A Hill-Murray History Lesson Grounded in Benedictine Values

Dear Hill-Murray community,

The new year marks a major, but maybe lesser known, milestone in Hill-Murray’s history.

Seventy-five years ago, the Sisters of St. Paul’s Monastery started their order in the Twin Cities and 10 years later welcomed more than 200 freshman to the first all-girls high school on the East side when they opened the doors to Archbishop Murray Memorial High School (AMMHS). Fourteen years later, in 1972, AMMHS merged with Hill High School, which was started by the Christian Brothers, to form Hill-Murray.

Most of us have heard a part of this story, most likely the latter part where the two schools came together in 1972. However, very few of us know the backstory and intricacies of the Sisters’ initial decision to build a school on Larpenteur Avenue, personally fundraise to pay for the construction, and staff the building for the next 42 years.

This week, you should have received a hard copy of Hill-Murray’s 2021-2022 Annual Report in your mailboxes. The cover story chronicles the Sisters’ amazing and inspiring dedication to this community and all of our students. Their story is chock full of Benedictine values, hospitality, stewardship, a profound sense of the presence of God and a steadfast commitment to the common good – values that continue to live on at Hill-Murray today.

I strongly encourage you to read their story in our Annual Report and even order the new book Walking Monastery Way: Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of St. Paul’s Monastery, written by the Sisters themselves.

I would be stunned if you weren’t truly moved or felt a profound sense of gratitude for all they’ve done and continue to do for our school and our students, past, and present. Their influence and presence still permeate the hallways at Hill-Murray.

As the Sisters continue to age, they have entered into a period of serious discernment about what’s next for the Monastery, and we will do everything we can to support them. Prioress Sister Catherine Nehotte and I (pictured below), along with several other Hill-Murray and monastery leaders, are discussing how to solidify our relationship going forward. The goal is to keep the monastery’s mission and Benedictine values alive in perpetuity.

For now, let’s collectively commemorate the St. Paul Monastery’s 75th Anniversary. There is so much to celebrate. There is so much to be thankful for as we look over the past 75 years. The Sisters are such a big part of our past. And as president, I promise to ensure they remain a part of our community’s glorious future. ​​​​​We owe them so much.