(09/16/2019) – Today the Little Sisters of the Poor announced with sadness, that they will be withdrawing from Jeanne Jugan Residence, Somerville MA. This morning the Sisters met with the Residents, their families, lay Associates, staff and volunteers sharing their decision.
As you can imagine, this is a very difficult decision. The Little Sisters have served in the Archdiocese of Boston continuously since 1870. Eight Little Sisters arrived at the port of Boston on April 19, 1870 to start a home for the elderly poor in Roxbury. In the span of 17 years, 2 other Homes for the elderly were built – in Charlestown and Somerville. The Charlestown Home closed in 1896. In 1978, the Residents of Roxbury and Somerville were welcomed into their new Home on Highland Avenue, behind the former building.
In making the announcement, Mother Alice Marie Jones, l.s.p., the Little Sisters’ provincial superior, explained: “As part of a strategic plan aimed at strengthening our ministry and bolstering the quality of our religious and community life, we Little Sisters of the Poor have recognized the need to withdraw from a certain number of homes in the United States, while at the same time dedicating our resources to much needed upgrades and reconstruction projects in several others.”
Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Boston said, “As the Little Sisters of the Poor prepare to depart the Archdiocese we express our gratitude for their 150 years of selfless dedicated service to the poor and needy elderly.
The Sisters’ ministry provides an extraordinary witness to the Church’s teaching on the sacredness of human life, with particular attention to the senior years until the time the Lord calls a person home. We will miss the Sisters’ presence in our local community but are encouraged to know of their strategic planning for sustaining and building up the other homes in the U.S. as they go forward with the mission established by Saint Jeanne Jugan.”
The Little Sisters of the Poor are actively seeking a mission‐driven sponsor to acquire the Somerville Home and continue to provide high quality compassionate care for the needy elderly women and men who the Sisters have been privileged to serve. They announced that they will provide periodic updates as the transition process proceeds.
In letters to the Residents and their family members, Mother Maureen Weiss, l.s.p., Superior of Jeanne Jugan Residence, also offered the Residents the possibility of moving to another Home sponsored by the Little Sister of the Poor. “Know that if you wish to go to any of our other Homes so that you can continue to be part of the Little Sisters’ family, you will be welcomed with open arms.”
Mother Alice Marie concluded the announcement by thanking all those who have supported Jeanne Jugan Residence and the Little Sisters of the Poor for so many years. In a special way she thanked the Archdiocese of Boston for its leadership in promoting and supporting the mission of the Little Sisters of the Poor for the last 149 years. She assured everyone affected by this decision of the Sisters’ continued prayers and support throughout the transition period.
For further information, please contact Rev. Mark Cregan, Esq. at 917.767.2772.