I’ve been visiting at the Barron Center for the past year. Each time I walk through the doors, I am inspired by the care, respect and dignity afforded to the patients by all the staff.

Many arrive having been discharged from local hospitals. All who are fortunate enough to recover at the Zolov Skilled Care Unit discover immediately the spirit of care that Mother Teresa alluded to when she said that the mark of a truly civilized culture is how it cares for its weakest and most vulnerable members.

Nurses, dietitians, aides, therapists, doctors, unit clerks – all move in sync, with only one goal: to make the patient well.

There is no shortage of kindness, love and respect for each person who comes through the doors of what was once Portland City Hospital. Matthew and Evelyn Barron would be so proud to see their vision fulfilled.

It doesn’t end here. If fate should have it that the Barron Center will become your permanent residence, then you have just entered a world where people are sensitive and attuned to your most basic needs.

The staff seem to move about a difficult environment with energy, vitality and compassion. Their resolve to treat each human being with the respect and integrity so deserved evokes again the memory of a saint who walked the darkest streets of one of the poorest places in the world.

Portland is one of the brightest little cities in the country – nearly surrounded by beautiful Casco Bay, home to some of the finest dining spots of the East Coast, filled with great neighborhoods full of charm and diversity (Munjoy Hill at the top).

But for now, for me, the jewel of the city is the Barron Center. As the Scripture is so fond of saying, “Well done, good and faithful servants.”

The Rev. Thomas M. Murphy