It was in 1987, at the height of the AIDS epidemic that the Sisters of Charity took the following stance:
“Humankind is confronted with a new and fatal disease, AIDS. The Sisters of Charity of ST. Augustine believe it is important that AIDS be seen as a human disease that deserves the same care and compassion as any other illness. THEREFORE, WE PUBLICLY OFFER OUR UNDERSTANDING AND COMPASSION AND ESTABLISH A TASK FORCE WHICH WILL DEVELOP SPECIFIC ACTIONS TO MEET THE NEEDS OF PERSONS WITH AIDS AND THEIR FAMILIES”.
Shortly after the stance was taken, Sister Marian Durkin, CSA founded The Open House in Cleveland Heights. The Open House was a drop in center offering services to persons with AIDS and their families. A prayer buddy program was also established which had individual sisters praying for a particular person with AIDS. Through a task force comprised of members of the congregation, the members of the congregation were educated as the AIDS epidemic continued to grip the nation.