‘CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital Heritage Center!’

Lake Charles, LA


Our newly created and renovated Heritage Center is a special memorial dedicated to the many extra-

ordinary men and women who helped make the medical facility what it is today.  The Heritage

Center is a wall of vintage photographs of CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital, and the Sisters and

Physicians that helped shape the medical facility into the ‘healing ministry of Jesus Christ.’ Also

included in the Center are two antique display cases exhibiting a variety of medical archives

donated by several former St. Patrick Hospital physicians. A special Archival Room has been es-

tablished in the hospital so as to order all electronic, print and archival items collected and labeled 

rotating through the display cases in order to celebrate important dates on the hospital calendar.

Art track lighting enhances the environment as well as 24/7 meditative sound and video of nature

scenes on the CHRISTUS in-house channel.

                                                           It is pure joy and with

profound reverence that the crucifix that hangs in the rooms of our patients is also the full center of

our Heritage Center as well as the photos of the founders of the Sisters of  Charity of the Incarnate

Word and St. Patrick, our Patron Saint all together bless each soul young and old alike and that they

will learn how the Catholic faith and the spirit of healing is and has been for they and their loved ones. 



To:  Active and Retired Physicians of CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital


From:  CSPH 'Heritage Center' Team Support Members


Re:  It is with great enthusiasm that we extend to you an invitation to participate in CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital's 'Heritage Center, Reverencing Those Who Have Gone Before', on the 3rd floor by the glass elevators. This is the first phase of our Heritage Center with our wall of vintage photographs of the hospital, the sisters, physicians and two antique display cases to be filled with wonderful and unique treasures.


You are invited to share any photographs or items of medical interest to the general public. We have just received an 'antique pharmacy labeler' which is on display in the medical library for your viewing pleasure! 


Please call 491-7505 or 491-7764 for more information about your Heritage Center.


You are a vital part of our newly created and renovated CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital Heritage Center where we coordinate displays of our hospital’s Events of Celebrations and Remembrances. This special memorial area is dedicated to the many extraordinary men and women who have delivered medical care to the patients of St. Patrick Hospital for the past century! The Heritage Center is our way of reverencing those who have gone before us and where young and old alike learn how the Catholic faith and the spirit of healing has thrived here throughout the years. You are invited to carry your medical artifact treasure/s over to Medical Staff Services where a loan or donation form is completed, an identifying card is made with your name and all placed in our display case for staff, associates, visitors, patients and the public to enjoy.



Heritage Center




Heritage is something handed from one’s ancestry or the past, a characteristic, culture or tradition. Reverence is a feeling or attitude of deep respect, love, awe and esteem for something sacred.



There is a way to identify, gather, order all medical artifacts and store in an Archival Room by the Medical Staff Newsletter!



Then, dedicate your very own Heritage Center in your facility.



A Heritage Center Working Binder to include:


  • Locating a Heritage Center Space with Display Cases
  • Archival Room – To gather and order like things with like things!
  • Selection of a Heritage Committee which communicates by email!
  • Donation or Loan Forms and identification cards for artifacts
  • Your Facility Calendar of Events and Remembrances to highlight in

The Heritage Center throughout the year!






Questions for press release - How did the CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital ‘Heritage Center- Reverencing Those Who Have Gone Before’ come to be and how will it affect future generations?


Bernadette’s Answer – “Heritage is something handed from one’s ancestry or the past, a characteristic, culture or tradition.  Reverence is a feeling or attitude of deep respect, love, awe and esteem for something sacred.” Mr. Webster said!  Combine these two words and that is what I envisioned for this Heritage Center, a deep abiding gratefulness for all who have gone before, for those who work daily to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ and for those who will come after us. Life is sacred to be lived as on holy ground…to serve at CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital in the healing ministry of Jesus Christ is pure love incarnate! It is humbling work! I highly recommend it ~ it will make your heart soar!”





From: Hidalgo, Heather

Sent: Thursday, May 30, 2013 8:58 AM

Subject: Watch Now: KPLC TV Healthcast Features CSPH History and the Important Work that Volunteers Do


Have you been to the CSPH Heritage Center near the third floor elevators? There’s a lot of work that goes into preserving the 105-year history of CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital. Watch this KPLC TV Healthcast on the Heritage Center and the important work that our volunteers do every day.



Volunteers help preserve hospital's century old history

Posted: May 29, 2013 12:01 PM CDT

By Britney Glaser - bio | email 

When you think of hospital volunteers, chances are you think of those that greet you at the door, answer phones and visit patients.  There are so many other unique opportunities for hospital volunteers in Southwest Louisiana.  We take you inside a medical museum of sorts at CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital where volunteers keep a century old history alive.

A picture of some of the first sisters at CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital led to the explosion of a passion for Bernadette Ponton: a volunteer turned founder and curator of the Heritage Center on the third floor of the hospital.  "I was given an order at that time by the director of marketing to go and hang this particular picture," she said, "I took off to find a space and in turn, found this space and just kind of increased it a bit!"


A bit indeed!  That picture of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word is just one piece of history in this space, chocked full of medical memorabilia and the story of how this hospital came to be in 1908.  "It's a hidden treasure," said volunteer coordinator, Gene Zimmermann.  "It's such a rich part of our heritage, dating back into the 1800s and it helps us understand where we've come from and where we are now."

Zimmermann helps place those with special interests and talents into the parts of the hospital that can most use it.


For Sister Maura Theriot, that has been all around the hospital, including the Heritage Center.  "We want to be here as long as we can to serve the people," she said.

Two sisters still serve at St. Pat's today, with the same mission from 1908.  "Every day I pray, 'Dear Lord: help me to bring your loving, healing presence to all I meet and minister to today,'" said Sister Maura.


Milestones in care happened in these walls during Southwest Louisiana's monstrous hurricanes: Rita in 2005 and deadly Audrey in 1957.  "When the patients and their families were brought to this hospital, which played a pivotal role in bringing families together, as well as mending them," said Ponton, "the doctors asked the sisters to tape, with a microphone, the stories from the patients."


Those stories helped determine if Audrey's survivors still had missing family members.  The original reel is now on display at the Heritage Center, part of a special collection reverencing those who have gone before: patients, medical staff and ministers.  "It's a place to wander into," said Ponton, "it's open 24/7 with meditation music and the lights are always on, so that they can come here and know the healing ministry of Jesus Christ isn't just verbage.   That their loved one is being cared for, they're being reverenced, they're being respected, as so many before them."

If you are interested in finding out more about volunteer opportunities at CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital, including the Heritage Center, call 431-7941.


Heather D. Hidalgo

Director of Marketing and Communications

CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital