Corpus Christi Community, Greenvale was inspired by a determination that everyone should feel valued and supported by their society, and to age with respect and care. Over the past 40 years, our life-changing mission has reached out to some of those most marginalised and vulnerable in the Melbourne community – and at the heart of our work, you’ll find the men who had the courage to make a fresh start, amidst community, kindness and friendship.
Founded by Mother Teresa and her Missionaries of Charity in 1974, these nuns wanted Corpus Christi Community to be a community for men doing it tough due to homelessness, unemployment, family breakdown, and alcohol addiction. The group of five had arrived in Melbourne in 1970 and had established their House of Compassion on Gore St in Fitzroy, and saw the need for this home first-hand.
Just as they had in India, these women lived and worked among Melbourne’s poorest, and understood the isolation felt by people living on the edges of society. In 1974, they chose the Greenvale bush site to provide not just housing, but support, dignity and identity to residents.
The colourful community quickly swelled to 80 men, and in 1977, the Missionaries of Charity entrusted the care of Corpus Christi Community to the Archdiocese of Melbourne. At the invitation of Church leaders, the Australian Jesuits began managing the facility, and enlisted the Sisters of Mercy to help run the community. These dedicated priests and nuns worked with lay volunteers to live alongside and support the residents.
Then and now, Corpus Christi Community was based on a belief that poverty is not merely lack of material things. Too many vulnerable and destitute people are deprived of care, love and community spirit, leading to loneliness and feelings of rejection.
Becoming part of the Corpus Christi Community family means you join in a long line of men, from every walk of life, who put trust in human kindness, and rediscovered their own important role in humanity. As they age, and even until their final days, our residents not only experience caring love and community, but also share it with those around them.
To date, Corpus Christi Community has been home to more than 725 men, and has evolved from a hostel staffed by religious and lay volunteers, to a fully accredited and professionally staffed Aged Care facility. At every stage, and into the future, Corpus Christi Community’s work is based on the spiritual ideals and practical kindness of our founder, Mother Teresa.