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Joint News Release from the Little Sisters of the Poor and the Archdiocese of Denver

August 3, 2022

Today the Little Sisters of the Poor announced with sadness that they will be withdrawing from Little Sisters of the Poor – Mullen Home in Denver, Colorado. This morning the Sisters met with the Residents, their families, lay Associates, staff and volunteers to share their decision.

The Little Sisters of the Poor have served in the Archdiocese of Denver continuously since 1917 when the first Little Sisters arrived to serve the elderly poor. Mr. John K. Mullen and his wife Catherine had agreed to finance the purchase of the land and the construction of a building which would serve as a Home for the Aged. The building was built and the Little Sisters arrived in December 1917. On March 18, 1918, the Sisters received their first residents. In 1975, new wings were added to the original building to provide different levels of care, and in 1980, part of the original building was renovated to create apartments.

In making the announcement, Mother Julie Horseman, lsp, provincial superior of the Little Sisters, explained: “As part of a strategic plan aimed at strengthening our ministry and the quality of our religious and community life, we Little Sisters have recognized the need to withdraw from a certain number of Homes in the United States, while at the same time dedicating our resources to much needed upgrades and reconstruction projects in others.” She added, “many factors have obliged us to move forward with this decision. It has only come after a lengthy period of prayer, much consultation and much study.”

The Little Sisters will be assisting the residents and their families with finding other accommodations based on the residents’ needs. After that, the land and buildings will be deeded to the Archdiocese of Denver as stipulated in the original deed transferring the property to the Little Sisters of the Poor by Mr. and Mrs. Mullen.

Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila, the archbishop of Denver, has thanked the Little Sisters for their more than 100 years of ministry in Denver.

“For over a century, the Mullen Home has been a witness to Christ’s love, as the Little Sisters of the Poor have served the home’s residents with love, compassion, and dignity, aided by the charity of so many who have supported the mission, and initially made possible by a generous gift from J. K. Mullen and his family,” Archbishop Aquila said.

“Today, as the Little Sisters announce their difficult decision to withdraw from their ministry in Colorado, I want to offer my heartfelt and sincere gratitude for their work. Whenever I would visit Mullen Home as a priest and later as a bishop, I was always edified by their witness to the Catholic faith and their living out of the corporal works of mercy. Their compassionate care for the elderly provided a witness to Jesus Christ and his love for the poor and the sick. On behalf of the bishops who came before me and the Archdiocese of Denver, please know we have been inspired by your witness to live out the call of the Gospel in the 100-plus years you have served here.

While we are still in the process of determining the next steps for the property, I wish to assure the Little Sisters that their legacy of humble service will be honored and to assure the Mullen family that their gift will continue to support the Church’s mission within northern Colorado. The Archdiocese will utilize its resources to support the Little Sisters in their efforts to help the local community, including the Mullen Home’s residents, families, and staff, make this transition.”

Sister Sarah Skelton, lsp, assistant superior of the Home, also promised that the Little Sisters in the Denver community will do all they can to support and care for the residents during this time of transition. “After being in this Home for over 100 years, it is very hard for us Little Sisters to imagine that we will not be serving here in the future. And we recognize how difficult it is for the residents and their families to know that they will have to move from this Home. But we will work with you to find the best option for you moving forward. We will take this next step in our journey together.”

Mother Julie concluded the announcement by expressing the Little Sisters’ profound gratitude to God for all that they have received from benefactors, friends and families – people of every religious belief and race – who have touched their lives and those of their residents for so many years. In a special way she thanked Archbishop Aquila and the Archdiocese of Denver for its leadership in promoting and supporting the mission of the Little Sisters of the Poor for the past 105 years. She assured every member of the Mullen Home family of the Sisters’ prayers and support throughout the transition period and asked for their prayers in return for the Little Sisters’ community.

For further information, please contact Rev. Mark Cregan, Esq. at 917.767.2772.