The SISTERS OF CHARITY OF ST. AUGUSTINE were organized in Cleveland as a diocesan religious community in 1852 by Bp. AMADEUS RAPPE to care for the sick. Originally 2 Augustinian nuns and 2 young women had come to Cleveland to carry out this work. The 2 nuns returned to France, and Bp. Rappe, wanting the community to continue, asked an Ursuline novice, Catherine Bissonette, both a teacher and a nurse, to take charge of the younger sisters. She took the name of Mother Ursula and served as the first superior. The nuns cared for the sick in their homes until ST. JOSEPH HOSPITAL opened in OHIO CITY in 1852. They also cared for the orphaned children of their patients. By 1856 St. Vincent Orphanage superseded the hospital. ST. VINCENT CHARITY HOSPITAL AND HEALTH CENTER, more centrally located, opened in 1865.
In response to the need for a maternity hospital and foundling home, the Sisters of Charity opened St. Ann's Hospital (see SAINT ANN FOUNDATION) in 1873. A new building for St. Ann's, adjacent to Charity Hospital, opened in 1876. The hospital moved to Woodland Ave., where separate buildings housed a foundling home, hospital, and home for unmarried mothers. By 1947 St. Ann Hospital moved to the Leisy estate on Fairhill Rd., and in 1950 the name of the building on Woodland was changed to DePaul Infant Home and Loretta Hall.
In 1892 a larger motherhouse opened on Lake Ave. for the growing community. The sisters, skilled nurses themselves, opened a school of practical nursing at St. Vincent Charity Hospital in 1898 and took charge of St. John Hospital in 1916. Later they opened hospitals in Sandusky, Canton, and Akron, OH, and Columbia, SC. They entered the education apostolate when they opened St. Augustine Academy in PARMADALE. In 1984, from their motherhouse at Mt. Augustine in Richfield, the sisters pursued wide-ranging apostolates of service.
In 1992 a major renovation of Mt. Augustine was completed, resulting in Regina Health Center, an intercommunity health care and assisted living facility for retired nuns, priests, brothers, and laity.
Gavin, Donald P. In All Things Charity (1955).
Hynes, Michael J. The History of the Diocese of Cleveland (1953).
See also CATHOLICS, ROMAN; HOSPITALS; NURSING; RELIGION; WOMEN.