Cheers came as the ribbon was cut and people filed into the newly opened Mercy House in Endicott.
Mercy House now inhabits the old St. Casimir’s Church. It retains some of it’s old features like the stained glass and the heavy timber beams, but now it houses ten rooms for people who are terminally ill to call home.
The shelter will provide spiritual care and Lourdes Hospital will make visits provide hospice care. This is not a medical facility, and it doesn’t feel like one. It’s feels very comfortable. When you look out the windows facing the street, you feel as if you are standing in your own home.
Lisa Sokol used to attend St. Casimir’s church. She had her first communion here; she was confirmed here; and she got married here.
“Right where we’re standing right now used to be the cry room,” said Sokol, tears welled up in her own eyes as she spoke about her old church’s new intent. “It’s a little emotional to come in here and see it being used in a purposeful way.”
It just so happens Lisa Sokol is already a hospice volunteer, and she’s excited at the opportunity to volunteer here too.
Mercy House intends to serve residents of the Southern Tier who are most in need, like patients without family at home to provide this kind of care. They hope to house 160 people a year.