Throughout our history, the Sisters have worked tirelessly to help the communities in which they lived. While traditionally the Sisters worked to charter and run schools, today we serve in a variety of capacities to heed the call of our community's needs.




I have been working with several parishes in the Diocese of Fort Worth, TX.

On October 21, 2017, I worked with the Youth Group from Our Lady of Guadalupe in Fort Worth. I met with the girls and Fr. Pedro with the boys. We spoke about God’s call to each one of us and the different ways to live out His call in the single, married, and religious life. We had a good sharing and motivation to consider a religious vocation as an option for life.

Fr. Wilcox and I met for Vocation Awareness Week with some of the teenagers of St Joseph Parish. I spoke in general about the three possible ways of living out God’s call. I answered many good questions such as, how did you know you wanted to become a nun? At what age did you realize you wanted to become a sister? What is your favorite thing about being a sister? There were many, many other questions. At the end they split into small groups to share more about their own discernment.

At St. Joseph, as part of my ministry, I help the teams to organize their activities. As an example, the weekend of October 21-22, we had a retreat for men in which we welcomed twenty-four participants and about thirty worked on the team. They ran the retreat and I oversaw them as their resource person.

On October 28-29, we had a weekend Women’s Retreat and during the retreat we had Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The team rotated to be in prayer the whole time for the participants. We had thirty-seven participants and about the same number of team members running the retreat with the different things they have to do, such as being coordinators, speakers, cooks, cleaners, contact persons, etc.


Senate Bill 4 will harm Fort Worth in countless ways.

It legalizes racial profiling and encourages systemic racism. This law will normalize bigotry and lead to increased discrimination toward many segments of the local population including blacks, Asians, Muslims and members of the LGBTQ community.

SB4 will make Fort Worth less safe because it creates an environment of distrust between local law enforcement and residents. Community engagement will be harder for police.

SB4 will increase victimization in Fort Worth. Even though the law exempts crime victims, undocumented residents will be too concerned to report victimization for fear that local law enforcement personnel are working with ICE on the civil side of enforcing immigration law.

SB4 will jeopardize educational attainment for local children. The stress and trauma caused by fear of parents’ potential deportation will hinder their ability to focus and learn in the classroom. Students will skip school and miss vital instructional time when parents are concerned they could be detained on the way to campus or at school.

SB4 will hurt the local economy. Fort Worth will not be considered an innovative or welcoming community. Companies will be reluctant to do business in a market that supports legalized and codified discrimination. Fort Worth will lose economic development, corporate relations, tourism and conferences.

SB4 will negatively impact Fort Worth’s many colleges and universities. As Texas develops a reputation for legalized racism, diverse students will choose to attend universities in other more progressive states, taking their talent and tuition with them.

SB4 will negatively impact the workforce in North Texas. Diverse populations will stop enrolling in higher education to avoid risk of exposure to campus police who lack adequate training in immigration enforcement. Less educational attainment will mean a less productive workforce.

SB4 will burden Fort Worth’s local law enforcement by siphoning scarce resources such as jail space, on-duty time of officers and local tax dollars to do a job that is supposed to be done by the Federal government. It will also delay police response times.

Fort Worth leaders believe no child’s zip code should determine their future success. But SB4 will target children in zip codes with predominantly Hispanic and Latino populations by allowing them to be questioned about immigration status.

Women’s Oasis Retreat

Women's Oasis Retreat given at OLV by Sr. Mary Fran, Sr. Cecile, Sr. Charles Marie, Sr. Patricia Ridgley, Associates Diane Murray and Toni Craven. Approximately 50 plus women and a number of Sisters attended, this morning retreat with SSMN at OLV Center. Holy is the place within me where God lives. God’s tender fingers reach out from age to age to touch the softened inner spaces of those who open their souls in hope. I have experienced the creative power of God’s embracing arms and I know the cleansing fire of unconditional love.


Sister Francesca Walterscheid and Sister Mary Elaine Breen volunteer once a week at Cook Children’s Hospital. They have been assigned to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). These babies were born either prematurely or need some kind of surgery.

The premature babies remain until they have gained weight and are able to be bottle fed. The other children will be there for weeks or even months. Some parents live some distance from Fort Worth and are not always able to stay with their baby. We have the wonderful privilege of holding and loving them. The nurses and the parents are very appreciative of this attention.


In response to Jesus’ directive to go and teach all nations and to share the good news of his love for each one of us, Sisters Rita Claire and Cecile began English classes with 84 adults at our neighboring parish in Fort Worth, Immaculate Heart of Mary, in 2013-2014.


We minister with the Life Connections Program, called "The President's Pre-Release Program," which is a faith-based program.

This involves mentoring participants of different faith traditions who attend 20 hours a week of classes that deal with moral values (but don't express the teachings of any specific religion). Mentors meet with participants two times a month until they graduate.


"As I walk the halls of Our Lady of Victory Catholic School, I am in awe of the many years of former students, families, teachers and administrators who have dedicated their efforts to our school Community. I am very humbled to be the Principal at OLV and walk in the steps of the many who have come before me. It is an accumulation of their efforts that have led OLV to where we are today and where the school is heading in the future.

The one constant in our school community is the spirit and continued support of the Sisters of Saint Mary. The Sisters are OLV. They are the foundation of the OLV community, leading us by their dedication and devotion to the Catholic Church and living the word of the Gospels. From their beginning in 1910 to current 2015, the Sisters of Saint Mary’s continued presence and support is crucial to breathing life into the OLV Community and to our continued existence.

With a staff dedicated to the Sisters, I am blessed to continue the OLV mission of spreading the Gospel, delivering a Catholic education for our Community, building honorable and faithful citizens, and extending the faith and love of God."

- Linda Petry

Spanish language Pastoral Theology Class

Sister Yolanda Cruz, SSMN from the University of Dallas, teaches Pastoral Theology at the Catholic Pastoral Center in the Diocese of Beaumont. The Spanish language Pastoral Theology class was taught at the Diocese of Beaumont Catholic Pastoral Center March 26, 2017. Sister Yolanda Cruz, from the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur, taught the class. Sister Cruz teaches Spanish Formation for the University of Dallas. The class is offered online, but once each semester the teacher visits Beaumont to teach the class. This spring semester the course is: “Fathers of the church.”