In 1920, the Sisters open the 28-bed St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka, CA
with 18 Sisters and one lay nurse.
St. Joseph Health is a ministry of
The Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange, who trace their roots back to 17th Century France and the unique vision
of a Jesuit priest named Jean-Pierre Medaille. Father Medaille sought
to organize an order of religious women who, rather than remaining safely
cloistered in a convent, would venture out into the community, seek out
"the dear neighbors" and minister to their needs. The congregation
managed to survive the turbulence of the French Revolution and eventually
expanded, not only throughout France, but throughout the world.
In 1912, a small contingent of the Sisters of St. Joseph went to Eureka,
California, at the invitation of the local bishop, to establish a school.
A few years later, the great influenza epidemic of 1918 caused the sisters
to temporarily abandon their education efforts to care for the sick in
their homes. They realized immediately that the small community desperately
needed a hospital. In 1920, the Sisters opened 28-bed St. Joseph Hospital
of Eureka, and their new health care ministry was born. .
Learn more about the history of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange.