Members Only Area
Bookmark and Share
sidebar menu icon

HOLY CROSS SISTERS

HOLY CROSS SISTERS. Although members of their order had arrived several years earlier, the Sisters of the Holy Cross from Saint Mary's, Notre Dame, Indiana, began serving in Texas as a community in 1874, when Saint Mary's Academyqv was founded in Saint Mary's parish, Austin. The academy operated until 1972. The sisters undertook a special ministry to Hispanics in 1919, when they opened a school in Our Lady of Guadalupe parish in south Austin under the direction of Sister M. Leonidas (Sarah Rooney), who remained there until 1936. Many leaders of the Hispanic community in Austin received their early education there. A shortage of sisters contributed to the closing of the school in 1970. Holy Cross sisters also staffed other schools in Austin: St. Mary's Cathedralqv School, 1918–77; St. Ignatius Martyr, 1940–74; and St. Louis, beginning in 1956.

Although Austin remained the center of Holy Cross activity in Texas, the sisters established schools in other places. Sister Euphrosine withdrew her small community from Sacred Heart Academy in Clarksville in 1879, but the Sisters of the Holy Cross operated the school until 1883, when poverty and a small enrollment forced its closing. Holy Cross nuns founded St. Mary's Academy and St. Joseph's School in Marshall in 1880; the former continued until 1957, the latter until 1959. The sisters began to teach at Our Lady of Sorrows School in McAllen in 1946 but were forced to withdraw in 1983 because of the shortage of teaching sisters. Two sisters, however, continued there in parish ministry. St. Paul the Apostle School in Richardson opened in 1957 and continued in operation in 1991, though the sisters had departed.

When the congregation was divided into provinces in 1931, the establishments in Texas were made part of the Eastern Region. In 1979, after a trial period as a vice region, the Texas establishments were made a separate province, the Southern Region. Afterward the order began a number of new ministries, some in Louisiana and Mississippi. Two of the most notable in Texas are the administration of St. Mary's Parish in San Saba and the health care of the rural poor in the Valley Home Health Agency in Raymondville.

See also PEPIN, ROSALIE; POTARD, R. ERNESTINE.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 
Carlos E. Castañeda, Our Catholic Heritage in Texas (7 vols., Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1936–1958; rpt., New York: Arno, 1976). Sister Joseph A. Dederichs and Sister Rose Mary Cousins, Catholic Schools: Dawn of Education in Texas (Beaumont: Beaumont Printing and Lithographing, 1986). Franklin C. Williams, Bicentennial and Beyond: The Catholic Experience in Texas (Palestine, Texas: Diocese of Galveston-Houston, 1984).
Sister M. Campion Kuhn, C.S.C.

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Sister M. Campion Kuhn, C.S.C., "Holy Cross Sisters," accessed April 30, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ixh01.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.