On October 21, 1905, three nuns of the Congregation of the Infant Jesus migrated from their native France to establish an order in America.
Arrangements had been made for the Sisters of the Sick Poor to provide temporary hospitality to the new arrivals. Probably due in part to the late arrival of their ship in New York harbor, no one was there to greet them. Bewildered and disappointed, they prayed to St. Joseph who had watched over the exiled Holy Family in Egypt.
The Sisters’ prayers were answered in an unusual way. They were befriended on the piers of New York by a small boy who presented each with a gift of an apple as a gesture of friendship and welcome. From this point on they felt the welcome in America and knew this would be their home.
They made their way to the Little Sisters of the Sick Poor in Brooklyn and were welcomed by the group. After they settled in, an appointment was made with Bishop McDonnell, who himself had been searching for religious women to care for the sick poor of his parish. After meeting with these women, Bishop McDonnell was satisfied that this was the answer to his petition. The Sisters were asked to care for the sick at home who could not afford care; they agreed and their dedicated work began.
The agency was incorporated by the New York State Board of Charities in 1911 as The Nursing Sisters of the Sick Poor, Inc. Their mission was to provide free nursing services to sick individuals, in their own homes, who would otherwise be unable to obtain care. With the implementation of Title XVIII legislation in 1966, the legal title of the home health agency was changed to Nursing Sisters Home Visiting Service, Inc. Today we are known as Catholic Home Care and provide home health services to nearly 2,000 patients on a daily basis.