Our History

Mullen Home for the Aged is one of many Homes administered by the Little Sisters of the Poor, an international organization of religious women at the service of the elderly poor in 31 countries. Founded in France in 1839 by Jeanne Jugan, the Little Sisters administer Homes for the aged, where they welcome older men and women of low or no income, regardless of race, religion, sex, or national origin. The first American Home was opened in Brooklyn, New York in 1868.

Mr. John K. Mullen, a prominent citizen of Denver, wanted and offered to finance a home in the area that would care for the elderly. He requested the Little Sisters of the Poor specifically to carry their mission to Colorado, which would be a memorial to his wife, Catherine Smith Mullen, and himself. The Little Sisters arrived in Denver in December 1917, at the request of Bishop Matz of Denver, in response to Mr. Mullen’s interest. On March 28, 1918, the Little Sisters welcomed their first elderly resident to Mullen Home.

Listed below are a few prominent events from the rich history of Mullen Home for the Aged:

  • 1911: J. K. Mullen and his wife, Catherine Smith, offer to finance a Home for the elderly poor: “My wife came over the Plains from the Missouri River, a distance of nearly 700 miles, with her brother who drove his own team … I came shortly thereafter, and we felt as though we wanted, before we passed away, to leave something in the nature of a memorial…for the benefit of the aged.”
    ---- J. K. Mullen
  • 1913: Bishop Nicholas Matz, a Catholic philanthropist, receives approval from Mother Germaine, Provincial Administrator, Little Sisters of the Poor, to establish a home for the elderly poor in Denver. J.K. Mullen purchased a 10-acre tract of land at 3629 W. 29th Ave.
  • 1916: Construction of a four-story brick Home on West 29th Avenue begins.
  • 1917: In December, five Little Sisters arrived from France, where their congregation was founded by St. Jeanne Jugan, to staff Mullen Home.
  • 1918: Little Sisters of the Poor welcome their first elderly Resident to the Mullen Home on March 28.
  • 1975: Two new wings are added to the existing building to provide a continuum of services: assisted living and intermediate nursing care. Groundbreaking ceremonies include many J. K. Mullen descendants.
  • 1980: Part of the old building is converted into apartments for low-income elderly.
  • 2017: Mullen Home celebrates 100 years of service.
  • From considerably small and humble beginnings, the Little Sisters of the Poor follow the example of our foundress, Saint Jeanne Jugan, and provide a loving home-like atmosphere where our Residents can live out their days in peace and comfort.

    Our mission today is the same as it was over one hundred years ago in 1917 — to serve needy elderly men and women of Colorado. For more information about Saint Jeanne Jugan and the Little Sisters of the Poor, click here.