Since 1944, St. Anne’s has been offering a caring home for those in need in eastern North Dakota. It all started on November 12, 1944, when a home was opened at 1303 13th Street North by the Catholic Welfare Bureau (now Catholic Charities). Nine months later, in August of 1945, the Franciscan Sisters from Hankinson, ND, took over the house, serving homeless men who had been accustom to “riding the rails” from place to place, but whose health no longer allowed them to maintain this lifestyle.
In the early years, the Sisters served twelve such men, whom they named their “twelve apostles.” The home was called “St. Anne’s Guest Home,” as the men who resided there were looked after with dignity and respect, treated as guests.
In the early 1950s, there was a definite need for such a home for the needy elderly. However, the Fargo location was only large enough to house twenty men. Thus it was the Bishop Dworschak urged the Franciscan Sisters to relocate. In Grand Forks, the St. Michael’s Hospital building, located along the Red River, was no longer adequate to serve as a hospital. Despite lack of Sisters and financial need, the bishop urged the superior, Mother Irmtrudis to purchase the building, promising assistance from the diocese in the project. Thus it was that, on August 20, 1952, the Sisters purchased the old hospital for $250,000.
The first weeks there were difficult. Sisters, accompanied by their priest, from Hankinson brought up supplies to the new home from Hankinson. After days of cleaning, the Sisters were prepared and started receiving “guests” from the area. Later that year, the twelve men from Fargo were transferred up to the new “St. Anne’s” in Grand Forks. The number of people at the home increased over time, even up to 120 residents.
By 1978, however, the building was no longer up to fire codes. The Sisters were faced with the decision of closing the mission or moving to a new location once again. The latter option was chosen, and renovations were undertaken at the former convent of the Sisters of St Joseph, who had been serving in Catholic Schools in the area. An additional wing was added to the building to provide subsidized housing. In 1981, the move was made to the current location of St. Anne’s.
The Home continues to serve elderly and disabled individuals from various backgrounds. Many of these people have little or no family involvement. The Sisters and staff become like family to them, caring for their needs and showing interest in them. Nursing, housekeeping, laundry, and personal care services are provided as well as various activities. St. Anne’s also has a chapel with spiritual opportunities. In recent years, the home has adapted the name “St. Anne’s Living Center” as an umbrella term to include both the Basic Care and the Subsidized Housing unit.
Our mission at St. Anne’s is to provide a safe, caring, and family-like home for our residents. Inspired by St. Francis, we strive to serve each person who comes to us as we would Christ. We welcome those who come to us from various backgrounds, treating them with love and dignity while providing for their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.