Our History: Don Orione Home's Proud Legacy of Service, Art, Growth, Diversity and Caring

In June 1949, at the invitation of His Eminence Richard Cardinal Cushing, the first Don Orione Fathers and Sisters came to Boston to establish a home for the aged. Wthe the help of the Faro Charity Club, the property was purchased on historic Breed's Hill above Boston Harbor—the site where the famous Battle of Bunker Hill was waged between American Colonists and the British.

One of the old brick structures that stood on the property in 1949 was renovated and four elderly women were admitted the following November. Soon the Residence's maximum capacity of 16 residents was exceeded and it because apparent that a larger facilty should be constructed to meet the community's needs.

Fund-raising drives commenced, sponsored by the Massachusetts Order of the Sons of Italy. Together with contributions from generous benefactors, enough money was raised to begin construction of a new Don Orione Home in 1952. The facility was dedicated in September, 1953. This original building is now known as the "East Wing" of Don Orione Home.

In 1956 and 1957, two more dreams became reality for our facility: 1) The Kennedy Memorial Infirmary was built, and 2) the Volpe Memorial St. Pius X Chapel was completed. Because religious worship plays a central part in the lives of many residents and staff of Don Orione Home, the chapel is a major focus in the life of the Home to this day.

Applications for admission to the Home continued to increase over the ensuing decades. In an attempt to meet this need, a 95-bed West Wing was added. This extension of the facility, which included many administrative and rehabilitative areas, was dedicated on November 20, 1966.

Still more creative and innovative solutions to community care and long term resident support proved necessary—growing at a faster rate than the Home could handle. So the Don Orione Home came up with a unique solution in 1975: It established the Adult Day Health Center and became a pioneer in the area of Adult Day Care—a service that remains in strong demand today, more than four decades later. Located on the fourth floor of our facility, the Adult Day Health Center is based on a philosophy of providing an alternative to institutional care—or at least offering the community a way to delay or permanently forestall placement in a long term care facility.

Today, we continue to grow our capacity to provide quality care for those in need. More sophisticated medical interventions are now a part of the services we offer, in addition to Short Term Rehabilitative Care, Respite Care and Hospice Care. And, we remain cognizant of our responsibility to continuously envision and develop ground-breaking strategies for improving care to the community.