Poor handmaids coming home to Northwest Indiana

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THE POOR HANDMAIDS of Jesus Christ operated St. Mary Mercy Hospital in Gary from 1913 – 1994.
SISTER BARBARA KUPER hugs a former Nazareth Home child at a Nazareth Home reunion. Sr. Barbara ministered at the foster home for 18 years.
SISTER BARBARA KUPER hugs a former Nazareth Home child at a Nazareth Home reunion. Sr. Barbara ministered at the foster home for 18 years.

The Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ have a rich and lengthy history of serving the people of Northwest Indiana. During the period from 1900 to the present, they owned and operated hospitals such as Holy Family in LaPorte, St. Mary Mercy in Gary, St. Catherine in East Chicago and St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart. They taught thousands of children in many different schools. They have served in numerous parishes, educational and healthcare ministries. Today, Poor Handmaid Sisters continue to serve Northwest Indiana through their ministries: Bethany Retreat House, Sojourner Truth House, Ancilla Systems, Nazareth Home, Health Visions Midwest and The Linden Houses.

To celebrate this long history, Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ are reconnecting with friends, family and people they have known, served and worked with in this area. The event, called PHJC Coming Home Northwest Indiana, will be held October 22-23, 2016 and is open to the public.

SOJOURNER TRUTH HOUSE, a day care center for homeless and at risk women and their children, helps women break the cycle of poverty. Marlene Birdsong-Smith is facilitator for STH’s Child Enrichment Center.
SOJOURNER TRUTH HOUSE, a day care center for homeless and at risk women and their children, helps women break the cycle of poverty. Marlene Birdsong-Smith is facilitator for STH’s Child Enrichment Center.

Several events will be included in this weekend celebration. On Saturday, October 22 starting at 12:00 p.m. at Bishop Noll Institute in Hammond, a meet and greet will be held. People are invited to visit and reconnect with the Sisters, share stories and learn who the Poor Handmaids are today. A light buffet will be available.

Also at Bishop Noll, a reunion of former Sisters and alumnae of Ancilla Domini High School will take place starting at 1:00 p.m. Come and reconnect with former classmates. At 3:00 p.m. a presentation titled “PHJC Past, Present and Future” will be shown in the auditorium.

Bishop Hying will celebrate Eucharistic Liturgy at 4:30 p.m. in the Bishop Noll Field House followed by a buffet and program.

CATHOLIC CENTRAL 1920 - Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ taught at Catholic Central High School from 1922 until 1933.  Catholic Central later became Bishop Noll Institute.
CATHOLIC CENTRAL 1920 – Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ taught at Catholic Central High School from 1922 until 1933. Catholic Central later became Bishop Noll Institute.

On Sunday, October 23 prayer services honoring Poor Handmaids who served and are buried in the area will be held at St. Joseph Cemetery in LaPorte at 9:00 a.m. and at Calvary Cemetery in Portage at 10:30 a.m. At 11:30 a.m. lunch will be provided at St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart and a tour of The Linden House of Hobart will be available at 12:30 p.m. Everyone is invited.

For more information and to register for any of these events visit www.poorhandmaids.org/cominghome or call Abigail Blake, at 219-947-8560. Registration will help us plan for our events.

 

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