SCRANTON, Pa. -- The future of a long-time nursing home in Scranton is up in the air. The sisters who run the place have decided to pull out.
The Little Sisters of the Poor announced Wednesday they are leaving the Holy Family Residence in Scranton.
The Little Sisters' decision to leave is painful for those working at the residence and the surrounding community.
Sitting on a hill near Marywood University, the Holy Family Residence has been a staple in this part of Lackawanna County. But with fewer women joining the religious group, the Little Sisters have had to cut back on the number of nursing homes they operate nationwide, including this one in Scranton.
A spokesman for the Little Sisters says this difficult decision has been in the works for years.
"To consolidate and solidify their mission in the United States presently they have 27 homes for the aging, but they know they are going to have to withdraw for their mission to carry on," said Fr. Mark Cregan, attorney for the Little Sisters of the Poor.
The Little Sisters of the Poor still have seven sisters living at the Holy Family Residence. They are now hoping someone else takes over.
"The Little Sisters' mission is to create a family spirit, but it's like someone from the family is leaving, and that's hard in every case," said Fr. Cregan.
Originally called the Maloney Home, Holy Family Residence has been in operation for more than 110 years. Now, those living in the area are worried about its uncertain future.
While playing with her grandchildren at a park nearby, Jean Scopelliti tells Newswatch 16 the Little Sisters of the Poor have been on that hill for as long as she can remember.
"It's sad because I think there is a great need for that type of care in this community because there are so many senior citizens in this area."
The Little Sisters of the Poor tell us any changes are not expected to happen here for a least a few more years.