Our Charism is part of Who We Are.

Our Mission and Charism is not merely something we do but it is a part of who we are as Sisters of the Holy Spirit and Mary Immaculate. That mission begins with the story of Foundress Mother Margaret Mary Healy-Murphy and how she fought for the Human Dignity of all persons.

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The Mission and Charism

We, the Sisters of the Holy Spirit and Mary Immaculate were founded by Margaret Mary Healy Murphy in 1893 in San Antonio, Texas, for the purpose of ministering to the poor in their need.

The spirit of our foundress was one of faith and trust in God and compassion for those in need.

We believe that we are called by God to be women of faith and trust who live together in simplicity, humility and love to manifest the  compassion of Jesus to the poor, especially those who are denied respect for their human dignity.

Traditionally our works in education, pastoral ministry, social work and health care have been an expression of this compassionate presence.

In order to be imbued with the spirit of the Gospel and that of Mother Margaret we try to live in such a way that the light of the Holy Spirit guides our life and the fire of the Holy Spirit quickens our love; we endeavor to be open and responsive, like Mary, to the needs of people in the different situations in which we find ourselves. (Constitutions. p.3, #3)

Just as the Spirit hovered over the Pentecost believers, we, too, experience the refreshment and urgency for mission that bathed the early Church.

You will read the story of Margaret Mary Healy Murphy whose openness to God fashioned and continues to invigorate our Congregation. You will meet our sisters as we continue to share God’s lavish compassion with those whose human dignity has been denied.

Mother Margaret's Journey

Mother Margaret sets sail.

Margaret Mary Jane Healy was born on May 4, 1833 in Cahirciveen, Ireland, to Dr. Richard and Jane Healy. Six years later Jane Healy passed away giving birth to Margaret’s sister, Jeanne.  Her sister was left in the care of her aunt and Margaret set sail for America with her father. Unfortunately, Richard Healy died shortly after their arrival.

Margaret and John Meet.

Traveling with her brothers, aunts, and uncles, Margaret met John Bernard Murphy. In 1849 Margaret Mary married Murphy.  The couple eventually settled in Corpus Christi. Murphy became a lawyer, judge, district attorney and later mayor of Corpus Christi.  He died after resigning from mayoral duties in 1884.

Mother Margaret begins ministry of compassion in San Antonio.

Margaret Mary moved to San Antonio after her husband’s death and in 1888, she built the first African American Catholic Church and School in San Antonio and the second in the state.

Mother Margaret founds the Sisters of the Holy Spirit.

In 1893 Margaret Mary established The Sisters of the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost) and Mary Immaculate. These Sisters are the first congregation organized in Texas with the express mission to aid the poor and people of color.  Mother Margaret died in 1907 and was buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in Corpus Christi.  When she died, she left the congregation with 15 able sisters to carry on her mission.

The Sisters of the Holy Spirit continue their ministry of compassion.

Since the founding of the Sisters of the Holy Spirit, they taught in more than 100 different schools in the South. They branched to several places in Mexico, and are in Zambia for more than 30 yrs now. The once St. Peter Claver school was repurposed and is now an alternative high school, and still serves the community’s needs.

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