Exhibit will highlight history of the Little Sisters of the Poor

Little Sister of the Poor Rose Marie, center, sang the opening hymn during a Mass observing Religious Freedom Week June 22 at the Little Sisters of the Poor chapel, 15 Audubon Plaza Drive. (Record Photo by Jessica Able
Little Sister of the Poor Rose Marie, center, sang the opening hymn during a Mass observing Religious Freedom Week June 22 at the Little Sisters of the Poor chapel, 15 Audubon Plaza Drive.)

Record Staff Report

The history of the Little Sisters of the Poor in Louisville, which spans 150 years, will be highlighted in the Archdiocese of Louisville History Center beginning today, Feb. 7.

The center is located in the Cathedral of the Assumption’s Patterson Education Center, across the street from the Cathedral, at 424 S. Fifth St.

The exhibit is part of a year-long celebration of the sisters’ 150-year history here. The exhibit includes photos from the sisters’ earliest years, a timeline of their history worldwide and their foundress St. Jeanne Jugan.

St. Jeanne Jugan began caring for the elderly poor in 1839 France, giving up her own bed to an elderly woman.

Since then, the sisters have spread around the world, always focused on caring for aged, impoverished people. They came to Louisville from France in September of 1869 and established a home at 622 S. 10th St. 

The sisters served at that location for 108 years, until a decline in vocations and a deteriorating home brought about its closure and a temporary departure of the sisters.

With the help of their supporters, the sisters returned to Louisville in 1991, opening St. Joseph Home for the Aged, located near Audubon Hospital at 15 Audubon Plaza Drive.

This history will be on display through October. The Archdiocesan History Center is open on Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Group tours can be scheduled by calling the Cathedral parish office 582-2971.

The 150th celebration will also include a special Mass at the Cathedral with Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz on June 22, a golf scramble in September and a gala on Oct. 9.

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