Poor Handmaids Come Home to Fort Wayne

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ started St. Joseph Hospital in 1869 and continued to serve there until 2013. Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ started St. Joseph Hospital in 1869 and continued to serve there until 2013.

Fort Wayne, IN -- The Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ Sisters are organizing several events called “PHJCs Coming Home” in various cities over the next few years. The purpose of these events is to reconnect with the people in some of the areas in which Poor Handmaids have ministered and share who they have been over the years, who they are today, and who they hope to be in the future. You are invited to “PHJCs Coming Home to Fort Wayne-Hessen Cassel,” the second of the PHJCs Coming Home weekends, on October 24-26, 2014.

• On Saturday, October 25, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. a reunion will be held for former Poor Handmaids and Ancilla Domini High School Alumnae at the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory in downtown Fort Wayne.

• At 5:00 p.m., Eucharistic Liturgy held at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception will celebrate the Poor Handmaid presence and ministry in the Fort Wayne area. Mass will be followed by a 6:00 p.m. reception at the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory.

• On Sunday, October 26, 2014, at 10:30 a.m., Eucharistic Liturgy will be celebrated at St. Joseph Parish, Hessen Cassel with Bishop Kevin Rhoades as celebrant. Brunch will follow at St. Joseph Parish hall. Hessen Cassel is the first ministry the Poor Handmaids started after arriving in the United States in 1868.

The public is invited to join the Eucharistic Liturgies and the free reception.

In addition, “Get to Know A Sister” Vocation Days will be held at some Fort Wayne area schools and a Theology on Tap style event is planned.

The Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ have served the Fort Wayne/South Bend Diocese since 1868 with a rich heritage in education, childcare, healthcare and other ministries. They continue to minister in the diocese today through their ministries St. Joseph Community Health Foundation and HealthVisions Fort Wayne.

For over 140 years, the Poor Handmaids operated or ministered at St. Joseph Medical Center in Fort Wayne.  In 1998, they sold the hospital and put a portion of the sale’s proceeds and local real estate holdings into their reorganized St. Joseph Community Health Foundation to maintain a ministry focused on continuing the PHJC legacy of helping everyone in the community, especially the poor and vulnerable, access healthcare and attain wellness. This strategy has enabled the Foundation ministry to provide over $15.2M through 999 grants to 182 Allen County community partners.  These grants have been vital in helping to secure the safety-net of low-cost medical clinics; establish health education and case management resources in neighborhoods where resources are scarce; providing for trained medical interpreters and health navigators skilled in language and culture; and establishing a network helping pregnant women secure support and resources for their yet-to-be born children and families.

At that same time, they also used a portion of sale proceeds to establish HealthVisions Midwest a community-based health improvement ministry with a location in Fort Wayne. The core principle of HealthVisions Fort Wayne is to build strong neighborhoods, through community partnerships using existing resources. HealthVisions Fort Wayne builds community capacity in order to reduce health disparities for underserved populations in need of care.  

Together with the Poor Handmaids, St. Joseph Community Health Foundation and HealthVisions Fort Wayne invite you to the PHJC Coming Home events. For more information and to register for these events, www.poorhandmaids.org/cominghome.