A Tradition of Mercy. A Heart of Caring.

Our History

In the early 1950s, the Archdiocese of Baltimore, under the leadership of Archbishop Francis P. Keough, addressed the retirement needs of the elderly by building Stella Maris as a leading nursing home and skilled nursing facility in Lutherville-Timonium.

Archbishop Keough invited the Sisters of Mercy to operate Stella Maris, named for Mary, Star of the Sea. He dedicated Stella Maris on September 12, 1953 and within the first decade, as the original nursing home residents began to age, additional services were added and a new five-story building was constructed.

Our Growth

Future growth changed the face of Stella Maris and in 1980, St. Elizabeth Hall, a building of 200 apartments for seniors living independently, was opened. In 1983, Stella Maris was state-certified for hospice services, providing the state’s first integrated home hospice and inpatient hospice program.

By 1992, Stella Maris initiated a subacute care program, providing short-term rehabilitation care for patients, and also opened the Marion Burk Knott Wing for persons with dementia. With this last expansion, Stella Maris increased the number of licensed beds to 448, making it the state’s largest long-term care facility at that time. In 1999, Stella Maris became an affiliate of Mercy Health Services.

Our Legacy

For nearly 70 years, Stella Maris has been a leading nursing home, providing Baltimore-area residents with a comprehensive range of health and residential services.

The Stella Maris team of highly trained professionals includes nurses, certified nursing assistants, social workers, pastoral care chaplains, therapists and other caregivers. A large pool of dedicated volunteers,who offer their time and talents to Stella Maris, enhance the care and comfort of the patients and residents.

The competent and compassionate care provided by the Sisters of Mercy and the Stella Maris staff focuses on mature adults – from retirement through the end of life. Although the campus has dramatically changed through the years, the tender, compassionate care for each individual has remained constant.


Key Dates in Stella Maris History

1953 Archbishop Francis P. Keough invited the Sisters of Mercy to administer Stella Maris. Sr. M. Celeste Waynant was the first Sister of Mercy administrator.
1964 Groundbreaking for the new Pangborn Wing.
1966 Dedication of the Pangborn Wing by Archbishop Cardinal Shehan. This was the first physical expansion to Stella Maris since 1953, which doubled its size to care for the elderly.
1969 Sr. Louis Mary Battle, RSM, was named Chief Administrator.
1977 Stella Maris began administering Long Crandon, the archdiocesan residence for retired priests.
1978 Groundbreaking for St. Elizabeth Hall, an independent living facility for seniors.
1980 Opening of St. Elizabeth Hall, 200 individual apartments with 50% allotted for Section 8 subsidies. It was the first senior apartment complex in the country attached to a nursing home. Sr. Mary Beane, RSM, was the first Resident Manager.
1983 Stella Maris was licensed and certified for hospice services. It became Maryland’s first Medicare-approved hospice program and Maryland’s first integrated home and inpatient hospice program, i.e., hospice care under a central administration.
1991 June 24 Groundbreaking for the Marion Burk Knott Wing.
1992 Subacute care was initiated, providing short-term rehabilitative care for patients.
1993  September 19 Dedication of the Marion Burk Knott Wing with two special care dementia units.
1997  July 1 Mercy Medical Center purchased Stella Maris from the Archdiocese of Baltimore, thus becoming a Sisters of Mercy sponsored ministry. Sr. Karen McNally was named Chief Administrative Officer, and Sr. Louis Mary was named President Emerita.
1999  June Mercy Health Services was formed and Stella Maris became an affiliate.
2000 Formation of the Stella Maris Advisory Board.
2003 Celebration of the 50th anniversary of Stella Maris.
2004 Dedication of the 50th anniversary Garden.
2005  May Senior Day Center opens.
2007 Inpatient hospice unit is refurbished, providing private rooms and family space.
2008 25th anniversary of the hospice program; reopening of the skilled and long-term care unit on 3 Shehan with private rooms and a homelike environment.
2012 Stella Maris receives the Silver – Achievement in Quality Award from the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living.
2013  December 22 Celebration of the 60th anniversary of Stella Maris and the 30th anniversary of Hospice.
2018 Fall Stella Maris breaks ground on a 60-bed, private room rehabilitation center.
2020 September Stella Maris opens The Sister Mary Karen McNally, RSM Rehabilitation Center.

Sisters of Mercy Leadership

Since its beginning in 1953, Stella Maris has been blessed by the service of many Sisters of Mercy. The Sisters have served as chief administrators and in a variety of other areas throughout Stella Maris. The Sisters have provided a vision of mercy and compassion for all in their care. The legacy of Catherine McAuley, the founder of the Sisters of Mercy, has lived on for more than 60 years at Stella Maris.

Chief Administrators

Sr. Mary Karen McNally, RSM (1997-2019)
Sr. Louis Mary Battle, RSM (1969-97)
Sr. Mary Brian Anderson, RSM (1968-69)
Sr. Mary Vincent Dunnigan, RSM (1964-68)
Sr. Mary Thomas Zinkand, RSM (1963-64)
Sr. Mary Kristen Lancaster, RSM (1959-60)
Sr. Mary Celeste Waynant, RSM (1953-59; 1960-63)