Health Ministry Associates Embark On Effort to Create Home for One of Their Own

TUCSON, Ariz. – (September 9, 2010) - Carondelet Health Network will take on an entire Habitat For Humanity home project to provide a new home for one of its associates, Gina Beltran and her family. It is all part of a year-long celebration of the 140th anniversary of the arrival of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet to Tucson.

 Carondelet/Habitat for Humanity Tucson Project
Groundbreaking: Saturday, Sept. 11, 6 a.m. – Noon
Location: Corazon del Pueblo near I-10 and S. Craycroft Road
 (contact Carondelet for driving directions)
Media Welcome To Attend

In 1870, seven Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, located outside of St. Louis, Missouri, were asked to relocate to the Old Pueblo to teach school. They traveled an arduous path by train from St. Louis to San Francisco, by boat from San Francisco to San Diego, and by covered wagon from San Diego to Tucson. They were met with celebratory gunfire and fireworks to their new home. 10 years later, at the Bishop‟s request, they agreed to open and operate St. Mary‟s Hospital.

To acknowledge that legacy, Carondelet Health Network is embarking on its own journey to build a home for one of its own. Working with Habitat for Humanity Tucson, Carondelet associates will assist in the building of a house for Beltran, an office coordinator in the Diabetes Center. Beltran has four kids: Jessica, 23, and Pedro, 19, who have already left the nest and Cassandra, 17, and Angela, 14, who will live with her in their new Habitat home. “My kids are everything to me,” she said. “I always wanted to do this -- buy a home -- but I was scared.”

The new home’s groundbreaking is this weekend, Sept. 11, as a part of Habitat’s annual “Building Freedom Day.” Teams of volunteers of Carondelet associates will work with Habitat to build the house. The finished home will be dedicated and keys handed to its new owner on May 26, 2011 – the day the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet first arrived in Tucson in 1870.

Every year on the anniversary of the tragic 9/11 attacks, Habitat for Humanity Tucson begins construction on several homes, building them from the ground up, to not only memorialize the victims, but to celebrate hope, community and the American dream.

“This project is a wonderful and meaningful way to celebrate the Sisters of St. Joseph‟s charism of serving „the dear neighbor,‟” said Jude Magers, Carondelet Senior Vice President, Mission Integration. “We are excited to involve all associates at all levels and departments in this effort that will make a positive impact on our community and celebrate our heritage.”

The “dear neighbor” charism traces back to the founding of the Sisters of St. Joseph. In 1650, Father Jean Pierre Medaille told six women, the original Sisters of St. Joseph congregation, to divide the city where they were established in France. They were to go out into the various districts to discern the needs and serve the people who lived there. Father Medaille called these residents “the dear neighbor.” He urged the Sisters to serve their neighbors with the same care and loving concern that St. Joseph had shown in serving Jesus and Mary.

This is the second time Carondelet Health Network has teamed with Habitat: it was a proud partner in the Faith Build project that is now the home of the Quiroga Family, providing financial support for the project along with six local churches and other donors and faith-based organizations in Southern Arizona. The home was begun on Sept. 11, 2009, and the family received the keys on June 4, 2010.

More information about Habitat for Humanity Tucson is at To learn more about the Trek of the Seven Sisters, click here.

Carondelet Health Network, located in Tucson, Arizona, is a Catholic, non-profit health care system dedicated to responding to the health care needs of Southern Arizonans. With a Mission to Heal, Carondelet was founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet 130 years ago. Carondelet Health Network entities include Carondelet St. Mary's Hospital, Carondelet St. Joseph's Hospital, Carondelet Neurological Institute, and Tucson Heart Hospital in Tucson, and Carondelet Holy Cross Hospital in Nogales, Arizona. Other Carondelet services include twenty primary care and specialty locations, an ambulatory surgery center and outpatient services. Carondelet Health Network is a ministry of Ascension Health, the nation's largest Catholic, non-profit health care system. In FY 2009, Carondelet provided $43,993,042 or 8.1 percent net revenue in Community Benefit to improve the health of our community and increase access to health care. More information about Carondelet Health Network, Carondelet Medical Group and Carondelet Neurological Institute is available at