On November 1, 1930, a stocky, black-bearded young man entered St. Vincent Hospital in Billings, Montana. He was in agony, holding his left arm, shattered in a car crash. Soon, he found himself being charmed by his nurse, a young shy nun, Sister Florence Cloonan.
As a coach maker’s daughter who learned carpentry at an early age, Mother Joseph prowled construction sites with a saw in her hand and a hammer dangling from her belt. She used her skills and talents to help build the first hospitals and schools in the Northwest.
Refused permission to start her order of religious sisters in California, Mother Dolores and her small community found their way to Reno in 1877, where she went on to found Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center, which is still operating today.
In 1883 after a funnel-shaped cloud touched down and devastated Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. W. W. Mayo took charge of the thirty-four injured victims. Mother Alfred took over the nursing functions. Afterwards, she took the good doctor aside and confided something to him. She had this dream about how the two of them might build a hospital.