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The Community grew rapidly and in the early years provided assistance to the sick in Westphalia and Silesia. The Sisters were quick to respond to health crises whenever they were called. Accepting the invitation of Bishop Peter Joseph Baltes of Alton, Illinois, 20 Sisters arrived in the United States on November 3, 1875. They established their Motherhouse in Springfield, Illinois and began their ministry by nursing the sick and poor in their homes. In small rural communities, hospitals were built—generally within walking distance of a railroad station. Over the years as the need for health care expanded and evolved, so too have the services provided by the 15 hospitals and network of physician partners of Hospital Sisters Health System.