, 2019.
“February 11 is World Day of the Sick,” says Micheline St-Hilaire, Director, of Corporate Affairs and Communications at St. Boniface Hospital, “so it was the perfect time to bless our new cross.”
Martine Bouchard, President and CEO of St. Boniface Hospital, explains. “The cross on the hospital roof has always symbolized the Grey Sisters’ legacy of love, compassion and care for the sick, and anyone in need, regardless of who they are.”
“As the Grey Nuns celebrate 175 years in Manitoba in 2019, what an inspiring way to mark this anniversary!”
The Grey Nuns founded St. Boniface Hospital in 1872 on the banks of the Red River, at the site of the current hospital. With four beds at the time, it was the first autonomous hospital in St. Boniface. Before that, the sisters cared for the sick directly in their convent, now the Saint-Boniface Museum.
The cross overlooking the hospital was erected in 1954. “The new cross replaces the original cross of 1954, which had become too damaged,” says St-Hilaire. “The old cross was removed in November 2018.”
The cross is backlit by red LED lights and is 5.2 m high by 2.7 m wide.
Archbishop LeGatt’s blessing on February 11 was broadcast live in the hospital chapel, where some 60 people had gathered for the event.
“We are very grateful to the Catholic Health Corporation of Manitoba Fund at the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation for paying the costs of replacing the symbolic cross,” says Bouchard.