Little Sisters of the Poor cite nun shortage in giving up operations of 147-year-old nursing home

The Little Sisters of the Poor will be leaving the St. Louis nursing home they've operated for 147 years amid a shortage of nuns to staff the facility, the group announced Wednesday.

The Little Sisters have run the St. Louis Residence since 1869, moving locations and renovating the facility over the years. Eight nuns currently live and work at the facility.

Continuing operations and fulfilling the Little Sisters' mission has become difficult as the nuns age and become unable to do as much work as they used to, a spokesman told the St. Louis Dispatch. The Little Sisters operate 28 other nursing homes across the United States.

Superior Mother Gonzague Castro said she hopes the facility, which employs a staff of 125 workers and cares for 88 residents, "can continue and even thrive under new ownership, with a larger staff who can both care for the residents as well as serve as administrators."

The Little Sisters are currently working with an investment banking firm to find a new owner and operator for the facility.

The group made headlines recently for its challenge of the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate, which the Supreme Court remanded to lower courts in May.