Aquinata Hall, Peter M. Wege, and a Sacred Scapula

On April 24, The Dominican Sisters of Marywood celebrated the new life of Aquinata Hall as a licensed Home for the Aged.  Built in the late 19th century as the Dominican’s residence, Aquinata is now where they come for nursing care and rehabilitation services. The Dominicans will also open the new facility to the community at large, depending on space.  Prioress Maureen Geary called the renovated and expanded Aquinata “a healthcare destination.”

Porter Hills – with its years of experience in quality health care for seniors – worked with the Dominicans to design the three floors for differing levels of nursing needs. Already home to some Dominican Sisters,  Aquinata will only get busier as the number of elderly Sisters increases. Aquinata’s original chapel serves as the heart of the new building where Dominicans close out their lives of service cared for spiritually as well as physically.

Ellen Satterlee, CEO of The Wege Foundation, spoke at the chapel service about Peter M. Wege’s long admiration for the Dominicans. His love for the Dominicans began with his two grade school teachers at St. Stephens, Sister Leonard and Sister Vincent de Paul.  When Peter went to a military high school in California, these two continued to write him letters.

And Peter Wege gives full credit to Sisters Leonard and Vincent de Paul for surviving World War II.  When he was sent overseas as an Army Air Force pilot, his two former teachers gave him the above scapula containing a sliver of the cross.  With their sacred amulet in his billfold, Peter survived several close calls during the war.

Since the war, Peter M. Wege has never been without this protective gift.  He’s had a lot of wallets since he was discharged in 1946, but every one of them has carried the scapula blessed by his Dominican teachers Sisters Leonard and Vincent de Paul.

Sister Maureen Geary, Prioress of Aquinata (left) along with Ellen Satterlee, CEO of The Wege Foundation (center) and Sue Jandernoa, co-chairman of the capital campaign for the building and renovating of Aquinata Hall.
Photos of the interior of the newly remodeled Aquinata Hall including. Above is the original chapel from the 1880s.
Aquinata Hall’s new reception area where new residents are welcomed.