On March 11, just as concern about the coronavirus was taking off, my husband had spinal surgery through Barrow Neurological Institute, which is housed at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona. Although it should have been a very short stay, my husband ran into complications, and he ended up staying two weeks, and then transferring to a skilled nursing facility. I spent many hours there the first week, and then visitors were barred.
In 1892, a group of Sisters of Mercy arrived in Phoenix to open a school. They recognized a need for a tuberculosis treatment center, so they raised money to start a hospital, which became St. Joseph’s. The first St. Joe’s was located in a former home in 1895. The current St. Joe’s was opened in 1953, though it’s expanded over the years.
Because I went to an elementary school that was run by Sisters of Mercy, I felt like I was coming home to my roots in the hospital. It’s one of the most beautiful hospitals I’ve ever seen, with artwork and Sisters of Mercy memorabilia. For example, I was familiar with this photograph in the lobby:
Here is an Orthodox-style icon of Mother McCauley. She is on the path to canonization in the Catholic Church.
And as a child I wanted this doll, dressed in my teachers’ habit:
Here is a chalice that is part of the exhibit:
The hospital also displays vintage photographs of life in Phoenix:
And gorgeous sculpture:
And scripture (paraphrased) on the wall:
And an appropos verse from the Koran:
One day it poured while I was there. This was the view from Greg’s room, complete with rainbow:
Here are two views of St. Joseph’s statue in front of the hospital:
As I write this, Greg is still in the skilled nursing facility, but he is slowly improving, and I hope he will be home soon.