This silk painting is an attempt to encapsulate the essence and charism of Margaret Mary Healy Murphy, foundress of the Sisters of the Holy Spirit and Mary Immaculate by Adelaide, Australia artist Gail Donovan.
The central figure represents Margaret Mary. She stands tall, strong and grounded. The Holy Spirit pervades - permeating and blessing the universe, the earth, the whole of creation. As the Spirit descends upon the figure of Margaret Mary, she is inspired and empowered to begin the work she knows she must do - to educate and minister to those deprived of respect for their human dignity.
Read more about the painting and the artist.
"Moved by the Holy Spirit praying with us we strive to cultivate a deep spiritual life, an intense and personal love for Jesus and his people. This life is nourished and expressed in participation in the liturgy, in reflection on scripture and in communal and personal prayer." Constitutions #19
The Eucharist is central to our life and we participate in the celebration of the Eucharist every day when possible. Morning, evening and night, we join our prayers of praise and petition with the prayer of the whole church in the Liturgy of the Hours.
"Prayerfully we read and ponder the word of God. Jesus, who is the fullness of the word, speaks to us throughout the sacred texts. We entreat the Holy Spirit to show us this Jesus, to form Jesus in us, and to transform us into Jesus. Through daily meditative prayer we open ourselves to the Spirit revealing to us God's compassionate presence within us, in the events of each day and especially in each person we meet. In community worship and prayer, we continue each day to seek and honor God." Constitutions #23
During the course of the year we set aside time for days of recollection and an annual week-long retreat.
The Sisters of the Holy Spirit have many opportunities to nurture their spirituality: daily community and private prayer and reflection, reading Scripture and spiritual books, participating in monthly days of retreat and a 6-8 day annual retreat.
How do you attend to the ongoing nurturing of your relationship with God?
A big picture of Jesus pointing to his heart loomed over us children from the wall of the kitchen, in Ireland the heart of home life. His eyes used to fascinate us because they seemed to follow us wherever we stood. In retrospect, it seems to me that He started arranging my destiny at a very early age as a Holy Spirit Sister.
I am the oldest child born to Patrick and Eileen Carey. Two other children followed in quick succession, Marie and Rosaleen, and a few years later Paddy and Mona. I feel blessed to have been planted in such a warm setting nestled in the singular beauty of the West Clare countryside and in a home where faith practices were a regular part of everyday life.
My family ran a grocery store in Mount Bellew, Ireland, and through that work we knew everyone in the area, including Sr. Magdalen, the director of the convent in Mount Bellew, to which a secondary school for girls was attached. My mother sometimes spoke of Sr. Magdalen and Mount Bellew; the name had a musical ring to it and my child’s imagination pictured it as a most beautiful place. After my First Communion, my mother sent me into her bedroom to pray before another big picture of Jesus. I recall pouring out my child’s heart to Him, and though I had never met a Religious, I told Him I wanted to be a nun!
Later on after two years at the Convent of Mercy Secondary School in Kilrush, my adolescent consciousness balked at a very strict nun principal’s requiring that we translate Ceasar and Virgil from Latin into Gaelic, so I begged my mother to let me go to the convent school in Mount Bellew. What a change! I greatly admired and loved our Holy Spirit Sisters Ignatius, Fidelis, and Concepta to the extent that a few years later found me landed at the Motherhouse in San Antonio. I cannot thank God enough for my vocation as a Holy Spirit Sister. Though like everyone’s life it has had its share of ups and downs, it has also been wonderfully enriched by the support and friendship of sisters, by opportunities for educational advancement, and especially by opportunities for spiritual growth and Christian service. I feel very grateful to have been God’s instrument in many areas of service and very privileged to have had the energy and the opportunities to share his love as a Catholic school teacher, as Catholic school principal, and for a few years as public school teacher. After Vatican II I felt God’s Spirit urging me to move into a wider scope of service so as to make as many as I could possibly reach aware of his infinite love and the wonderful eternal destiny He has in store for us.
Particularly fulfilling have been my many years directing religious education, starting the RCIA process in three parishes, working with Valley Interfaith, helping illegal immigrants, securing through effective advocacy housing for needy families, and meeting incidental needs of desperate economically poor persons.
All my thanks is to God, to my birth family, to my Holy Spirit Sister family, and to the many friends who have been the channels of his love and support along the way. May he continue to uphold me in my present part-time parish ministry to adults at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Edinburg, Texas. May he bless our Community with generous energetic young persons eager for Christian service, because the harvest is full of spiritually starved persons but the laborers are fewer and fewer.