Catholic Diocese of Richmond

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Bishop Barry C. Knestout’s Statement on the Little Sisters of the Poor Departing from St. Joseph’s Home

“For more than a century, the Little Sisters of the Poor have been faithful servants and true examples of Christ’s loving care and unwavering, tender devotion for the poor, sick, elderly and dying within our diocese,” said the Most Rev. Barry C. Knestout, bishop of Richmond. “I am deeply saddened to see them leave our region as their departure will leave a profound void within our community that is irreplaceable.

Yet, I am immensely grateful for the decades of humble service, selfless work, great love and devotion they have provided to the most vulnerable in our community. On a personal note, I have a very fond affection for the Little Sisters, as I witnessed firsthand their compassion and accompaniment of the dying when they lovingly cared for Cardinal James Hickey until his death in 2004 at the Jeanne Jugan Residence in Washington, D.C.

While not a diocesan entity, I understand the impact such a difficult decision will have as this transition process moves forward and the current challenges the Little Sisters face as they work to continue to fulfill their mission around the world.

I know our Catholic community holds the Little Sisters in high regard and I ask the faithful to keep them in your prayers in the weeks and months to come. Be assured of my continued prayers for them as well. Through the intercession of Saint Jeanne Jugan, and our Blessed Mother, Mary, may the Little Sisters continue to be guided in their work as they seek to make Jesus Christ present in the world.”


The Little Sisters have served continuously in the Diocese of Richmond since 1874. For more information about the Little Sisters of the Poor, visit