When Bishop John Timon arrived in Buffalo, New York, he saw an urgent need for a hospital, especially because the city had a large population of immigrants and other working poor who could not afford medical care. The attempts of some Buffalo physicians to establish a hospital had been staunchly opposed by their colleagues for seven years. Bishop Timon and the Sisters of Charity were able to start their hospital in three months. Bishop Timon chose the sisters for their health care experience and because many of the sisters were immigrants themselves, which would put their patients at ease. The sisters’ experience in working with non-Catholics was also important. The hospital was completely nonsectarian, and the sisters’ efforts for patients of all faiths contributed to religious toleration. In 1849, cholera struck Buffalo. A previous cholera epidemic had decimated the city, but thanks to the sisters and their hospital, the majority of their patients survived. The nineteenth-century view of cholera as a disease of the immoral poor is explained. The hospital’s funding, governance, and contributions to Buffalo Medical College are described.
Castillo, Dennis Ph.D.
"Bishop John Timon, C.M., Sisters of Charity Hospital, and the Cholera Epidemic of 1849,"
Vincentian Heritage Journal: Vol. 35:
2, Article 3.
Available at: https://via.library.depaul.edu/vhj/vol35/iss2/3