Celebrating a Century of
Compassionate Care

Centennial Blog:

The Foundation

The Foundation

Foundation (noun): A body or ground upon which something is built. The Campus Foundation at The...

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Centennial Celebration Interviews with The Brothers

Brother Edmund

What are your earliest memories and activities from when you became a Brother on campus?

I went to Father Baker for high school, and after high school I joined the Navy and served for two-and-a-half years from 1969-1972. I traveled a lot while I was in the Navy to places such as Puerto Rico, Malta, Naples and Rome. Once I was out of the service, I visited the Brothers two or three times before I was accepted in 1978, which happened to be the same date that Pope John Paul II was chosen to be our Pope.

In between the service and officially becoming a Brother, I worked at Buffalo General and St Louis Church. When I became a Brother, the Nursing Home was already in existence. I was a CNA at the nursing home where I could only take care of male patients at that time. I left the Clarence Campus in 1982 to begin work at their Jewett Parkway location in Buffalo, doing in-home care, where Brother Fidelis was my superior. I did this until 1995 and came back to the Clarence Campus where I have been since.

What was a day in the life of a Brother when you began here?

I would wake up, attend mass and then work from 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. After work, I would do some chores and relax.

What is something you are most proud of?

My career in In-Home nursing. However it was always difficult to leave my patients knowing they were passing away. 

What do you see the future looking like for Brothers of Mercy in the next 100 years?

I would like to see them prosper and carry on the best we can.

What impact do you believe Brothers of Mercy has had on the community and how has it influenced the quality of senior care?

We have always put our patients and residents first. The family-like atmosphere is strong here and helps our purpose of providing kind and compassionate care.

Brother Fidelis

What are your earliest memories and activities from when you became a Brother on campus?

I am originally from North Tonawanda and after high school I decided to enter the Army. After my service, I decided to “give it a try and if it’s for me great, and if not that’s ok.” Turns out it was for me, and I became a Brother in my early 20s.

How many Brothers were there in the beginning?

I started in downtown Buffalo and did home care. I was a nurse and would ride my bike, as did all the Brothers, through any kind of weather, to care for our patients. After a while, I came out to Clarence and worked in our Nursing Home as a nurse.

What was a day in the life of a Brother when you began here?

I would wake up, attend Mass and then work a full shift. After work, all the Brothers would get together, talk and relax

What is something you are most proud of?

The growth we’ve seen and our campus itself.

What was the Founders mentality, their beliefs and goals?

To provide help and care for those who really need it.

What do you see the future looking like for Brothers of Mercy in the next 100 years?

When I began, young men were in the spirit of helping, giving and upholding our mission. Times have changed a lot of things. I don’t think the campus will grow any more than it has, and a lot has to do with the fact that young people don’t seem to have the same passion we did back then as Brothers.

What impact do you believe Brothers of Mercy has had on the community and how has it influenced the quality of senior care?

When people are sick and dying, the Brothers were the pioneers in this type of compassionate senior care.

Fun Facts:

  • Brother Fidelis loved to dance, and his favorite was doing the Polka!
  • Brother Fidelis was in charge of Spiritual Care in the Nursing Home for many years.
  • Brother Fidelis served in the Army and was stationed in Germany

Brother Ken

What are your earliest memories and activities from when you became a Brother on campus?

I came to the campus at the age of 35. I visited in 1995 and met with Brother Jude and Brother Terrence and then moved here in 1996 and lived at the White House. When I was asked how I was doing by Brother Jude, I replied that it was going ok, and Brother Jude replied, “You are not here to have fun. You are here to save your soul.”

What characteristics would you want to be remembered by as our current Brother Superior?

I want to be fair in listening to the Brothers and taking care of the Brothers, and I always listen. I like to look at the good and bad of previous leaders and try to emulate the good and change the bad. I pride myself on treating people fairly and not barking at them. You don’t treat everyone the same, you know their strengths and don’t micromanage.

What was a day in the life of a Brother when you began here?

I would begin the day with morning prayer or mass. I was a cook and dietary aide at Sacred Heart Home. When I was not working, I would go to class for spiritual learning. I would end my day with evening prayer and the rosary. I would look forward to community night, which was once a month when I was able to go out to eat.

What is something you are most proud of?

I am proud of my longevity here on campus after 27 years and still going.

What do you see the future looking like for Brothers of Mercy in the next 100 years?

I feel that come 10 to 20 years from now, there will no longer be Brothers on campus. I anticipate that even with the absence of the Brothers, the mission and value system will live on through the years. Brothers of Mercy will continue to adapt to the industry changes while maintaining the core values and standards the Brothers have set.

What impact do you believe Brothers of Mercy has had on the community and how has it influenced the quality of senior care?

The Brothers of Mercy is one of the first to have a continuum of care.  People on campus receive the same care no matter what the building they are in.

Brother Terrence

What are your earliest memories and activities from when you became a Brother on campus?

When I started here on campus in 1957, I was 19 years old and not a Brother at that time. I was a novice for two years and then took my first vows to become a Brother. I took temporary vows for six years, and then made my final vows in 1963. At that time, the Brothers lived in the White House. My official position was the formation director, and I held that position for six years.

How many Brothers were there when this opened in the very beginning?

There were 30 Brothers on campus when I began. I was in a class of six in training to become a Brother and was the only one from that class that succeeded. During our training, we were put in nursing school, and after I graduated as an RN, I went back and became a COTA as it became obvious there were other rehabilitative needs on campus. I was granted my first vacation after many years of working and was given $40 to spend for my trip. I spent that time with family and was so proud that I was able to bring back the $40. My last 14 years of service were spent as an activities aide in the nursing home.

What was a day in the life of a Brother when you began here?

We began our day with morning prayers and mass. I worked in the kitchen doing dishes, and we would get a coffee break at 10 a.m. There was no eating in between meals as we took a vow of poverty. There was a Brother in charge of cooking all our meals. After working for the day, we would have evening prayers, eat dinner together and then prayers at 9 p.m.

What is something you are most proud of?

I am most proud of the ability to accompany so many people in their sickness and wellness.

What do you see the future looking like for Brothers of Mercy in the next 100 years?

The hope is that all the lay people will carry on the good quality care that each person deserves.

What impact do you believe Brothers of Mercy has had on the community and how has it influenced the quality of senior care?

Brothers of Mercy has always been known for our quality of care.  We were pioneers of quality care and that has never faltered over the years. We are also known for doing the work of God.

What Made the U.S. & World News in 1924?

January 25 The first Winter Olympic Games open in Chamonix, France

February 12 George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody In Blue” premieres at influential concert “Experiment in Modern Music” held by Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra at the Aeolian Hall, NYC

February 14 IBM is founded in New York State.

February 16–26 Dock strikes break out in various U.S. harbors.

February 22 Calvin Coolidge becomes the first President of the United States to deliver a radio broadcast from the White House.

April 16 American media company Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM) is founded in Los Angeles.

May 1 German automobile manufacturers Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft and Benz & Cie begin their first joint venture (later merge into Mercedes-Benz)

May 10 J. Edgar Hoover is appointed head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

May 26 The Asian Exclusion Act is enacted, banning all Asian immigration to the United States. It was a slap in the face to Japan after their participation as a principal ally in WWI, and is seen as the spark that spurred Japan’s alliance with Germany and down the path to World War II.

June 2 U.S. President Calvin Coolidge signs the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 into law, granting citizenship to all Native Americans born within the territorial limits of the United States.

June 9 “Jelly-Roll Blues” is recorded by American jazz pioneer pianist and composer Jelly Roll Morton

June 23 American airman Russell L. Maughan flies from New York to San Francisco in 21 hours and 48 minutes on a dawn-to-dusk flight in a Curtiss pursuit.

June 24 – July 9 The Democratic National Convention takes a record 103 ballots, to nominate John Davis for President.

October 9 Soldier Field, the home of the Chicago Bears, opens.

October 13 Mecca falls without struggle to Saudi forces led by Abdulaziz Ibn Saud

October 28 Miner M.de Bruin discovers the infant fossil skull, “Taung child” in a lime quarry in Taung, South Africa. Paleoanthropologist Raymond Dart identifies the fossil as a new hominin species, Australopithecus Africanus.

November 4  U.S. presidential election: Republican Calvin Coolidge defeats Democrat John W. Davis and Progressive U. S. Senator Robert M. La Follette; Nellie Tayloe Ross of Wyoming is elected as the first woman governor in the United States.

November 15 In Los Angeles, silent film director Thomas Ince (“The Father of the Western”) meets publishing tycoon William Randolph Hearst to work out a deal. When Ince dies a few days later, reportedly of a heart attack, rumors soon surface that he was murdered by Hearst.

December 1 George Gershwin’s Lady Be, Good, including the song “Fascinating Rhythm”, (book by Guy Bolton and Fred Thompson, lyrics by Ira Gershwin) premieres in New York City.

December 30 Astronomer Edwin Hubble formally announces existence of other galactic systems at meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

  Fun Facts From 1924

  • In 1924, the U.S. population was 114.1 million
  • The average U.S. life expectancy for males was 58.1 years and for females, 61.5 years
  • Jimmy Carter was the first U.S. President born in a hospital
  • Facial tissues were introduced by Kimberly-Clark as Kleenex
  • The Montreal Canadiens won the NHL’s Stanly Cup
  • The Cleveland Bulldogs were the NFL Champions
  • The Washington Senators won the World Series in baseball
  • The first Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Parade was held
  • Popular Book: “The Magic Mountain” by Thomas Mann
  • Top movies: “The Navigator,” “The Thief of Baghdad,” “The Marriage Circle,” “The Iron Horse,” “Forbidden Paradise”

What did different things cost?

  • Hudson Super Six Coach $1,500
  • Boy’s suits – $4.95 – $12
  • Carpet sweeper – $2.79 – $3.50
  • Butter, .40 a pound

Famous People Who Were Born in 1924:
Marlon Brando – April 3; George H.W. Bush – June 12; Jimmy Carter – October 1

Famous People Who Died in 1924:

Vladimir Lenin – January 21; Woodrow Wilson – February 3; Franz Kafka – June 3

2023-2024 Events & Celebrations

On Friday, September 8, The Brothers of Mercy hosted its annual Oktoberfest and 5K race. More than 250 runners and walkers participated and more than 500 attended the event, which featured the music of The Polka Boyz and a gift basket raffle with more than 100 items.

On Monday, September 4, The Brothers of Mercy staff marched in the Clarence Center Volunteer Fire Department’s Labor Day Parade.

On Thursday, August 17, The Boys of Summer, members of The Buffalo Music Hall of Fame, performed a free community concert on the back lawn of the Skilled Nursing Facility.

On Sunday, August 13, The Brothers held a German Mass in the Center Chapel with The Brothers from Trier, Germany, who were visiting to participate in the start of the centennial celebration.

On Wednesday, August 9, The Brothers, staff, and volunteers gathered behind the skilled nursing home to kick off the year-long centennial commemoration by forming a 100 in the grass.

On Tuesday, July 18, 2023, the Sacred Heart Home staff was pleased to welcome the Uhlman family as they dedicated the beauty salon to Marcella Uhlman, who was a Sacred Heart resident. The dedication was made possible by a generous gift from the family, including Frank, her husband, and daughters, Maggie O’Toole and Liz Berg, to The Brothers of Mercy Wellness Campus. Thank you to the Uhlman family for this wonderful gift to honor Marcella!

On Friday, June 23, 2023, The Brothers held a special Mass to commence the 2024 Centennial Celebration in the Chapel at the original Sacred Heart Home.

The Brothers of Mercy Centennial Timeline


1924: In 1924, Bishop Turner welcomed six Brothers from Montabaur, Germany to the United States to launch what became a cornerstone of the Western New York senior care community. The Brothers initially reside in a local convent’s basement.

1925: The Brothers established residence on Cottage Street and began their mission of in-home nursing. Here they cared for male patients who needed around-the-clock care.

1935: In addition to providing residents at their infirmary on Cottage Street, the Brothers made medical house call visits. They traveled by bicycle in the rain or snow, day and night, providing care to patients from all backgrounds. Some patients were even priests. Payment was accepted in many forms – fruits, vegetables, animals, a “pay what you can” method, and sometimes nothing at all. The Brother’s made more than 76,000 house calls in their first 25 years.

1938: As the demand for the Brothers’ spiritual care and medical skills grew, a second residence on Jewett Parkway was adopted.

1949: The Brothers of Mercy celebrates 25 years of compassionate services in the Diocese of Buffalo on Sunday, June 26, 1949. On that special day in 1924, the small, yet mighty group of six Brothers arrived in the city, and prepares to spread their mission of care.

1950: The Brothers purchased 127 acres of farmland in Clarence, NY, which will eventually evolve into today’s “Brothers of Mercy Wellness Campus.” In 1951, ground is broken on the first wing of Sacred Heart Home, which housed 36 male patients.

1951: St. Vincent’s Nursing Home is founded in Oklahoma City, OK, by Brother Servatius and three other Brothers from Buffalo. For approximately two decades, the home offered housing, care and spiritual counsel to men in need, eventually closing in the 1960s.

1959: Mercy Manor Retirement Home for men, formerly The Drake Hotel, opened in Kansas City, MS. Brothers Xavier and Jude were actively involved in this location. In 1966, the Catholic Diocese took it over, converting it to an alcohol rehabilitation center.

1963: Scared Heart Home added a south wing and new Chapel to the facility, adding 56 rooms and going from 36 to 92.

1972: As a way to expand the mission of serving those most in need, The Brothers of Mercy opens an affordable housing and independent living community for moderate-income seniors aged 55 and older.

1974: The Brothers’ exclusive, renowned therapy programs earn them a reputation for pioneering rehabilitation in Western New York. As demand for access to these life-changing restorative therapies and treatment rises, the Brothers build a 240-bed Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, considered the region’s first-ever freestanding rehab center.

1999: On June 27. 1999, The Brothers of Mercy received a special 75th anniversary tribute and proclamation from New York State Governor George E. Pataki.

1999: Due to the need for a more modern facility, the Brothers migrated their residential quarters into a new residence on Ransom Road. They broke ground in 1999 and completed the home in 2000.

2006: The Brothers of Mercy of Montabaur celebrate 150 years as a Roman Catholic religious congregation.

2014: Named after the Brothers of Mercy’s humble origins in Montabaur, Germany, this distinctive, all-inclusive independent senior living community begins construction in the fall of 2014 and opens its doors in early 2016.

2016: The Clarence community of the Brothers of Mercy of Montabaur merge with the Trier, Germany-based community of the Brothers of Mercy of Mary Help of Christians. Joining the Trier Brothers was a natural fit due to the two congregations’ shared missions of caring for the sick and elderly.

2018: The Russell J. Salvatore Outpatient Rehabilitation Clinic on the Wellness Campus opens in January 2018. The innovative physical, occupational and speech therapies The Brothers of Mercy pioneered through the decades are now available in this state-of-the-art facility to all adults over 18 in the entire Western New York community.

2020: The Sacred Heart Home Assisted Living and Memory Care facility opened in December. It features 96 units (62 assisted living and 34 memory care) arranged in six innovative “Wellness Neighborhoods” design. The private suites include shared common spaces, including dining, kitchen and living areas, lounges and courtyards. Services are provided to residents in an environment designed to evoke the feeling of living at home.

2023: In August, the Brothers of Montabaur, Germany visit the Wellness Campus in Clarence to commence a year-long commemoration for The Brothers of Mercy’s centennial of their founding in 1924 in Buffalo.