History

Headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System serves patients across the State of Louisiana through a network of hospitals, clinics, physicians, elderly housing and integrated information systems. The organization traces its roots back to France in 1854. Here’s a brief look at our history.

The health system is the healthcare ministry of the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady in Louisiana. In 1854, seven different groups of Franciscan Sisters in France banded together to form the Franciscan Sisters of Calais. The order soon expanded into Europe, Asia and North and South America.

A contingent of Sisters arrived in Louisiana in 1911. This is the Sister’s only footprint in the United States. Two years later, in 1913, the Sister opened the St. Francis Sanitarium in Monroe. The ministry grew, and in 1921, the Sisters opened a sanitarium in Baton Rouge, Our Lady of the Lake. Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Lafayette was opened in 1949.

Today, these original institutions are joined by St. Elizabeth Hospital in Gonzales (2004), several nursing homes, physician clinics, comprehensive senior services and a variety of healthcare-related services that comprise the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System.

The Sisters remain actively involved in the daily work of the Health System, extending the healing ministry of Jesus Christ.

The Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System was organized in 1984 as a non-profit corporation. Today, the health system manages the four major medical centers as well as a Senior Services division and Franciscan Health and Wellness.

Today, our purpose remains the same as it did more than 100 years ago: to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ to God’s people, especially those most in need. Equally important in today’s volatile healthcare climate is our ceaseless preparation, ensuring that our progress is undeterred by change, finding success in any environment and remaining ever focused on improvement.