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Why we celebrate Foundation Day

05 October 2017

Sister Mary Eugenia Brennan, a Sister of St John of God, who served in many hospital roles including in pathology at St John of God Subiaco Hospital, explains why Foundation Day is an important celebration in the St John of God Health Care calendar.


We celebrate Foundation Day to provide a recurring moment of memory and imagination.

This is a day about awareness of historical realities, present realities and imaginative considering of our future.

The celebration calls us to reflect on our Christian origins:

  • the stories of healing by Jesus, and his care and concern for those who were suffering and isolated from community
  • the story of our patron St John of God
  • the Foundation of the Sisters of St John of God on 7 October 1871
  • the establishment of St John of God Health Care in 1989 that came as the response of the Sisters of St John of God to the new era of thinking first launched by Pope John XXIII in 1959, when he announced the momentous Ecumenical Council, which became known as Vatican II.

Foundation Day also calls us to acknowledge, critique, and celebrate the foundation being made in our time.

Foundation Day is a prompt to us to imagine and creatively envision a future that represents fidelity to our heritage; at the same time seeking to achieve balance as we grasp emerging new insights, possibilities and technologies that will help us to care for those we serve.

Foundation Day is an occasion to remember, acknowledge our own moment in history, and envision the future with hope and fidelity.

Sister Mary Eugenia Brennan, September 2017.