What is Alhambra?

The International Order of Alhambra is a fraternal organization of Catholic men and women that has been dedicated to assisting persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities since it was founded on February 29, 1904, in Brooklyn, NY, by William Harper Bennett.

Fraternalism and sociability are dominant characteristics of the International Order of Alhambra. These characteristics are specifically identified in one of the purposes of the Order, “To promote social, fraternal and intellectual associations and through its Caravans provide a practical means to form enduring fellowship and friendship among its members.” These characteristics of the members of the Order are perpetuated to provide camaraderie and enjoyment while raising funds to achieve the Order’s goals and objectives of assisting persons with I/DD. Alhambra achieves this through enrichment opportunities, like hosting events such as their well-known circus!


When Alhambra members participate in events, they might give of their time and treasure, but they receive so much more. The Order’s promise is fulfilled, they nurture friendships with one another, and with the persons with I/DD whom they serve. The Order of Alhambra’s Michigan region owns three group homes and a campground where they host an annual camping trip for persons with I/DD. This can also serve as a respite for caregivers, parents and guardians. Caravans will support local schools for students with I/DD. They also hold local and regional events, like their well-known circus and barbecues at St. Louis Center.

Throughout the history of St. Louis Center, Alhambra Caravans have supported the Center not only financially, but with their friendship and caring. They have created strong bonds with the residents who have benefited from their generosity. For residents of the Center, they have hosted barbecues, a river cruise, and many other fun activities and outings. They’ve also been incredibly donors to St. Louis Center. Whether it’s monetary or of time, their giving hearts do not go unnoticed!

Thank you, Order of Alhambra, for your continued support!

“We’re not sure who gets the most satisfaction out of what we do – us or the people we serve. It gives us so much joy.”

George Walrath

Supreme Advocate, St. Louis Guanella Caravan #274


About St. Louis Center

St. Louis Center is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) residential community in Chelsea, MI for individuals with I/DD ages 18 and older.

St. Louis Center is licensed by the State of Michigan and accredited by CARF International, the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. CARF is an independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human services.

St. Louis Center serves individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) in an intentional, faith-based community. St. Louis Center has evolved over the past 60 years (and counting) to meet the ever-changing needs of the individuals it serves.
SLC Fall Panorama

“To change the world, we must be good to those who cannot repay us.” – Pope Francis