SOCIAL MISSION SISTERS OF THE HOLY GHOST were invited by Bp. JOSEPH SCHREMBS to work in Cleveland before WORLD WAR I, but due to wartime and postwar conditions, the first sisters, Sr. Hildegarde and Sr. Judith, did not arrive until 1922.
Associated with the St. Margaret Parish of Hungary until about 1932, when they became an independent American community, the Social Mission Sisters worked in Cleveland until 1948. Working in parishes only upon invitation, they used the methods of SOCIAL SETTLEMENTS—home visitation, neighborhood clubs, social activities (untraditional in the Catholic church)—to instruct children and attract "lapsed" Catholics from Cleveland's ethnic communities.
Community members, trained in the National Catholic School of Social Service in Washington, DC, dressed in secular clothes. Although the sisters averaged only around 4 in number, the success of their visitation methods in tracking down "lost" church members led to invitations from nonethnic parishes. The success eventually led to invitations from Tucson, AZ, and Saginaw, MI, where the order moved in 1948. Sr. Hildegarde eventually returned to Hungary.
See CATHOLICS, ROMAN.