HM Statement-New Resource Provides More Comprehensive List of Catholic-operated Indigenous Boarding Schools

May 9, 2023 | Posted in News & Updates, Statements

For Immediate Release

New Resource Provides More Comprehensive List of Catholic-operated Indigenous Boarding Schools

Villa Maria, PA — Native American boarding schools are a difficult and painful part of our country’s history. They are a source of immense intergenerational trauma for those who survived them, their descendants, and their Tribal Nations. Acknowledging the Catholic Church’s involvement in establishing and running many of these institutions is not an easy thing, but it is an important step to healing the suffering of our Indigenous brothers and sisters.

The first list of Catholic-operated U.S. Native boarding schools was published May 9, 2023, by the Archivists for Congregations of Women Religious (ACWR) after much collaboration among archivists, historians, concerned Catholics, and tribal members. The purpose of compiling this list was to provide the Indigenous community with access to information about the facilities. The list can be found at

In 1931, the Sisters of the Holy Humility of Mary accepted a mission assignment from the Diocese of Cleveland and opened Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary School in Porcupine, South Dakota, on the Pine Ridge Reservation. This school is included in the above online resource. In December 1936, the General Chapter decided to discontinue their involvement at the school. All HM Sisters serving there returned to Pennsylvania by the end of the school year in June 1937. From the limited information available in our archives, we know that no boarding took place until after the HM Sisters left in 1937.

The Sisters of the Humility of Mary are a community of women religious, who share Jesus’ mission of bringing more abundant life to God’s people. We are committed to embrace the diversity of all peoples; work with others to proclaim the Gospel message; use our resources to meet needs, especially those of people who are poor; and do justice.

Villa Maria Community Center, which has served as the Motherhouse of the Sisters of the Humility of Mary since 1864, is located 1 mile south of U.S. Route 422 on Evergreen Road (near the Ohio/Pennsylvania border), Villa Maria, Pa. 10 miles east of Youngstown, Ohio, and 11 miles west of New Castle, Pa.


Kylene Kamensky, Communications Coordinator: 

Sister Carol Anne Smith, HM Pastoral Leader:


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