Retro Charlotte

In 1958, a convent thrived in Dilworth

From left are Sister Hermine, Mother Patrick and Sister Theresa in 1968.
From left are Sister Hermine, Mother Patrick and Sister Theresa in 1968. The Charlotte Observer

The Little Sisters of the Assumption order established a convent in Charlotte in 1958, moving into a large house on Arosa Avenue. The sisters did good works for almost 20 years until the staff couldn’t meet the health needs of the poor any more, an agency spokesman said in 1976. The house is now a private residence.

In 1965 Charlotte News Club Editor Emily Furr wrote about the house near Covenant Presbyterian Church:

“They care for the sick who can’t afford to hire help. They care for the families of these people. They care for their homes. They care, and expect nothing in return. They are members of the Little Sisters of the Assumption, who are celebrating their centennial this year.

“... In the Queen City today, there are six Catholic sisters who operate such a service... It is a home converted into living quarters for them.... There is a statue of Christ in the front yard with colorful summer flowers down the walk. The birds singing in the yard reflect the peace and tranquility within the home. ...

“The sisters have no hospitals or nursing homes but go daily to the scene of their labor – the working-class home. If it is the mother who is sick, the sisters take over ordinary traditional tasks such as cleaning, washing, cooking, shopping and caring for children... The sister returns to the convent only for midday and evening meals. At night, they return to the residence when the patient is comfortable and order and tranquility have been restored.”

Maria David is the Observer’s librarian.