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Founder of Sacred Heart Academy joins Dominican order


On this day in 1863, Mother Mary Agnes Magevney, future foundress of the Dominican Congregation of the Sacred Heart in Houston, joined the Dominican Sisters of Saint Mary's in Ohio. She was born in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1841, the child of Irish immigrants. The Magevney home was the center of Catholic worship for Memphis and the surrounding area, and every sacrament except confirmation and holy orders was celebrated there. Mary was attending St. Mary's Academy in Somerset, Ohio, when she joined the Dominican Sisters. In 1882 Nicholas Aloysius Gallagher, bishop of Galveston, made known to Mother Agnes the need for religious teachers in Texas, and in September she and nineteen Dominican nuns left Ohio to establish a convent and school in Galveston. Sacred Heart Academy opened in October 1882, and the fledgling school developed into a system that spread to southeast and central Texas, southern California, and Guatemala and continues to serve in those areas today. Mother Agnes died in 1891.

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