Daughters of Charity at Lourdes Hospital: These photographs illustrate the history of the Daughters of Charity at Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton, NY.
The Diary of the Daughters of Charity spans thirty years, 1925-1955. Most of the entries, however, were made from 1934-1941. Although the diary is unsigned, we believe Sr. Martina Disney wrote the first three pages in 1925 and Sr. Angelica Howell, RN, wrote the second section (p. 4-95); she was Administrator at Lourdes from June 1933 to November 1941. The diary includes detailed descriptions of the construction of the East Wing, construction of the Grotto, correspondence and lists of nursing students and members of the medical staff. The last page describes the dedication of the Center and West Wings on May 26, 1955.
The Most Reverend Daniel J. Curley, D.D., Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse, purchased the Merritt J. Corbett mansion at 169 Riverside Drive on Nov. 5, 1924, in order to establish Our Lady of Lourdes Memorial Hospital. In addition to running the hospital, the Daughters of Charity also opened a School of Nursing, with young women receiving their first year of education at Lourdes and completing their training at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, NY. Over seventy nurses were trained from 1925-1939. Three Daughters of Charity - Sr. Gertrude Eisele, Sr. Louise McParland and Sr. Martina Disney - arrived in August, 1925, with Sister Genevieve Rye and Sr. Roseanna Hastings arriving in October and November, to oversee renovation and furnishing of the hospital, a small private institution with 25 beds, an operating room, lab and kitchen.
Lourdes opened on October 25, 1925. Sister Gertrude served as the first administrator. Lourdes Hospital was incorporated in 1936; a Board of Directors was established with the hospital administrator, a Daughter of Charity, serving as Chair of the Board.
In March of 1940 the Diocese of Syracuse transferred ownership of the facility to the Daughters of Charity who had served at the hospital since its inception. When the first lay chief executive officer was appointed in 1990, the positions of CEO and Chair of the Board were separated. A Daughter of Charity has served as Chair since that time.
In 2010 the hospital celebrated its 85th anniversary. In those 85 years, 137 Daughters of Charity have fulfilled a variety of roles as living witnesses to their motto, The Charity of Jesus Christ Crucified Urges Us.
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The Lourdes Hospital Archives have been established:
- to appraise, collect, organize, describe, preserve and provide access to documents, audio/video recordings and photographs of permanent administrative, legal, fiscal and historic value;
- to promote a wider knowledge and understanding of the heritage of the hospital, Daughters of Charity and Ascension Health;
- to provide information to staff and authorized reseachers.