The Sisters of Compassion today
If we work together we can succeed.
Mehemea ka mahi tahi taua tera ano e taea.
The spirit of Suzanne Aubert lives on today in the work of the Sisters of Compassion.
At the time of Suzanne Aubert’s death there were 70 Sisters of Compassion. In the 1930s, true to her plans, many sisters qualified as nurses and over the years sisters gained further qualifications in specialist areas including the care of disabled children.
Today, the Sisters of Compassion continue to work actively towards the relief of human suffering. They are engaged in social work, pastoral care, prison and hospital chaplaincies, education, working with refugee and disadvantaged migrant communities, residential and home care of the sick and the elderly and support of people developing home gardens.
Continuing in the Spirit of Suzanne Aubert (1926 – present day)
Suzanne Aubert would be proud of how well the hospital grew and how her mission has developed and adapted to the times.
In 1931 the Home of Compassion Hospital became registered as an “A” grade general hospital which continued to train nurses until the 1970s. The building was demolished in the 1980s and a new complex was established on the site operating as a general hospital and rest home for the elderly until 2002. This building is now a place for rest, retreats, conferences and meetings.
In 1969 St Joseph’s School at Hiruhārama was closed and Ranana School was taken over by the Education Department. Today Hiruhārama remains a centre for support for the local communities. The Sisters still remain in close touch with the tangata whenua even though we no longer live at Jerusalem. For the sisters, Hiruhārama/Jerusalem remains a place close to the heart of every Sister of Compassion, a place where the sisters go to make their retreats, attend important meetings, visit families living there and attend funerals. There is accommodation available for visitors https://compassion.org.nz/our-places/hiruharama-jerusalem/book-a-stay/. The sisters living in Whanganui visit Jerusalem frequently by imparting information to large groups of pilgrims and by attending functions and activities with the local people the hapū of Ngāti Hau and Ngāti Ruaka.
Boards of directors now assist in the running of St Joseph’s Home of Compassion in Heretaunga, Our Lady’s Home of Compassion at Island Bay and Compassion Soup Kitchen. Chanel Nursing Home in Fiji is managed by the Sisters with the help of an advisory board.
The Suzanne Aubert Compassion Centre in Tory Street, Wellington provides breakfast and evening meals to those in need and outreach services work with migrant families and support the elderly and lonely.
In Upper Hutt, 90 Compassion pensioner flats ensure social contact, practical assistance and affordable accommodation for elderly residents who are often housebound.
During November 2017 Compassion Housing Limited formed a joint venture with Willis Bond to purchase the social housing stock of the Horowhenua District Council. Ninety-seven units are spread over several sites in Levin. 12 units at Foxton and 6 in Shannon. There are now 209 properties, 92 at Upper Hutt and 115 in the Horowhenua.
The Trust Board was established in 1917 but the legal formality of registration at the Deeds Office had not been adopted. The final documents were signed on 11 May 1923, for registration at the Supreme Court, under the ‘Religious, Charitable and Educational Trusts Act of 1908.