History of Villa Therese Catholic Clinic
In 1937 Archbishop Rudolph Aloysius Gerken of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, and a group of volunteers realized their dream of serving the basic healthcare needs of the less fortunate by founding a clinic in Santa Fe. First known as the Catholic Clinic, its mission was to serve primarily children of low-income families. Along with generous volunteer physicians, the first staff at the clinic included Sisters of Charity, Sr. Mary Isadore Linden and Sr. Francis Loretto Lopez.
In 1952 Archbisho Edwin Vincent Byrne placed Catholic Clinic under the patronage of St. Therese of Lisieux and the clinic became known as Villa Therese Catholic Clinic.
The Sisters of Charity would direct the clinic at several intervals over the years. In addition, the Medical Mission Sisters and the Handmaids of the Precious Blood of Jemez Springs would also share in this work.
With the retirement of Sister Pat Marie Bernard, SC in 2004 as clinic director and administrator, the clinic’s future was passed to capable and dedicated lay leadership who continue to promote the same mission, vision and values some 78 years later.
Services provided varied over the years, but a basic core of sick and well child care has remained a constant. Villa Therese Catholic Clinic has always relied upon the generosity of local volunteer health care professionals and other non-medical volunteers as well.