The Congregation of the Poor Servants of the Mother of God (S.M.G.) was founded in London on September 24th, 1869 by Frances Margaret (later Mother Magdalen) Taylor, (1832-1900), the youngest child of Henry Taylor, an Anglican clergyman, and his wife, Louisa.
As she grew up, Frances became very aware of the plight of the poor of London and tried to help them in any way she could. Conscious of their lack of educational facilities, she became involved at one stage in organising a ‘ragged school’ for poor, street children. At the outbreak of the Crimean War in 1854, Frances volunteered to nurse in the military hospitals in the Crimea. Various influences and experiences there – notably the heroism of the Sisters of Mercy and the faith of the Irish Catholic soldiers – led to her conversion to Roman Catholicism. From Frances’s great devotion to the Incarnation flowed her love of the poor, and this in turn led her to found the S.M.G. Congregation. Mother Magdalen drew her inspiration from the Constitutions and Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, having from the outset received much spiritual help and guidance from the Society of Jesus.
Through the many apostolates of the Congregation, including education, the members take part in the one mission of Jesus Christ. By their lives of prayer, love and service, they share the Good News with their contemporaries in terms which people can understand. What characterises the S.M.G. approach to education is a profound respect for the dignity of the individual and a strong work ethic. Students feel themselves accepted and encouraged and so grow in confidence and maturity.They are encouraged to use their gifts and talents to help those at home and abroad who do not share their material and educational advantages. The Congregation’s Founding Day – September 24th – is celebrated annually with a Mass for the Opening of the Academic Year.
In Ireland, the Poor Servants of the Mother of God have been involved in primary education and in second level education in both the voluntary secondary school and community college sectors. The two secondary schools under the patronage of the S.M.G. Congregation are Manor House School, Raheny, Dublin 5, (Phone: 01-8316782) and St. Aloysius’ College, Carrigtwohill,Co.Cork.(Phone: 021-4883341).
The websites are: www.manorhouseschool.com and www.stalscarrig.com