Recruitment to religious orders abroad, or from abroad

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Sduddy
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Recruitment to religious orders abroad, or from abroad

Post by Sduddy » Mon Jun 15, 2020 10:04 am

In 1858, a group of nuns, Sisters of Charity, moved from Nashville, Tennessee, where they had an orphanage, to Leavenworth, Kansas, and established a Mother House there, with Mother Xavier Ross in charge. In 1898, one of the nuns, Sister Mary Buckner, wrote a history of the order, starting with that move in 1858, and describing how they began with St. Mary’s Academy in Leavenworth and branched out from there to various other States over the following 40 years: “History of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, Kansas”: https://www.scls.org/wp-content/uploads ... imized.pdf
As I was reading it, I saw that many of the nuns had Irish surnames, and sure enough familysearch.org shows them in 1860, 18 nuns, headed by Ann Ross, living at St Mary’s Academy, Leavenworth, 16 of them born in Ireland: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M66Q-7SR It would be wrong to extrapolate from this one instance that the majority of nuns in the U.S. at that time were Irish born, but I think it’s safe to say that a large number were Irish, and that of that large number, some were from Co. Clare. The last chapter in the book deals with those deaths between 1858 and 1898, which had not already been mentioned. Some of these nuns must have joined the order after the census of 1860, and the surnames suggest that most were Irish: Sister Cornelia Curran (d. 1870); Sister Gonzaga Devine (d. 1872); Sister Basil Williams (1873); Sister Olive Smith (1874); Sister Serena Barrington, Sister Regina Dempsey, Sister Cecelia McMahon, Sister Jerome Nagle (d. 1875); Sister Loyola Hogan, Sister Emilda Traynor (d. 1876); Sister Pius Black (d. 1877); Sister Ignatia McCormack (d. 1878); Sister Ursula Sebus, Sister Agnes McGrath, Sister Alacoque Malone (d. 1879); Sister Basil Lynch, Sister leocitia Carroll, Sister Rosalia Casey (d. 1881); Sister Cleophas Guilfoyle, Sister Blandina McCarthy, Sister Bridget Byrne (d. 1883); Sister Xavier McLaughlin (d. 1884); Sister Zita Sullivan (d. 1885); Sister Joseph Taylor, Sister Paul Fay, Sister Margaret Quinlan (d.1886); Sister Lucilla Ryan, Sister Francis de Sales Cannon (d. 1887); Sister Bernard Mary Prendergast (d. 1888); Sister Berchmans Walsh, Sister Modesta O’Hara (d. 1889); Sister Helen Mackin (1890); Sister Antonia, Sister Basilissa Fitzgerald (d. 1891); Sister Helena Donnelly, Sister Kostka O’Connor, Sister Philomena Quinlan (d. 1892); Sister Joseph Marie O’Connor, Sister Pancratia Cannon, Sister Justina Mackin (d. 1893); Sister Frances McMahon, Sister Gregory Shanahan (d. 1894); Mother Xavier [Ross], Sister Perpetua Cummings, Sister Benedict Michle, Sister Gabriel Hess (d. 1895); Sister Gertrude Ryan, Sister Anastasia Vasey, Sister Jovita Jennings, Sister Veronica O’Connor, Sister Finbar Corkery (d. 1896); Sister Seraphine Hammond, Sister Loretto Curry, Sister Mary Ann Moran, Sister Annunciata Counihan, Sister Barbara Vohs, Sister Ann Joseph Dwyer (d. 1897); Sister Adelaide Callahan, Sister de Chantal Hall, Sister Bridget O’Rourke, Sister Luke Burke, Sister Assissi Meagher, Sister Ann Davis (d. 1898).

These Leavenworth Sisters of Charity depended quite a bit, it seems, on begging for alms. One of the nuns who was dispatched on a begging mission was Sister Mary Pius Black. She is Mary Black aged 13 in the 1860 census, but she was aged 20, and had entered the order, when she set out in October 1867, along with Sister Francis Xavier Davy, to beg in the Eastern States. Sister Pius kept a diary between Oct 1867 and June 1868, describing her progress. The Sisters did not set out to beg in the streets, which I’m sure they would have been free to do; they expected to get the permission and support of bishops and parish priests to collect within parishes (i.e. a priest would mention them to his congregation at Mass and urge them to be generous when the Sisters called). The diary shows that they did not always get this support and a few bishops forbad them from begging and one told them not to show their faces again. The diary is reproduced in Chapter XX (pages 178 – 204) and breaks off when they are at Charlestown and still a long way from Leavenworth (‘June 28th , Sunday – Charlestown. We went this afternoon with Mrs. Donovan to St. Francis’ Church, built on Bunker Hill battle-ground. The church is beautiful’).
The entry that interested me most was the made on May 12th, 1868: ‘Boston, Mass. I must not forget my 6 cents’ worth of a birthday present. This day, twenty-one years ago, I first breathed the air of my dear island home, Ireland.’ I wondered when and how Mary Black had come to be in the care of the Srs of Charity, Leavenworth, at age 13. I thought she must have come with her parents around the time of the Great Famine and that she had been orphaned in the U.S., but later in the book we meet her again, and this time she indicates that her parents are alive. It seems that the begging mission had been a success and so she was dispatched to Ireland in September 1871, along with Sister Mary Baptist. They spent five months in Ireland, but all that survives is one letter from Sister Pius to Mother Xavier, written from Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, in June, 1872: “Convent of Mercy, Enniscorthy, Ireland, June 30th, 1872. Dear Mother: …. We have been going through the county outside Enniscorthy for the last three weeks and got back on Thursday, June 27th. We found three letters from you, one from Sister Ignatia, and one from my poor dear mother and father and my mother’s picture. …Tis pouring rain at present; it rains all the time, I might say. We have learned not to mind the weather; if we are walking, we take our umbrellas – a lady in Gorey made us a present of one each; if we are riding, we throw our shawls on our heads and go on, unless we are in a covered car, but the most we have been in were uncovered.’
Sister Mary Pius comes across as quite a lighthearted person; when confronted by a Vicar General, she confides to her diary, ‘I am afraid of Vicars General on general principles’; on another occasion she says, ‘ indulged in that time-honored feminine remedy – a good cry.’ I was sorry to see that she died in 1877, aged only 30.

Here is something that intrigues me: on page 425 we are told, ‘So numerous were the demands for the services of the Sisters, that it was decided in the fall of 1895 to send Sister Anacleta and Sister Mary Bridget to Ireland with a view to secure recruits for the missionary work … in the Western States. The two Sisters went to the Convents in different places and made known to the Superiors the purpose of their coming. Generous souls were found ready to bid farewell to home and those whom the heart holds dearest on earth, to give their youth, their health, their lives, and labor in a distant land for the sole love of God and he salvation of souls. ….On the 10th of December, 1895, the voyagers with the young recruits arrived, and need it be written that they were received a warm welcome to the land of their choice?’ This recruiting was done so quickly that I wonder if the recruits were girls who had already entered some Sisters of Charity order in Ireland and then volunteered to go to the Western States. Was this how recruitment was done and, if so, did the recruiting nuns just visit convents (and not parishes)? – maybe a bit of both.

Sheila

Sduddy
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Re: Recruitment to religious orders abroad, or from abroad

Post by Sduddy » Tue Jun 16, 2020 10:08 am

I’ve been reading (online) the preview of a book entitled Unlikely Entrepreneurs: Catholic Sisters and the Hospital Marketplace, 1865-1925, by Barbara Mann Wall (Ohio State University Press, 2005): https://books.google.ie/books?id=CzT8om ... &q&f=false, and I’ve found it helpful in providing context for the recruiting of Irish women to religious orders, both at home and abroad.

On page 19, Barbara Mann Wall lists religious orders of nuns who came to America from Europe in the middle of the 19th century, and goes on to say that the Irish women were particulary active, especially the Sisters of Mercy (founded in Dublin in 1831 by Catherine McAuley). Already, by 1840, they had established a hospital in Pittsburgh, and they spread from there to other cities. She says, “Wars provided proving grounds for sisters because their nursing during these conflicts helped improve negative perceptions of Catholics. Nuns’ nursing service during the Civil War brought just such an opportunity. As a result, the public’s perceptions of sisters and the Catholic Church itself improved dramatically.”

On page 29, Barbara Mann Wall deals with issues regarding work, the first being market needs and the second being staffing. Regarding the latter, she says,
Ireland particularly was a fertile field for gleaning recruits. Irish girls found communities in the United States expecially attractive because many did not demand large dowries. Instead, they required education, which the Irish had. The Irish church also was the only European one offering English-speaking women. As early as 1845, the imbalance in favor of the Irish began for the Sisters of the Holy Cross. That year, eight women, all but one of Irish birth, received the habit. During the Civil War, three-fourths of the nearly eighty Holy Cross sisters who nursed in the conflict were born in Ireland. An intense spirit of competition occurred among women’s communities in obtaining Irish recruits…. In 1873, of the ninety-three women who entered the Holy Cross congregation, sixty-one were Irish-born. In 1898, fifty seven aspirants left Ireland to join the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in St. Louis…. In 1900, Mother Mary John O’Shaughnessy [Incarnate Word Sisters] brought back forty women to San Antonio. Four years later, another Incarnate Word sister left Dublin with thirty-eight more.
On page 37, Barbara Mann Wall gives some reasons for why so many Irish women opted for entering a religious order. She explains that in postfamine rural Ireland,
changes in inheritance patterns produced a surplus of sons and daughters, and women had few social or economic benefits. Demographic trends revealed infrequent marriages, high celebacy rates, gender segregation, and a massive female exodus as the country held fewer and fewer opportunities for women. Many women preferred to enter a convent rather than experience the perils of childbearing or tedious and backbreaking work on the family farm. As increasing numbers of young Irish women joined religious congregations and took vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, they voluntarily experienced conditions that, in all likelihood, they would have faced as nonreligious women. With few marriage prospects and a future of dependence on family and relatives, hundreds of thousands of women fled their homes and joined convents in Ireland and elsewhere. By the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Irish women dominated migration. This pattern was unique among European migrants
.

Sheila

matthewmacnamara
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Re: Recruitment to religious orders abroad, or from abroad

Post by matthewmacnamara » Tue Jun 16, 2020 5:21 pm

There was also a steady stream of Irish women into French and Belgian [French speaking] convents.
Theirs is an unwritten history, difficult to write as the women were do dispersed. In effect they were absorbed into and across the vast French Catholic world in many different religious orders.
There is a memoir published by a Clare Bon Secours nun [a Guinane from a river Fergus island] who spent a lot of
time in France, including the world war 2 years.
Reading it I was struck by how much she had become a French Catholic in outlook.
An Irish nun, perhaps a Mac Carthy, was a Resistance heroine whose name is recorded at the Resistance room at
the Invalides in Paris.

moranding
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Re: Recruitment to religious orders abroad, or from abroad

Post by moranding » Sat Jun 20, 2020 1:19 am

In 1838 , 5 Sisters of Charity at the responnse of their foundress Mary Aikenhead,arrived in Sydney.
A local bishop had requested the support

moranding
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Re: Recruitment to religious orders abroad, or from abroad

Post by moranding » Sat Jun 20, 2020 1:32 am

In 1838 , 5 Sisters of Charity, at the response of their foundress Mary Aikenhead,arrived in Sydney, Australia
Bishop Polding had visited Ireland in 1836 and discussed the plight of many convict women and children in the colony .
Much has been written about these early sisters, volunteers, and their legacy
This group of courageous women formed the basis for a teaching and nursing ministry which continues today
I have contacted the Dublin website of the order to ascertain the counties of origin of the 5 sisters
Moranding

smcarberry
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Re: Recruitment to religious orders abroad, or from abroad

Post by smcarberry » Sun Jun 21, 2020 6:45 pm

Late to this thread, as I have been rummaging about for an old posting of mine on Clare women brought to a convent at (as I remember ir) Middletown, Connecticut. That one must be on the old Rootsweb board for Clare. Instead, today I saw newspaper items on a convent in Hartford CT for which a Clare woman was a Mother Superior. That type of article and several others on Irish brought to convents in the U.S. and South Africa can be brought up with the search term "Irish postulants" at this site: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/

From my saved items, see the two attachments, one of which relates to Sheila's original post about the Leavenworth convent and its practices.

Of interest may be my old Forum post about The Irish Canadian, in which I describe a newpaper article giving a good amount of biographical info on postulants from Ireland arriving for their lives in a Canadian convent. Just input the newspaper name in the search box of the Forum (upper right corner of the screen) to reach that.

Sharon Carberry
KS convent's recruiting Clare women 1895.jpg
KS convent's recruiting Clare women 1895.jpg (15.38 KiB) Viewed 3334 times
Fitzgerald, Ella, Sr Mary de Sales, CT convent dth.GIF
Fitzgerald, Ella, Sr Mary de Sales, CT convent dth.GIF (93.24 KiB) Viewed 3334 times

Sduddy
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Re: Recruitment to religious orders abroad, or from abroad

Post by Sduddy » Mon Jun 22, 2020 10:05 am

Thank you Matthew, moranding, and Sharon for your replies.

Matthew, the Resistance nun was Sr Kate McCarthy from Co. Cork, but I haven’t found anything for the Guinane nun you mention.

Moranding, I was surprised to see Irish nuns going to Australia as early as 1838.

Sharon, thank you for those newpaper cuttings, especially the one that tallies with the mention in Sr Buckner’s history of Leavenworth Sisters of Charity of the recruitment of girls in Ireland in 1895. Sr Buckner did not list the counties of course, so it was interesting to see that Co. Clare was included in that recruiting drive. Thanks also for that link, which I’ve started to explore (and trying not get distracted by other newsitems!). For instance I see that in Feb 1898, 60 Irish girls, postulants for the order of St. Joseph at St. Louis, Mo., embarked aboard the Red Star line steamer Pennland for Philadelphia, escorted by Sister Mary Paul (Omaha Sunday Bee, 27 Feb 1898). I suppose that girls recruited in Ireland appear in emigration records as just girls – not as postulants.
A grandaunt of mine entered the Holy Cross sisters in Clayton Township, Indiana. The 1900 census shows her there, in St. Mary’s Academy, working as a Launderess. I don’t know whether she was recruited in Ireland, or in America. Looking at that 1900 census, I was struck by the number of nuns who were Irish born. There were 200 nuns altogether (they occupy four pages of the census) and of those 200, about 100 were Irish born, and about 45 more were born of Irish parents in the U.S. The remaining 55 were from U.S. Germany, France and a few other countries. Familysearch transcribes all the names, dates of birth, immigration dates, and nationalities, but I did a spreadsheet myself (attached) which adds the occupations of the nuns. Not many of the Irish born nuns got to be teachers – they are mostly doing housework, but a good many of the Irish nuns in the older age-group are described as retired, so maybe they had been nurses or teachers at a earlier time in their lives. I gather (from googling) that the Holy Cross nuns take great pride in their place in the history of the Civil War, when they worked as nurses.
I was interested, also, to see how many of the nuns had emigrated between 1848 and 1852, during the Great Famine and the aftermath.

The census data in this spreadsheet is presented in a way that might seem odd, but it’s to show firstly the large number of nuns born in Ireland (so that they can be looked at as a group in themselves), then the nuns born in the U.S. of Irish parents and then the remaining nuns.

Sheila
StMarysAcademy1900.xlsx
(65.06 KiB) Downloaded 120 times

Sduddy
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Re: Recruitment to religious orders abroad, or from abroad

Post by Sduddy » Tue Jun 23, 2020 10:44 am

I looked at the 1880 census for St. Mary’s Academy and found, again, that half the nuns were Irish born. Of the 240 nuns listed, 119 were born in Ireland. The names were written more neatly and more legibly than in 1900, but the information is not so complete. Immigration dates and occupations are not recorded, and I think the column for birthplace of parents was not completed very carefully. For this census I made another spreadsheet (attached), and this time it looks more like a normal spreadsheet.

Sheila
StMarysAcademy1880.xlsx
(54.84 KiB) Downloaded 105 times
StMarysAcademy1880 IrishBorn.xlsx
(55.12 KiB) Downloaded 128 times

matthewmacnamara
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Re: Recruitment to religious orders abroad, or from abroad

Post by matthewmacnamara » Tue Jun 23, 2020 1:12 pm

Sheila,
The nun was Sister Rose Anne Ginnane
who wrote a book about her experiences

From Coney Island to Paris,
Litho Press, Midleton, 1989

Some decades ago I visited Coney Island in the Fergus estuary
and met a Mr Tom Ginnane still in residence there.
She lived through world war 2 in France

Sduddy
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Re: Recruitment to religious orders abroad, or from abroad

Post by Sduddy » Wed Jun 24, 2020 12:44 pm

Hi Matthew
Thanks for taking the trouble to look that up. I did a search for Sr. Rose Anne Ginnane and see that she was born in 1913: https://www.genealogy.com/forum/surname ... innane/23/. I wonder if she describes life in Coney Island before she left. I will have to read the book. I was reading about Coney Island in Clare Places: http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclar ... island.htm - the article, “Fergus Islanders Reaped Rich Harvest”, which appeared in the Clare Champion of May 05, 1956, is very interesting.

Sheila

matthewmacnamara
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Re: Recruitment to religious orders abroad, or from abroad

Post by matthewmacnamara » Wed Jun 24, 2020 2:23 pm

Most of the book deals with her life as a nun in France.
There are about fourteen pages at the outset about island life.
The island farmers were relatively prosperous.

Jimbo
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Re: Recruitment to religious orders abroad, or from abroad

Post by Jimbo » Fri Dec 11, 2020 8:40 am

Hi Sheila,

Interesting postings on the Irish born nuns in America, and in particular, the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, Kansas. In the history section of the Sisters of Charity website, there are other resources besides the 1898 history book that you mentioned. I think you would find more informative "We Came North, Centennial story of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth" written by Sister Julia Gilmore in 1961, which is also available to download (a rather big file):

https://www.scls.org/about-us/history/

This centennial (1858 - 1958) history has a lot more interesting anecdotes, but most importantly, it provides the surnames of the nuns. If their surname is not provided in the body of the work, then it's in the index under "Sisters". The index order for the "Sisters" is by their religious name (and assumes their first name is Marie, even when it is not). So, for example, "M. Anacleta Flynn" is well before "M. Zita Berry" in the index.
Since the United States was a missionary land, and Ireland was supplying candidates to other religious orders in this country, Mother Mary Peter sent two Sisters to Ireland to recruit members. Sister Mary Anacleta Flynn and Sister Mary Bridget O'Rourke, both Irish-born, were selected for this work of recruitment. Bishop Fink gave his blessing to the undertaking and a letter to the Sisters to use for introduction. After an absence of approximately three months the Sisters returned, December 11, 1895, with forty-four candidates for the novitiate.
"We Came North", page 91.
Sisters Annaclita and Mary Bridget, of Mount St. Mary's Academy and Convent, Leavenworth, Kansas, returned the other day from a three months' recruiting mission to Ireland on the steamship Etruria. With them came forty-five girls from the counties of Limerick, Tipperary, Cork, Kilkenny, Clare and Kerry. The young women are going west to take the veil as novices. Most of them wore sailor hats and carried big carpet sacks.

The Catholic Tribune, St. Joseph, Missouri, 21 December 1895
Here are Mary Anacleta (age 30, nun) and Mary Bridget (age 44, nun) arriving in New York on the SS Etruria with 45 postulants, and two young boys (James O'Rourke is likely Sister M. Bridget's brother), and possibly a physician. Unfortunately, the birthplace of the 45 postulants was only reported as "Ireland".

https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JX3W-VYH
(two pages, go back one page to image 71)
Seeing that Mother Mary Peter's venture in recruitment abroad [the 1895 trip] was successful, Mother Mary Regis repeated the endeavor by again sending Sister Mary Anacleta [Flynn] accompanied by Sister Florence Cloonan to Ireland in June 1903, to obtain members for the novitiate. The Sisters carried with them another letter from Bishop Fink very similar to the one of recommendation he had written eight years previously.

While traveling about Ireland, Sister Mary Anacleta received a letter from Bishop Fink . . . [download the book] . . .

During their trip abroad the two Sisters had many enjoyable experiences, which, fortunately for posterity, they recorded in a diary. Numerous times Sister Mary Anacleta heard that she was the image of Queen Victoria and Sister Florence was twin in likeness to His Holiness Pope Leo XIII.

As the Sisters went by rail, jaunting car, or on foot from place to place, they had little difficulty making arrangements with parents and daughters, as many girls were eager to accompany the Sisters to America. The size of the group that awaited them on the day appointed to start for the United States surprised the recruiters no less than it did the Community of St. Mary's when they arrived in Leavenworth, November 9, 1903.

Because no one at the mother house had received definite word regarding the time of their arrival, no one was at the depot to meet and welcome the newcomers. However, such hilarity prevailed as they approached St. Mary's on foot, that the Sisters at the mother house, hearing the commotion, ran outside to determine the cause, and so, in a group, welcomed the returning travellers and the forty-two new postulants, whose training began at once. ("They Came North", pages 152-153).
Sister M. Anaclita (age 36) and Sister M. Florence (age 34) sailed on 1 November 1903 from Queenstown on the SS Campania and arrived in New York on 7 November 1903:

Two nuns and 28 postulants:
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JFYF-JZC
13 more postulants:
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JFYF-JMD
3 postulants, but only one going to Sisters of Charity:
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JFYF-J4M

The above 1903 passenger listings for the SS Campania do provide a specific last residence for the 42 postulants. I only recognize Maria McCormack (age 26) from Ennis and Lizzie Walsh (age 21) from Kilrush as being from County Clare but there could be others.

Sduddy
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Re: Recruitment to religious orders abroad, or from abroad

Post by Sduddy » Fri Dec 11, 2020 1:20 pm

Hi Jimbo

Jimbo, thank you for all of that. I’ve transcribed the names (below). It might help someone, somewhere, to find that aunt or grandaunt, who goes missing sometime between birth and the 1911 census. As you say, there are only two from Co. Clare (in bold type) in the second list, so there may not be many from Co. Clare in the first list either, but there will be a few, I feel sure.

45 Irish Postulants, aboard SS Etruria, arrive New York Dec. 1895, bound for Leavenworth, Kansas:

Maggie Mulqueen, aged 24; Mary O’Brien, aged 18; Delia Glason, aged 18; Edith Hayes, aged 18; Annie O’Sullivan, aged 17; Mary O’Mahony, aged 24; Johanna Breen, aged 21; Mary Buckley, aged 20; Annie O’Shea, aged 17; Norah Cahill, aged 17; Katie Shannon, aged 22; Mary Barrigly, aged 19; Alice Martin, aged 17; Bridget Shelan, aged 20; Lizzie Curtin, aged 18; Bridget Cantwell, aged 16; Katie Cantwell, aged 16; Molly O’Rourke aged 16; Annastasia O’Shea, aged 17; Kate Hickey, aged 17; Hannah Fitzgerald, aged 17; Ellen Hughes, aged 17; Annie Brosnan, aged 18; Nora Barry, aged 13; Bridget Kiley, aged 17; Nora Quinlivan, aged 19; Nora Dineen, aged 19; Mary Kenny, aged 17; Nora McCarthy, age 25; Annie Connolly, aged 19; Bridget Fitzgerald, aged 17; Mary Collins, aged 18; Sarah Cody, aged 25; Margaret Ryan, aged 18; Kattie O’Brien, age 19; Mary Curtin, aged 19; Nellie O’Sullivan, aged 19; Ellie Walsh, aged 18; Bridget Harman, aged 19; Maggie Butler, aged 22; Nora Butler, aged 21; Mary Scanlan, aged 16; Bridget Cunneen, aged 19; Ellie Cody, aged 18; James O’Rourke, aged 18, Student; John Horgan, aged 15, Student; Mary Anaclita, aged 30, Nun; Mary Bridget, aged 44, Nun; William J. Rice, aged 26, Physician, born U.S.A. (may not have belonged to the group); Alice Quigley, aged 18, Postulant.

44 Irish Postulants, aboard SS Campania, arrive New York 7 Nov 1903, bound for Leavenworth, Kansas:

Florence, Sister M., aged 24 [Nun]; Anaclita, Sister M., aged 36 [Nun]; Maggie O’Neill, aged 22, Callan [Co. Kilkenny]; Lizzie Fogarty, aged 23, Templemore [Co. Tipperary]; Kate O’Connor, aged 26, Abbeyfeale [Co. Kerry]; Julia Moynihan, aged 16, Castleisland [Co. Kerry]; Kate Downing, aged 25, Castletownbere [Co. Cork]; Mary Anne Shannahan, aged 17, Abbeyfeale [Co. Kerry]; Lizzie Ward, aged 16, Abbeyfeale [Co. Kerry]; Nora Condon, 25, Bandon [Co. Cork]: Mary A. Dinneen, aged 24, Bandon [Co. Cork]; Mary Hartnett, aged 17, Abbeyfeale [Co. Kerry]; Maggie Casley, aged 20, Callan [Co. Kilkenny]; Kate McCarthy, aged 23, Banry [Co. Cork]; Mary Carroll, aged 22, Drangan [Co. Kerry?]; Bride O’Brien, aged 19, Tipperary; Maggie Duggan, aged 16, Tipperary; Maggie Quinn, aged 19, Emily [Co. Tipperary]; Catherine Baggot, aged 31, Herbertstown [Co. Limerick]; Maria McCormack, aged 26, Ennis; Mary Heffernan, aged 26, Tipperary; Kate Phelan, aged 20, Kilkenny; Laura O’Sullivan, aged 16, Cork; Agnes Walsh, aged 16, Clonmel [Co. Tipperary]; Nellie O’Callaghan, aged 16, Listowel [Co. Kerry]; Emily Derben, aged 17, Cork; Agnes O’Sullivan, aged 18, Cork; Mary Kinsella, aged 22, Waterford; Katie Curtin, aged 20, Newport [Co. Tipperary]; Bridget Nash, aged 24, Abbeyfeale [Co. Kerry]; Maggie Mulcahy, aged 18, Abbeyfeale [Co. Kerry]; Katie Cantwell, aged 17, Thurles [Co. Tipperary]; Mary Delaney, aged 18, Thurles [Co. Tipperary]; Mary McCormack, aged 16, Thurles [Co. Tipperary]; Lizzie Walsh, aged 21, Kilrush; Nora Harmon, aged 18, Tralee [Co. Kerry]; Alice Teirney, aged 20, Ballylongford [Co. Kerry]; Mary Cunningham, aged 17, Clifden [Co. Galway]; Minnie Finnegan, aged 20, Sligo [Co. Sligo]; Mary Rochford, aged 23, Kiltimagh [Co. Mayo]; Bride McNicholas, aged 22, Kiltimagh [Co. Mayo]; Ellie O’Callaghan, aged 26, Rathmore [Co. Kerry]; Maggie McHugh, aged 18, Kiltimagh [Co. Mayo]; Rose Mulvey, aged 26, Callan [Co. Kilkenny]; Nora O’Brien, aged 26, Callan [Co. Kilkenny]; Miss Bride Woody, age 17, Callan [Co. Kilkenny].

Sheila

Sduddy
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Re: Recruitment to religious orders abroad, or from abroad

Post by Sduddy » Fri Dec 11, 2020 1:26 pm

Hi Matthew,

I read that book, From Coney Island to Paris, by Sr. Rose Anne Ginnane (1989) and it was just as you said - there’s not much about her Island life. Anne Ginnane was born Sep 14, 1913, in Coney Island. Her grandfather, Patrick Ginnane died the same day (“my arrival in this world complicated the lives of the Ginnane family!”) Her mother, Anne Dundon (from Kildysert), was a teacher in the island school. The Ginnanes seem to have been a prosperous family. Anne had a happy childhood. She describes going to Mass by boat – not always possible. She describes the excitement caused by Rineanna being selected as a site for an airport. She tells a story of a sea plane landing in the Shannon river in 1943. Her brother Tom and three others rowed out to help. “Can you tell us where we are” shouted the Captain as the islanders approached. “You are near Coney Island” said the islanders. “Nonsense” retorted the Captain, “I am certain we have already crossed the Atlantic.” Anne went to secondary school in Co. Tipperary, at first, and then to Miss Shannon’s private school in Ennis, while at the same time attending Commercial Courses at night, “These latter classes were attended by a wide range of people, i.e. employees of Banks and Post Office, Civil Servants”. She then worked for four and a half years as a Shorthand-Typist in a solicitor’s office (Patrick F. Molony). She was a member of the tennis club in Ennis and describes her six and a half years there as happy and carefree. Weekends at home were full of music, song and dance. She and her sisters attended about three dress dances each year: Kildysert on St. Stephen’s night, the Teachers’ and Guards’ dances in Ennis at either the Old Ground Hotel or the Queen’s Hotel. She surprised everyone when she announced that she was going join the Bon Secours Sisters. “March 19, 1937, was bright and sunny as all the island people gathered at the quay to bid me farewell.” She mentions that by this time nearly all the islanders had motor boats. After a year with the Bon Secours in Cork, she went to the Mother House in Paris for her novitiate. In 1939, she was moved to Calais, where, with the beginning of WII, the population had doubled. Anne was tall and was noted for her long stride; she says that on one occasion she was suspected of being a spy in nun’s clothing. In 1940, she was sent to the convent in Lorient, Brittany. She describes the bombing there, and lying on top of her bed fully clothed – the nuns had decided not to use the air-raid shelters because they feared being buried alive, or being killed by shrapnel on the way there. The convent was occupied, but the nuns were allowed to stay in part of it. In 1943, she was recalled to the Mother House, where, after the war, many people had to be nursed back to health. She mentions a visit from three American soldiers, with pockets full of chocolate bars and bars of soap; one was her first cousin, Mike Dundon. In 1947, she was sent to London, and while there was allowed a visit home. During the war years, the islanders had had to return to their rowing boats, owing to shortage of petrol. From 1948 to 1965, she trained and worked as a nurse in Cork. In 1965 she became secretary to the Mother General in France. In this position she travelled to various countries, and what she writes is mainly concerned with events and developments within the order, and, I suspect, is based on notes that she made in the course of her work. I did not find that part so very interesting.

Sheila.

Jimbo
Posts: 411
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:43 am

Re: Recruitment to religious orders abroad, or from abroad

Post by Jimbo » Mon Dec 14, 2020 12:49 am

Hi Sheila,

Thank you very much for listing out the Irish postulants who arrived in America in 1895 and 1903.

The immigration of two Cunneen sisters in 1901 with the Rev. John J. McInerney has led me to Bridget Cunneen. She was one of the postulants of the 1895 group and was born in Mount Cashel in County Clare. So of the 45 postulants who arrived in 1895 at least one was from County Clare.
http://www.ourlibrary.ca/phpbb2/viewtop ... 1&start=15

The postulants who went to America to join the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth were all very young. So not surprisingly, many were around for the 50th jubilee celebration of their arriving in America and joining the Sisters of Charity. The Rev. Patrick Casey, who was the editor of the Catholic Register in Montana from 1938 to 1950, used the St. Patrick's Day holiday to give a moving tribute to their contributions to American society. And also to announce their upcoming jubilee celebrations which would take place in Leavenworth later that summer.

The Rev. Patrick Casey was pastor of the Immaculate Conception parish at Deer Lodge in Granite County, Montana. He was born in 1893 in Mitchelstown, Cork and has no connection to Clare. When the Rev. Patrick Casey describes the 45 postulants from Ireland as "Forty daughters of Erin", I reckon he was adding a bit of Christian imagery as the number 40 has always been significant in the Bible ("forty days and forty nights" etc).
Survivors of Group of Sisters of
Charity Who Came to This
Area 50 Years Ago to Mark Date


By REV. PATRICK CASEY
(Editor, The Register, Western Montana Edition)

As each successive St. Patrick day comes around Montanans pause in the midst of the varied endeavors to pay honor and respect to the memories of those devoted and gallant Americans, all Irishmen—Thomas Francis Meagher—Marcus Daly—John Morony—who contributed their share to the industrial and political commonwealth that is now the state of Montana.

Irrespective of class or race or creed, Montanans feel justly indebted to the ability and foresight of those remarkable Sons of Erin. But of far more importance to the culture and life of the West, has been the unsung contribution of forty Irish girls who half a century ago, left their home and fatherland to bring the charity and culture and kindliness of Christ to the people of this intermountain region. Many of those heroines, members of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, have been called to their eternal reward but there are still with us a goodly number of that band of forty, continuing with their kindly administrations to the sick and dying, in school and out of school, the work of the Master.

It is well nigh impossible to estimate their enduring contribution to human society and their varied administrations for God and country during the last half century. But it can be safely said that they have brought Christ into thousands of lives who would never have known the gentleness of the Galilean and whose dying moments would be an utter abandon were it not that someone of those good sisters mopped the feverish brow and spoke words of solace and consolation as a soul was being ushered into the presence of the maker. They have truly seen Christ in His living creatures and the sorrows of His Passion in the suffering of humanity and with a finesse of devotion and a nobility of purpose they have made the difficulties and trials of human life sweet and their burden light.

Beginning with the days of the gold rush and their help to the pioneer miner and prospector in Helena and in their hospital in Virginia City—they took care at Deer Lodge of the wounded victims of the Battle of the Big Hole and taught the children of the west, sometimes, their first attempt at prayer in their many schools.

It is little wonder then that on this St. Patrick day in the year 1945, Montanans and the people of the intermountain region turn wistfully to Ireland—the island of saints and scholars—and breathe a prayer of thanks that that hallowed land has given such heroines to the cause of Christ and of His work in this great region, and express the hope that present and future generations will ever remember with grateful hearts the outstanding contributions of those sister exiles to the educational, civic and religious upbuilding of our great west.

Builders with vision and purpose, they have dotted our country with institutions of mercy and succor—teachers with unction and knowledge, they have led our sons and daughters to a better appreciation of life and even to the altar of God.

Forty daughters of Erin! Fifty years of labor! At total of almost 2,000 years of accumulated service! What a daring and magnificent contribution of any country to another land.

The golden jubilee of those 40 Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth will be observed this year. Many of the original group survive. They are Mother M. Francesca, Sister M. Alfreda, Sister M. Alphonsine, Sister M. Angelina, Sister M. Brigida [Bridget Culleen], Sister M. Callista, Sister M. Domitilla, Sister M. Sullala, Sister M. Gabriel, Sister M. Hilda, Sister M. Ida, Sister M. Killian, Sister M. Kostka, Sister M. Lelia, Sister M. Leontia, Sister M. Perpetua, Sister M. Raphael, Sister M. Rita, Sister M. Vita.

Other Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth celebrating their golden jubilee this year are: Sister M. Genevieve, Sister Anna Maria, Sister M. Octavia, Sister M. Pancratia.

Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth celebrating their diamond jubilee this year are: Sister M. Bernard, Sister M. DeFross, Sister M. Delphine.

The Montana Standard, Butte, Montana, 18 March 1945, page 2
The same newspaper reported in July 1945 the headline "Sisters of Charity Will Observe Jubilee at Services in Kansas". "Twenty-six Sisters of Charity will celebrate the 50th anniversary of their entrance into the institute and two will observe their diamond jubilees, marking 60 years of service in the order. The day selected for the observance is the feast day of St. Vincent. All Montana jubilarians have returned to the mother house [Leavenworth, Kansas] for the occasion. For several, it is their first visit "home" in more than 40 years." (The Montana Standard, 19 July 1945)

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