OME OF US REMEMBER the early days of (CHRISTUS)
St. Mary Hospital. I, for one, first came to Port Arthur, Texas,
as a 17-year-old small town girl to attend the St. Mary Nursing
School because I was afraid to attend a larger college. I happened
to be the youngest of nine childrenand the only one who had
the privilege of getting an education beyond high school.
the very first time I set foot inside (CHRISTUS) St. Mary Hospital
and began working in the nursing home, I experienced the love and
concern that radiated from the 22 Sisters who ministered there.
They worked from early to late and well into the night, and not
one floor lacked the care of a Sister. The nursing students were
sheltered and nourished by the education they received, as well
as by the sistersunusual women who lived quite a different
The sisters had left their homes in Ireland at the
age of 16, bound for the mosquitoes and swamps of Port Arthur, and
would not be returning home for 20 years. Telephone calls were only
for dire emergencies and news from their family was often weeks
old by the time it was received. The live-in Sisters were our mentors,
friends, big sisters and surrogate mothers. Their presence was a
gift of love and understanding. Their patience, caring personalities
and living examples of sacrifice and obedience to God set a standard
we could only hope to achieve in an entire lifetime. The Sisters
cleaned, cooked, cared for patients and taught students while doing
charitable acts and living a Christian life we could not explain.
Storms, mosquitoes and their lack of money never dented their armor.
Through the years at CHRISTUS St. Mary, we have
seen a small hospital rise to a state-of-the-art center that is
now second to none. Technology and human resources have bonded to
this day by the examples and guidance of a group of Sisters armed
with the love of God, love for humanity and the belief that we will
all reap what we sow.
Port Arthur is a better place because of the Sisters,
and we are better people because of them. To each and every one
of them, I speak for our entire hospital family when I say, “Thank
you. We love you and are deeply grateful for your presence in our
lives. You are our miracle.”
CHRISTUS St. Mary Hospital
Port Arthur, Texas