OVER 75 YEARS OF HISTORY
The Journey Begins
In 1947, Bishop Greco called for help to provide a better life for individuals with disabilities in Louisiana. By October of that year, Mother General Zita Verni and thirteen Sisters of Our Lady of Sorrows arrived from Romagna, Italy, and the journey began. In 1954, Bishop Greco and the Sisters opened a school for children with disabilities in Clarks, Louisiana. Lastly, in 1963, three local, prominent families of Shreveport, Louisiana, the Pollards, the Gilsters, and the O’Briens, donated 64 acres to the Catholic Diocese for the purpose of establishing Holy Angels.
None of this would have been possible without the construction of the first buildings and the first group of 35 children to arrive at Holy Angels in 1965. Holy Angels was officially established in 1965, but seeds were planted prior. In 1968, the nursery was completed at Holy Angels, and 15 “little angels” arrived. Support from the community and the families of clients fueled the growth of Holy Angels.
Gaining 501(c) Status
In 2006, Holy Angels transitioned to an independent 501(c)(3) focused on sustaining Bishop Greco’s and Our Lady of Sorrows’ mission. However, Holy Angels had to reach several big milestones before getting to where it is today. In 2012, Holy Angels was awarded a day program license, expanding its mission to adults in the community who await an opportunity for meaningful work. The AngelWorks Day Program provides participants jobs in culinary arts, business services, horticulture, and creative arts. The day program prepares each resident or day camper for jobs outside the Holy Angels community. Today, over 10 residents/day campers have jobs within the Shreveport community, working so hard as to receive titles such as Employee of the Month.
Holy Angels Today
Today, Holy Angels is an independent licensed residential training facility, serving approximately 185 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities whose ages range from children to older adults, primarily from Louisiana and Texas. However, Holy Angels serves individuals from more than 15 states.
Holy Angels provides clients the opportunity to live in the most independent settings, in homes integrated throughout the community. In addition, individuals with behavioral or medical needs are served on our beautiful campus in specialized programs.
Over the past couple of years, Holy Angels has implemented several new advancements. These include renovating the Holy Angels All Saints Chapel, opening the Wellness Center, renovating & expanding off-campus housing, acquiring a Howdy Ice Cream Franchise, and designing a new Prayer Garden.