History of the Sisters of the Precious Blood
The Sisters of the Precious Blood came to the United States from northern Switzerland in 1844 and settled in Peru, Ohio. In 1846 the Sisters, Brothers, and Fathers of the Precious Blood came to Maria Stein. This is the site of the first permanent Motherhouse of the Sisters of the Precious Blood. Sisters have prayed and ministered here at Maria Stein without interruption since 1846. In the early years their life was quite simple – a life of prayer and manual labor; the Sisters and Brothers did all the practical things to keep a large community flourishing which freed the Fathers to devote themselves to the spiritual care of the German speaking people of the area.
In 1923 the Motherhouse was moved to Dayton, Ohio for two main reasons. First, it had long been the desire of the Sisters to have perpetual exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, but Archbishop Moeller of Cincinnati was reluctant to give his permission unless the adoration chapel would be located near a denser population area so the laity could join the Sisters for prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. Second, by now the Congregation had taken on a number of schools in the area and it was necessary for the Sisters to receive higher education (which they received from the University of Dayton). Dayton seemed to meet both needs.
Maria Stein remains even today a symbol for the Sisters of the Congregation’s roots in perpetual adoration and simple living. A museum on the second floor of this building traces the history of the Congregation’s settling in Ohio and its subsequent growth. While it is true that the number of Sisters has diminished in recent years, the over 250 members of the Congregation still maintain today that they were founded for a spirituality – Eucharistic devotion and devotion to the Precious Blood of Jesus – and a remain strong in that commitment. Now ministering in varied locales and countries, they “commit [them] selves to be passionate disciples of Jesus, the Christ, as [they] dare to be a reconciling, life-giving presence in [this] fractured world” (Mission Statement of the Congregation).