The Sisters, Servants of Mary, Ministers to the Sick, celebrated the 50th anniversary of their order in Oxnard Oct. 8 at Santa Clara Church.

Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Curry presided at a special Mass commemorating the order’s 50 years of service in the care of the sick.

“We want to give thanks for the novitiate’s 50th anniversary and for the thousands of people who have received care,” said Sister Carmen Arenas, mother superior. “We are happy to be part of the archdiocese.”

The Sisters, Servants of Mary were founded in Madrid in 1851 by Maria Soledad Torres Acosta, declared a saint by Pope Paul VI in 1970. Mother Soledad received the charism of compassionate care for the sick, poor and dying. Her main apostolate was meeting the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of these suffering children of God by going to their homes and being by their bedside, doing this either day or night. 

The Sisters do not charge for their service; rather, like their foundress, they trust God will provide for their needs through the voluntary donations they receive, said Sister Arenas. 

In Ventura County, the sisters operate a house of formation in Oxnard (less than a mile from Santa Clara Church), and Mary Health of the Sick Convalescent and Nursing Hospital in Newbury Park. With 128 convents in 20 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia and North, Central and South America, the sisters also minister in Kansas City, New Orleans, New York City and Los Angeles. 

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