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10204 Granger Road
Garfield Heights, OH 44125

216.421.2665

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Why Jennings?

Trusted by families since 1942, Jennings provides provides choices as unique as each individual. We deliver quality care with joy and compassion.

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Change your address, not your lifestyle! Jennings has four Northeast Ohio locations to serve you with exceptional choices in residences and services.

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Jennings supports individuals through life’s changes and challenges with residences and services that emphasize choice and person-directed care.

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80 in 80

80 in 80

In 2022, Jennings is celebrating its 80th anniversary of serving Northeast Ohio families. Our history began with the vision of our namesake, Monsignor Gilbert P. Jennings, and has blossomed through the legacy and love of the Sisters of the Holy Spirit.

In celebration of this history we will spend the month posting 80 in 80: 80 photos that help tell our milestones and stories.It is relevant that we begin our history as we also celebrate Women's History Month. Our founders, the Sisters of the Holy Spirit, emulated a spirt of joy, love and serve through a deep sense of mission. These women are really where our story begins.

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The Jennings story begins with the Sisters of the Holy Spirit. Mother Josephine Finatowicz, the foundress of the Sisters of the Holy Spirit (originally called Sisters of the Holy Ghost).

Motheranthony

Mother Anthony Kolasa arrived in Cleveland with Mother Josephine. She was known to emulate the charism "serve the Lord with gladness." Mother Anthony served as the Superior for the Sisters of the Holy Spirit from 1938-1951 and had the foresight to invest in real estate in Garfield Heights.

Professedhouse

The Sisters of the Holy Spirit Home of the Professed Sisters on Corlett Avenue before the Jennings campus was established. The Sisters opened their first novitiate and established their first chapter and elections.

Msgrjennings

Most of Monsignor Jennings’ career was devoted to St. Agnes Parish, where he was pastor. It was said that “He gave the parish an excellent spirit, and a happy accord for the good of religion and the uplifting of society.” “Monsignor Jennings was a friend to the real poor” noted Cleveland Diocesan Historian, Father Nelson Callahan. 

Jenningshall1941construction

Construction began in September 1941 on Jennings Hall. Upon his death in April 1941 Monsignor Gilbert Patrick Jennings left a bequest for the building of a home for older adults who could not otherwise afford suitable housing.

Group1942dedication2

In 1942, Bishop James A. McFadden blessed Jennings Hall at dedication ceremony. An article from 1942 read in part: "Nowhere in the Cleveland Diocese is there a haven for the aged quite like Jennings Hall... it might be described as a comfortable “hotel” for older persons who are able to provide, either themselves or by relatives, for comfort in the twilight of their lives.

Jennings early 1940s

A look toward the western edge of the Jennings campus (Garfield Heights) in the early 1940s. Granger Road is at the right of this photo, and there certainly isn't much traffic driving past.

Srmaryhyacinth

Sister Mary Hyacinth Valko was the first administrator of Jennings Hall, a role she held from 1942-1946. She brought a caring touch to all she did and encouraged family members to be involved in the care of their loved ones.

Fire

Tragically, the first Jennings Hall caught fire and burned on February 8, 1946. The fire was caused by gas furnace explosion in the afternoon when many residents were resting. The Sisters and neighbors from the community immediately began heroic rescue and evacuation efforts, though ultimately they and the Jennings community mourned the deaths of 13 residents.

Residentstemporaryhousing

Some Jennings residents found comfort and temporary housing at the Sisters of the Holy Ghost Convent (pictured). Other survivors were housed at Little Sisters of the Poor and Saint Joseph Home.

Newconstruction

Following the tragic fire, new hope emerged in October 1947. Construction began on the new Jennings Hall, a fire-proof structure two stories high with a basement, built of face brick on a background of celocrete concrete. The cost was of the new building was $300,000.

Cornerstone

Father Michael B. Ivanko assisted Bishop Floyd L. Begin in laying the cornerstone for the new Jennings Hall (pictured).

Sisterjoanne

Sister Joanne Francis was the administrator from 1948-1954. She was a motherly figure who attended to all the needs of the residents. An adept administrator, she was a cook at heart and liked to oversee what was going on in the kitchen.

Msgrivanko

Monsignor Michael. B Ivanko was the Director from 1948-1968. He was a leader in the advancement of care for the aging, not only at Jennings but also across the country.

1949building

The next Jennings Hall was dedicated in 1949. The new building was built to serve 106 people, with mostly private suites. In colonial style and of white brick construction, the new building was completely fire-proof and designed to achieve a cheerful, home.

Chapel

The new chapel on the first floor, dedicated to the Holy Family, resumed meeting the spiritual needs of residents (pictured). Above the altar was a large painting of the Holy Family, donated by Bishop Edward F. Hoban.

Activities 1951

The early 1950s marked the beginning of a formal resident activity program at Jennings. At that time, Jennings Hall featured a large sunroom with east and west windows, that made a great space for residents to enjoy their hobbies or discover their potential through regular activities.

Cardplaying

Residents chose from a number of enjoyable activities and hobbies.

Hobbyshop

A workshop was turned into a "hobby shop for men" to enjoy craftsmanship such as woodworking. Discovery of potential is one of Jennings' core values today; in particular our life enrichment teams work to provide opportunities small and grand that give each resident a sense of accomplishment based on what they can do or how they can grow.

Volunteers

Jennings loves volunteers! Our first formal volunteer program began in the early 1950s, and Mildred McIntyre was a champion for volunteering. In fact, one of our volunteer of the year awards is still named in her honor. In this photo, the women of St. Timothy parish are helping with a resident Christmas party, the first activity of the Jennings Hall Volunteer Program.

Volunteers are still a gift to everyday life at Jennings, generously providing their time and talents in support of residents. Adult volunteers, company make a difference days, community groups and student service hours make a big impact. 

Infirmaryexterior 1956

In 1956 Jennings added an "infirmary wing" to provide skilled nursing for 35 people. Msgr. Ivanko stated, “Up to this point, we’ve been providing the walking aged with the shelter, protection and security they need. Now, we must start making facilities for the bed-ridden and chronically sick." The addition featured two examination rooms, x-ray room, dark room, and a large physiotherapy room with massaging tables, whirlpool bath, and exercising machines.

Therapyprogram19563

Seventy-six year old Jennings Hall resident, Joseph Appenzeller, built the therapy tables, an examination table, the shoulder wheel, and a finger ladder for the therapy room of the new infirmary wing. Here, Sister Mary Therese watches as Mrs. Adeline Sorchy walks with the aid of parallel bars, which he also made (1956).

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In the 1950s, the average age, once not much over 70, increased to over 80. As a result, a greater percentage of Jennings' residents needed bedside care. The new addition, which also freed space formally used for a much smaller infirmary, increased Jennings’ capacity from 103 to 143. The leadership attributed the need for the infirmary "largely from the fact that various factors—wider Social Security benefits and advances in medical science, for example—have substantially raised the age of applicants for homes for the aged."

Resident2

The SIsters of the Holy Spirit cared for residents at Jennings. Vocations for care of the aged and hospital work were in tremendous need, Msgr. Ivanko said, adding: “This is a particular type of Sister’s vocation that demands heroic service and kindness, stability and patience of an unusual order. I could use 150 more Sisters right now—without any expansion in our program.”

Keep checking back for more of our history photos!

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"I would hold the leadership team - back in the day and today - to any top-notch leadership team. It's really impressive. Your ability to grow while remaining true to the fundamentals of who you are as an organization has amplified Jennings' resiliency."

Jacque Hoyt

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