Representatives of various faiths at the ceremony on Jan 6. From left: Mr Jaafar Ma (Islam), Rev Gabriel Liew (Christianity), Archbishop Nicholas Chia, Master Wei Yi (Taoism), Venerable Yan Xu (Buddhism) and Mr Gupta Sneh Kant (Hinduism).

Archbishop Nicholas Chia, together with representatives of different religions, conducted a blessing ceremony at a site in Yishun which will be home to a Catholic-run home for the elderly.

The Villa Francis Home for the Aged in Mandai, which was built in the 1970s and which serves people of all faiths, will relocate to a new building at Yishun Central Avenue 4 in two years’ time.

During the Jan 6 blessing ceremony, Archbishop Chia, together with Mr Jaafar Ma (Islam), Rev Gabriel Liew (Christianity), Master Wei Yi (Taoism), Venerable Yan Xu (Buddhism) and Mr Gupta Sneh Kant (Hinduism) prayed for the sanctification of the land, safety for construction workers and residents in the area, and blessings for all connected to the home.

According to Villa Francis administrator Canossian Sr Maria Sim, the tenancy agreement for the charity, which now has a capacity of 139 beds, will expire in May 2012.

The new home to be built in Yishun will have another 100 beds. It is expected to complement the existing day social and rehabilitation centres in the vicinity, as well as the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital and the new Yishun community hospital slated to open in 2015, said Sr Maria.

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