Counting a year of blessings

Our Laguna

Laguna Beach's Mission Hospital celebrates its one-year anniversary.

July 01, 2010|By Barbara Diamond
  • Monsignor John Urell, Pastor, performs final blessing on two large crosses that will adorn the north and south sides of Mission Hospital Laguna Beach building during Blessing of the Cross Ceremony marking 1st anniverary of the hospital.
Monsignor John Urell, Pastor, performs final blessing… (DON LEACH, Coastline…)

The Laguna Beach campus of Mission Hospital celebrated its first anniversary on Thursday with a blessing ceremony for the crosses that will be installed on the exterior of the tower.

"May they continue to provide, as they have done throughout the ages, a beacon of light providing inspiration for hope and healing for those we serve," said Monsignor John Urell.

"Let us venerate in faith the eternal plan by which God has made the cross of Jesus Christ the pre-eminent sign of his mercy," Urell said.

Urell, pastor of St. Timothy's Roman Catholic Church in Laguna Niguel, is a familiar face to communicants of St. Catherine of Siena Church. He served a brief stint at the church and most recently the blessing of the remodeled St. Catherine's School.

At the hospital, the Monsignor sprinkled the crosses with holy water dropping from twigs of rosemary, remembrance in floral parlance.

The backs of the metal crosses were signed by hospital staff members, physicians, supporters, volunteers and anyone else who was so inclined. A booklet of "Reflections" was given to people at the ceremony. It contained excerpts from the Koran, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu and Christian prayer and the Sisters of St. Joseph's vision statement: "We aspire to a life that is simple, prayerful, courageous and compassionate."


Prior to the ceremony, the crosses were displayed on a table covered in purple with two purple floral arrangements.

"Purple is the color of royalty and symbolizes for us Christ the King," said Cindy Mueller, vice president of Mission Integration, who welcomed the crowd of staff, volunteers, physicians and well-wishers clustered around the crosses.

Among the crowd who attended the ceremony in the hospital's Rose Garden: Mayor Elizabeth Pearson; Laguna Beach Seniors Inc. past President Pauline Walpin, an employee at the hospital for 15 years; her 11-year-old granddaughter, Katie; Eric Jessen, a member of the hospital's Advisory Board; a smattering of physicians who practice at the hospital and some of the 350 employees at the Laguna Beach campus.

"The crosses illuminate and animated our mission to extend the healing ministry of Jesus in the tradition of the Sisters of St. Joseph., which is to extend the healing ministry of Jesus by continually improving the health and quality of life of the people in the communities we serve," Mueller said.

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