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Sister Mary Frances Heins, O.P.

Sister Mary Frances Heins, O.P.
Lillian Elizabeth Heins

Sister Mary Frances was born in Galveston, Texas on her father’s birthday. She spent her childhood years in Galveston attending Sacred Heart Catholic School through the seventh grade and Dominican High School through the twelfth grade.  Sister Mary Frances was taught by other Dominican sisters over these years and was impressed by many of them, including Sister Emerita Pena and Sister Germaine Trahan. In high school she attended a silent retreat and during this time she read a book on St. Dominic. After this, her decision to join the convent was made.

After graduation in 1946 she came to Houston from Galveston and began her studies. Sister Mary Frances attended Dominican College, Lamar University, Notre Dame, Trinity, Sam Houston State, Loyola and the University of St. Thomas in her pursuit of knowledge. She is particularly gifted in the sciences and spent many of her teaching years teaching her favorite things…Physical Science, Biology, Chemistry and Physics to high school students. “Chemistry was my favorite, but not my students favorite. But once you had them, they would end up liking it.”

Sister Mary Frances has taught at St. Anthony Cathedral Catholic School and Monsignor Kelly High School in Beaumont, Texas, at St. Mary Catholic School in Port Arthur, Texas, St. Mary’s Catholic School in Taylor, Texas, All Saints Catholic School, St. Christopher Catholic School, St. Pius X High School in Houston, Texas,and St. Francis de Sales Catholic School in Riverside, California. She spent twelve years teaching at Monsignor Kelly Catholic High School in Beaumont, Texas, where she was also assistant principal. Sister Mary Francis served as principal at O’Connell in Galveston for eight years. Sister Mary Frances went back to St. Pius High School in Houston serving as principal for four years in 1980. She has been on many educational accreditation committees over the years as well. 

The best part of being a Dominican Sister for Sister Mary has been the community. “We enjoy morning Mass, say evening prayers together and bring forth the heritage of the early days. The community and friendships we have here are blessings.”

Sister Mary Frances currently lives at St. Dominic Village. 


Interview with Sister Mary Frances Heins, O.P. on November 25, 2013.  Updated January 2017. 


  Dominican Sisters of Houston
6501 Almeda Road - Houston, Texas 77021-2095
(713) 747-3310  FAX (713) 747-4707  e-mail:
pporter@domhou.org