Religious sisters planning for future

Two religious congregations are preparing for a future that includes caring for more of their own.

The Sisters of the Holy Spirit of the Diocese of Pittsburgh are building a modern and smaller motherhouse, while the Sisters of Divine Providence are constructing a residential health care facility for their members.

“Our current building is too large and in disrepair,” said Sister Grace Fabich, general superior of the Sisters of the Holy Spirit, whose motherhouse in West View was built in 1927. “Our new facility, in addition to including community offices, a chapel and living quarters, will feature amenities that our sisters will need as they age.”

The Sisters of the Holy Spirit were founded as a diocesan congregation by Bishop Regis Canevin in 1913. They were one of the first in the Pittsburgh area to establish a home to care for the elderly, Bishop Boyle Home for Aged Women, located on the motherhouse property, which includes about 30 acres. The Sisters also operated Holy Ghost Guest Home in Allison Park and taught in many parish schools.

Currently there are 22 sisters in the community. Fifteen work in ministry at various locations, including the Martina Spiritual Renewal Center, Marian Manor Nursing Home in Green Tree, which the congregation sold in 2008, at Saint Paul Seminary, and in parishes.

The new motherhouse is expected to be ready in the spring. Sister Grace said the old building will be demolished and the land used for parking. The Martina Spiritual Renewal Center that formerly was Holy Ghost High School for girls, will continue to offer retreats, workshops and weekend events.

To the north in McCandless Township, the Sisters of Divine Providence are building a three-story residential and health care facility for the current and future needs of their community. The building, called “The Commons at Providence Heights” will include health care rooms, private independent rooms, and one and two-bedroom apartments.

Providence Heights is the provincial motherhouse for the Sisters of Divine Providence and adjacent to La Roche University and Providence Heights Alpha School. The Sisters are active in teaching, as well as in campus ministry, health care, pastoral care, social work, and social justice concerns. The congregation was founded in Germany in 1851.

The Commons at Providence Heights is scheduled to be complete in September 2022.