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St. Vincent Healthcare celebrates its 125th anniversary and continues the legacy of the Sisters



Billings, Montana – On Monday, Billings’ first hospital celebrated its founding.

The initial structure for St. Vincent Healthcare was constructed on August 7, 1898, at the intersection of Division Street and Broadwater Avenue.

Billings Central Catholic High School is currently located on the property where the first hospital once stood.

At a special picnic held at Grandview Park to mark the opening of St. Vincent Hospital, Soul Funk Collective performed.

“Today is a super fun day for us here at St. Vincent’s,” said Jen Alderfer, hospital president. “We’re celebrating our 125th anniversary.”

According to Alderfer, despite the hospital’s modifications over the course of more than a century, its mission has remained constant.

“The Sisters came together and they answered the calling in partnership with the Billings mayor at the time and Billings first Catholic priest at the time,” Alderfer said. “And they really saw a need to serve the poor and the vulnerable through providing hospital care.”

Dr. Henry Chapple was requested to be a part of a proposed hospital in Billings by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, Kansas, who had already started hospitals throughout Montana.

“He finished medical school in Toronto, Canada, and then came down here at the invitation to begin a hospital with his sisters,” said Sister Eileen Hurley, Sisters Of Charity Of Leavenworth.

In order to maintain the Sisters’ ministry, Sister Hurley sits on the Intermountain Health Montana Market board.

“They continue the mission, vision and values of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth,” Hurley said. ” When you walk into this hospital, you see it on the walls, but you most likely experience it in all the people.”

There is a lot of history on exhibit, and St. Vincent will commemorate its 125th birthday the following year.

“St. Vincent has a long-standing legacy of providing faith-based whole-person care,” Alderfer said. “And we really feel that the Sisters brought that charge to us. And it is our responsibility to live out that legacy.”

“That’s how the mission and ministry continue, through each one of us of how we do what we do and how we treat one another, ” Hurley said. “Which is with kindness, humility, simplicity and charity.”

During the 125th anniversary year, the hospital will conduct History and Heritage Tours on the first Monday of every month, according to a St. Vincent representative.

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