For 100 years Carmelite Sisters in Wauwatosa have cared for disenfranchised young boys

For 100 years, the Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus have quietly cared for disenfranchised young boys on an unassuming residential street near downtown Wauwatosa.

First looking after toddlers and boys from broken homes, then shifting focus to delinquent adolescents, generations of sisters and their young charges have come and gone in the stately Victorian home on Kavanaugh Place known as the Carmelite Home for Boys.

“It’s the work that we do – we take care of children, the aged and the youth,” said Sr. Immaculata Osterhaus, superior of the Northern Province of the Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus. “We’re willing to give our life, 24 hours a day if it has to be.”

The property on Kavanaugh Place and its inhabitants are a striking study in what can change over the course of a century, and what can stay the same.

Though the work done by the sisters and those for whom they do it have both undergone transformations; the spirit of that work – care for the vulnerable and a cheerful embrace of suffering – remains unaltered.
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