The Brothers of Mercy were founded more than a century ago in Hadamar, Germany by Brother Ignatius (Peter) Loetschert. Br. Ignatius and a small group of religiously dedicated men established a small community with a focus on caring for the sick in their region. Although the group had a very difficult start, facing poverty, famine, and lack of important medical skills, Br. Ignatius encouraged the mission forward. He studied nursing with the Alexian Brothers and then shared that knowledge with the other Brothers. It wasn’t long before word of the charitable efforts spread.
Soon, their compassionate health care drew others to their mission. The Brothers of Mercy religious congregation was formally established in 1856. Later, congregations were also established in Holland and South Africa.
In 1924, several brothers came to Western New York. They established a residence on Cottage Street and began their mission of in-home nursing. The demand for their spiritual care and medical skills grew and, in 1938, a second residence on Jewett Parkway was adopted. Eleven years later, the North American Province of the Brothers of Mercy was formally established. The Provincial headquarters were moved to Clarence in 1952. A year later, patients from Cottage Street were moved into the newly built Brothers of Mercy Sacred Heart Home. In 1972, the Brothers opened the 100-unit senior apartment complex. The building that would later become the Brothers of Mercy Nursing and Rehabilitation Center was opened within 12 months, and the Sacred Heart Home was converted into a an adult care facility.
In 1997, the Brothers in Clarence received support from the Dutch province to build a new residence for the congregation. The building is designed to house the Brothers for many years and, if the need arises, it may later be used as another health-care facility to ensure the continuation of their mission of caring for others.
The work on the Brothers of Mercy campus has continually been recognized for excellence. In 2002, the Clarence Chamber of Commerce named the Brothers of Mercy the 2002 Business of the Year, and the Nursing and Rehabilitation Center has received a five-star rating. The Brothers of Mercy motto is “The Charity of Christ Urges Us On.” It is the foundation upon which the campus was built and has grown