The Grand Opening of the Divine Mercy Centre



overview of the centre

The Grand Opening of the Divine Mercy Centre

Since December 8th 2015, the Catholic Church celebrates the Holy Year of Mercy, announced by Pope Francis. As believers, we are encouraged to practice the works of mercy on the individual as well as on the community level. The Church of De Aar Diocese took seriously that task.

opening of the Centre


The day of February 9th, 2016 will be well remembered by the faithful of De Aar Diocese and the whole community of De Aar as the DAY of a Grand Opening of a new social facilities called the Divine Mercy Centre. This noble act was done by Rt. Rev. Adam Musialek, the bishop of De Aar Diocese and Mrs Theresa Thomson, the Head of Hospice.



Among the invited guests have been:

  • Premier of the Northern Cape Province, Mrs Sylvia Lucas – (finally not present)
  • Meyers from the Municipalities of the Pixley Ka Seme District
  • Social, Health and Educational Departments
  • Social workers of the Municipality
  • Correctional Services
  • Hospice and representatives of the Catholic parishes of De Aar.

 Centre in overview

What is the Divine Mercy Centre?

In the Divine Mercy Centre there are:

  • a Cretche for children of 3-6 years old;
  • “Kidz for heaven” – for children with disability;
  • Hospice;
  • “Step-down” Centre - ;
  • OVC Centre.


How did this happened?

In 1927 the St John’s mission was built by the Holy Cross Sisters who came to South Africa from Germany and Ireland. They were the ground breaking Pioneers of the St John’s School. In those days St John’s School served as an orphanage to many children who had no parents or came from broken homes: the pioneers had the vision and mission to serve the community of De Aar and to allow under privileged children to receive the best education possible.

the kindegarden site

In 1952 they started Crèche which is still functioning under the name of St. John’s Mission Kleuterskool. In 1957 the Priests of the Sacred Heart of the US Province came to South Africa particularly to De Aar and under the direction of Msgr. Dettmer started to developed St. John’s Mission extended the Crèche and school buildings to the face which we can see today. After the sisters departed in 1972 the school was handed over to the Department of Education, but no longer served as an orphanage. Unfortunately during the years gone by no major renovations were done to the St John’s school by the Department of Education and it was left in an appalling broken down state. School was closed in April 2014 and are now housed across the road in new facilities built by the Dept. of Education.

benefactorsWith the help of the benefactors; Polish Aid, Priests of the Sacred Heart of the German and US Provinces Diocese of De Aar, Bishop Adam Musialek was undergoing a major restoration of St John’s Mission Kleuterskool from May 2014 with new buildings and vast security measurers under the company of Mr O. Jooste. The play ground has been enlarged, extra classrooms have been brought on, there is a massive dining room as well as a modern kitchen for the children to have their meals, and the many needed facilities which have been extended and renovated to provide for 258 children.

The second stage of the renovation was to prepare the buildingsBishop in the creche to accommodate the special care children age six to eighteen as part of the integration program in the society. Presently there are 42 children enrolled into this program, but according to our knowledge there are over 100 of them in our society who could join this program but as we always hear there is a transport problem.

The hall was renovated as well as the new facilities for hospice (see the Noghtingale Hospice by Mrs Theresa Thompson)

"Kidz for heaven"There are still much to be done such as parking area, extended play ground for crèche because due to closing of two crèches in the nearby area we have extra 70 children coming to our program for this year 2016 of total number 328 children.

We are confident that when all renovations are completed this will be a place to be proud of and a pleasure for all children to obtain preschool education and also a safe haven for those little ones that do not have a place to play.

For more pictures see the Gallery "Opening of the Divine Mercy Centre"



We use cookies to improve our website and your experience when using it. Cookies used for the essential operation of this site have already been set. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

  I accept cookies from this site.
EU Cookie Directive Module Information