Oblate Sisters of Providence Celebrate 50 Years in Buffalo

September 27, 2013 Updated Jul 27, 2011 at 12:20 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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Oblate Sisters of Providence Celebrate 50 Years in Buffalo

September 27, 2013 Updated Jul 27, 2011 at 12:20 PM EDT

Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW release) -- The Oblate Sisters of Providence, the first successful Catholic sisterhood in the world established by women of African descent, will be recognized for 50 years of service to the children of Buffalo on July 31 at the 9:30 a.m. Mass at St. Martin de Porres Church on Northampton Street.

Mass will be followed by a reception hosted by the NativityMiguel Middle School and the Catholic parishes of Central Buffalo: SS. Columba & Brigid, Blessed Trinity, St. Lawrence, St. Katharine Drexel, St. Martin de Porres and St. Ann Church.

The Oblate Sisters of Providence were invited to Buffalo in 1961 to assist the pastor of St. Nicholas church in his ministry to the growing number of black Catholics in his parish. The Oblate Sisters taught at St. Nicholas, which merged into the Diocesan Education Campus, which merged into Catholic Central School, now known as the NativityMiguel Middle School.

The Oblate Sisters of Providence is the only congregation of women religious in the Diocese of Buffalo with a history of specific service to African American Catholics and by extension to all African Americans living in the city of Buffalo. Sister Timothy Howard, OSP, has taught in all of these schools and continues to teach in the NativityMiguel Middle School.