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Our Healing Ministry Dates from 1911

Headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, our ministry serves patients in Louisiana and Mississippi through a network of hospitals, clinics, physicians and integrated health systems.

We can trace our roots back to France in 1854. When the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady began in 1854 as seven autonomous groups of Franciscan Sisters banded together and were known as the Franciscan Sisters of Calais.

These Sisters soon expanded into Europe, Asia, and North and South America. The U.S. group, organized and operating solely in Louisiana, began in 1911 when six Franciscan Sisters brought their healing ministry to Louisiana. In 1913, the St. Francis Sanitarium opened in downtown Monroe, where it continues to serve the people of Northeast Louisiana.

In 1921, the Franciscan Sisters began plans for a presence in the state capital, and they opened Our Lady of the Lake Sanitarium and the School of Nursing in 1923 on the banks of Capitol Lake in downtown Baton Rouge. In 1978, envisioning the growth of Baton Rouge, the hospital and School of Nursing were moved to its larger campus off Essen Lane.

Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Lafayette was opened in 1949, and moved to its current campus in 2011.

The Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System was organized in 1984 as a nonprofit corporation.

In 1989, in a transition to a degree-granting institution of higher education, Our Lady of the Lake College of Nursing and Allied Health was registered with the state. In July 1995, the college was officially renamed Our Lady of the Lake College. It underwent another change in October 2016 becoming Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University, or FranU.

In 1996, Assumption Community Hospital in Napoleonville became a part of system, when the Sisters received word that the community hospital was closing, which would leave this rural bayou region without quality healthcare.

In August 2000, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center purchased Riverview Medical Center in Gonzales, which was set to close. The Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady saw the promise and need for continued healthcare in the growing Ascension Parish. St Elizabeth Hospital began as a subsidiary of Our Lady of the Lake in 2000 and changed its name to Our Lady of the Lake Ascension in 2019.

In March 2014, our health system assumed the management and operations of the 98-bed LSU Bogalusa Medical Center, renaming it as Our Lady of the Angels Hospital.

In March 2019, Women's and Children's Hospital was acquired and joined the family of Our Lady of Lourdes. Heart Hospital of Lafayette was acquired and became Our Lady of Lourdes Heart Hospital in late 2019.

On July 1, 2019, St. Dominic’s, a Catholic health system in Mississippi, became part of the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System through a transition of sponsorship from the Dominican Sisters of Springfield, Ill., who founded St. Dominic-Jackson Memorial Hospital in 1946. Today, the ministry includes not only the hospital, but an extensive network of primary and specialty care clinics; outreach services including St. Dominic Community Clinic, the Care-A-Van mobile unit, and a fitness and aquatic center; St. Dominic Foundation, and St. Catherine’s Village, a life care community.

Today, as one of the largest healthcare systems based in Louisiana, we are the leading healthcare provider for more than half the state’s population. Our system’s nine main campus hospitals include St. Francis Medical Center in Monroe, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge and Gonzales, Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital in Baton Rouge, Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center, Heart Hospital, and Women's & Children's Hospital in Lafayette, Our Lady of the Angels Hospital in Bogalusa, and St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson, Mississippi. We also manage a Senior Services division and Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University, known as FranU.

Yesterday, today and tomorrow, our purpose remains the same: to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ to God’s people, especially those most in need. Equally important in today’s volatile healthcare climate is our ceaseless preparation, ensuring that our progress is undeterred by change, finding success in any environment and remaining ever focused on improvement.

Our Story

Moments From Our History

Our Health System’s Origins

Read more about our founding, growth through the years and the development of our corporate structure.

A Brief History of Our Health System