Brief Histories of Our Communities

1907 - Saint Benedict Nursing and Rehabilitation Center was established on Racine Avenue in Chicago as St. Benedict Home for the aged, through the initiative of Reverend Procopius Neuzil, O.S.B., later the third Abbot of St. Procopius Abbey.

Besides serving the aging people of Czech nationality, it also served at first as a haven for Czech young women seeking a place of residence in a Catholic environment and even accepted the care of dependent infants and destitute mothers.

After fourteen years on Racine, the home moved to 18th Place in Chicago and was incorporated on May 11, 1921. An executive board was set up and a group of ladies who be came the Oblates of St. Benedict took care of the residents.

Throughout its long history, groups of devoted lay persons have volunteered their services to the residents. In 1938, the Benedictine Sisters of the Sacred Heart in Lisle, Illinois took over the administration of the home. In 1958, the residents were moved to a newly built facility in Niles, Illinois. In 1991, Saint Benedicts came under the auspice of the Chicago Archdiocese. Saint Benedict Nursing and Rehabilitation Center became part of Resurrection Health Care in 2000.

1951 - Villa Scalabrini Nursing and Rehabilitation Center was opened in Northlake, Illinois in 1951 to care for elderly persons of Italian descent. The needs had surfaced early in the 1900s and by 1945, the Scalabrini Fathers, a congregation of priests and brothers founded to assist Italian emigrants and other migrants, joined community members to raise funds for a nursing home. They were assisted in their fund raising efforts by famous entertainers such as Frank Sinatra and Jimmy Durante. The nursing home was named Villa Scalabrini in honor of Bishop Scalabrini, the founder of the Missionary Fathers and Missionary Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo. The Sisters staffed the nursing home.

In dedicating the first wing, Cardinal Stritch called it "a monument to the pioneer immigrant." The spirit of the Villa and its close relationship with the Italian community was largely due to the efforts of Father Armando Pierini, C.S. who was the administrator for the first thirty years. Villa Scalabrini Nursing and Rehabilitation Center became part of Resurrection Health Care in 2000.

1952 - Saint Andrew Life Center was dedicated on Memorial Day May 30, 1952 by Cardinal Stritch who in his homily remarked, "Some people passing through the home and looking at its facilities may say 'too good.' Is there anything we can do that is too good for our good old fathers and good old mothers?"

Plans for the facility had begun in 1939 at a meeting of the Saint Hedwig Society, whose members represented all the Polish parishes in the Archdiocese and who had worked for the welfare of St. Hedwig Orphanage. Reverend Monsignor Francis Rusch, who had been caring for the orphans, offered to supervise the project. Plans were put on hold during World War II, but during this time, Msgr. Rusch visited many facilities to get ideas for St. Andrew Home for the Aged, so named in honor of Saint Andrew Bobola, who had been recently canonized. Saint Andrew Life Center became part of Resurrection Health Care in 2000.

1961 - Maryhaven Nursing and Rehabilitation Center was founded in 1961. It was the second residential facility built by Father John Dussman, the pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, to provide nursing care for the elderly. The first facility was located in Wilmette and was known as Maryhaven East.

When the facility in Glenview was constructed, it was known as Maryhaven West. It was built in the Georgian style and was originally designed to accommodate 200 residents, administrative staff and 19 clergy. Maryhaven is in Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish and the parish priests minister to residents in the facility. Catholic Charities became the sponsors of Maryhaven in 1991. Maryhaven became part of Resurrection Health Care in 2000.

1976 - Resurrection Nursing and Rehabilitation Center began in 1976 as Greenwood Terrace, a for-profit nursing home. In 1980 it was acquired by Resurrection Hospital and renamed Resurrection Nursing Pavilion. It became part of Resurrection Health Care with its incorporation in 1981. Subsequently, its name was changed to Resurrection Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

1978 - Resurrection Retirement Community opened on August 1, 1978. Similar to Resurrection Hospital twenty-five years earlier, it was built in response to requests by members of the community to provide retirement living within the Norwood Park neighborhood and surrounding community. It became part of Resurrection Health Care with its incorporation in 1981.

1987 - Casa San Carlo Retirement Community was dedicated in 1987 by Joseph Cardinal Bernardin. At this time in the history of the Catholic Charities ministry in Chicago, there was a great need for housing for the elderly. Catholic Charities sought to meet this need by partnering with a number of religious congregations to build appropriate facilities. In 1985, the Catholic Charities Housing Development Corporation was created to finance and develop housing and health care for seniors in many areas of the Archdiocese. It was by this means that the Archdiocese was able to collaborate with the Scalabrini Fathers to build retirement home for the elderly in the Northlake community.

The motto of Casa San Carlo is "Sharing the Experiences of a Lifetime." Casa San Carlo became a part of Resurrection Health Care in 2000.

1990 - Bethlehem Woods Retirement Community opened on January 2, 1990 as Bethlehem Woods Retirement Living Center. It was built in a collaboration between the Sisters or St. Joseph of LaGrange and Catholic Charities as part of the Catholic Charities Housing Development. It was an example of the collaboration between the Archdiocese and Religious Congregations to provide appropriate senior housing for residents of the Archdiocese.

Although not part of the campus, the magnificent chapel of the Sisters of St. Joseph of LaGrange is connected by a walkway and is available for residents of Bethlehem Woods. Bethlehem Woods Retirement Community Center became part of Resurrection Health Care in 2000.

1998 - Resurrection Life Center opened February 9, 1998. It was built by Resurrection Health Care at the request of a number of Religious Congregations that did not have appropriate facilities for retirement, nursing and skilled care for their elderly members. The Congregations formed an intercommunity network to advise on the needs of their members for a community life as well as nursing care. For one thing, the rooms were to be single occupancy. Special consideration was give by the Health Facilities Planning Board because of the single occupancy requirement and because there was no need for additional nursing home beds to serve residents of the area.

It was called Resurrection Life Center to call attention to the intent of the facility to be life-giving to the residents and to make this phase of their lives as important and as fulfilling as the previous phases of their lives. Resurrection Life Center was the first facility built by Resurrection Health Care after its incorporation.

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