Citing declining numbers and increased health care needs, the leadership team of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd announced that they have closed their Good Shepherd Center in Marlborough as of Feb. 28.
The decision was made with "great sadness," the sisters said in a Feb. 11 statement announcing the closure.
The Sisters of the Good Shepherd came to Boston in 1867, at the request of Archbishop Williams to minister to women in need. The sisters' services extended to all ages: from the very young, who overcrowded orphanages could not accommodate, to large numbers of pre-teen and adolescent girls, as well as adults.
With changing education and child care practices in the 20th century, the sisters' facility on Huntington Avenue in Boston was no longer adequate. In 1964 the sisters decided to build a new home for the girls and sisters, Madonna Hall for Girls in Marlborough. With the help of Cardinal Richard Cushing, a 64-acre property was chosen.
In the 60s and 70s the phenomenon of de-institutionalization in Massachusetts affected the child care program at Madonna Hall, and in 1985 it was closed. The property was purchased by the Cummings Foundation in 1992 and became the site of the not-for-profit retirement community New Horizons.
"The sisters were always a part of (Bill Cummings') plan and they have spent 25 happy years at Good Shepherd Center, a part of New Horizons," the sisters said in their statement.
The sisters added that they will "seek appropriate placements" for the eight sisters remaining at the Good Shepherd Center.