"Love Never Grows Old" in the compassionate, holistic healthcare setting of
Villa Maria. Villa Maria, in Spanish, means country home of Mary.
Villa Maria is a comfortable retreat where everyone can relax and look forward to each day.
In 1911 the Santa Fe Railroad built a line hospital in Mulvane Kansas.
In 1949 the railroad transferred all their hospital care to Topeka,
Kansas leaving the building empty.
In October 1949, Mark K. Carroll, Bishop of Wichita, Kansas purchased the Santa Fe Hospital in Mulvane.
Renovation began early in December 1949 to equip the building for a home for the aging,
the first of its kind in the Diocese of Wichita. On July 23, 1950 Bishop Carroll officiated at the dedication
The Home for the Aged was placed under the patronage of Our Blessed Mother with its official name
VILLA MARIA, which means Country Home of Mary.
Church dignitaries, clergy and Sisters, the Mayor, representatives of civic and health organizations,
including doctors, social welfare personnel, and many other friends were present for the outdoor service.
From the very beginning, Bishop Carroll requested Mother Ventura Schulte, Provincial Superior of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ,
to provide Sisters for the administration of the home. General management was under Catholic Social Services at Wichita.
Father Charles Smith was director at the time.
Five Sisters were assigned to the initial staff: Sister Caroletta Stremel, local administrator, assisted by Sisters Mary Frances Seiler, Columba (Anna) Hermers, Mary John Smith and Albertine Baumer. A small section of the second floor was reserved for the Sisters’ sleeping quarters.
On July 27, 1950, the first resident was admitted to Villa Maria. This was Mrs. Martha Gorges, mother of Sisters Evelyn and Sylvia. Within a very short time, all forty-seven beds were occupied by residents came from various parts of Kansas.
In July of 1961, Bishop Carroll transferred the deed of the properties from the Diocese to the Sisters, retaining, however, the balance of the debt.
By 1972, the original building was outdated and declared unsafe by the Health Department. This forced a decision to close or rebuild.
July 30, 1974, Villa Maria was separately incorporated as Villa Maria Inc. in preparation for construction of the new facility. The Corporation Officers appointed a Board of Directors.
A “kick-off” meeting was held April 6, 1975, to raise funds to supplement the Industrial Revenue bonds of $700,000. Twenty members, including the Executive Council and Board of Directors and other businessmen of Wichita, were present to discuss ways and means for funds.
September 9, 1975, Bishop Maloney, in a simple ceremony, had the “groundbreaking” directly east of the Villa.
On November 20, 1976 Bishop Maloney presided at the dedication of the new Villa Maria at its present location on Central Street.
On April 13, 2000 a news release was printed in the Mulvane News stating that 16 acres were purchased
with the intent that a 34 bed assisted living facility would be built. The new facility would be called Maria Court.
“Plans called for 30 deluxe studio units and four one-bedroom suites in a facility that would provide elderly residents with regular meals and “as needed” assistance with daily living activities such as bathing, dressing and personal care, as well as laundry, housekeeping and transportation. This facility would also provide programs of regular exercise and recreational activities for its residents.”
On November 19, 2000 groundbreaking of the planned building took place at 633 East Main Street.
On January 20, 2003 at 2:30 pm Bishop Olmested blessed and dedicated Maria Court.
Pictured above, Sister Barbara Jean Franklin,
Provincial of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ United States Province,
addresses the group gathered for the celebration.