June Marks Exciting Anniversaries for Brothers of Mercy

June Marks Exciting Anniversaries for Brothers of Mercy

The month of June marks two very exciting anniversaries for the Brothers of Mercy of Mary Help of Christians. Brother Nolasco Grace celebrated his 58th anniversary with the organization on June 8th, and the 95th anniversary the Brothers serving WNY is on June 28th!

Brother Nolasco Grace Celebrates 58 years of Dedicated Service with Brothers of Mercy

After nearly six decades as a Brother of Mercy, Brother Nolasco Grace’s dedicated service has truly touched countless lives. Born in Roberta and raised in Atlanta, GA., Brother Nolasco enjoyed swimming and playing baseball in his youth. Drafted to the Army in 1953, he was assigned to Division 1 (Big Red 1), the 26th Infantry, and served as the Chief of the Ordinance Section in the 26th Regiment until 1955. Brother Nolasco also converted from Protestantism to Roman Catholicism in 1955, soon discerning a religious vocation. He began service with the Mercedarian Fathers in 1956, eventually joining the Brothers of Mercy in 1959.

A graduate of Clark College in Atlanta, as well as the Reed School of Business Administration, Brother Nolasco served as the Secretary to the Provincial 9, upon entering the Brothers of Mercy. Additionally, he served as Coordinator for the Physical Therapy Department, and following Vatican II, Br. Nolasco became the Vocation Director of the Brothers of Mercy in both their Western New York and Kansas City Communities.

Brother Nolasco, right, with other professed Brothers on the 1960’s

Br. Nolasco, pictured top left in 1963, performing with the Brothers of Mercy choir

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After retiring as the Telecommunications Administrator for the healthcare facilities on the Brothers of Mercy Clarence campus, he has since spent much of his time in prayer for others. Today, as the weather and his health permit, he also visits employees and residents at the Brothers of Mercy Nursing & Rehab Center, as well as Sacred Heart Home.

Brother Nolasco can always be found bearing a smile and a kind word! His warm heart and dedicated service have been such a blessing to the Brothers of Mercy Wellness Campus and the Brothers of Mercy of Mary Help of Christians Community. We extend our warmest thanks and congratulations to this remarkable Brother of Mercy, for 58 years of dedicated service to others!

June 28th Marks 95 years of The Brothers of Mercy serving  WNY

Founded over 160 years ago in Germany, the Brothers of Mercy’s profound origin story stems from a humble mission: to honor Christ through service those most in need – the sick, poor and aged. Since the 1850’s, professed Brothers have dedicated their lives to a legacy which has touched countless lives, and spanned the generations, as well as the globe (including parts of Europe, Asia, Brazil and the U.S.).

Early Roots in Buffalo: In 1924, Bishop Turner welcomed to Buffalo this unique, Catholic order of male nurses, to begin their mission of service. On June 28th, 6 Brothers of Mercy arrived via steamboat from Montabaur, Germany, and launched what would become a cornerstone of the WNY care community.  Beginning with a small fleet of bicycles, these travelling nurses provided in-home care to the sick and elderly of Buffalo: day or night, rain or snow; accepting payment in the form of fruits, animals and sometimes nothing at all. They initially resided in a local convent’s basement before acquiring a residence on Cottage Street in 1925, where they provided residence and cared for male patients in need of around-the-clock nursing care.

Brothers of Mercy professed Brothers and Novices in 1939

The official seal of the Brothers of Mercy Infirmary on Cottage St. in Allentown

Though their numbers were small, their will to serve was mighty, and the Brothers quickly developed a pristine reputation for providing the best compassionate care; turning no one in need away and strictly adhering to their mission statement “The Charity of Christ Urges Us On”.

In their first 25 years alone, they made over 76,000 house-calls!

 

 

As more dedicated men joined the mission in the 1950’s, the Brothers of Mercy’s scope greatly widened, with expansion in Oklahoma City, Kansas City, visits to their mission hospital in Africa, and the establishment of the Clarence Campus of Care, best known today as the Brothers of Mercy Wellness Campus.

The Legacy Continues Today: We have since grown to serve over 500 residents and 1,000 rehabbers annually, with a wonderful team of over 600 compassionate employees. Just as our WNY founding Brothers did 95 years ago, we consider it a privilege to serve those most in need, and are dedicated to carrying on their legacy of care.