Institution will continue to provide faith-based, compassionate care

By Kathryn Connerton and Sister Ellen Reilly, DC

In 1925, at the request of Catholic Bishop Daniel Curley of Syracuse, four Daughters of Charity came to Binghamton to bring their unique vision of hope, healing, and faith in God’s call to serve those who were sick, poor, and vulnerable. As a result, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital opened its doors in 1925 in the Corbett Mansion on Riverside Drive.

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As the region’s needs have grown, so has Lourdes. We have added services and expanded beyond the walls of the hospital; we continue to be innovative in finding ways to deliver high-quality health care to those who need it most.

For the last 90 years, we have been blessed to have the presence of the Daughters of Charity living and working in our community in a variety of ministries, including education and health care. In fact, Binghamton has been called home by almost 150 Sisters over the years, many of whom have served at Lourdes. For that, we are grateful.

Sadly, the time has come where this will be changing. The Daughters of Charity, Province of St. Louise, has made a decision to relocate from this community and Lourdes Hospital. What this means is by spring 2017 we will no longer have the privilege of having Daughters of Charity living and working among us.

Currently, six Sisters are assigned to the provision of spiritual care and parish work in the Binghamton community. They have not yet been reassigned. Over the next few months, they will be working with Sister Louise Gallahue, DC, Provincial, and Sister Joanne Vasa, DC, Provincial Councillor, of the Province of St. Louise, to determine where they will be going.

This change is an acknowledgement of the Daughters’ confidence in well-prepared, spiritually centered lay and community leaders taking forward and sustaining their historic mission of healing. It enables the Daughters to place available Sisters in ministries where there is the greatest need of their presence, which is what they have done since they were founded by St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac in the 17th century. Additionally, living in community with other Sisters is part of the Daughters of Charity life in the Church; they need to have sufficient numbers of Sisters together to maintain this integral part of their community life.

This decision by the Daughters of Charity, Province of St. Louise, has no implication on Lourdes remaining a Catholic, faith-based organization. Nor does it change the Mission of Lourdes or the important services we provide in this community.

Lourdes will continue the work started by four Daughters of Charity over 90 years ago. Our commitment to our Mission and members of this community remains steadfast, and our efforts to deliver faith-based, compassionate, personalized care will continue.

Kathryn Connerton is President/Chief Executive Officer and Sister Ellen Reilly, DC, is Chief Mission Officer at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Binghamton.

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