History

The History of St. Mary's Home

St. Mary’s Home, founded in 1838, serves as the first and oldest residential program for children in Alabama. Today, we are the only Catholic residential program in the state. Originally founded as an orphanage, the home has undergone many changes in its long history of service to children and families in need.

After the yellow fever epidemic of 1837, the first Bishop of Mobile, Bishop Portier, called together a group of women to form a society to alleviate the extreme poverty and suffering of the many destitute and orphaned children of Mobile. On June 6, 1838, the ladies met for the first time, and by December 26, 1838, they had raised money and provisions, built a facility and took in their first 3 orphans.

In order to meet changing needs of the community, St. Mary’s Home has evolved into a residential treatment facility for boys and girls facing serious conflict, abuse, neglect and abandonment. The children who live at St. Mary’s Home suffer emotional, behavioral and educational problems because of family circumstances.

 

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