Sister Celeste Albers acknowledged that the razing of the St. Rose circular towers will be difficult to watch this summer.
However, she noted, an opportunity to grieve will offer comfort to the whole community.
That opportunity is scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday, May 2, at St. Rose. The Circles Closing Ceremony will last about 30 minutes.
Sister Celeste is worship director at the local Dominican Sisters Motherhouse. It was the Dominicans who started St. Rose Hospital, which led to Central Kansas Medical Center (CKMC), which has led to the new St. Rose Health Center.
“We invite everyone to come to this closing ceremony,” Sister Celeste said. “It is important that we allow this event to teach us. When we let go of something, there is an emptiness; at some point that emptiness needs to be filled.
“Our faith tells us that God is ready to fill that void with something new,” she continued. “This helps us be more faithful to God in service to others.”
During the ceremony, participants can reflect on the countless people that St. Rose and CKMC have served, Sister Celeste commented.
“It gives us the chance to pray for those whose lives we have touched,” she said. “It also is a call to continue service in Great Bend. For example, CKMC started Heartland Cancer Center, which continues to be an important ministry for us. There is a close bond.”
The ASB Building, which was the original home of the Dominican School of Nursing, was razed last fall.
“That was difficult but seeing the circles come down will be even more so,” Sister Celeste said. “It will be hard to let go. So many of us have personal and professional connections to St. Rose and CKMC.”
For instance, she noted, her aunt was Sister Benigna Albers, who was administrator at St. Rose for 18 years. She was instrumental in the planning of CKMC, which opened in March 1964.
“The razing will be difficult for everyone,” Sister Celeste said. “This structure touches the heart of almost every person who has lived here for any length of time.
“The day we see those bricks fall, there will be lots of tears here at our house,” she elaborated. “But many others in our community will grieve too.”
Sister Celeste said the ceremony also will be an opportunity to give thanks to many people, including St. Rose Administrator Leanne Irsik and Marketing Director Mark Mingenback.
“Leanne and Mark, along with many others, have been so caring, so wonderful,” she said. “We have seen them do all they can to continue the health-care ministry we started so many years ago.
“This is such an important part of the Dominican legacy,” she added. “Hays Medical Center and Centura Health will continue to add to this legacy with the many services at the new St. Rose Health Center.”
St. Rose specializes in primary care, prevention and wellness. Services include St. Rose Family Medicine & Urgent Care, Great Bend Internists, imaging, infusion clinic, WellnessWorks, one-day surgical procedures, Golden Belt Home Health & Hospice and a comprehensive Specialty Clinic. St. Rose is co-owned by Hays Medical Center and Centura Health.