The Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls opened the original St. Gabriel’s Hospital (Hurrle Hall) in 1891. When the oldest portion of the current facility was constructed in 1915-16, a statue of St. Gabriel the Archangel with his arms outspread was commissioned by the Franciscan Sisters for $175 and placed in a third-floor alcove on the outside of that building. While no one knows why the Franciscan Sisters chose St. Gabriel’s as the name for the hospital, it was noted that many times doctors and nurses are called “angels” by those who need and receive their help. Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Philip Prosapio said once a new building was put on the campus, the statue was visible only through a window in the hallway near the surgical floor. A couple of years ago, he had the idea that the statue should be moved to a place where all could see it — at the entrance of the hospital. In May, the statue was carefully brought down, without receiving a scratch, and put into storage. On Sept. 6, once a suitable pad was put into place, the statue was placed in front of St. Gabriel’s Hospital. On Wednesday, Oct. 4, the feast of St. Francis, the statue was rededicated and blessed during a special service by (top photo) Fr. Joe Herzing, left, and Bishop Donald Kettler.
At right, (from left): Lisa Smude, mission leader and human resources director for CHI St. Gabriel’s presented flowers of gratitude to Sister Bea Eichten, community minister for the Franciscan Sisters, just before Chaplain Michele Rosha led the crowd in prayer. Plans are to have the statue painted and the base finished in granite.