When it became apparent in the late 1960s that Nazareth College would not be able to survive as a separate entity the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth faced the dilemma of how to utilize resources to maximize its mission.
Moth balling facilities such as the nearly new dorm building did not seem like a good long-term answer. A visionary solution slowly evolved that later flowered into the conversion of the dorm into what would become Nazareth Village. It is now known as “Village I “ to differentiate it from “Village II” which followed a decade later. The dorm building was perfect for a conversion to small apartments and there was plenty of common space.
With the help of private and public grants, suddenly Nelson County had a premier complex for senior citizens and tenants with special physical and mental challenges. That was three decades ago.
Village II was a bigger conversion challenge. Ten years after the original Nazareth Village was developed Village II was carved out of space that had been used for a large auditorium by the now merged college.
This year what could be called a celebration of recycling is taking place with special events and observances focused on this week. Last Sunday an Anniversary Supper was held as part of Resident Appreciation Week. Monday a special Mass was held. Other events include a special breakfast, a potluck and then special recognition during Saturday’s annual picnic.
The footprint the Sisters of Charity impart to their home community must be measured by more than bricks and mortar but the operation of Nazareth Villages I and II is certainly one of the more tangible ways the order has impacted the quality of life for Bardstown and Nelson County. It is a legacy well worth celebrating.