In the Archives of the Sisters of Charity of New York, photographs illustrate the Christmas festivities held in the schools and hospitals where the Sisters ministered. Holiday events abounded: at schools, students performed in Christmas tableaux and in choirs; at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Manhattan, patients received gifts and holiday meal fare. The annual holiday employee party featured entertainment by the many talented staff. Christmas at each location was a unique and joyous event for all ages! During this season of joy, the generosity and spiritual warmth offered by the Sisters, continues to bring a glorious light to Christmas.
St. Paul School, Brooklyn
Seton Hospital, Bronx
St. Joseph Academy, Manhattan
Academy of Mount Saint Vincent, Tuxedo Park
Holy Name Day Nursery, Manhattan
St. Vincent’s Hospital, Manhattan
The Hospital had many milestones, including treating survivors of the Titanic tragedy in 1911, treating the impoverished and homeless, patients during the AIDS crisis of the late 20th Century, and establishing a unique Community Medicine Department to meet with homebound patients. The Hospital closed in 2010.
All employees and patients celebrated Christmas at the hospital.
“The memories I have are gatherings of all kinds during the two weeks leading up to Christmas. The doctors were generous in feasting their department staff. There were parties where administrators served food and gave out presents to staff and song fests among student nurses in the auditorium. As freshman we used some familiar songs and changed the words to Jingle Bells and other familiar tunes so that nursing terms and medical jargon that we were learning was inserted! I sang each Christmas at Penn Station in uniform with friends during commuter time.” – Sr. Karen Helfenstein, St. Vincent’s School of Nursing, 1966; Senior Vice President for Mission, St. Vincent’s Hospital, 1990-2000