Mission & History
The mission of the Servants of Mary is to manifest God's compassionate presence in the spirit of Mary. We respond to the words of Jesus: "Be compassionate as your God is compassionate." We do so by following the example of Jesus, under the guidance of Mary.
Our commitment to compassion calls us to:
- witness Gospel values
- center our lives in love of God and neighbor through prayer, community, and service
- share with others healing and hope
- be in right-relationship with all creation
- welcome others in a spirit of hospitality
- live joyfully our charism of compassionate presence
Servites Past and Present
The Order of Servants of Mary (Servites) was founded in 1233 by seven Florentine nobles and business men who went to Monte Senario, outside of Florence, Italy to live lives of prayer, community and service dedicated to Mary, Mother of Sorrows. The Order is now worldwide and composed of many different autonomous congregations (smaller groupings) of priests, brothers, sisters, active and contemplative, third order members and associate members. Each congregation follows its own constitution (rule of life) but all share the same Servite spirituality.
Our particular congregation, the Servants of Mary of London/Cuves, led by a Prioress General and her Council, is comprised of three provinces of vowed women religious: American (US), English and Franco/Belgian/Canadian/Congolese. Part of the congregation are vowed Sisters in Jamaica and Austria. In addition, each province has a lay Associate Program.
The American Province of Servants of Mary, under the leadership of a Prioress Provincial and Council, has its Motherhouse (headquarters) at Our Lady of Sorrows Convent in Omaha, NE. The leadership team is responsible for overseeing the spiritual, community, and ministerial needs of the Sisters and Associates.
Our heritage is directly linked to Marie Guyot, a leader of a small group of teachers who came together in 1842 to educate girls in a small school in Cuves, France. (three hours east of Paris) Three of these women became a small religious community (Sisters of Calvary). This group grew to about twenty. Marie Guyot died in 1849. In 1852, the Sisters moved to England where they served as missionaries, working with and teaching the very poor. Here they established a strong foundation under the leadership of Sister Philomena Juliana Morel. In England they became known as the Sisters of Compassion.
In 1864, the Sisters joined the Servite Order, with whom they felt a closeness of spirituality. At that time, the Sisters took their present name, the Servants of Mary of London/Cuves. Early Servite Sisters brought their mission of compassionate service to the United States in 1871. They established a firm foundation in the States in 1892 at St. Matthew's Parish in Mount Vernon, Indiana. The Sisters continued to move westward, establishing foundations in Illinois and Iowa.
In 1918, Servite Sisters came to staff the schools in the newly established Holy Name Parish in Omaha, Nebraska. In 1925, the Sisters transferred their Motherhouse and Novitiate from Cherokee, Iowa, to the more centrally located Omaha, Nebraska. As the community grew, the Sisters were asked to staff schools and ministries across the U.S. In 1954/55 a new addition was added to the Motherhouse. Marian High School, a school for young women dedicated to Mary, was built at this time. The Servants of Mary continue to pass on the values, history and traditions through sponsorship of Marian and the variety of ministries in which we serve.
Servite Missions in Chronological Order
1871-1874 Green Bay diocese, Wisconsin
1892-1894 St. Michael, St. Michael, Wisconsin
1893-1910 St. Matthew, Mount Vernon, Indiana
1895-1912 St. Patrick, Enfield, Illinois
1897-1908 St. Mary's Academy, Enfield, Illinois
1902-1967 Sacred Heart, E. St. Louis, Illinois
1902-1912 St. Joseph, Ridgway, Illinois
1907-1972 St. Joseph, Salix, Iowa
1909-1972 Immaculate Conception, Cherokee, Iowa
1911-1971 St. John, Gilmore City, Iowa
1912-1994 Immaculate Conception, Sioux City, Iowa
1913-1969 St. Joseph, Anthon, Iowa
1915-1918 St. Bridget, Pacific, Missiouri
1915-1917 St. Mary, Mallard, Iowa
1915-1934 St. Joseph, Lohrville, Iowa
1918-1920 St. Patrick, Estherville, Iowa
1918-1989 Holy Name High School, Omaha, Nebraska
1918- Holy Name, Omaha, Nebraska
1920-1980 Assumption, Denver, Colorado
1922-1986 Holy Ghost, Omaha, Nebraska
1926-1968 Mt. Carmel, Denver, Colorado
1929-1952 St. Mary, Massena, New York
1929-1938 Cherokee Junior College, Cherokee, Iowa
1931-1993 Sacred Heart, Massena, New York
1931-1982 St. John Berchman, Detroit, Michigan
1941-1990 St. Juliana, Detroit, Michigan
1943-1971 St. Rose, Omaha, Nebraska
1946-1968 St. Benedict, Omaha, Nebraska
1949-1985 Servite High School, Detroit, Michigan
1950-1992 Heelen High School, Sioux City, Iowa
1951-1968 Mt. Carmel High School, Denver, Colorado
1954-1981 Christ the King, Omaha, Nebraska
1955- Marian High School, Omaha, Nebraska
1956- St. Pius X (St. Pius X/St. Leo,) Omaha, Nebraska
1959-1966 Servite Junior College, Omaha, Nebraska
1961-1975 Holy Family High School, Massena, New York
1965-2003 St. James (St. James/Seton School,) Omaha, Nebraska
1967-1981 Our Lady of the Assumption, Fairview Heights, Illinois
1970-1973 St. Mary, Auburn, Iowa
1976-1983 Annuntiata, Chicago, Illinois