PRESQUE ISLE---During an open house weekend that attracted hundreds of local residents, Bishop Robert P. Deeley blessed the new Aroostook “House of Comfort” on Green Hill Drive in Presque Isle. The blessing was part of a special ceremony held on Friday, April 6 (additional pictures below).
The “House of Comfort” is northern Maine’s first hospice facility, with an expectation of serving more than 60 patients per year. VNA, a home-based nursing service that is part of Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems, will manage the facility which is owned by the Aroostook Hospice Foundation. The “House of Comfort” will offer end-of-life and palliative care for patients and their families when death is expected within six months.
“From birth to death, we care for each other in the ways in which that care is needed in that particular moment and at that particular time,” said Bishop Deeley during the ceremony. “This house speaks to the value of relationship, of our common creation, and of our dependence on one another and our need to care for one another.”
Each of the six patient rooms has a kitchen, bathroom, and space for family members to spend the night. The “House of Comfort” also includes common areas and a memorial garden.
The facility also has a chapel with a stained-glass window donated by Our Lady of Hope Parish in Portland. The window was installed at St. Patrick Church in Portland until its closure in May of 2013. Christ is depicted in the middle lancet of the window and commissioning the Apostles “to go forth and teach all nations.” The symbolism of the arrow pointing in four directions in the window refers to the worldwide evangelism of the Apostles. One-third of the window has been installed, while the other two sections are being placed in shadow boxes so they may be lit from behind and placed on the walls beside the installed lancet.
“This beautiful window, through which light helped to create a warm and sacred place in the past, will serve as a beacon of hope and reassurance for patients and their families in the future,” said the bishop. “What a grace and laudable action for the parishioners to have supported.”
For more information about the “House of Comfort,” visit www.aroostookhouseofcomfort.com or call (207) 769-2402.