Sisters of Charity of Nazareth recently attended a closing Mass and Prayer Service at Our Lady of Peace. As ownership of the hospital is being transferred to the University of Louisville, so too are Catholic artifacts once found inside the chapel, hallways, meeting spaces, exteriors, etc. at Our Lady of Peace and Sts. Mary and Elizabeth Hospital. The items are being transferred outside of the facilities, including some that have been moved to Nazareth Campus such as books, paintings and other artifacts removed from the hospitals. A large picture of Mary and Elizabeth once displayed in the front hall of St. Mary and Elizabeth Hospital has found its new home at Nazareth as well.
Some pieces with ties to the SCNs will stay put. The picture of Sister John Miriam, who was administrator of Sts. Mary and Elizabeth and oversaw the construction of the new facility at its current site on Bluegrass Ave, will remain in the front hall of the hospital. In addition, the historic time line will keep its spot in the main corridor.
A recent article in The Lane Report states:
Among the most immediately visible changes will be modified names and signage to reflect the new ownership under UofL Health, the historical legacy of the communities that surround the hospitals and medical centers and the traditions of the faith organizations that were the foundation of many of the facilities.
“I want to thank the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, the Louisville Archdiocese, the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence and our larger Catholic and Jewish communities,” said UofL President Neeli Bendapudi. “Health care in Louisville has grown because of the commitment made by these organizations to improve the health of patients throughout the greater Louisville community and the passion they have to serve with excellence and compassion.communities that surround the hospitals and medical centers and the traditions of the faith organizations that were the foundation of many of the facilities.is underway to welcome patients, physicians, employees and the surrounding communities to the UofL Health family.
“The University of Louisville and UofL Health will build on this foundation, to improve wellness for our community, by building a regional academic health care system based on treatment innovations, leading-edge research and patient-centered care.”
Because the hospitals will no longer be operated as Catholic facilities, the Archdiocese requested that the names of Sts. Mary & Elizabeth Hospital and Our Lady of Peace be changed to no longer reflect a Catholic affiliation. Upon the closing date, they will become UofL Health – Mary & Elizabeth Hospital and UofL Health – Peace Hospital. Crosses adorning the outside of the buildings will be removed, but the hospitals will maintain their chapels, including the iconic Sky Chapel at Mary & Elizabeth, and many other artifacts that reflect the legacy of the Catholic faith and the rich heritage of the hospitals.
As is the case at UofL Hospital, people of all faiths are encouraged to use the chapels as they choose. Chaplains are on staff to support and honor the many different faiths and traditions observed by patients and employees.
“I am encouraged that University of Louisville Health desires to continue to honor the spirit of the Church’s healing ministry as it acquires these former Catholic facilities. I once again want to extend my gratitude to the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth for their long legacy of care and compassion, beginning with the founding of Sts. Mary & Elizabeth and Our Lady of Peace Hospitals. I appreciate the University of Louisville’s stated intention to respect the history of the Sisters’ health care ministry, and I am pleased that the University will seek to maintain health care for underserved areas of the city, serve the poor and vulnerable and preserve employment for many loyal employees,” said the Most Rev. Joseph E. Kurtz, Archbishop of Louisville.