How Marian Residence Began

The special place that today is Marian Residence Retirement Home began as a simple response to the needs of the elderly in our time. It came about as a result of the caring commitment of Mother Mary Josephine, the Foundress of the Sisters of Our Lady Immaculate.

In 1977, Mother Mary Josephine received the permission from Bishop Reding to start the religious community of the Sisters of Our Lady Immaculate in Guelph. In August of 1980, Mother Mary Josephine and her little group of Sisters moved to Cambridge, Ontario.

While in Cambridge, Mother Mary Josephine visited seniors in their homes and even invited them sometimes for tea at the Convent. During these visits she noticed that the seniors were very much alone in their own homes. It was here that the inspiration to start Marian Residence Retirement home was conceived. Mother Mary Josephine later fixed into the Constitutions of the Sisters of Our Lady Immaculate a statement of the needs she saw and the role of her Sisters in meeting them: "The social circumstances of our elderly today call us to turn our attention to their needs: their loneliness, economic insecurity, and spiritual care. The Sisters will strive to assist the elderly in their needs in trying to alleviate their fears and by helping them to prepare for a happy death." (SOLI Constitutions 46)

In August of 1986, the original farmhouse building in Preston Heights – the "White House," as it was called – was purchased and became the first home of Marian Residence Retirement Home with a capacity of 16-19 residents. With two Sisters staying with the residents at night and the rest housed in a convent next to St. Clement's Church in Preston, the Sisters attended to the needs of every resident.

In November of 1994, under the careful supervision of our special friend and benefactor Mr. Robert (Bob) MacDonald, the construction of the new retirement home began. By May of 1995, the first phase of the construction was completed creating space for about thirty-four residents. Happily, the residents moved into their beautiful new bedrooms, leaving the "White House" as a convent for Sisters. The following year, in June 9, 1996, Mother Mary Josephine was called home to heaven while the community she started continued its special mission.

Again, with Mr. MacDonald still helping as supervisor, the second part of the construction, still under Contractor Len Hergott took off in 1999. The white house was demolished offering more space for expansion of the Retirement Home. By May 2000 the construction was completed, bringing the total number of rooms to forty-nine including double rooms. Today Marian Residence provides a joyful community and a caring Catholic Home for retired citizens of the region who are eager to live their faith.


Read on about Mother Mary Josephine and the founding of the SOLI Sisters |


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