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June 28 marks 97 years of the Brothers of Mercy serving Western New York


The 97th anniversary of the Brothers serving Western New York will be celebrated on June 28.

Rooted in a Catholic mission to honor Christ by serving those most in need, the Brothers of Mercy was founded in Hadamar, Germany in 1856. For over 160 years, professed brothers have dedicated their lives to serving the sick and elderly all over the world, including parts of Europe, Asia, Brazil and the U.S.

Early Roots in Buffalo

 In 1924, Bishop William Turner welcomed to Buffalo this unique Catholic order of male nurses to begin their mission of service. On June 28, six Brothers of Mercy arrived via steamboat from Montabaur, Germany, and launched what would become a cornerstone of the Western New York care community. Beginning with a small fleet of bicycles, these traveling nurses provided in-home care to the sick and elderly of Buffalo: day or night, rain or snow; accepting payment in the form of fruits, animals and sometimes nothing at all. They initially resided in a local convent’s basement before acquiring a residence on Cottage Street in 1925, where they provided residence and cared for male patients in need of around-the-clock nursing care.

Two Brothers of Mercy with their favorite mode of transportation. The religious community has come a long way in their 97 years in Western New York. Photo courtesy of the Brothers of Mercy

Though their numbers were small, their will to serve was mighty, and the brothers quickly developed a pristine reputation for providing the best compassionate care; turning no one in need away and strictly adhering to their mission statement, “The Charity of Christ Urges Us On.” In their first 25 years alone, they made over 76,000 house calls. As more dedicated men joined the mission in the 1950s, the Brothers of Mercy’s scope greatly widened, with expansion in Oklahoma City, Kansas City, visits to their mission hospital in Africa, and the establishment of the Clarence Campus of Care, best known today as the Brothers of Mercy Wellness Campus.

The Legacy Continues Today

 Brothers of Mercy has since grown to serve over 500 residents and 1,000 rehabbers annually, with a wonderful team of over 600 compassionate employees. Just as the Western New York founding brothers did 97 years ago, the Brothers of Mercy organization of today considers it a privilege to serve those in need, and are dedicated to carrying on this legacy of care.  

To learn more about the Brothers of Mercy and their mission, visit http://www.brothersofmercy.org.


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