175 years ago, our founders promised to champion the needs of the area’s most vulnerable children, especially those turned away by all others.
A Journey of Hope Since 1843
In a bustling city on the banks of the Ohio River, women and girls who found themselves poor, homeless, and otherwise without support had little hope in Louisville until Maryhurst opened its doors in 1843.
Invited to America by Bishop Flaget, the Sisters of the Good Shepherd boldly sent five nuns across the Atlantic to start the charity that would become Maryhurst. Leaving their home in France with the knowledge that most would never return, these Sisters endured several weeks of travel that included ship, stage coach, train, and riverboat.
Arriving in Louisville in December 1842, the Sisters of the Good Shepherd had no home of their own. A mere nine months later, the Good Shepherd Sisters opened their own residence and took in their first child, Mary Fitzpatrick: “She came, broken in health, from a cursed haunt.”
In many ways, the Sisters were ahead of their time in their values and philosophy of care. Corporal punishment was forbidden, residences were racially integrated, and the Sisters encouraged each girl to recognize her individual worth.
Maryhurst now functions independently as a nonsectarian, 501(c)3 nonprofit, but we continue to hold dearly to the values of care we inherited from our founders.
We’re taking time throughout 2018 observing our history in special ways, especially at our events which are currently seeking sponsors.
Stay tuned for ways to celebrate with us!