Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Yolanda Leyva

Second Advisor

Ernesto Chavez


ABSTRACTCecilia Gutierrez Venable Mother Margaret Mary Healy Murphy Quest to Aid the Poor and Sick, And Educate and Evangelize Black and Mexican Children 1833-1907

Mother Margaret Mary Healy Murphy was an Irish immigrant who moved to South Texas. This dissertation discusses Mother Margaretâ??s life and how she aided the poor and sick and later educated and evangelized Black and Mexican children. The first chapter catalogues her early years in Ireland, where she experiences the loss of both her mother and father. Because of the famine she leaves Ireland for America and opened a boarding house in Matamoros where she meets her husband. Chapter two covers her married life with John Bernard Murphy. Her partnership with her spouse enlightens her on how the law, business, city politics as well as state politics works. Her husband dies and she opens a hospital and buys a ranch. The third chapter chronicles her grief with losing most of her family. During this time she buys a ranch and opens another hospital before moving to San Antonio. Margaret Mary then applies her life skills to building a Black Church and later a school for African Americans. Chapter four discussed her struggles with keeping the school afloat. The instability, she had with staff propelled her to start an order of Sisters who supported her mission. Traveling back to Ireland and inviting young women to join her new community enabled her to expand her mission to Oaxaca, Mexico and Laredo, Texas. On August 25, 1907, Mother Margaret died in San Antonio. She was a woman who spent her life working with the poor, healing the sick and educating Black and Mexican children.




Received from ProQuest

File Size

59 p.

File Format


Rights Holder

Cecilia Gutierrez Venable

Available for download on Thursday, January 01, 2122

Included in

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