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Tuesday, February 23, 2010 - 12:39pm

Savannah Orphanage To Close After 135 Years

Updated: 4 years ago.
Over the years, the Sisters of Mercy cared for hundreds of children at the St. Mary's Home, now scheduled to close in June. (photo Diocese of Savannah Archives/Foltz Studio)

A national trend in foster care has made its way to Savannah. And it's now no more for a 135 year-old orphanage.

Federal regulations have been moving for decades to prefer homeless children be placed in families instead of group homes.

State money to care for those children follow the regulations and now the St. Mary's Home in Savannah will close in June.

The Catholic Diocese that runs it says, the home soon won't be viable.

Sister Alvin Seubott says, it'll be hard saying goodbye to children she's looked after for years.

"We've cried with them before and we've laughed with them so, we just hope that the Lord does not leave us lacking," Seubott says. "In a way it's sad, but in another way, if we can put children in homes, then maybe that's a good thing."

Few kids have been placed in the home's care recently.

Seubott is looking to find families for the seven that remain.

At its peak, about 40 children lived in the stately home on a moss-draped street.

"We're dealing with the end of a special era in the life of our diocese but our hearts can be filled with gratitude for all that has been accomplished through the efforts of the Sisters of Mercy and a multitude of staff and volunteers who down through the decades have contributed to the welfare of children," says Bishop J. Kevin Boland. "They were children from all different types of circumstances: orphans, one-parent homes, abandoned children and dysfunctional homes. The whole spirit of what was accomplished is embodied in the name Saint Mary’s Home. It truly was a home of warmth and an embrace of those in dire need of care and love."

Church officials are planning a reunion for former residents of the home in June.

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