The skies were dark and there was a promise of rain that had materialized only slightly but we were all bright and eager to go. It was Tuesday, November 17, 2015. We had an invitation to Mt. Echo Ranch. There were 14 of us Sisters and a friend who is an archivist, Cecilia. Why the excitement and why the archivist? The answer is simple – we were headed for “Mother Margaret’s Ranch.”
As many of you may know, Mother Margaret Mary Healy-Murphy is our foundress. Mother Margaret had a very interesting history. Mt. Echo Ranch was an important part of that history, a history that spanned not only the Mexican-American War, but the Civil War as well. J.B. Murphy – lawyer, judge, Mayor of Corpus Christi and signer of the Texas Constitution-was the husband of Margaret Mary. Mt. Echo Ranch was their home during much of those troubled times. After J.B.’s death, Mrs. Murphy, who always had a passion for the poor and neglected, intensified her search for ways to serve them. In that search she felt inspired by the Holy Spirit to reach out to the disenfranchised, newly emancipated slaves.
To assist her in this work, she founded our Congregation. For us then, Mt. Echo Ranch is a treasure and a place to which we love to return. There we feel her spirit and her loving care as we remember all she did to care for others, especially the poor. What makes our visits there even more special is that the present owners, Andrea (whom we call Andi) Estes and her husband, Monte, are so enthusiastic about the history of the Ranch. They have invested much time, effort and finances in preserving it as an historical landmark. In fact, Andi, together with Cecilia, the archivist mentioned above, continue to do very valuable research. We have gained so much more information about our beloved foundress through them. Each time any of us goes to the Ranch we hear of new findings. No wonder we were all so bright and eager to go.
Sister Geraldine Klein