MANILA, August 11, 2011?The Handicapped Center Lourdes celebrated its 17th anniversary on August 6, at Caritas Compound in Pandacan, with the blessing of an expanded wing intended for housing male patients.
The celebration started with a Holy Mass and was followed by the blessings of the newly constructed Francis Home and the renewed rehabilitation area led by His Eminence Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales and Fr. Luke Moortgat, CICM Ph.D., founder and Executive Director of the center.
Francis Home, an expansion of the Handicapped Center Lourdes, was made possible through the donations of the people from the City of Hasselt, the Province of Limburg and other private donors in Belgium.
The name “Francis” was derived from Francis Leyssens, who is a strong and committed supporter of the advocacy.
His Excellency Josef Naudts of the Embassy of Belgium was present during the celebration representing the sponsors.
Francis Home is the wing designated for male patients. The center has a residential component for the multiple handicapped who were abandoned.
The Day Care is for the multiple handicapped living with their parents. It also has a physical therapy area for the same people as well as for poor elderly and people with physical disabilities.
All patients are given free service. They come mainly from the surrounding parishes of San Fernando de Dilao, Sto. Nino Parish, St. Maria Goretti, St. Peter and Paul and Our Lady Penafrancia.
The Lourdes center was founded by Fr. Moortgat on February 11, 1993 upon the request of the late Cardinal Sin of Manila. The goal is for the multiple handicapped to receive a minimum of standard of living, an appropriate education and mainly a welcoming home. (Ronalyn R. Regino)