In 1929, a group of seven remarkable women, led by Venerable Mary Angeline Teresa, set out to form a new religious congregation based on one simple principle: that the needs and care of the aged should be met with the utmost dignity in a genuine, home-like setting.
Mother Angeline and her like-minded companions began their mission and opened St. Elizabeth’s to the elderly in need in New York City, just one month before the stock market crash that ushered in the Great Depression. Her innovative approach was rare and instantly popular and soon the order found themselves unable to keep pace with the demand.
The concept quickly caught the attention of the Carmelite Friars in New York, who recognized the value and potential of Mother Angeline’s way of caring for the aged. In 1931, the new community became affiliated with the Great Order of Carmel and was re-named the “Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm.”
The Carmelite Sisters came to the Palm Beaches in 1960 and opened Lourdes Residence inside the Lake Court Apartment Hotel located along Flagler Drive. Later re-named the Lourdes-Noreen McKeen Residence, the facility was the first of its kind in the area to provide nursing, long-term and seasonal housing for the elderly, all with the signature type of care that distinguished the order’s approach from others.
The fast-growing population in the Palm Beach area and the popularity of their approach prompted a major expansion by the sisters in 1964 with the purchase of the neighboring Pennsylvania Hotel, affectionately referred to at that time as the “Little Breakers of West Palm Beach.”
Hospitality – Our belief is that each home should provide a welcoming, person centered environment and atmosphere of a “Home”. Personal warmth, love and care will reflect and give value and purpose to the residents’ lives. The holistic care of each resident encompasses their physical, social, psychological, emotional and spiritual needs. Guided by our Catholic tradition we seek to honor the spiritual journeys of all people of all faiths.
Sanctity of Life – Our belief is that all life is sacred and we advocate especially on behalf of the elderly. We are committed to witness to the gospel message of Jesus Christ and the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. Acknowledging the importance of palliative care, our healing ministry does recognize that sickness, suffering and death are potential occasions of experiencing God.
Compassion– Our belief is that each person is created in the image of God as an object of His personal love, and as such we are to bring hope, healing and comfort to all we encounter in our ministry. In the words of Venerable Mary Angeline Teresa, we strive to be “kinder than kindness itself.”
Shared Commitment – Our belief is that quality of care is attained by a team spirit that has a shared sense of achievement, accountability, ideas, insights and the commitment to the wise stewardship of resources. Treating one another respectfully and justly, and joining together for our common Mission, will enable us to continue to move forward with the times.