Historical Perspective

The Sisters of the Good Shepherd, an international Congregation, was founded in 1835 by a young French woman, Rose Virginia Pelletier (Sister Mary Euphrasia). She was a woman of vision and compassionate understanding who believed that love for individuals would awaken in them a sense of dignity and self-worth. Her motto bequeathed to us is: “A person is of more value than a world.”

In 1842, the Sisters of the Good Shepherd left France and came to the United States to open the first Good Shepherd Community in Louisville, Kentucky. In 1867, five sisters were sent to Boston, Massachusetts to establish a program for women in need. The Sisters opened the House of The Good Shepherd on Huntington Avenue in 1870 where they remained for ninety-four years serving women experiencing difficulty in family and society. In 1946 Archbishop Cushing purchased property on Jamaica Way, which was used by the Sisters to open two residences for women. By the 1960’s, the building on Huntington Avenue had grown old and was no longer functional. At this time, Archbishop Cushing made plans to move both the Huntington Avenue and Jamaica Way locations to Marlboro, Massachusetts. The Archbishop purchased property and a residential treatment center was built and opened on October 20th, 1964 known as Madonna Hall for Girls. This center remained open for almost twenty-one years until its closure in June of 1985.In 1982, the first Maria Droste Services, sponsored by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd was establisMaria-Droste-Counseling-Serviceshed in New York City. The agency was named in honor of the Blessed Maria Droste, a Good Shepherd Sister born in Munster, Germany.
She was well known for her loving service to persons in need from all walks of life and of all ages who were experiencing difficulties.

Realizing the need for this type of agency in the Greater Boston Area, in 1992 Sr. Joanne Westwater opened Good Shepherd Maria Droste Services, a mental health counseling agency in Quincy, Massachusetts. Shortly thereafter, Maria Droste Services expanded by adding a holistic therapy component to the agency. We are staffed by Sisters of the Good Shepherd and laypersons who subscribe to the values and mission of our foundress, St. Mary Euphrasia Pelletier and to the teachings and life of The Good Shepherd. Maria Droste Counseling Services continues to be committed to serving uninsured, low-income individuals and families.