In June 1987 Bagenalstown District Hospital closed because of Government cut backs. For the following fifteen months Rev.Frs.E.Dowling,.J.O’Leary and Canon Gamble, along with some other locals went on a campaign rallying support for the renovation and reopening of the old hospital as a residential home for older people of the community and in September 1988 the doors of what was once the old hospital re-opened under the new name of St.Lazerian’s House. The House caters for older persons of seven parishes, Bagenalstown, Paulstown, Goresbridge, Borris,Leighlinbridge, Myshall, St.Mullins,Clonegal & the Dunleckney group of
parishes. The House is non denominational and the religious beliefs of all are catered for and respected.
On August 22nd 1988, Three Mercy Sisters, Sr.Mary Walsh (St.Leo’s, Carlow), Sr.Martha Hartigan (Naas) and Sr.Paul O’Donovan (Naas) with kind permission of Sister Brigid their Superior General arrived in St.Lazerian’s House to begin
their new life and after some cleaning and sorting the doors opened to the first residents to arrive on 5th September ‘88. By the time of the Official Opening (September 29th) there were six residents and by Christmas of that year there was a total of fourteen elderly residents settled into their new home. The sleeping accommodation at that time comprised of re-decorated old wards two
large and one small, which meant that there were at least six people to each of the two larger rooms.
The everyday work was carried out by a great number of volunteers from the community and in November 1988 the very first Fas SES Scheme started with a total of four workers, working 21\2 days per week. With the help of a Parish
Draw and Dept.of Health lottery grant a new extension was built to provide better sleeping accommodation i.e. ten single and five double rooms. The new extension was officially opened on 25th May 1990 to the delight of everyone.
Once again Fas came to the rescue providing more workers on the SES and also providing a Teamwork Scheme and Employment Incentive Scheme.
More renovations were needed to improve services and provide Day Care facilities for older persons who were not in need of residential care but in need of stimulation outside their own home. The two large wards, which were once the
bedrooms, were converted into a Day Care Center and Sitting Room and so began the preparations for the third official opening of St.Lazerian’s House, which took place in June 1992. The Day Care Center opened in September 1992 and day
care facilities such as, morning tea, dinner, afternoon tea, craft work, knitting, sewing, crochet, bingo, dancing, chiropody, hairdressing, laundry and bathing are provided every Tuesday and Thursday from 10.30 am to 4.30pm. In October 1995 a new service began – Meals On Wheels for older persons, which are prepared and packed every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday by the House
and delivered by a voluntary group. In 2001 an extra day Wednesday was added to the meals on wheels list. In 1999 more renovations and conversions were needed to provide a safe & healthy workplace and new rooms for Medical treatments,hairdressing, chiropody, laundry and washrooms for veg. etc.
On the 12th June 2004 a plague and photograph in memory of Fr.Dowling was unveiled and the current sitting room was named the Fr.Dowling room in his honour.