Faith Institutions News Revelations

Saint names dropped from 12 Midwest hospitals

A statue of St. Francis of Assisi in Austin, Texas. Franciscan Alliance health system is taking “saint” out of the name of a dozen of its Midwestern hospitals. Photo courtesy of Sarah Owen via Flickr Creative Commons

(RNS) The names of saints will no longer grace a dozen Midwestern hospitals.

The health care system that oversees the Illinois and Indiana hospitals has determined that dropping the saint names will strengthen the brand identity of the system as a whole, according to the Indianapolis Business Journal.

“Unsainted” hospitals include those that had incorporated the names of  St. James, St. Anthony, St. Elizabeth, St. Margaret and St. Francis.

“Franciscan St. James Health — Chicago Heights” in Illinois, for example, will become “Franciscan Health Chicago Heights.”

The hospital system — “Franciscan Alliance” — will also change its name, to “Franciscan Health.”

Franciscan Alliance board chair Sister Jane Marie Klein told The Associated Press that the name changes are in keeping with the mission of the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration, which founded the hospital system.

But some are loath to lose the saint names. “How does denying your Catholic identity create a stronger identity?” wrote one person who commented on the business journal article.

Franciscan Alliance serves more than 1.3 million patients in Indiana, Illinois and Michigan annually.

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About the author

Lauren Markoe

Lauren Markoe has been a national reporter for RNS since 2011. Previously she covered government and politics as a daily reporter at the Charlotte Observer and The State (Columbia, S.C.)

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