Mullen Home residents welcomed as Christ, cared for as family
By Roxanne King
“I saw clean clothes, happy faces, and even radiant health. Between the youthful sisters and these old people reigns a mutual affection and respect to gladden the heart.”
So reads an article in the Sept. 13, 1848, L’Univers newspaper of France reporting on a home for the elderly poor run by the Little Sisters of the Poor.
And so it is today at the Little Sisters’ Mullen Home for the Aged in Denver, which is celebrating it’s 100th anniversary this year.
“We’re an international congregation and the beauty of our vocation is it’s the same spirit everywhere we are,” said Mother Patricia Mary Metzgar, superior of the home located in Denver’s historic Highlands neighborhood.
“There may be differences in the culture—in different areas of the US or in the world—but still that basic mission: loving care for the elderly poor, welcoming them as Christ, caring for them as family, and accompanying them until God calls them to himself.”
With the support of Bishop Nicholas Matz, in 1913 Catholic philanthropist J.K. Mullen bought a 10-acre tract of land at 3629 W. 29th Ave. “to leave something in the nature of a memorial…for the benefit of the aged.”
In 1916, construction began on a four-story brick home on the property. In 1917, five Little Sisters arrived from France, where their congregation was founded by St. Jeanne Jugan, to staff Mullen Home.
In 1975, two wings were added to the building to expand services.
Today, eight Little Sisters care for 67 residents with help from about a hundred lay staffers and numerous volunteers at Mullen Home, which offers independent apartments, assisted living and nursing care rooms.
“I love being here,” said two-year resident Ida Landrum, 85. “The Little Sisters definitely carry out [St. Jeanne Jugan’s] spirit. Even Mother [Patricia Mary], who is so busy, is in the dining room at noon serving food to us, cleaning the tables, and in the evening, saying the prayers.”
The home’s renowned family atmosphere is even more profound for Landrum as her husband is also a resident and a daughter works at the home.
Eudist Family: Little Sisters of the Poor