McAuley Nazareth Home for Boys Inc., or Nazareth as it is known, had its start in 1865 as St. Gabriel’s Orphanage, established by the Sisters of Mercy. Responding to the high mortality rate of young parents in the Worcester area, the Sisters cared for boys and girls in need. In 1901, the Sisters acquired the Kent farm in neighboring Leicester and relocated the boys from the orphanage, establishing Nazareth Home for Boys.
In 1967, Nazareth was incorporated as McAuley Nazareth Home for Boys Inc., recognizing Catherine McAuley, the foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, whose life-long passion was to care for the poor and forgotten. During the 1950’s and early 1960’s Nazareth transitioned from an orphanage to a milieu treatment center serving troubled youth and their families. This continues to be the heart of Nazareth’s work today.
In 2023, we officially changed our name to McAuley Nazareth Inc. to more accurately reflect those we serve.
Currently Nazareth is a residential and day school special education program also offering community treatment residences. Our programs are continuously evolving, and we work together with the local community to enhance the opportunities for all we serve. The campus is an active hub for all who reside in our varied programs.
The five-acre property is situated in a rural setting, surrounded by preservation lands that are part of the Kettlebrook Reservoir System, and only one to two miles from Routes 9, 56, & 122. There are outdoor play areas, a vegetable & flower garden, an in-ground pool, and a full-size gymnasium, all of which provide ample space for activity, learning, and play. A large, handicap-accessible administration building includes office space, therapy rooms, classrooms, a small library, and a main kitchen. There are four residences attached to the administration building, three of which are residences for Nazareth’s youth.