Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Anthony's sisters get new convent, hospital gets new emergency room in St. Petersburg

Sister Susan McGillicuddy, second from right, prays a blessing for those in attendance Thursday near the site of the new convent at St. Anthony’s Hospital for the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany.

KATHLEEN FLYNN | Times

Sister Susan McGillicuddy, second from right, prays a blessing for those in attendance Thursday near the site of the new convent at St. Anthony’s Hospital for the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany.

ST. PETERSBURG — The afternoon started with prayers and hymns and verses from the Bible about building a kingdom.

Then there was a bit of a roast.

Has anyone ever built a house? asked radiologist Thomas Egan.

"Can you imagine having eight or nine women of the house telling you how to build it?" he said to a roar.

"We get it done right," murmured a tiny voice in the crowd.

Indeed. Come fall, the women from the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany will move into a new convent on the grounds of St. Anthony's Hospital, land which clerics blessed at a ceremony Thursday. Their old convent will be torn down to build a state-of-the-art emergency room with 34 private beds.

It was a matter of need for the hospital. Leaders considered all potential spots on the campus for the construction, and the convent made the most sense. Built in the late 1960s, it was getting old and had 21 bedrooms, too many for the seven sisters currently living there, age 36 and up.

But they didn't want to make the nuns scoot.

"We don't want to leave that part of our culture," said hospital president Bill Ulbricht. "They're part of our heritage. They're part of what makes St. Anthony's what we are today."

The Franciscan Sisters of Allegany came to St. Petersburg in 1931, during the Great Depression.

"Our sisters came because there was a need in the city of St. Petersburg," said Sister Mary McNally, the hospital's vice president of mission integration. "People were out of work. People were in need of health care. Sound familiar?"

The sisters established St. Anthony's, the only Catholic hospital in Pinellas County, and lived on the grounds. They have been there ever since, serving on boards and in administrative roles, visiting with patients and praying for staff members and volunteers.

People around the hospital have a hearty respect for them. So when the staff considered using the convent grounds for a new emergency room, naturally, it went to the sisters first.

They obliged.

"We want to respond to the needs of the community," said Sister Margaret Foley.

The new convent, on the corner of Fourteenth Street and Seventh Avenue N, will be smaller, with eight bedrooms. It also will be one story instead of two, pleasing the sisters who have a hard time getting up and down stairs.

It will be updated and fresh but simple, as their lifestyle demands. It will have a chapel and a meditation area and comfortable common areas for the sisters to gather. They pray together every day.

"It will have a Franciscan flair, with the colors being more muted," said Ulbricht.

But the most important thing, the sisters said, is that the new home be built flexibly with other uses in mind.

That way, if anyone needs the building, they can offer it.

Stephanie Hayes can be reached at shayes@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8857.

St. Anthony's sisters get new convent, hospital gets new emergency room in St. Petersburg 01/21/10 [Last modified: Thursday, January 21, 2010 10:32pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Mother of double amputee Ireland Nugent to lose her own lower right leg

    Human Interest

    Ever since Ireland Nugent lost both her lower legs in a lawn-mowing accident five years ago, the Clearwater girl has inspired her mother, Nicole Del Corpo-Nugent, with the courage she has shown in overcoming the tragedy.

    Nicole Del Corpo-Nugent, left, looked on as her daughter Ireland threw out the first pitch when the Tampa Bay Rays played the Houston Astros at Tropicana Field on June 22, 2014. Jerry Nugent held his daughter for the pitch. Now Nicole Del Corpo-Nugent is facing surgery to amputate her own lower right leg due to a rare infection. WILL VRAGOVIC  |  Times (2014)
  2. Chris Archer knocked out early as Rays lose to Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Another short outing by Chris Archer led to another long afternoon for the Rays in a 9-4 loss to the Orioles on Sunday.

    Chris Archer has not gotten past four innings in four of his past five starts. [WILL VRAGOVIC | Times]
  3. Bucs-Vikings report card: Where's this explosive offense we heard about all offseason?

    Bucs

    O NO

    True, the Bucs defense looked pretty leaky in the 34-17 loss to the Vikings. But you know what needs to happen when the defense is getting torched? The offense needs to step up. In games such as these, with defensive players seemingly getting hurt every play, the offense needs to outscore the other …

    Minnesota Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes (26) intercepts a Jameis Winston pass intended for wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. Bucs-Vikings: Instant analysis from Tampa Bay's 34-17 loss

    Bucs

    MINNEAPOLIS — Here's Rick Stroud and Tom Jones' instant analysis from the Bucs' 34-17 loss at Minnesota Sunday. More to come from Rick & Tom — and Greg Auman —- from Minneapolis later today.

    Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jarius Wright (17) dives over the pylon for a touchdown as  Bucs cornerback Ryan Smith (29) defends. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Worst-Case scenario: Case Keenum, Vikings hand Bucs 34-17 loss

    Bucs

    MINNEAPOLIS — With key defensive starters out with injury, the Bucs were dominated by the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, with fill-in quarterback Case Keenum beating Tampa Bay for the third year in a row, …

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston (3) is sacked by Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen (97) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]