Holy Faith Sisters

Founding Vision and Charism: Margaret Aylward, a Waterford woman, whose life spanned the nineteenth century, founded the Sisters of the Holy Faith. Her founding vision was born in the context of the poverty and related proselytism of post famine Ireland. Her profound appreciation of the gift of Faith, her active compassion for the poor and her conviction of the role of the family in nurturing the dignity of each child inspired all her undertakings.

As a lay woman with other lay women she developed the fostering out system to provide Catholic foster families for orphan children. She set up schools in poor areas to provide a Catholic education and hope of a better future for children trapped in poverty. Her passionate belief that Faith is a treasure to be developed and nurtured led her to insist: “These schools will always be schools of Faith – a Faith that is living and operative”.(MargaretAylward 1884)

To carry the vision forward, in 1867 Margaret founded a congregation of sisters who shared her vision and her commitment to the Faith and to families in poverty. As time passed, the number of these schools increased and the sisters developed her work by establishing secondary schools for children of the emerging middleclass Catholic families.

Ethos: Margaret’s firm conviction of the dignity and potential of each child, her concern for the preservation and development of their Faith, her respect for the primary role of the family, her commitment to children and families living in poverty and her collaborative role with the laity, are the values that the Holy Faith Schools seek to express through their ethos today. It is from within this framework that the Holy Faith Sisters work with other congregations of Apostolic Religious to ensure the future of Catholic Schools through the Le Chéile Trust.


The cross at the

centre symbolises

the centrality of our


The open ended

cross is an

invitation to spread


Word of God

and to be open to


The cross rests on

the waters of life,

open to the world

and to infinity.


Margaret Aylward’s



This light was a ray of hope

for Margaret in the

darkness of her

prison cell.

It symbolises for us

the light of Faith.