The National Hansen's Disease Center, Carville, LA

In 1896, the state of Louisiana invited the Daughters to run the state sanitarium for Hansen's disease, known inaccurately, but most commonly, by the name "leprosy."  By the 1920s, as other states strove to find a home for patients of the disease, the federal government purchased the hospital, with the sisters remaining as the nuses.  The sisters stayed until nearly the end, when the government closed the hospital in 1998.  By this time, treatment for the disease could be administered at home, and only the most severe cases required long-term hospitalization, without fear of contagious infection.

Administrative Building of Carville, 1943 with Wartime Banner in Front

Administrative Building of Carville, 1943

Notification from the Patient-run Newspaper, The Star
The Beatification of Father (now Saint) Damien of Molokai, Patron Saint of People with Leprosy

"The Star", January/February 1994

Nativity Play put on by Patients, 1952

Nativity Play put on by Patients, 1952

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy

Patients' Handbook, 1960

Patients' Handbook

Select the audio clips below to hear Sister Mary Catherine Sullivan and Sister Francis DeSales Provancher and their time at Carville

Hansen's Disease Center