Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center marks 125th with lightsIf you were out and about near Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center on Third Street during the beginning of August and thought the hospital looked a little blue, you weren’t imagining it.
By: Budgeteer News staff, Duluth Budgeteer News
If you were out and about near Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center on Third Street during the beginning of August and thought the hospital looked a little blue, you weren’t imagining it. And the hospital wasn’t preparing for Bluefest.
To celebrate 125 years of caring for the community, the front of the hospital on East Third Street was illuminated in blue light starting on Monday, Aug. 5. The special light display continued for one week. Blue and green are the hospital’s colors.
The hospital also unveiled a new permanent display that highlights the facility’s history, a 53-foot-long mural near the Heart & Vascular Center on the third floor, that
begins with St. Mary’s founding in 1888.
Led by Mother Scholastica Kerst, seven Benedictine Sisters staffed the first hospital at 20th Avenue West and West Third Street.
The sisters quickly realized they needed a larger facility, and on Aug. 8, 1897, the cornerstone was laid for a new 200-bed hospital on the corner of Fifth Avenue East and East Third Street. Over time, additional hospital wings were added and the original hospital building was replaced. Now, the 380-bed medical center spans a full city block, and more than 2,700
people work at the largest hospital in Northeastern Minnesota.
“The Benedictine Sisters came to the booming city on the edge of the wilderness to carry out their mission of caring for the sick,” hospital spokeswoman Kim Kaiser said. “That mission remains today — the Catholic medical center is still sponsored by the Benedictine Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery in Duluth. Then and now, all work is guided by the Rule of St. Benedict: ‘Care must be taken of the sick, so that they will be served as if they were Christ in person.’”
Other events planned include a White Mass on Saturday, Oct. 19 at 4:30 p.m., which will include special recognition of the St. Mary’s 125th anniversary. It takes place at Cathedral of our Lady of the Rosary. A White Mass is an annual event — it’s a special mass held to honor healthcare workers.