Bishop Hennessey speaks with Mario Fici, Penacook Place's Resident Council president, while Judy Riopelle, Penacook Place's director of mission integration looks on. Pilot photo/courtesy Covenant Health
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HAVERHILL -- Penacook Place, a member of Covenant Health's family of organizations, was honored to recently welcome Merrimack Region Auxiliary Bishop Robert F. Hennessey to bless its new chapel, a sanctuary that came to fruition during the challenges of a pandemic.
As part of Penacook Place's commitment to Covenant Health and its faith-driven mission, Penacook renovated its ground floor into a beautiful chapel -- a sacred space that offers residents and their loved ones, staff, and the community a dedicated place for reflection and religious services.
The chapel, adorned with Stations of the Cross donated by Teresa Drelick, can accommodate individuals aided by walkers and wheelchairs, and has a folding glass partition to accommodate small and large occasions. The chapel's opening celebration kicked-off with a welcome from Michael Bell, president of Penacook Place, to several guests that included former employees. He specifically acknowledged the staff for their support in ensuring the chapel became a reality.
The celebration continued with comments from Covenant Health and Penacook Place senior leadership.
Stephen J. Grubbs, president and CEO of Covenant Health, remarked, "In our organization, mission matters. It's the cornerstone of who we are and what we do. I'm incredibly proud of our staff and this achievement."
Gerard Foley, senior vice president and president of post-acute care of Covenant Health, added, "This staff sincerely understands the importance of providing spiritual care to residents, regardless of background. This chapel enhances the care given."
Thomas Mortimer, chair of Penacook Place's Board of Directors, closed the celebration by thanking Covenant Health for partnering with Penacook Place to ensure this goal became a reality.
He said, "Spring is a time of renewal and we're very pleased to rejoice in it with the opening of this lovely chapel."
Bishop Hennessey then blessed the chapel as well as extended a blessing on behalf of Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley. The bishop was assisted by Father John W. Delaney, pastor of Sacred Hearts Parish in Bradford and a member of Penacook Place's Board of Directors.
"We are in the season of Easter -- a season of hope. The chapel's opening conveys a message of dedication, hope, and resilience," Bishop Hennessey said.