The history of Mt La Verna Retirement Village and of St Theresa’s Church tells of development of market gardens around the swamps of Gwelup, and the building of a Catholic Church late in 1936.

Following an approach to Archbishop Foley for permission to build an aged persons complex on land at 14 Ufton Street in Gwelup a steering committee was formed in August 1984 to investigate the possibility of building a retirement village.

The project was sponsored by the Parish of St Lawrence and Mary Immaculate, Balcatta where Father Hrdina, of the Capuchin Friary, was in charge.

After considered planning Stage I was completed on 10th May 1996 which included 11 independent living units and a 41 bed low care residential aged care facility. Stage II was opened on 20th April 1999. Stage III was finished by September 2001 and all 33 independent villas were fully occupied by September 2002.

In keeping with the connection to the Capuchins, the Village was named Mount La Verna after St Francis of Assissi’s retreat in Tuscany, Italy and the residential aged care facility named St Francis Hostel. One position on the Board is reserved for a member of the Lay Franciscans.

Today Gwelup suburb is a quiet tree filled suburb built around Lake Gwelup, with a real sense of community.


Mt La Verna Retirement Village (Inc.) became an Incorporated Association in 1991 and is operated by a Board of Management formed through a constitution approved by the Archdiocese of Perth.

The Board consists of several well qualified, dedicated individuals which includes a number of accountants and a pharmacist and meets each month to oversee the management of the Village. Some of the Board members have served the Village for many years. The current Chairperson is Mr Keith Gerrans.

Day to day management is vested in the CEO, Mr Lee Hare and the Care Manager, Ms Brenda Hughes.


Mt La Verna Position Statement on Voluntary Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

Mount La Verna Retirement Village (Inc.) is a Catholic non-profit organisation established to provide an environment for the elderly of our community in a way that maintains and maximises their independence and enjoyment of life. As a provider of excellent care to the aged, Mount La Verna Retirement Village respects and upholds the dignity and autonomy of every person from conception to their natural death. Therefore, Mount La Verna Retirement Village does not support voluntary euthanasia or assisted suicide.

Mount La Verna Retirement Village is proud to be part of a 2,000-year tradition of caring for others, which began and continues with the healing ministry of Jesus. Named after St Francis of Assissi’s retreat in Tuscany Italy, the development of Mount La Verna was sponsored by the Capuchin Order and established in 1996. Our philosophy of care acknowledges each person’s individual right to have their physical, emotional, spiritual, social needs and dignity respected regardless of race, colour or social status. Our values are compassion, hospitality, respect and teamwork. These values guide us in how we care for our residents and for each other. Today, we employ 43 people from diverse cultures, faiths and backgrounds, who are united in caring for our 41 elderly residents.

Mount La Verna Retirement Village is committed to offering our residents companionship, security, quality of life, pastoral care and peace of mind. It is acknowledged that difficult emotions can manifest at the time of dying: fear, grief and regrets. In addition, we take seriously our responsibility to minimise pain and suffering and not to use means of sustaining life which are overly burdensome or futile. Therefore, we are committed to offering excellent end of life care. This commitment extends to effective palliative care to ensure residents and families experience a comfortable and dignified death of their loved one. Our commitment is based on the principles of accompaniment and non-abandonment. These principles compel us to give the warm and caring environment to manage the death and dying experience with our residents, their families and loved ones.

Mount La Verna Retirement Village (Inc.) will not provide or assist with voluntary euthanasia or assisted suicide in any form.

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