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Garden Dedication Today at Saint Marianne Cope Shrine & Museum


Syracuse, NY (June 6, 2016) – A new garden opened today at the Saint Marianne Cope Shrine & Museum, adjacent to St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center in Syracuse at 601 North Townsend St on the corner of Townsend and Union Ave. A dedication ceremony was held to unveil the garden, and included prominent guests from St. Joseph’s Health, the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities, and the local community, as well as the Most Rev. Bishop Robert J. Cunningham. 

Thanks to a donation from the Maurillo family, who have had several generations grow up in the St. Joseph’s neighborhood, the flower garden will be open to museum visitors and the public for quiet contemplation and prayer. The garden will be named “Maurillo Family Garden” in honor of the family. 

Sister Marianne Cope planted gardens, trees, vegetables and flowers all over the remote peninsula on the island of Molokai, HI, where patients with Hansen’s disease (then known as leprosy) were exiled, because no one knew how the disease spread. This was one of many things she did to beautify the lives of the patients there and create a sense of community and family. 

“We made a plan to continue her legacy by building a garden here at the museum dedicated to her. A sacred place of prayer, contemplation and beauty” said Kristin Barrett-Anderson, Museum Director. “This garden will also be dedicated to Vitantonio and Rosaria Maurillo, whose family’s donation allowed us to build this garden.” 

FUN FACT: A statue of Saint Marianne Cope will stand in the middle of the garden. This statue was created by one of the sisters of St. Francis. There are only three in existence: one in Honolulu, one at the Franciscan Villa where the sisters live here in Syracuse, and now one at the Saint Marianne Cope Shrine & Museum. 

The garden will be maintained by Master Gardeners from the Cornell Cooperative Extension. 

About the Saint Marianne Cope Shrine & Museum

The Saint Marianne Cope Shrine & Museum shares the story of the first Franciscan woman from North America to be canonized and one of only 11 American Saints. A woman of great valor, this beloved mother of outcasts, spent her early years in central New York where she served as a leader in the field of health care, education and of her own congregation. Starting St. Joseph’s Hospital in 1869, Marianne and the Sisters of St. Francis made great advances in hygiene and patient’s rights. Responding to a call to care for the poor sick on the then Sandwich Islands, she devoted 35 years to caring for those afflicted with Hansen’s disease on Kalaupapa, Molokai, Hawaii. 

About Sisters of St. Francis

The Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities is a congregation of more than 400 vowed women religious whose Franciscan spirit motivates them to continue God’s work and respond to God’s people wherever there is a need. The sisters serve in 12 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Africa and Peru.    

About St. Joseph’s Health

St. Joseph’s Health is a non-profit regional health care system based in Syracuse, N.Y., providing services to patients throughout Central New York and northern Pennsylvania. From primary to specialty to home care, to our Magnet-recognized hospital, and in collaboration with our community partners, St. Joseph's Health is advancing the health of the communities we serve through an expanding range of healthcare services to ensure our patients achieve optimum long-term health. Ranked by Consumer Reports among the top 15 heart surgery centers in the country, U.S. News “Best Regional Hospital” and a 15-time winner of the National Research Corporation Consumer Choice award,  St. Joseph’s is widely recognized for quality, value and delivering the highest patient satisfaction. St. Joseph’s Health is affiliated with Franciscan Companies and St. Joseph’s Physicians and is a part of Trinity Health

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Cutline: A statue of Saint Marianne Cope was unveiled today as the centerpiece of a new garden planted adjacent to the Saint Marianne Cope Shrine & Museum located at 601 North Townsend Street in Syracuse, next door to St. Joseph’s Hospital which she and the Sisters of St. Francis founded in 1869. The garden represents Saint Marianne’s love for nature and the flowers, trees and vegetables that she planted to add beauty to the lives of her patients, including those suffering with Hansen’s disease (leprosy) whom she cared for on the remote peninsula of Kalaupapa, Molokai, Hawaii.