about holy faith sisters

Who We Are

We are a religious congregation of Roman Catholic women living and working in four continents. Our purpose is to proclaim by word and action the love and truth of Jesus to the people of our day and to collaborate in creating a just world. Our consecration to God is expressed in the three vows we take at our profession, but living the vows is a daily commitment. We pray together, live together, love and laugh together. Relating to one another in love is at the heart of our life in community and we are in community for the mission entrusted to us.



Margaret Aylward, a Waterford woman, founded the congregation in Dublin in 1867 following many years of serving children in distress. This work was formalised in 1857 in St Brigid’s Orphanage – never a residential facility but a system of placing children with families in long-term fosterage. The need to provide school education for poor children saw the beginning of the network of Holy Faith schools. In these works, Miss Aylward was assisted by Fr John Gowan, a Vincentian priest based in Phibsborough, Dublin. The sisters first came to Glasnevin in 1865.

We are a religious congregation of Roman Catholic women living and working in four continents.


Our foundress, Margaret Aylward, desired that the lives of the sisters would be marked by humility, simplicity, faith and charity and be grounded in the Eucharist and prayer. In the contemporary world we seek to be signs of hope for our sisters and for all we meet.


What we do

In our ministries of education, faith development, pastoral work, advocacy and presence we try to make the poor and marginalized central in our lives and give priority to them in our decision making and allocation of resources.

In 2013 in collaboration with the KIltegan Fathers, we took on a three year project of setting up a primary school in Riwoto, South Sudan. Under the leadership of Sr Margo Delaney, that project is completed: the school is flourishing with the help of very generous parishes, Holy Faith Associates, and organisations which have given grants to the school.