By a Staff Reporter The Hospital of St. John and St. Elizabeth celebrates its 50th year on its present site in St. John's Wood, London, on May 28. On that day Cardinal Griffin will open a maternity department in the hospital with accommodation for ten patients in addition to doctors', reception and laboitr rooms.
The section will-be in charge of the well-known Catholic obstetrician Mr. J. V. O'Sullivan. Earlier in the day the Cardinal will preside at a Solemn High Mass of thanksgiving, at which Canon Wood, rector of the parish, will officiate.
It was in 1856 that Cardinal Wiseman came to ask the Sisters of Mercy to open the first Catho. lie hospital in England since the Reformation. The nuns had just come hack from the Crimea where they had been helping Florence Nightingale to nurse the wounded.
In November of that year they set up their hospital in Great Ormond Street, next to the Children's Hospital. There came a time when both hospitals wished to expand and in 1898 the Sisters of Mercy, having bought Loudoun Hall and the surrounding property in St. John's Wood, decided to move there.
One problem, however, presented itself. Inside the building in Great Ormond Street had been built a beautiful church, modelled on the church of the Knights of St. John in Malta. It was the gift of one of the Knights, Sir George Bowyer, Rather than sacrifice the church it was removed stone by stone and reerected in the new hospital. St. John's and St. Elizabeth's is famous throughout the world. By entering the field of maternity medicine it will he adding another important chapter to its long and distinguished work for the community. It will remain outside the National Health scheme and thus its Catholic character will be unimpaired. It therefore will continue as a voluntary work and will depend on subscriptions and donations.