Nearly a decade after the creation of Vermont Catholic Charities, Burlington Bishop Matthew Brady, fourth bishop of Burlington, undertook the task of reorganizing the program, which originally was established in 1929 by his predecessor, Bishop John Rice. This effort, which began during the spring and summer of 1939, resulted in the creation of the Central Bureau of Catholic Charities by December 1939 as a centralized agency in Burlington to coordinate all the already-existing diocesan and Catholic-affiliated social welfare programs throughout the statewide Diocese.

Just before this reorganization, however, St. Joseph’s Home for the Aged opened in Newport.

Many of the early details are unknown of the connections here between parties; but we do know that in 1938, Alida Gendron of Newport purchased “the Prouty property” on Pleasant Street.  She approached the sisters working at Sacred Heart School, the Daughters of the Charity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to gauge their interest in operating a home for the elderly in memory of her late brother, Joseph Gendron.

In a March 6, 1939, letter Bishop Brady conveyed the following to Mother Marie de l’Assomption, superior of Sacred Heart Convent in Newport: “Your recent communication with regard to opening a ‘home for the aged’ in Newport has been submitted for my consideration.  It is indeed with great pleasure that I permit and encourage you to undertake this noble work.”

With this, the sisters were entrusted with opening St. Joseph’s Home for the Aged on March 19, 1939, and then operating it. The home’s first resident arrived in May 1939.

An addition to the home was completed in January 1942. Another neighboring residence was purchased in 1945 to accommodate increasing demand for services and assistance.

Vermont Catholic Charities expanded the scope of its statewide social welfare programs over the next several years, recognizing the needs of Vermont’s elderly among those benefitting from services provided by Catholic Charities.

By 1969, St. Joseph’s Home for the Age in Newport — comprised at that point of three separate, converted private residences – had become inadequate for the types of services needed. An opportunity to address this situation arose in 1969 in neighboring Derby Line.

The Triple-L Motel, a 24-room property built in 1967 by Howard Line on a 16-acre parcel of land close to the Canadian border, was sold to Diocese of Burlington.  This new residence was named Michaud Memorial Manor, in memory of Bishop John Michaud, second bishop of Burlington, who died in 1908. A small group of sisters continued to staff the home until the order left Vermont in 1996.

Today, Michaud Memorial Manor with 33 private rooms and suites is a Level III residential care home operated by Vermont Catholic Charities and is licensed by the State of Vermont.

For more information about Michaud Memorial Manor, call 802-873-3152 or visit


+The Vermont Catholic Tribune, May 28, 1969

—Kathleen Messier is the assistant archivist for the Diocese of Burlington. For more information, email

—Originally published in the Winter 2022 issue of Vermont Catholic magazine.