The Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy visited Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital on Tuesday for the blessing of a plaque commemorating Sister Mary Murphy, OLM.
Sister Anne Frances Campbell provided a brief biography of Sister Maria. She was a Charleston native who joined the order of women religious in 1927. Trained as a nurse, Sister Maria began her work at St. Francis Xavier Hospital in 1934. She held positions in the laboratory, anesthesia and radiology, and she served as the director of St. Francis Xavier Hospital School of Nursing.
In 1949, Sister Maria was appointed administrator of the hospital, a position she held until 1970. During her retirement Sister Maria became an integral member of the Pastoral Care team. On May 31, 1985, Sister Maria died at St. Francis Xavier Hospital.
The bronze plaque, a gift from the OLM Sisters, was originally located in St. Francis Xavier Hospital on Rutledge Street in downtown Charleston. The plaque was moved to the motherhouse on James Island when the downtown location closed.
Now that the Sisters are moving from the motherhouse, they have gifted the plaque to the hospital. It has been mounted at the entrance of Pastoral Care near the chapel.
The Sisters were joined by the Our Lady of Mercy Associates, lay individuals who share the charisms of the Sisters and their works of mercy. Following Mass, Vice President of Mission Mark Dickson and Associate Vice President Gretchen Morin thanked the Sisters for the gift. Father Patrick Eyinla blessed the plaque and those in attendance.
The Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy founded Saint Francis Xavier Infirmary downtown, which opened in 1882 and later became St. Francis Xavier Hospital. In July 1989, the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy transferred the sponsorship of St. Francis Xavier Hospital to the Sisters of Bon Secours, and the hospital became part of the Bon Secours Health System. In 1996, Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital moved from the peninsula to West Ashley.