One of the ways we assist the Church in the role of teaching the Gospel message is through our work as educators. In 1905 our founding Sisters came to the United States. It was not long before they began to teach the children of immigrants who were arriving in great numbers. Today we continue our commitment to education in the Diocese of Pittsburgh at the elementary and secondary levels.
Throughout our history, education continued to be a primary part of our service in the local Church. As educators, our sisters have helped to forge new paths in areas such as mainstreaming handicapped children into the classroom.
Following in the footsteps of our founding Sisters, we have responded to similar needs in today’s world. We worked with Cambodian and Vietnamese families and with the Hmong community in Pittsburgh. We opened our schools and homes and Motherhouse to assist them in transitioning to life in the United States. Countless blessings have come to us, and these families have enriched the life of our community in large measure.
The desire of our foundress, Mother Josephine, was to have us “Serve where the needs are the greatest.” To the extent that we are able, we will continue to respond to the educational and developmental needs of all those whom we are called to serve in and through the Church.
Until recently, St. Maria Goretti School was known as Immaculate Conception School where it served the people of Bloomfield, Pittsburgh’s “Little Italy” for one hundred years. The Sisters of the Holy Spirit have staffed the school for the past sixty years. Today it continues its ministry under the very able direction of its principal, Sister Mary John Cook, SHS. Under its new title, St. Maria Goretti School graduated its first class in June 2013.
A special celebration of the seventy-five years of service by the Sisters of the Holy Spirit was held September 2012 at St. Agnes Parish in West Mifflin, PA. Here Sister Cynthia Wessel, SHS, ministers as principal of the school. Two of our Sisters, Sister Bridget Miller, SHS, and Sister Christina Marie Janusek, SHS, were former students at St. Agnes School and entered our community from that parish.