In 1939 Sister Marie Therese, born in Trinidad, joined the Sisters of the Company of Mary founded by St. Jeanne de
Lestonnac, whose mission was to teach and educate the poor. After working with the poor in different parts of the world
for an extended period of time, Sister Marie Therese was transferred to St. Jeanne de Lestonnac School in Tustin, CA.
It was there that she first began to recognize the overwhelming need for medical care for the poor in Orange County. On
January 6, 1979, instead of retiring she opened the Lestonnac Free Clinic in Orange, California, consisting of only two
By 1989, Sister had purchased the entire clinic building, which contained 8 examination rooms, 2 dental rooms, a front
office, nurses' station, dispensary, conference room, diabetic education center, counseling office and a food bank for
the needy. Sister Marie Therese remained dedicated to serving those most in need of free health care in Orange County
until her death in 1999. Rosalie Corless continued this tradition of service as the clinic director until her retirement
in December 2006. Today, Sister Marie Therese's legacy continues to be carried out by Executive Director, Ed Gerber.