Sisters of the Holy Spirit: The Foundation

“Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.” Ps. 127:1

The Sisters of the Holy Spirit came to Cleveland by way of a long and torturous route from the city of Smolensk in Russia, through Rome, Krakow, St. Petersburg, Orchard Lake and Donora, Pennsylvania.  The story of foundation started with the birth of Mother Josephine (Barbara Timofieff Finatowicz) on November 27, 1861.  It was her dream, following her conversion to Roman Catholicism and her subsequent entrance into a Carmelite Monastery in Rome, to establish a Community of Sisters devoted to the Holy Spirit and dedicated to the service of the Church in its areas of greatest need.

This desire to serve took Mother Josephine and her Sisters back to her native Russia to nurse the poor and care for the aged.  It resulted in even political imprisonment and self-exile.  In America, the Sisters found the opportunity to serve the Church by engaging in domestic work and nursing at Orchard Lake near Detroit, Michigan, by teaching in the Diocese of Pittsburg, and by caring for Polish orphans during the war years in Cleveland, Ohio.

Finally, service to the aged and the education of the young brought the Sisters to their present location in Garfield Heights, a suburb of Cleveland.  From this site, their efforts to serve the Church continue.  You can help to expand these same efforts by adding your talents to those presently employed by the community.