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SISTERS OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD

SISTERS OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD

The SISTERS OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD, part of a worldwide Roman Catholic order (which includes the contemplative Sisters of the Cross and the active Religious of the Good Shepherd), have worked among homeless and delinquent WOMEN and girls in Cleveland since 1869. In 1986 they maintained Marycrest (7800 Brookside Rd., INDEPENDENCE), a residential treatment center for troubled teenage girls. Bp. LOUIS AMADEUS RAPPE called the sisters to the Diocese of Cleveland (see CATHOLICS, ROMAN) to establish a home for "wayward girls and fallen but penitent women." Heirs of the Refuge movement founded in France in 1835, the Sisters of the Good Shepherd were known for such work. Five sisters came from the Cincinnati province to 347 Lake St. and entered 6 orphans in the Class of the Guardian Angel (also called the Preservate) and six "wayward girls" in the Sacred Heart (or Penitent) Class. Although the average age did not exceed 18 (Preservate) or 29 (Penitents), the House of the Good Shepherd also welcomed older women. By 1875 the Sisters of the Good Shepherd relocated to larger quarters at Sterling and Sibley (E. 30th and Carnegie). Financial benefactors included JEPTHA WADE, JOHN HUNTINGTON, WILLIAM GORDON, and JOSEPH PERKINS; the Magdalenes (later called the Sisters of the Cross) supported the work through prayer and, after 1876, commercial sewing. The House of the Good Shepherd was a founding member of the Community Fund (1919), which also partially funded the home. The sisters at first accepted orphans but later concentrated exclusively on delinquent and disruptive girls. The last orphan left the home in 1950.

The sisters gave girls and women entering the Sacred Heart Class a new name to help them attain a better-adjusted life and sometimes reunited alienated families or located employment, often as a domestic. In 1946 the House of the Good Shepherd changed its name to Marycrest and relocated to Wickliffe. This location, however, was out of Cuyahoga County and inconvenient for court placement. Marycrest then moved from its 200-resident facility to a 100-bed home, its 1986 location. In the 1980s Marycrest annually served up to 70 young women, ages 10-18, referred by courts or social-service agencies or privately admitted. It offered an accredited academic and vocational high school program as well as instruction in practical life skills. Marycrest also housed 17 Sisters of the Cross.


See also ORPHANAGES, RELIGION.