On June 27, 1856, the boat docked at Laclede’s Landing in St. Louis and the Sisters were greeted by Father Arnold Damen who, along with Archbishop Peter Richard Kenrick of St. Louis, had requested they make the perilous journey.
In 1871, the health care needs of the city required more help, so the Sister’s turned their school building into a 25-bed hospital for women and children known as St. John’s Hospital. By 1874, the facility became a general hospital with wards for the poor and private rooms for men, women and children.
Under the leadership of Mother Magdalen de Pazzi Bently, the hospital reached out to the community by affiliating with local universities, established a school of nursing and offered the first prepaid health insurance in the county to United Railways Company employees.
Today, St. John’s Mercy Medical Center is an 859-bed, fully accredited teaching hospital. It also includes a heart and vascular hospital, cancer center, children's hospital, surgery center and skilled nursing center.
J. Fialka, Sisters: Catholic Nuns and the Making of America, p.131