History of the RHSJ in the Dominican Republic

1964 to the present

In 1964, in response to the call of the Church, the RHSJ decided to open a mission in the Dominican Republic, in San Jose de Ocoa.  Upon their arrival, Sisters Mary Assumption (Mary Cauley Murray) and Rita Wood began working in a small clinic.  In spite of the limited facilities, the clinic received up to 200 out-patients a day.

In March 1968, the Health Department asked the Sisters to administer the government hospital in Ocoa.  Sister Mary Assumption was appointed administrator. Despite limited financial resources, a new wing was added to the hospital and the RHSJs improved and expanded services to the local community.

In addition to meeting the health care needs of the people of Ocoa, the Sisters opened the Padre

Arturo Educational Center which teaches skills such as sewing, carpentry, and cooking to impoverished young people.  They also provide care for the elderly in St. Anthony’s Home for the destitute aged (hospicio).

In 2001, the Sisters in Ocoa received permission to open a mission in Cotui, approximately a three hour distance from Ocoa.  The members of the Lions Club had built a residence for 35 elderly persons and entrusted the administration to the RHSJ.  Sisters Cecile Smith and Ana Nunez arrived in Cotui on October 27, 2001.  Scarcely a month later, 24 residents were admitted, most were very ill, requiring a great deal of care.  In 2009, the Sisters left this residence entrusting it to another religious Congregation.