It is the end of an era. Sister Jeanne Bessette from Our Lady of Angels has confirmed to WJOL that the last residents of OLA have moved out this past Saturday, January 21st. OLA has been a staple in Joliet since 1962 when the first residents began to move in. OLA became the gold standard for rehabilitation and long term care and independent living within the Joliet community. But the building at 1201 Wyoming Avenue has fallen into disrepair over the years. Problems with elevators not working or broken dishwashers. An outside management team had been running the day-to-day operations in recent years but still fell short at times.
WJOL first reported the pending closure on October 18th of last year. It was fully confirmed with a few weeks later with end date of February 28th. According to Sister Jeanne “most residents moved to other facilities in and nearby Joliet, but some moved farther afield to be nearer to family members.”
Security measures have been put in place to protect the building from vandal and squatters. There are still managers working there to close out financial matters and assist with record management.
Sister Jeanne says they have, “not yet made final plans about what will happen with the building.” OLA will be holding a final Mass on Saturday, February 11, “in a gesture of thanksgiving to and remembrance of past residents, families and employees.” They will be announcing how people can RSVP to attend. Sister Jeanne says the mass is “a gesture of thanksgiving to and remembrance of past residents, families and employees. We will be announcing how people can RSVP to attend.”
Sister Jeanne expressed her gratitude,
“We are pleased and relieved that residents were all able to find their next home, and we wish our dedicated staff blessings too as they look for and accept new positions. I am relieved but grateful to the many volunteers, family members, staff and managers who assisted our residents in their moves to their new homes.”
Our Lady of Angels Retirement Home was born out of the mission of the Joliet Franciscan Sisters to meet the unmet needs of people. The land at 1201 Wyoming Avenue on Joliet’s west side is owned by the Sisters.