CARMELITE HOME/HOLY INNOCENTS CENTER
St. Joseph’s Carmelite Home, originally an orphanage, was opened in 1913 by our Mother Foundress, Bl. Maria Teresa. The poverty in East Chicago was extreme, but faithfulness to this most necessary mission for neglected/abused children has prevailed throughout the past ninety-five years.
Carmelite Home evolved from an orphanage to a group home and finally to a residential treatment center. Over the years, the Carmelite Sisters have cared for hundreds of children. We now provide a fully accredited on-campus school for those girls who need one-to-one academic assistance and a more structured classroom environment. Our children and youth are from many ethnic backgrounds and religions. Our Sisters strive to cultivate a Christian mentality in our residents. In addition to material benefits, social development, and intelligent advancement, we wish to give them a sense of God’s Presence in their young lives—to make a difference!
In 2001, at the request of our Juvenile Court Judge for Lake County, Indiana, we opened our Holy Innocents Center. This Center provides emergency shelter for boys and girls of younger ages who need immediate assistance due to trauma, neglect or abuse. We accept these children at all hours of day or night.
Then again, in 2004, we built our Maria Teresa Tauscher Center, due to over-crowded conditions in our “Grasselli” building. We now have a separate nursery and toddler area, complete with all necessities to care for the many babies and tiny children that are placed with us. This is truly a beautiful labor of love for our sisters. These most vulnerable of God’s creation find many nurturing hearts to soothe and rock them throughout each day and night. It is our honor and joy to be able to do this great work and very humbling to realize that God has placed His little ones at Carmelite Home/Holy Innocents Center.
Sr. M. Annunciata and Sr. M. Carmelita love babies and it shows! Here Sr. M.Carmelita is taking care of an especially fragile baby, who needs some TLC, but each and every one is special. After all, as Mother Teresa of Calcutta says, "How can there be too many children? That is like saying there are too many flowers!"