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The "foundation stones" with which the Congregation of Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word established St. Joseph Villa 48 years ago remain today, the Most Rev. Bishop George H. Niederauer said in dedicating newly expanded villa facilities.

"The values they brought of hard work, sacrifice, love, zeal and religious commitment" continue as the nursing home enters a new era of providing services to older people, said Bishop Niederauer, recently ordained and installed as the eighth bishop of the Salt Lake Catholic Diocese.About 200 people gathered Wednesday under sunny skies for the dedicatory celebration and ribbon cutting at the $15.6 million facility, located at 451 Bishop Federal Lane (1940 South).

The street was closed off between 400 and 500 East to accommodate the construction. It was renamed in honor of Bishop Joseph Lennox Federal, a former bishop of the diocese, who along with Sister Mary Ambrose Naughton, the nursing home's former executive director, was recognized at the services.

Bishop Federal, who headed the diocese from 1960 to 1980, is now a resident at the nursing home and attended the gathering in a wheelchair. Sister Ambrose, who gave a scriptural reading on the Parable of the Good Samaritan, is back at the facility after major surgery. She is now assistant administrator for mission services at the villa.

Bishop Niederauer gave a reflection and blessing before sprinkling holy water inside the new facilities, which he said have become the yardstick in measuring care for the elderly.

Outdoor features of the three-story structure include a red and creme stucco finish and a design aimed at maintaining architectural harmony with the neighborhood.

In addition to present long-term care facilities, the sprawling new construction includes an inter-de-nominational chapel, adult day care, a senior health clinic, rehabilitation equipment, residential living, independent senior apartments, transitional care and a special unit for those with Alzheimer's disease and related illnesses. Intermountain Health Care Inc. leases space and provides patient care in some areas of the center.

In conducting the service, Galen K. Ewer, president and chief executive officer of St. Joseph Villa, said completion and dedication of the facilities is significant when considering the "graying of America."

He noted that life expectancy increased from an average of 60 years in 1947 to 74 years in 1990.

"A child entering kindergarten in 1995 can expect to live 100 years. You can imagine what this is doing to our population," Ewer said, pointing out that the biggest changes in the population are in the age group of people 75 and older. He and other speakers paid tribute to the work of the sisters, other staff, the neighborhood and the community for support before and during the large building project.