The HUMILITY OF MARY SISTERS have pursued an apostolate of teaching, health care and community service in Cleveland since 1864. Sisters from the order have served throughout the country and in El Salvador. The Roman Catholic religious order was founded in 1854 by the Reverend John J. Begel in Dommartin, France. The nucleus of the new community consisted of women recruited to serve as teachers to children of the poor, under the direction of Antoinette Potier (later Mother Magdalen).

In 1864, the community left for America to staff a parochial school in Louisville, Ohio. Mother Magdalen died shortly before departure, and the community then came under the direction of Mother Anna Tabourat. The sisters took charge of a farm in New Bedford, Pennsylvania (which had been transferred to the Cleveland diocese from the Diocese of Pittsburgh), and established a school, orphanage and provincial house there. They taught at a number of parochial schools throughout the Cleveland diocese. In 1892, they opened Lourdes Academy for girls on Lorain Avenue, which moved to more spacious quarters on Franklin Avenue five years later.

The sisters also entered health care when given charge of St. Elizabeth Hospital in Youngstown, Ohio, in 1910. In 1922, they became the administrators of ROSE-MARY CENTER for handicapped children. In 1924 and 1927 respectively, they took over the administration of St. Joseph's Riverside Hospital in Warren, Ohio, and St. Joseph Hospital in Lorain.

In 1955, the Humility of Mary sisters staffed a new girls' high school, Magnificat, in ROCKY RIVER. Lourdes Academy was merged with St. Stephen High School in 1970. A year later, the merged school, which remained under the direction of the Humility of Mary sisters, transferred to the site of St. Peter High School on East 17th and Superior Avenue and was reorganized as Erieview Catholic High School. The school, facing declining enrollment and high budget deficits, closed in 1993.

Archives, Diocese of Cleveland.


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