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Full text of "The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Kentucky"

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THE SISTERS OF CHARITY 

OF 

NAZARETH 

KENTUCKY 



BY 

ANNA BLANCHE McGILL 




Caritas Christi urget nos. " 



NEW YORK 
THE ENCYCLOPEDIA PRESS 

S3 EAST FORTY-FIRST STREET 



Copyright, 1917 
THE ENCYCLOPEDIA PRESS. INC. 




To 

SAINT VINCENT DE PAUL, 

APOSTLE OF CHARITY, 

PATRON AND PROTECTOR, 

FATHER AND FOUNDER 

OF 
THE SISTERS OF CHARITY THROUGHOUT THE WORLD 

AND TO 

BISHOP DAVID AND MOTHER CATHERINE SPALDING, 
WHOSE ZEAL AND PIETY 

ESTABLISHED 
THE SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH, 

THIS VOLUME 

Is REVERENTLY DEDICATED 

INVOKING THEIR AID, PROTECTION AND BLESSING 

UPON 
ALL THE MEMBERS OF THE SOCIETY 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

CHAPTER I 

Historical Background; Bishops Flaget and David Momen 
tous epoch in National life ; Kentucky s part therein Eighteenth 
century France aids Education and Religion in the United 
States The French missionaries, Benedict Joseph Flaget, John 
Baptist David Their early life Labors in America The Ken 
tucky field St. Thomas s Seminary The Sisters of Charity of 
Nazareth 1 

CHAPTER II 

Formative Years Foundation of Nazareth on St. Thomas s 
Farm School begun ; Rule received ; Vows first pronounced 
First Branch Houses: Bethlehem Academy, Bardstown, St. 
Vincent s Academy, Union County Removal of Nazareth s 
Community to present site of Mother House St. Catherine s 
Academy, Scott County, near Lexington, Ky. Sister Columba 
Tarleton First Public Examination at Nazareth Academy . . 19 

CHAPTER III 

Mother Catherine Spalding Early life Joins Sisterhood- 
Superior Kentucky Legislature grants charter to Nazareth- 
Community s first Orphan Asylum and Infirmary begun in 
Louisville Proposed changes in rule, habit, etc. Nazareth s 
present church consecrated New Academy Mother Cath 
erine s Death 45 

CHAPTER IV 

Mother Frances Gardiner and Other Members of the Early 
Sisterhood Sisters Teresa Carrico, Harriet and Clare Gardin 
er, Ellen O Connell, Martha Drury and others 79 

CHAPTER V 

Early Foundations Bardstown, Union County, Lexington 
academies continued Presentation Academy, St. Vincent s Or 
phan Asylum, St. Joseph s Infirmary, Louisville St. Frances 
Academy, Owensboro, Ky. La Salette Academy, Covington, 
Ky. -Immaculata Academy, Newport, Ky. St. Mary s Acad- 

V 



VI CONTENTS 

PAGE 

cmy, Paducah, Ky. St. Mary s Academy, St. John s Hospital, 
Nashville, Tenn. Ideals and Curricula at Nazareth and else 
where 100 

CHAPTER VI 

Mother Columba Carroll Girlhood Enters Novitiate Di 
rectress of Studies Superior Anxiety and Charity during 
Civil War and the Yellow Fever Plague Death 136 

CHAPTER VII 

Civil War Agreement between Bishop Spalding and Brig.- 
Gen l. Robert Anderson for Sisters as nurses Heroic minis 
tries of the Sisters Lincoln assures protection to Nazareth 
Skirmishings near Mother House and Branch Houses Gen- * 
erals Bragg, Buckner and Hood at Nazareth 148 

CHAPTER VIII 

Post Bellum Days St. Columba s Academy, Bowling Green 
Small pox epidemic in Kentucky Sisters as nurses in St. 
John s Eruptive Hospital, Louisville Establishment of St. 
Joseph s Hospital, Lexington, Ky 164 

CHAPTER IX 

Expansion in the South Foundation of Bethlehem Academy, 
Holly Springs, Miss. St. Clara s Academy, Yazoo City, Miss. 
Yellow Fever in the South Sisters Laurentia, Cointha and 
others, martyrs of Charity 177 

CHAPTER X 

Expansion in the South, continued Mother Helena s ad 
ministration Foundations in Arkansas Schools and Orphan 
age begun in Memphis, Tenn. Sisters as nurses during 
Spanish American War, East Lake Hospital, Chattanooga, 
Tenn. Foundation of St. Mary s Academy, Leonardtown, Md. ; 
St. Vincent s Orphanage, Roanoke; Ryan School and St. An 
drew s School, Roanoke !9! 

CHAPTER XI 

Expansion Northward and Eastward Mothers Helena and 
Cleophas alternate as Superiors Ohio Missions First Eastern 
foundations: Newburyport, Mass.; Brockton, Hyde Park, 
Lowell, Mass ,206 



CONTENTS VII 

PAGE 
CHAPTER XII 

The Maternal Commonwealth New Presentation Academy, 
Louisville; Parochial Schools; Improvement of St. Joseph s 
Infirmary, Louisville; Schools and benevolent institutions in 
small towns and rural districts of the State Improvements at 
Nazareth Alumnae Society formed 219 

CHAPTER XIII 

Twentieth Century Death of Mother Helena and Father 
Russell Mother Alphonsa Kerr, Superior New Convent, 
Nazareth, begun Our Lady of Angels School, Barton, Ohio- 
Nazareth s Exhibits in St. Louis Purchase Exposition ; Alumnae 
Meeting in St. Louis Mother Cleophas Death New Convent 
Completed Mother Eutropia McMahon, Superior Papal Ap 
probation; Elevation of Society to rank of Religious Order- 
Mother Eutropia Mother-General; Her Death 251 

CHAPTER XIV 

Centennial Year Mother Rose Meagher Mother-General 
New Foundations in Kentucky and the East The Nazareth 
School, South Boston Centennial celebrations at Nazareth 
and Branch Houses 274 

CHAPTER XV 

Nazareth s New Century Death of Mother Alphonsa 
Foundations in and Near Louisville Death of Sister Maria 
Menard St. Dominic s School, Columbus, Ohio Parochial 
School at Old Nazareth, St. Thomas s Farm Oregon ... 293 

CHAPTER XVI 

Educational Ideals Curricula at Mother House and Branch 
Houses Affiliation of Nazareth Academy with Kentucky State 
University and Catholic University of America, Washington . 305 

CHAPTER XVII 

The Spirit of the Order General ideals and characteristics 
-Rule 329 

CHAPTER XVIII 
Notable Scenes and Shrines at Nazareth 345 



VIII CONTENTS 

PAGE 
CHAPTER XIX 

Ecclesiastical Friends and Superiors 357 

CHAPTER XX 
Conclusion ,383 

APPENDIX 

Sketch of Mile Le Gras, the First Sister of Charity Chron 
ological List List of Ecclesiastical Superiors List of Moth 
ers of the Society Jubilarians Summary Centennial of the 
Bardstown Cathedral 391 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

Nazareth Frontispiece 

FACING 
PAGE 

Rt. Rev. Benedict Joseph Flaget 10 

Rt. Rev. John Baptist David 16 

The Log Cabin of 1812 28 

Old Nazareth 40 

Mother Catherine Spalding 54 

Presbytery and Convent 66 

Mother Frances Gardiner 82 

Colonial Porch 94 

Academy and Auditorium 106 

Front Avenue 118 

Mother Columba Carroll 138 

A Drive 152 

Autograph of President Lincoln 156 

Monument to the Sisters, Holly Springs, Miss 184 

Mother Helena Tormey 196 

The Lake 216 

Autograph of St. Vincent de Paul 226 

St. Vincent s Church, Interior and Exterior 238 

Early Life at Nazareth 246 

Mother Cleophas Mills 254 

Mother Alphonsa Kerr 266 

Mother Eutropia McMahon 272 

Mother Rose Meagher 278 

Old Nazareth Day, Centennial Week 284 

Columba Reading Room 296 

Religious Day, Centennial Week 300 

Faithful Retainers, Centennial Entertainment 310 

Museum and Art Gallery 320 

The Visit of Cardinal Falconio 326 

St. Vincent de Paul 332 

Noonday Visit to the Church 340 

Glimpses of Front Grounds 346 

Our Lady Seat of Wisdom 352 

Rev. Michael Bouchet 368 

Rev. David Russell 380 



IX 



INTRODUCTION 

present volume, as compiled by Miss Anna 
Blanche McGill, makes a most interesting and 
readable story of the rise and progress of the Society, 
which under the auspices of the saintly Bishops Flaget 
and David, had its birth a century ago in Nelson County, 
Kentucky, in connection with St. Thomas s Seminary, 
the Cradle of Catholicity in the West. 

The author is in deep sympathy with her subject and 
has contributed to our Catholic literature a volume which 
all may read with profit a record that will prove espe 
cially edifying to the young members of the society, as 
well as an inspiration to them in following the footsteps 
of those who under difficulties and privations laid the 
foundation stones of one of the most prosperous and 
beneficent institutions of our land. 

From the portals of the Mother House, Nazareth, 
Kentucky, band after band of zealous sisters has gone 
forth to academies, parochial schools, orphan asylums, 
hospitals and infirmaries. These religious have instructed 
the young and ministered to the needy of all degrees and 
kinds throughout Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Massa 
chusetts and elsewhere. They have won laurels as 
teachers wherever they have gone to mention only one 
place, Leonardtown of our State of Maryland. Many 
daughters of the Southland during the past hundred 
years have had mind and heart educated at Nazareth 
Academy, and have carried forth from its threshold those 
charming manners and sterling virtues which have caused 
them to be loved and admired throughout the land. 

I am happy to send my blessing to the Sisters of this 

XI 



XII INTRODUCTION 

noble Community, that their excellent work may prosper 
in years to come as successfully as it has done in the past. 
And for the writer and reader of this volume, I ask a 
blessing from the Heavenly Father, that the history of 
the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth may be an inspiration 
to a greater love for God and fellow-man. 
Faithfully yours in Christ, 

JAMES CARDINAL GIBBONS. 

Cardinal s Residence, 
Baltimore, Maryland. 

Feast of the Seven Dolors of the Blessed Virgin, 
Nineteen Hundred and Sixteen. 



PREFACE 

^JTEADFASTLY through a century to have solaced 
^ the afflicted and warmed the hearts of the needy with 
the fire of charity, to have been a lamp unto the feet of 
youth and a light unto the path thereof, is to have en 
riched the years with deeds too precious to be left un- 
chronicled. The present volume endeavors to record 
such activities the daily routine of the Sisters of Charity 
of Nazareth, Kentucky, since their establishment. 

Cardinal Gibbons, generously commending the Order 
and noting its geographical extension, has placed the 
Sisters good works in true perspective as significant con 
tributions to the history of religion and education in the 
United States. Hence it is hoped that the following 
pages may prove of interest not only to the community 
itself but to other toilers in the vineyard. Laborers of 
the present hour may derive stimulus from the careers 
of Nazareth s pioneer bands who, in conditions far less 
auspicious than those now prevailing, gave luminous 
examples of courage, fortitude, dedicated industry. In 
spiration may be afforded likewise by the work of later 
groups, faithful to their traditions of piety, benevolence, 
able teaching. 

Whatever general interest the story of the Sisters of 
Charity of Nazareth may have, the particular hope is that 
it may be a source of gratification and encouragement to 
the society s own members tracing for them their ven 
erable family history. This purpose accords with a 
sentiment once expressed by the late Archbishop Elder 
of Cincinnati, approving "the practice of keeping little 
memories of those who edify most the Community, writ- 

XIII 



XIV PREFACE 

ing down their many good works and edifying traits 
. . . The old Acts of the Martyrs were exactly little 
memories of this kind, carefully preserved." 

For aid in compiling the little and great memories 
herein gathered, acknowledgment is made to all who 
facilitated the task: especially to the late Sister Marie 
Menard, who collected some of the material used; to 
Sister Adelaide Pendleton, for help in selection of data ; 
to Sister Marietta, whose assistance and counsel are 
affectionately remembered by her one-time pupil. Help 
ful for the early chapters were "The Life of Bishop 
Flaget" and "Sketches of Kentucky" by Archbishop 
Spalding, and "The Centenary of Catholicity in Ken 
tucky" by the Hon. B. J. Webb. It is a special pleasure 
to name these two historians, many of whose kinswomen 
have been associated as pupils or religious with the Sis 
ters of Charity of Nazareth. 

ANNA BLANCHE McGiix. 

Louisville, Kentucky, 
January, 1917. 

(ix) 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 

Spalding, M. J., Life of Bishop Flaget (Louisville). 

Sketches of Kentucky. 

Webb, B. J., Centenary of Catholicity in Kentucky 

(Louisville). 
Burns, Rev. J. A., The Catholic School System in the 

United States (New York) 
Herbermann, C. G., The Sulpicians in the United States 

(New York) 
Minogue, Anna, Loretto, Annals of the Century (America 

Press) 

Maes, C. P., Life of Father Nerinckx. 
Hewlett, Wm. J., St. Thomas Seminary (St. Louis). 
Steiner, E., History of Education in Maryland (Mary 
land). 
Stuart, Janet Erskine, The Education of Catholic Girls 

(New York) 
Stuart, Janet Erskine, The Society of the Sacred Heart 

(New York). 

Sadlier, Agnes, Elisabeth Set on (New York). 
McCann, Sister Mary Agnes, History of Mother Seton s 

Daughters (New York). 
Religious of the Sacred Heart, Mother Aloysia Hardey 

(New York). 

Hughes, Rev. Thomas, Loyola (New York). 
Schwickerath, Robert, Jesuit Education (New York). 
Newman, John Henry, Idea of a University. 
Collins, History of Kentucky (Louisville). 
Johnston, Stoddard, History of Louisville (Louisville). 
Winterbotham, History of the United States. 
Logan, Mrs. John, Personal Recollections of a Soldier s 

Wife (New York). 

Catholic Almanacs, 1832-35; 1841-45 (Philadelphia). 
Dewey, John, Ethical Principles Underlying Education 

(Chicago). 

James, William, Talks to Teachers (New York). 

xv 



XVI BIOGRAPHY 

Canby, Henry Seidel, College Sons and Fathers (New 

York). 

Wynne, John J., Catholic Schools (New York). 
Catholic Encyclopedia (New York). 
Dewey, John, Schools of To-morrow (New York). 
Walsh, J. J., Education; Hoiv Old the New (New York). 
Spalding, J. L., Means and Ends of Education (Chicago). 
Spalding, J. L., Thoughts and Theories of Education 

and Life (Chicago). 

The Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, Kansas. 
Burstall, Sarah, Impressions of Education in America 

during 1908 (New York). 
Butler, Nicholas Murray, Education in the United States 

(New York). 
Barton, Angels of the Battlefield. 






CHAPTER I 
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND; BISHOPS PLACET AND DAVID 

CROWNED with the beauty of a century s maturity, 
in a thousand acres of Kentucky meadowland, 
stands the mother house of the Sisters of Charity of 
Nazareth. This famous educational and benevolent in 
stitution is situated in Nelson County not far from the 
Lincoln Road, about forty miles from Louisville, Ken 
tucky, and two and a half miles from Bardstown. Be 
tween rows of oak and maple a long driveway leads from 
an artistic station to "Nazareth". Over a hundred years 
ago Bishop David gave this hallowed name to a log cabin ; 
today it designates a group of buildings with a frontage 
of a thousand feet, consisting of academy, convent, chapel 
and chaplain s residence. Sixty branch houses in the 
South, East and North still farther extend the order s 
influence. 

Lowly cabin of yore and stately edifices of the present 
symbolize Nazareth s story. Superficial, however, would 
be the observation that failed to discern beyond this 
material expansion the spiritual forces which accom 
plished such development. Hence the following pages, 
while chronicling the laying of stone upon stone, record 
a far more impressive process, the triumphs of faith, 
fortitude, charity. To these virtues majestic mother 
house and prosperous branch houses are eloquent monu 
ments. 

Nazareth s history begins in a momentous national 
epoch, that of America s second Declaration of Independ 
ence, the War of 1812. During that conflict Kentucky 

1 



2 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

was weaving two distinctly different patterns upon his 
tory s loom. In the battle of Raisin River, the subsequent 
massacre, and the relief of Fort Meigs, many of the 
States s fairest names were incarnadined ; Kentucky 
heroes Isaac Shelby s sharp-shooters upheld Perry s 
arms at Lake Erie and swung the tide of battle to victory. 
Meantime, while these sons of the old Commonwealth 
were thus militantly active, a few of its daughters were 
entering upon valiant careers as a Legion of Peace; the 
first Sisters of Charity of Nazareth were inaugurating 
their labors for the honor of God, the good of humanity 
and the sanctifkation of their own souls. 

Beginning thus in a time so eventful, Nazareth s 
earliest records commemorate scenes, personalities, inci 
dents such as give vitality, dignity, engrossing interest to 
history s page. The background is typical of those 
pioneer days which charm historians and romancers. A 
beautiful if needy and difficult virgin soil, awaiting ex 
plorer, colonist, missionary such was the Kentucky 
wilderness of the early nineteenth century wherein the 
garden-spot, Nazareth, was to blossom with the roses of 
faith and charity. 

But to discover the actual origin of this flowering, the 
imagination must press even beyond the primitive Ken 
tucky wildwood to Europe of the eighteenth century, to 
the drama of the French Revolution. That catastrophe, 
enthroning Madame Guillotine and sowing dragons 
teeth of atheism, was eventually to be responsible for 
planting seeds of benevolence and piety upon American 
soil, through the agency of noble spirits forced to flee 
hither to preserve their lives and, what they prized still 
more, their faith. 

The heart has repeatedly been stirred by the story of 
the French exiles who bore Christianity to America as 
once the Levites transported the Ark to its allotted goal. 



HISTORICAL BACKGROUND. 3 

Yet, though so familiar, the narrative has not lost power 
to inspire. It forms an indispensable prelude to the 
history of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, who revere 
as their spiritual fathers two of those distinguished 
fugitives, Benedict Joseph Flaget and John Baptist David. 

The former of these illustrious exiles was born in 
Contournat, France, in 1763. Baptized Benedict because 
his family welcomed him as a blessing, he was to prove 
an inestimable blessing to his adopted country, the United 
States. Left an orphan at an early age, this child of 
benediction was entrusted to the care of an aunt and an 
uncle, the Abbe Benedict Flaget, canon of the collegiate 
church of Billorn. As a mere boy the future American 
bishop entered the college of Billom, where he manifested 
much proficiency in his classes and that piety which won 
for him the appellation, "the saintly Flaget." In his 
eighteenth year he entered the Sulpician seminary of 
Clermont for his ecclesiastical studies, finally uniting him 
self with the Sulpician Order in his twentieth year. His 
clerical course was completed before he had numbered 
years sufficient for entrance into the priesthood; hence, 
after the manner of so many great souls preparing for 
their life-work, he withdrew for a while to solitude, in 
the Sulpician house at Issy near Paris "Paradise on 
earth," he termed this season of pious meditation. 

During his first sacerdotal years M. Flaget was pro 
fessor of dogmatic theology at Nantes, and later in the 
seminary of Angers. He had been in the latter institution 
only a few months when the French Revolution began; 
the seminary was closed; students and faculty were 
forced to flee. The young Flaget retired to his family 
at Billom, and there he heard the mysterious and pro 
phetic inner voice which in his childhood had often whis 
pered to him that he would some day go far away and 
that his family would see him no more. Now while the 



4 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

turmoil of persecution was afflicting his native land, his 
thoughts turned toward a distant country where, with the 
freedom to work and pray, he could serve the God Whose 
altars France was desecrating. His native land virtually 
forbade his fulfilling his vocation, but the missions of the 
United States were ready to welcome such men as he; 
Bishop Carroll s huge diocese sorely needed more priests, 
and M. Flaget resolved to share that exacting apostolate. 
In 1792 he set sail from Bordeaux, having as his travel 
ing companions two other Frenchmen, M. David and M. 
Badin. Those ready to note the hand of Providence in 
human undertakings may find significance in the fact 
that, without any prearrangement whatsoever, these three 
missionaries to Kentucky met at Bordeaux, whence to 
gether they set sail for the great work which they were 
to share beyond the sea. Especially touching is an inci 
dent following their arrival in Baltimore. Setting out to 
pay their respects to Bishop Carroll, they met this revered 
prelate on his way to welcome them. A tribute to their 
worth as well as to his need of them was Bishop Carroll s 
greeting: "Gentlemen, you have travelled fifteen hundred 
leagues to see me ; surely it was as little as I could do to 
walk a few squares to see you." 

After a brief sojourn in Baltimore, M. Flaget set forth 
on a long journey to Vincennes, Indiana. Going by 
wagon to Pittsburgh, he was detained there for six 
months. His delay was far from idle; he boarded in a 
French Huguenot s home where, unique as was the situa 
tion, he daily said Mass. He devoted some time to in 
structing the French citizens and the Catholic soldiers. 
Small-pox devastated the city during his stay, and he 
generously performed spiritual and corporal works of 
mercy for the afflicted. 

At this time General Wayne was stationed in Pitts 
burgh, preparing for his famous expedition against the 



HISTORICAL BACKGROUND. 5 

Indians of the Northwest. Bishop Carroll had given M. 
Flaget letters of introduction to the general and the pres 
entation bore good fruits, for General Wayne became 
deeply attached to the young cleric. Finally, when navi 
gation down the Ohio was possible, M. Flaget resumed 
his journey to Vincennes. General Wayne gave him a 
letter of introduction to General George Rogers Clark, 
then in command of a garrison on Corn Island, near 
Louisville, Kentucky. This was the beginning of a loyal 
friendship between the French missionary and the noted 
Kentucky pioneer, who armed a bateau for M. Flaget s 
journey, and himself joined the party, offering every 
courtesy to his new friend to the extent of sharing a 
tent with him. 

M. Flaget held the laborious charge of Vincennes for 
two years ; then Bishop Carroll recalled him to the Balti 
more diocese, where he became chief disciplinarian at 
Georgetown College. After a few years in this office he 
joined three Sulpicians who were planning to open a col 
lege in Havana, Cuba. This project did not materialize ; 
but M. Flaget remained in Havana for two years as tutor 
in a distinguished family. One of the incidents of this 
sojourn was his acquaintance with Louis Philippe. When 
this fugitive king and his two brothers were about to 
leave Cuba for the United States, M. Flaget was ap 
pointed by the islanders to present to the exiles a purse 
of money in token of sympathy for their misfortunes. 
Years later when Louis Philippe was King of France and 
M. Flaget had been made Bishop of Bardstown, the 
former s appreciation was expressed in handsome gifts 
which remain today the chief treasures of the historic 
St. Joseph s Church of Bardstown, formerly the cathe 
dral 1 . Among these royal benefactions were paintings by 
old masters, golden vessels set with precious stones, vest- 

1 See Appendix, Bardstown Cathedral. 



6 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

ments of much fine needlework wrought by the Queens 
of France and their ladies. A certain chasuble of red 
velvet was elaborately embroidered on one side in a design 
representing the Kings of the House of David; on the 
other side was the French coat-of-arms ; this was re 
moved by Bishop Flaget, with the remark: "We are 
living in a Republic, not a Kingdom." 

This, however, is to anticipate a few interesting de 
tails forerunning the elevation of M. Flaget to episcopal 
honors. In 1801, he had returned from Havana to Balti 
more and circumstances were being shaped for his 
establishment in a permanent life-work. To such pro 
portions had the United States grown, it had become 
necessary to lighten the venerable Bishop Carroll s bur 
dens. Therefore, to the Holy Pontiff was recommended 
the foundation of four new sees: Boston, New York, 
Philadelphia, and the little Kentucky hamlet, Bardstown. 

At this point of the story appears upon the scene an 
other native of France, the Rev. Stephen Badin, M. 
Flaget s fellow-voyager from the Old World, and the 
first priest ordained in the United States. Father Badin 
was assigned to Kentucky shortly after his ordination. 
Being only twenty-five years of age and having but a 
slight knowledge of English, he was at first reluctant to 
accept such a charge; but Bishop Carroll justly divined 
that his zeal, his energy and his buoyant French tempera 
ment could be relied upon in the difficult missions of the 
Middle West. Obediently therefore, and on foot, the 
young Badin and a companion set forth. They trudged 
from Baltimore to Pittsburgh, thence by boat down the 
Ohio, ultimately resuming their journey as pedestrians 
over primitive roads to the Kentucky wilderness. Dur 
ing his sojourn in Kentucky, Father Badin is said to have 
ridden a hundred thousand miles on horseback. His 
heart knew "solicitude for all the Churches," if the term 



HISTORICAL BACKGROUND. 7 

may be applied to the primitive stations fifty or sixty 
miles apart, where he said Mass, visited the sick, in 
structed his widely scattered flock. Of him and Bishop 
Flaget it was justly said : "Though born abroad, both 
were Kentuckians in the best sense. They explored the 
forests with General George Rogers Clark, with Boone 
and Kenton. They lived in lonely log cabins during the 
period of the Indian warfare." 

Pages have been filled and might still be filled in com 
memoration of Father Badin s piety and his indefatig 
able toil. His especial connection with the subject of 
this chapter lies in the fact that, when there was rumor 
of making Bardstown a bishopric, it was he who jour 
neyed to Baltimore to recommend M. Flaget for the pro 
jected see. His suggestion found favor; and thus by 
the recommendation of Bishop Carroll and that of Father 
Badin, their friend received episcopal honors, with juris 
diction over the vast territory of the West and North 
west. Thus was established that see of Bardstown which, 
as an earlier chronicle observes, "bears the same relation 
as that of Baltimore to the whole United States. Each 
is a Mother Church to which many spiritual daughters 
look up with gratitude and reverence." 

When his election was reported, M. Flaget went to 
Baltimore for confirmation of the news. After his ar 
rival one of the first persons he met was his fellow- 
traveller from France and his future coadjutor, M. 
David, who had also been suggested for the episcopal 
office. His greeting was typical : "They told me I was 
to be Bishop of Bardstown. I did not believe it; but I 
determined that, should this happen, I should invite you 
to accompany me. The case being now reversed, I tender 
you my services without reserve." 

Not till three years later was the bishop to start for his 
diocese, his means and those of his future flock being 



8 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

too slender to provide for the journey. Finally, however, 
in 1811 he and his suite departed from Baltimore, over 
the mountains to Pittsburgh, down the Ohio River to 
Louisville. A letter written at the time by Father 
David to a friend in France, gives an idea of the river 
voyage: The boat on which we descended the Ohio 
became the cradle of our Seminary and the Church in 
Kentucky. Our cabin was at the same time chapel, 
dormitory, study and refectory. An altar was erected on 
the boxes and ornamented so far as circumstances would 
allow. The Bishop prescribed a regulation which fixed 
all the exercises and in which each had its proper time. 
On Sunday after prayer, every one went to Confession; 
then the priests said Mass and the others went to Com 
munion. . . . After an agreeable navigation of thirteen 
days, we arrived in Louisville, next at Bardstown, finally 
at St. Stephen s Farm several miles from Bardstown, the 
residence of the Vicar General, Father Badin," with 
whom the Bishop and his suite made their home for a 
year. 

Bishop Flaget s own words vividly describe another 
part of the journey : "The faithful of my Episcopal city 
put themselves in motion to receive me in a manner con 
formable with my dignity. They despatched for my use 
a fine equipage drawn by two horses, and a son of one 
of the principal inhabitants considered himself honored 
in being the driver. ... It was then, for the first time, 
that I began to see the bright side of my Episcopacy and 
that I began to feel its dangers. Nevertheless, God be 
thanked, if some emotions of vanity glided into my 
heart, they did not long abide. The roads were so de 
testable that, in spite of my beautiful chargers and my 
excellent driver, I was obliged to perform part of the 
journey on foot. ... In entering the town I devoted 
myself to all the guardian angels who resided therein, 



HISTORICAL BACKGROUND. 9 

and I prayed to God with all my heart to make me die a 
thousand deaths, should I not become an instrument of 
His glory in this new diocese." 

The charm of simplicity and picturesqueness invests 
Father Badin s account of the pilgrimage from Bards- 
town to St. Stephen s Farm : 2 "The Bishop found there 
the faithful kneeling on the grass and singing canticles 
in English; the country women were nearly all dressed 
in white and many of them were still fasting, though it 
was then four o clock in the afternoon, they having en 
tertained the hope of being able to assist at Mass and to 
receive Holy Communion from the Bishop s hands. An 
altar had been prepared at the entrance of the first court 
under a bower composed of four small trees which over 
shadowed it with their foliage. Here the Bishop put on 
his Pontifical robes. After the aspersion of the Holy 
Water, he was conducted to the chapel in procession, with 
the singing of the litany of the Blessed Virgin. The 
whole function closed with the prayers and ceremonies 
prescribed for the occasion in the Roman Pontifical." 

The imagination glows at this account of ceremonies 
so august in circumstances so primitive. In after years 
the bishop and his clerical attendants in this impressive 
scene were to officiate in noble churches of their adopted 
land; but surely no ceremony was to be more solemn, 
beautiful and touching than this beneath the leafy canop 
ies of the Kentucky woods, wherein they were to build 
temples and tabernacles to their Master. 

During his year s residence at St. Stephen s Farm, the 
site of Father Badin s church, the bishop occupied a one- 
room log cabin which he cheerfully termed the "episcopal 
palace." A similarly luxurious apartment was assigned 
to the "episcopal suite", consisting of Father David and 

Site of the present Mother House and Convent of the Lorettine Sisters. 
See Minogue, "Loretto; Annals of a Century" (The America Press, New 
York). 



10 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

a few seminarians, for already the bishop had begun to 
train assistants for his vast diocese. How edifying 
Bishop Flaget s humble avowal that "he esteemed him 
self happy to live thus in circumstances of Apostolic 
poverty!" But not in their poverty alone, but in other 
experiences did the missionaries of that epoch offer com 
parison with the first apostolate. Their heroic toil, their 
sacrificial spirit, their arduous pilgrimages recall the first 
carrying forth of the Gospel. How similar their vicissi 
tudes to St. Paul s "journeyings often" and "perils in 
the wilderness" ! Almost the whole category of apos 
tolic ordeals was endured. The demands of the diocese 
may be judged from this message sent by Bishop Flaget 
to the Sovereign Pontiff: "In order properly to fulfill 
the task imposed upon me, I was compelled to traverse 
a territory six or seven times more extensive than Italy, 
and it was in many respects after the manner of the 
Apostles that I had to undertake all these journeys, for 
I had absolutely nothing except the blessings with which 
the venerable Archbishop of Baltimore had crowned me." 
Like Father Badin, Bishop Flaget might have been 
termed the "equestrian apostle;" during the early months 
of his episcopacy he travelled eight hundred miles on 
horseback. He often rode twenty or thirty miles fasting, 
before saying Mass. In a reminiscence of that early 
time he once said that he did not remember to have 
passed four consecutive nights under one roof. 

Yet laborious as was such an existence, a comforting 
side was not lacking. To this more auspicious aspect 
testimony is offered by the following sketch of primitive 
church-going in Kentucky, as observed by a European 
visitor : "It was one of those occasions upon which con 
firmation was to be given to a hundred and forty persons. 
Before dawn one hundred had already assembled, having 
travelled a long distance. Had a painter been present, 




RT. REV. BENEDICT JOSEPH FLAGET, 
First Bishop of Bardstown. 



HISTORICAL BACKGROUND. 11 

I should have solicited him to draw off a representation 
of their departure from church on Sunday which to the 
European eye was an enchanting spectacle. The church 
being seated on a hill, you could see the priest s house on 
a neighboring eminence, and an endless cavalcade on the 
road that corresponded to the centre of the hill, while 
some few walked on foot, the whole view being romantic 
and delightful." 

It is no derogation from Bishop Flaget s performance 
of his difficult tasks, to say that a large measure of his 
success must be ascribed to one who from the beginning 
was his first lieutenant, Father David, founder and 
spiritual father of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. 
In a little town near Nantes and Angers, France, was 
born in 1761, this great builder of Catholic education in 
Kentucky. Notably was he to fulfill the promise of his 
Scriptural names John Baptist David. He was to be 
"a voice crying in the wilderness" preparing the way 
of the Lord in the Kentucky wilds, and, like the Psalmist, 
he was an eminent musician. Of sturdy Breton stock, 
the child of devout parents, he entered during his youth 
upon that routine of mental and spiritual discipline which 
was to distinguish his later career. At an early age he 
manifested rare spirituality. He was particularly fortun 
ate in his first preceptor, a clerical uncle who taught him 
French, Latin, music. While still a small boy, he became 
an enfant de choeur, and his excellent musical training 
was to be a good asset in the primitive see of the Middle 
West. In his fourteenth year he was sent to the Ora- 
torian College near Nantes, where he gave evidence of 
a vocation to the priesthood. Going later to the dio 
cesan seminary at Nantes, he won his tonsure in his 
eighteenth year. In 1763 he entered the Sulpician Order, 
withdrawing to the Solitude of Issy near Paris for addi 
tional theological studies. These completed, during 



12 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

several years he taught philosophy, theology and Holy 
Scripture in the seminary of Angers. At this point may 
be emphasized the inestimable advantage which the 
Sisters of Charity were to enjoy in having as their first 
teacher him who, in renowned Old World institutions of 
learning and piety, had laid the foundations for the erudi 
tion, the holiness and the discipline which he was so ably 
to share with others. 

However, his own season of quiet study and teaching 
was not to continue indefinitely, his four years at Angers 
being suddenly and dramatically ended by the Revolution. 
The seminary was seized and converted into an arsenal ; 
students and professors were forced to flee for their 
lives, and Father David took refuge in a private family. 
After this interruption of his seminary life he devoted 
two years to study and prayer, a time of fruitful medita 
tion, resulting in his determination to unite himself with 
the missionary bands then going forth to America. 

On his outward voyage, this founder and first eccle 
siastical superior of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth 
gave remarkable evidence of his mental energy. While 
on shipboard, he applied himself to the study of English, 
and made such progress that he mastered the chief diffi 
culties ere he set foot on American soil. After four 
months in this country, he preached his first sermon in 
English, and was "consoled to find that his discourse had 
been understood and had made a profound impression." 

His marvellous aptitude and industry, when reported 
to Bishop Carroll, almost immediately won for him a 
charge in the lower part of Maryland. There during 
twelve years he labored, having three congregations as 
his particular charge. One of his flock declared : "He 
bequeathed to the Marylanders a rich and abundant 
legacy of spiritual blessing which was to descend from 
generation to generation." 



HISTORICAL BACKGROUND. 13 

But edifying and successful as was Father David s 
pastoral work in Maryland, Bishop Carroll felt the need 
of his services in Georgetown College. Recalled thither 
in 1804, he remained until 1806, when his fellow-Sul- 
picians of Baltimore besought his labors for their own 
seminary, St. Mary s. There during five years he held 
various offices, working so hard as to impair his health. 
In 1811 his pedagogic activities were temporarily laid 
aside when he joined Bishop Flaget s pilgrimage to the 
transmontane Kentucky diocese. The hardships await 
ing him were by no means absent from his anticipations ; 
nevertheless he eagerly departed to participate in tilling 
fields already white with the harvest. 

Unrecorded, perhaps never entirely to be chronicled, is 
the full count of Father David s labors, but among his 
most valuable services must have been his tender heart 
ening of his episcopal superior who from time to time 
seems to have had misgivings as to his adequacy for his 
weighty office. No such faintheartedness appears in 
Father David s biography. In vain may his letters of 
that difficult time be searched for notes of languor or 
despondency. His hand had been put to the plough in 
the Lord s fresh fields, and without repining he gave 
himself to the work to be done. "Here, Lord, am I," his 
zealous soul responded to God s need of him. 

One specific task awaited him. Had he foreseen it 
during the turbulent incidents which had exiled him from 
his native land, doubtless he had hastened to his new 
labors with even greater alacrity. Virtually driven forth 
from the seminary of Angers, he was to be called upon 
to take part in building a seminary in the land of his 
adoption. This was one of Bishop Flaget s most ardent 
dreams, the establishment of an institution for the train 
ing of future priests; and with admirable wisdom he 
appointed Father David superior of what was to be the 



14 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

Alma Mater of some of the most devout and able 
priests of the South and Middle West, St. Thomas s 
Seminary. 

Well was Father David to deserve his title of honor 
and endearment, "Father of the clergy of Kentucky." 
Precept and example were his chief influences in mould 
ing the young Levites who rallied to the first summons. 
Rigid in his own self-discipline, he firmly but kindly 
exacted the same of his spiritual children. He had a 
special gift for imparting instruction and inspiration. 
Two Scriptural passages have been handed down as his 
favorite quotations : "I have come to cast fire upon the 
earth, and what will I but that it may be kindled?"; "I 
have placed you so that you may go and bring forth fruit, 
and that your fruit may remain." His biography leaves 
the impression that he had an unusual knowledge of the 
interior life, and that he had also a remarkable grasp 
upon the practical details of routine and discipline. His 
many maxims to his spiritual children, maxims still trans 
mitted from generation to generation of Nazareth Sisters, 
bear testimony to the former gift. On the other hand 
his wisdom concerning the inner life of the soul was 
equalled by his regard for those outward observances 
wihch symbolize and foster faith. Accustomed as he was 
to the beautiful ceremonials of Old World churches, he 
yearned to transplant to the New World a similar beauty 
and dignity of ritual. Trained from childhood in the 
excellent choirs of his native land, he gave to his little 
group of seminarians an instruction in music which they 
would otherwise have had to cross the seas to gain. 
When Bishop Flaget s cathedral was established in Bards- 
town, the choir was Father David s special charge; he 
was both organist and leader. The result of his work 
is best attested by a letter sent to France by a member 
of the French Association for the Propagation of the 



HISTORICAL BACKGROUND. 15 

Faith: "I avow to you, Sir, that if ever I was pene 
trated with a deep feeling it was while assisting at the 
Holy Sacrifice in the Cathedral on Sunday. Torrents of 
tears flowed from my eyes. The ceremonies were all 
performed with the greatest propriety according to the 
Roman rites. The chant, at once grave and touching; 
the attendant clergy, pious and modest everything im 
pressed me so strongly that I almost believed myself in 
one of the finest churches of Rome. . . .From the bottom 
of my heart I poured forth prayers to God for this 
worthy Bishop and for those who, by their generosity 
had contributed to having the good God so well wor 
shipped in the midst of the waving forests." 

Chiefly to Father David s love of beautiful ritual, and 
his labor in securing it, is this praise due, as is the ad 
miration bestowed upon the choirs of Nazareth s first 
humble tabernacles and her later chapels where, in choice 
and rendition of music, his influence still remains. 

Meantime he was laying solid foundations of piety 
and character training for the future priesthood of Ken 
tucky. In their apprenticeship to the apostolic life", 
the seminarians alternated prayer and study with vigor 
ous exercise ; they toiled in the fields and vineyards ; they 
made brick and prepared mortar, cut wood for their own 
buildings, and later bore an industrious part in the erec 
tion of Nazareth. From their ranks were to go forth 
many of the most efficient and devout missionaries of the 
epoch. 

Glancing backward across the century at the work 
which Father David and his bishop accomplished in con 
ditions so primitive, under circumstances so unpropitious, 
our own day, with its shibboleths of organization and 
efficiency, may well wonder at the achievements of those 
early evangelists. As clairvoyantly as any great organ 
izer of today knows the possibilities of his materials and 



16 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

the means of moulding the same to his purpose, 
Bishop Flaget and Father David realized the promise 
and the needs of the vineyard to which they were called ; 
straightway they began mustering the particular forces 
necessary to save and sanctify that field for their Master. 
Their inspired vision and their practical good sense 
created St. Thomas s Seminary, which was to be one of 
their prime aids in accomplishing their high ideals. But, 
invaluable as was the seminary, it was not enough; be 
yond its scope was other work to be provided for, the 
education of the young, the exercise of charity, spiritual 
and corporal works of mercy, which the zealous seminar 
ians could not conveniently perform. There was urgent 
need for a society of religious women to supplement the 
efforts of prelate, priests, seminarians. So now again 
the vision of Bishop Flaget and Father David swept the 
field for helpers. Once more their genius for successful 
organization began marshalling recruits for their cru 
sade of religion and Christian education. At the time 
France could not help, nor did the bishop have means to 
transport a colony of nuns across the ocean. He appealed 
to the Sisters of Charity of Emmitsburg, Maryland, 
but they were unable to spare any members for the Ken 
tucky mission. Yet Bishop Flaget and Father David 
were not discouraged. Near at hand was material, 
awaiting but a shaping touch. Already in the hearts of 
a few Kentucky women were glowing embers of piety, 
needing but a breath to blow them into flame. That 
quickening was supplied by Father David s fervent words, 
in response to which the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth 
were organized. 

Of that beginning over a century ago many precious 
traditions have been transmitted through generations of 
the Order s devoted members; but the imagination may 
never completely reconstruct that inauguration of valiant 




Rx. REV. JOHN BAPTIST DAVID. 



HISTORICAL BACKGROUND. 17 

struggles, aspirations, victories. What inspiration and 
example for today, could the daily life of what was truly 
Nazareth s heroic age be described in vivid detail! Yet 
if this is not possible, fortunately there are extant sundry 
notes made by some of the community s pioneer daugh 
ters. Having more authority and personal value than 
accounts prepared from a longer perspective, their 
records are included in the next chapter. To some ex 
tent the form of the original documents has been left in 
tact, as a fitting medium for the life described. The first 
scenes of Nazareth s home life, though occasionally 
idyllic, sometimes fairly epic, lack perhaps the glamor 
glorifying the beginnings of some institutions. All at 
tempt to retouch these pictures, to idealize or minimize 
the primitive elements, has been resisted, for two reasons ; 
first, because of respect for historic accuracy; secondly, 
because such development as Nazareth s is more and 
more recognized as characteristic of much that is highly 
valued in our country s history. The courage and perse 
verance exercised by the first Sisters of Charity of 
Nazareth are typical of the best grain in our national 
existence. These virtues, however different the garb in 
which they were practised, gave worth alike to the best 
New England Pilgrims, Cavaliers, and Lord Baltimore s 
colonists, from whom many members of the early sister 
hood were descended. Today one of the nation s great 
highways leads to a Kentucky cabin, Lincoln s birthplace 
at Hodgenville; the monument there erected is in a 
sense a memorial to hardihood, idealism, noble simplicity. 
And now from year to year pilgrimages are made to a 
similar shrine, another little log house in a Kentucky 

1 Among those who were truly Nazareth s first historians were Sisters Ellen 
O Connell, Elizabeth Suttle, Mother Frances Gardiner, Sisters Clare Gardiner, 
Martha Drury, Mother Columba Carroll, Sisters Claudia and Emily Elder. 
Through Sister Marie Menard s industrious efforts their notes were gathered 
and preserved. Some of these religious survived until fifty years after their 
entrance into the Community; hence their records combine reflective judg 
ment with the qualities of a first-hand account. 



18 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

field, where a hundred years ago were pursued the humble 
but inspired careers recorded in the following chapter, 
the careers of generous women who helped to emanci 
pate innumerable young fellow-countrymen from the 
bondage of irreligion and ignorance. 



CHAPTER II 
FORMATIVE YEARS 

WHEN Bishop Flaget and Father David desired to 
form a community of religious women, their 
hopes antedated acquaintance with persons suitable for 
the undertaking; nor did they have any definite idea 
| of what Rule should be adopted. But Providence, that 
inspired the missionaries with their noble project, seems 
at the same time to have influenced the hearts of two 
i women, Miss Teresa Carrico and Miss Elizabeth Wells, 
i who in November, 1812, presented themselves to the 
bishop to be directed by him. 

Miss Carrico was the first to appear. In her home, 
Washington County, Kentucky, she had heard Father 
David preach. She had listened eagerly to the unfolding 
of his design, in the realization of which she desired forth 
with to cooperate. The accomplishment of her wish was, 
however, postponed awhile ; for, notwithstanding his own 
hopes, Father David feared that the financial condition 
of the diocese was not propitious for the immediate 
organization of such a society as he contemplated. Miss 
Carrico meanwhile urged him not to delay, and soon her 
devout purpose was strengthened by the arrival of an 
other candidate for the religious life, Miss Elizabeth 
Wells of Jefferson County, sister of General Wells and 
| Captain Wells, officers in the War of 1812. 

With the Apostle, Miss Carrico and Miss Wells might 
i have avowed : "Silver and gold I have none ; but what 
j I have I give." Both possessed priceless dowers of good 
1 will, generosity, lofty aspiration. Their zeal renewed 

19 



20 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

the confidence of Bishop Flaget and Father David, who 
now met their fervor half way by allotting to them part 
of a log house on St. Thomas s Farm, Nelson County, 
where the bishop had already established St. Thomas s 
Seminary and his own humble dwelling. The quarters 
assigned to the future Sisters of Charity consisted of 
two rooms, one above the other, where in early December 
a routine of dedicated labor was begun. The two women 
spun, wove, made clothing for the students of St. 
Thomas s Seminary. They visited the sick, taught the 
poor children and servants of the neighborhood, and 
performed other kind offices without distinction of creed. 
Great was their happiness when in January, 1813, they 
were joined by Catherine Spalding, a young woman of 
exceptional endowments, then in her nineteenth year, 
who was to become one of the most potent factors in 
the spiritual and temporal development of the Com 
munity. On the day of her arrival Father David, with 
the approbation of the bishop, gave provisional rules to 
the three women, explained their duties, and gave them 
an order for the day s exercises. He appointed the oldest 
to act as superior until the community should become 
large enough to justify an election. 

By faithfully observing their rules the members of 
the small band daily formed themselves more and more 
for their later work. Their complete lack of many sup 
posedly necessary articles and conveniences gave them 
constant occasion to follow the first evangelical counsel. 
They were not able to procure a religious habit, so for a 
while they wore what they had taken with them to their 
adopted home. All privations were, however, cheerfully 
borne, and soon the little community began to flourish 
beyond every one s expectation. By Easter three new 
postulants had arrived, Miss Mary Beaven, Miss Harriet 
Gardiner, Miss Mary Gwynn. Their number having 



FORMATIVE YEARS. 21 

thus increased to six, a retreat of seven days was made 
under the direction of Father David. At its close the 
first election was held. There in the little log house of 
the Kentucky forest officers were chosen in the following 
order: first superior, Mother Catherine Spalding; assis 
tant mother, Sister Harriet Gardiner; procuratrix, Sis 
ter Betsey Wells. No treasurer was elected, for there 
was no money to keep. Bishop Flaget, Father David, 
and Rev. G. I. Chabrat were present, the bishop giving 
encouragement, instruction, and his blessing. 

The Sisters residence had meantime been removed 
about a mile and a half from St. Thomas s Farm, where 
in a field there are still seen vestiges of the original habi 
tation. Their new log cabin, built by the seminarians 
of St. Thomas s, contained two rooms and a half story 
above ; this attic served as a dormitory, one of the lower 
rooms was used as a community room, while the other 
served as kitchen. Furniture and humble fare offered no 
sharp contrast to the humble surroundings. Pioneer 
life was exemplified in perfection, the Sisters fortitude 
and perseverance being as characteristic of all that was 
best in that existence as their circumstances were typical 
of its hardships. Their resources were at times so scanty 
that they had not salt enough to season their corn cake. 
Mother Catherine s anxiety was intense. She said noth 
ing, but prayed earnestly. Bishop Flaget, one day 
noticing her distressed countenance, asked her the cause; 
on learning it, he gave her five dollars, telling her that 
if the Sisters could refund the same later on, they might 
do so; otherwise she might consider it a gift. This was 
the first pecuniary assistance offered to the community, 
and the last for some time; but Mother Catherine ever 
remembered it with peculiar gratitude, for it had served 
to raise her spirits and to meet immediate needs. The 
lack of help from the Bishop and Father David did not 



22 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

proceed from any deficiency of good will on the part of 
these friends, whose own means were extremely limited. 
Fortunately Mother Catherine possessed remarkable 
ability to face difficulties and to provide for her children 
in most adverse circumstances. 

In their new home the Sisters were constantly em 
ployed at the spinning-wheel and loom, with their need 
les, household tasks and their prescribed religious duties. 
Their industry enabled them to manufacture garments 
for themselves and for the needy students at St. Thomas s 
Seminary. Gradually the proceeds of what they spun 
and wove for families in the neighborhood brought them 
a livelihood which, according to their prime ideal of 
charity, they began to share. The recipients thereof 
a few aged persons of both sexes helped in the work so 
far as they were able. One of them, a Mr. Morgan, was 
well versed in the art of weaving, in those days an art 
indeed, and he was of great assistance to the Sisters. 
Another, more feeble in health but a saint Mr. Wes 
ley contributed his prayers to the household s wel 
fare. Near the Sisters house were three or four log 
cabins which in earlier days had served as slave quarters. 
These were now renovated and made as comfortable as 
possible. One was used as a weaving room; another 
provided shelter for the old men; a third served as a 
laundry. From the beginning the Sisters home was 
termed "Nazareth." Father David said that this beauti 
ful name should unceasingly remind his spiritual daugh 
ters of the Holy Family s domicile, where "Jesus grew 
in wisdom and grace before God and man." "There," 
said Father David, "seeking to be unknown, the Son of 
God gave us the example of perfect purity of life, of the 
obedience, humility and poverty that ought to be the 
riches of religious houses." 

From the first moment of the community s establish- 



FORMATIVE YEARS. 23 

ment, Father David had entered upon his long-held 
office as spiritual director, instructor, general adviser to 
the little band. At the same time St. Thomas s Seminary 
and a great many missionary duties were under his 
charge. Now, as the Nazareth Sisterhood was definitely 
organized, and as the educational needs of the neighbor 
hood had increased with the gradual augmenting of the 
population, Father David felt the urgent necessity for 
beginning the work of teaching. Yet with so many other 
tasks filling his hands, he scarcely knew how any addi 
tional labors might be undertaken. Again Providence 
seemed to supply help. Among Father David s par 
ishioners in Maryland there had been a gifted and highly 
educated woman, Miss Ellen O Connell, who now made 
application for entrance into the little community under 
his direction. She was a strong and generous spirit, a 
teacher of ability and experience. Father David repre 
sented to her the hardships awaiting her ; but undaunted 
by the difficulties of an unfamiliar life, she made the 
arduous westward journey from Baltimore to Kentucky. 
Her resolution persuaded her former spiritual director to 
regard her as sent by Providence to aid in realizing one 
of his cherished ideals, a school for the children of the 
region. He himself had been assiduously teaching the 
Sisters in order that they might be equipped to instruct 
others ; now, with the acquisition of so capable a teacher, 
preparations for a school were hastened. 

With the aid of the seminarians from St. Thomas s, 
who cheerfully spent their recreations in felling trees and 
hewing logs, an additional house was now erected, a 
wide passage connecting it with the Sisters dwelling. 
This increase of space gave the Sisters an opportunity 
especially prized, for they now had a room which might 
serve as chapel. A record of the time describes an idyllic 
scene: Father David bearing the Blessed Sacrament 



24 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

across the fields, followed by a procession of the Sisters 
and the seminarians. In this chapel, the community s 
first sanctuary, Father David said Mass once a week ; in . 
order to hear Mass on other occasions the Sisters had to 
walk a mile and a half over the meadows to St. Thomas s. 

In August, 1814, Nazareth s first school was begun, 
with Sisters Ellen O Connell and Harriet Gardiner as 
faculty, assisted when possible by Mother Catherine. All 
three were women of excellent mentality, industry, and 
power of imparting instruction. The first pupil received 
was Cecilia O Brien, daughter of a neighboring farmer. 
This little girl entered as a day pupil and she eventually 
became a member of the community as Sister Cecily. The 
first boarder was Ann Lancaster, daughter of Ralph Lan 
caster of Nelson County, a name of much repute in his 
tory of Church and State in Kentucky. 

Owing to the distances between the farm houses and 
Nazareth there were few day pupils in the school s early 
days. The majority were boarders from the surrounding 
country. By the first of December there were nine little 
girls, whose names are duly recorded in the academy s 
registers; a year later the enrollment was thirty-four 
students, from Nelson County and adjoining regions. 
This was deemed a large school, considering the sparsely 
settled country, the difficulties of going to and fro, and 
other general conditions of pioneer days. The progress 
of the children was evident and gratifying; the reputation 
of their teachers steadily increased; and thus the com 
munity was gradually supplied with means of support 
and extension. Mother Catherine s ever vigilant eyes 
foresaw the most needed improvements, which she made 
as rapidly as her means permitted, fitting up new rooms 
for domestic work, and building a fine stone spring- 
house whose sweet waters were ever fondly remembered 
by those who tasted them. 



FORMATIVE YEARS. 25 

During these years the Sisters had continued to follow 
the provisional rules given by Father David to the ori 
ginal group. Several years earlier, when Mrs. Seton had 
wished to found a religious community in America, Arch 
bishop Carroll had asked Bishop Flaget to bring from 
France a copy of the Rule which St. Vincent de Paul 
had given to the Sisters of Charity in France of the 
seventeenth century. Accordingly Bishop Flaget brought 
over the Rule which, with a few modifications to suit 
this country, was given to the Sisters of Emmitsburg, 
Maryland. It was thought that the same would be best 
adapted to the little society then developing on Kentucky 
soil. During their sojourns in Maryland, the bishop 
and Father David had ministered to the spiritual wants 
of the Sisters of Emmitsburg, whom they held in great 
esteem, and when the Kentucky sisterhood was first 
thought of, the bishop asked that two of the Maryland 
Sisters might be sent to train the new Community; but 
they could not at the time be spared. However, a copy 
of their Rule was obtained, and a little later the "Con 
ferences" of St. Vincent were transcribed at Emmits 
burg for the Sisters of Nazareth. In connection with the 
choice of St. Vincent s Rule for the Kentucky sisterhood 
a point of interest may be found in the fact that a close 
friendship* had existed between St. Vincent de Paul and 
M. Olier, the founder of the Sulpician order of which 
Bishop Flaget and Father David were members. Thus 
St. Vincent and M. Olier, two of the most eminent 
Frenchmen of the seventeenth century, missionaries of 
wide experience in city and country, were to have their 
ideals perpetuated and their counsels followed by some 
of the most spiritual groups of men and women in nine 
teenth century America. 

When Mother Catherine and her little band received 

*See Herbermann, "The Sulpicians in the United States" (The Encyclo 
pedia Press, Nw York), p. 28. 



26 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

their Rule in 1815, they adopted a uniform consisting of 
a black habit, cape and apron, such as is still worn. This, 
their first religious dress was spun, woven, and colored 
by their own hands, after the worthy custom of colonial 
days. The cap was then black, like that first worn by 
the Sisters of Emmitsburg. Six or seven years later 
it was changed to something like its present shape and 
was made of cotton material; the form adopted seemed 
more suitable than the cornette worn by the Sisters of 
Charity in France. 

In December, 1815, the Community gained a valuable 
member in Miss Harriet Suttle, called Sister Elizabeth, 
the eleventh to join the Society and the first to change 
her name, there being already a Sister Harriet at Naza 
reth. Sister Elizabeth was a welcome addition to the 
teaching corps and her piety reinforced the spiritual ele 
ments of the sisterhood. 

During this early period there were several occasions 
of supreme importance to the Sisters, and none more so 
than the Feast of the Purification, 1816, when vows 
were pronounced for the first time. Four religious made 
this long-desired consecration, Sister Teresa Carrico, 
Mother Catherine Spalding, Sister Harriet Gardiner, 
Sister Mary Beaven, usually known as Sister Polly. 
Mother Catherine always celebrated with special joy and 
thanksgiving the anniversary of this happy day, which 
had formally marked her own and her associates dedi 
cation to God and to humanity s service. A few weeks 
later several other Sisters made similar vows. 

The society had now attained a size which made more 
and more possible the benefits of community life. The 
members felt an increasing sense of union under the 
banner of spiritual ideals. Among them prevailed an 
eager reciprocity of encouragement, a noble emulation 
transcending mundane rivalry, uniting and endearing, 



FORMATIVE YEARS. 27 

rather than embittering and alienating the fervent com 
petitors. Next to Father David, the supreme guiding 
influence in the Sisterhood at the time was Mother Cath 
erine, beloved because of her tenderness to all, respected 
because of her exceptional abilities. Therefore, at the 
second election, 1816, she was retained in office; Sister 
Harriet Gardiner s term as assistant mother was pro 
longed; Sister Ellen O Connell added the duties of treas 
urer to her tasks as instructor of Sisters and pupils; Sis 
ter Agnes Higdon became procuratrix. 

During the following year the community and school 
continued to increase and again more room was needed. 
A little frame chapel had been built but now it was 
decided to erect no more temporary wooden structures, 
but to save all possible earnings until there was enough 
for a brick house. Few buildings of the kind existed in 
the neighborhood, hence the Sisters project was deemed 
chimerical; yet it was accomplished in the summer of 
1818. Their new brick house was considered very large; 
it was scantily furnished ; but the Sisters, disciplined in 
the practice of poverty, slept with light hearts upon their 
straw pallets while awaiting better times. 

Toward the close of 1818 Bishop Flaget and his sem 
inarians moved from St. Thomas s Farm to Bardstown, 
where the cathedral was in process of erection, and 
where the Sisters were soon asked to open a day school. 
Sisters Harriet Gardiner, Polly Beaven and Nancy Lynch 
went as Nazareth s first missionaries, so to speak, to 
conduct this first branch school which Father David 
named. "Bethlehem." In the same year the mother 
house was to be compensated for its generosity in thus 
sharing its teaching band; as if to take the places of 
those who had gone into Bardstown, three new members 
arrived, Agatha Cooper, Clare and Frances Gardiner, 
the Misses Gardiner being sisters of Sister Harriet. So 



28 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

young, so slender, so meek, was Sister Frances (after 
ward Mother Frances) that she was affectionately 
termed "little Moses." The name was prophetic, for 
she was to become one of the Society s most efficient 
guides, one of the great mothers of Nazareth. 

However lowly the Society s circumstances during its 
formative years, nevertheless the Sisters from time to 
time participated in impressive ceremonies which deep 
ened their feeling of alliance with works and organiza 
tions larger and more widely known than their own; 
such participation gave them fresh inspiration and digni 
fied their small institution of the secluded woodlands. 
An occasion of this kind was the consecration of the 
Bardstown cathedral (August, 1819), an occurrence of 
general rejoicing and interest to both Catholics and non- 
Catholics throughout the State to none more edifying 
than to the little Sisterhood so dear to Bishop Flaget. 
On the octave of this notable event, the Nazareth com 
munity was again to share in an impressive ceremonial, 
for on the Feast of the Assumption Father David was 
consecrated Bishop of Mauricastro and was made coadju 
tor of the Bishop of Bardstown. Bishop Flaget, having 
felt that the burden of his extensive diocese was too 
heavy to be borne alone, had sought and obtained from 
Rome this appointment of his old friend and co-laborer. 
Bishop David was wont to practise as well as preach 
obedience, hence he humbly acquiesced, though with 
marked reluctance. Therefore he felt some respite when 
the bishop s and his own small means postponed his 
consecration until requisite assistance could be received 
from France. Such aid finally arriving, the Sisters of 
Nazareth were profoundly gratified by the conferring 
of episcopal honors upon their founder, who was ever 
to remain their "Father" David. At his request as many 
as possible of the community attended his consecration. 




THE LOG CABIN OF 1812. 



FORMATIVE YEARS 29 

To return to affairs at Nazareth, in August, 1819, an 
election was held in consequence of the expiration of 
Mother Catherine s second term of office. Bishops Fla- 
get and David and the Sisters wished Mother Catherine 
to remain in authority ; they thought that the comparative 
smallness of the community and the need for her wise 
guidance would justify a deviation from the Rule which 
now required the election of another superior. They 
cited the example of Mile Le Gras 8 , superior of the 
first Sisters of Charity, who ruled her spiritual children 
throughout her life-time. A similar permanence in office 
was desired for Mother Catherine, but though she felt 
as perhaps none other could feel toward the community 
which she had cradled, she was strongly opposed to 
retaining office. So earnestly did she plead the im 
portance of strict adherence to the Constitution, that 
the point was yielded and Mother Agnes Higdon was 
elected to succeed her, with Sister Ellen O Connell as 
assistant mother; Sister Ann Spalding, treasurer; Sister 
Barbara Spalding, procuratrix. Mother Catherine con 
tinued to serve as mistress of novices, an office which 
she had held for a few years. While she lived she was 
always consulted about every point of importance in the 
government of the community. 

During the following year Nazareth, the parent-tree, 
was to put forth a few more branches. In the Spring of 
1820 three Sisters went to Long Lick, Breckinridge 
County, Kentucky, to establish a school. The pastor 
there was Rev. Robert Abell, one of the distinguished 
ecclesiastics of the State, who as a seminarian at St. 
Thomas s had helped to build some of Nazareth s log 
houses. But auspicious as was his presence at Long Lick, 
this foundation did not prosper; illness and other diffi 
culties necessitated the Sisters withdrawal. 

See Appendix, Mile Le Gras; and Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. IX. 



30 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

During the same year, a far more successful founda 
tion was made in Union County, Kentucky. To this 
point, half way across the State from Nazareth, Sisters 
Angela Spink, Frances Gardiner and Cecily O Brien 
journeyed on horseback. This was the customary mode 
of travel, as but few of the roads were made and those 
were remarkably bad. The Sisters carried tow aprons 
sewed in the shape of bags, containing a few articles 
of clothing, their entire baggage. Father David prob 
ably accompanied the party. Notwithstanding their diffi 
culties, the journey to Union County was not without 
amusing incidents. The country through which the little 
company passed was thinly settled, and chiefly by Protes 
tants to whom the three "nuns" were an unfamiliar sight. 
The pilgrims stopped here and there, always meeting 
with a kind reception ; a night s lodging was never denied. 
The old Kentucky farmers had begun to establish their 
proverbial reputation for hospitality; if the shelter they 
could give was sometimes primitive, the generosity with 
which it was offered compensated in great measure for 
the lack of comfort. 

After their arrival the Sisters began the Academy of 
St. Vincent s on a farm destined for the use of the 
Church, land afterward purchased by the community. 
The surrounding country was but recently settled, hence 
the Sisters had to undergo many hardships. Before their 
arrival, the house intended for their residence had been 
rented by a couple who declined to relinquish it; there 
fore the Sisters were forced to occupy an uncomfortable 
log cabin till the house assigned to them was vacated. 
After having ridden a hundred and fifty miles, their first 
labors were to make their temporary lodging decently 
habitable. Their fare was Spartan, as was their toil, 
equalling that of first settlers; no pioneer women have 
more remarkable deeds to their credit. At last their 



FORMATIVE YEARS. 31 

initiative, their courage and patience were rewarded. 
A thriving boarding school was permanently established. 
Sister Angela Spink, the leading spirit in this founda 
tion, possessed almost masculine strength and endur 
ance. She toiled in the field and woods ; she reaped her 
own harvests, thus helping to provide a livelihood for 
the other Sisters and the means for building a school 
and for making things decorous and comfortable. In a 
few months two Sisters were sent to reinforce the original 
colony, so promising had the academy already become. 

And now, within less than a decade, having become 
firmly established, and able to go forth and plant the 
seeds of religion and education in fields far from the 
mother house, the Sisterhood was called upon to aid 
Bishop Flaget in one of his other admirable projects. 
With Nazareth so progressive and St. Thomas s Sem 
inary flourishing, the bishop began to materialize another 
plan dear to his heart, the establishment of a college for 
young men. This was St. Joseph s College, Bardstown, 
Alma Mater o>f numerous Kentuckians and Southerners 
of note, in its day one of the most esteemed institutions 
of the country. At Bishop Flaget s request a band of 
Sisters went from Nazareth to do the sewing for the 
college and for St. Thomas s Seminary, which had been 
removed to Bardstown. Later the Sisters took charge 
of the wardrobe, infirmary, kitchen and refectory at St. 
Joseph s. In 1834 they were recalled to Nazareth, their 
services being needed for duties more immediately in 
harmony with their vocation. Meantime they had once 
again supported Bishop Flaget and Bishop David in the 
cause of education and religion. 

While thus supplying toilers for other vineyards than 
its own, the community at Nazareth was seemingly pros 
perous. Members of the Society and pupils were yearly 
increasing in numbers, and there seemed every reason for 



32 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

thanksgiving when, like a thunderbolt, came a startling 
discovery. Untutored in worldly wisdom, the Sisters 
had from year to year been spending their earnings upon 
improvements when, to their utmost surprise, they learned 
that the ground on which the mother house stood did 
not actually belong to them. The will of the original 
owner, Mr. Howard, precluded the possibility of the 
land s being sold even to a religious community. Ap 
parently Bishops Flaget and David had been unaware 
of this state of affairs. It was a shocking blow to 
Mother Catherine who, with Mother Agnes, was then 
planning still further improvements. But no time was 
to be lost in repining. At once the Sisters began to look 
about for a place which they could buy, and finally they 
determined to acquire the present site of Nazareth, then 
offered for sale; the purchase was made in 1822. 

Though Mother Catherine at first regarded the 
necessity for moving as a great calamity, eventually she 
recognized it as a Providential blessing, especially when 
a new member was received, Sister Scholastica O Con 
nor, who brought with her a sufficient amount to pur 
chase the new Nazareth. This assistance was all the 
more valued because, in moving, the Society had to 
sacrifice all the expenditures devoted to improvements 
during its first ten years of industrious toil. But, like 
many other annoyances, this source of worry had to be 
disregarded in order that fresh duties and opportunities 
might be met. In March, 1822, three Sisters with four 
assistants set out to prepare the new home. With the 
help of two orphans (who later joined the community) 
and two negroes belonging to the Sisters, crops were put 
in and a vegetable garden was started. Fancy lingers 
over that simple rural scene, directed by the three reli 
gious the first tilling and planting in the fields round 
which Nazareth s thousand acres were later to flourish. 



FORMATIVE YEARS. 33 

Simultaneously with this provision for daily bread, 
arrangement was made for spiritual needs; the study 
of the former proprietor, Preacher Lapsley, a Presbyter 
ian minister, was fitted up as a temporary chapel. And 
now again across the Kentucky meadows of that early 
time the community made one of its historic and pic 
turesque pilgrimages ; Sisters and students passed in pro 
cession to the new Nazareth which promised to be a 
permanent abiding-place. 

Including the novitiate, the Society now numbered 
thirty-eight members and the boarding pupils consider 
ably increased the size of the household. The incon 
venience of mingling day pupils and boarders made it 
preferable to receive the latter alone ; these now began 
to be more numerous, necessitating the building of new log 
houses. One of these was used as a chapel, and a priest 
went every morning from St. Joseph s College, Bards- 
town, to say Mass. As the hour of his arrival was 
somewhat uncertain, what with the heavy missionary 
duties of the time and the imperfection of the roads, the 
Sisters, as soon as their meditation was over, went to 
their tasks, indoors or in the fields, until summoned by 
the bell announcing the priest s arrival. One of the most 
dearly loved of the pioneer Kentucky clergy, the Rev. 
E. J. Durbin, was the most frequent celebrant of this 
daily Mass. With much edification the Sisterhood 
long remembered how he was wont to walk through 
the snow on cold mornings. He would kneel shivering 
before the altar if the Sisters meditation was not fin 
ished, for he would not allow this exercise to be inter 
rupted, yet seldom could he be induced to take a cup of 
coffee and warm himself by the fire before he started 
home. 

Father Durbin s sturdy, almost stoic, fortitude was 
characteristic of many of his fellow laborers among the 



34 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

priests and Sisters of the epoch. Such a valiant spirit 
infused the heart of the first postulant received at the 
new Nazareth, Catherine Drury, in religion Sister Mar 
tha, destined to be one of the community s pillars of 
strength. In a special sense she was one of the first 
fruits of the Society s planting in its recently acquired 
domain. The daughter of a neighboring fanner, she 
entered the Novitiate in the second month of Nazareth s 
establishment on its present site. 

Auspicious conditions now prevailing at the Mother 
House, so far as human judgment perceived, an exten 
sion of the Sisterhood s usefulness to another mission 
was again planned. In April, 1823, Mother Catherine 
with three Sisters journeyed to Scott County, near Lex 
ington, to open a school. Father David, honoring the 
guiding spirit of the expedition, named the foundation 
St. Catherine s Academy. This institution was begun 
on a farm donated for the purpose by Mr. James Gough, 
an elderly gentleman who willed the place to the Sisters 
on condition that a small annuity be paid to him during 
the remainder of his life. The property thus given was 
afterward claimed as church property and an objection 
was made to the Sisters selling it when later they wished 
to remove to Lexington. Fortunately, when the discus 
sion arose, Mr. Gough was still living and he appeared 
in person to vindicate the Sisters claims, otherwise the 
community would probably have lost his gift. As a 
matter of fact they virtually purchased the place at its 
full value, for Mr. Gough lived a long time and the 
annuity was paid until his death. 

During the latter part of 1823, Nazareth enjoyed 
having as one of its first chaplains the Rev. Simon 
Fouche, who had lately arrived from France. This priest 
was the nephew and ward of Pere Maignan who, under 
most dramatic circumstances, had been confessor to 



FORMATIVE YEARS. 35 

Marie Antoinette during her imprisonment." Father* 
Fouche s own memories of the French Revolution were 
intimate and vivid; hence through his conversations the 
Sisters and pupils of the Kentucky convent were given 
first-hand accounts of momentous episodes in Europe s 
history. Father Fouche had gone to Nazareth mainly 
for the purpose of learning English; Sisters Ellen and 
Harriet gave him lessons, and he frequently attended the 
Sisters recreation in order to converse in English. He 
taught the children catechism and no doubt stimulated 
the study of the French language. This clergyman 
afterward became a Jesuit and a member of the faculty 
of St. Mary s College, Kentucky. He left at Nazareth 
a memory fraught with edification. 

Meanwhile Bishop David was still ecclesiastical supe 
rior, confessor, and spiritual director of the community. 
Appearing every Wednesday to hear confessions, he 
lavished upon the beloved daughters in long remembered 
instructions the riches of his own heart, the treasures of 
his own discipline in charity and other golden virtues. 
He often read aloud from the masters of the spiritual 
life, the Fathers of the Church and the Fathers of the 
Desert. With the latter he had a special affinity; their 
ascetic traits he perhaps saw in a measure reflected in 
the pious lives of the self-sacrificing Sisters. It was often 
remarked that, however great the pressure of other 
duties, Bishop David always had time to give to his 
daughters of Nazareth; he knew them well and indi 
vidually, and was ever ready to encourage, to console, 
or to chide with justice and gentleness. 

On his part, deep must have been the gratification of 
seeing the Sisters fulfill their heroic routine. They 
brooked manifold hardship cheerfully, bravely rising 
to them every day. In the morning, after a little corn- 

8 See Webb s "Centenary of Catholicity in Kentucky." 



36 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

bread and a cup of rye coffee without sugar and often 
without milk, they went to their labors in the school 
room, the fields, the kitchen, the laundry. And when, 
after the usual prayers, they assembled for dinner, hun 
ger rendered palatable a piece of cornbread, bacon or 
"middling," as it was called, with greens or some other 
plain vegetable, cooked on the fire made of branches 
which they themselves had brought from the woods. 
This humble meal partaken of, toil was resumed. The 
evening meal consisted of a morsel of cornbread and a 
cup of sage tea, seasoned like the morning s coffee. 
Often this scanty diet was insufficient to satisfy hunger; 
yet no murmurs were heard. The pupils must be served 
first; the Sisters, humble servants of God and the poor, 
must be sustained chiefly upon faith and hope. Upon 
such foundations of self-denial, cheerfulness, sturdy pa 
tience was to be built a Society, strong and resolute, for 
God s glory and the good of humanity. 

By the year 1824, the community at the mother house 
numbered twenty-eight, including professed novices and 
postulants; other religious were busy in the four branch 
houses. Besides the Sisters, Nazareth s household included 
twenty-five or thirty pupils, all boarders; three elderly 
women tenderly cared for; eight orphans and three ser 
vants, two of whom belonged to the community, the third 
being hired. For this family of goodly size the "preacher s 
house," (as the original frame building was long called), 
and the scattered cabins did not provide sufficient accom 
modation. The cabin used as a chapel was entirely too 
small, yet there seemed an even more immediate need 
for school rooms and dormitories. Not so, thought 
"Father" David. "My children," said he, "build first a 
house for your God, and He will help you to build one 
for yourselves." The Sisters followed this counsel and 
soon they had the gratification of owning a compara- 



FORMATIVE YEARS. 37 

tively spacious brick chapel. Their reverence for God 
and their acquiescence in their director s advice were 
rewarded, for in the following summer four pupils ar 
rived from the South, a region which was eventually to 
send pupils by the hundreds to Nazareth. For that first 
group board and tuition were paid one year in advance ; 
this financial assurance justified the laying of foundations 
for the school buildings. In this undertaking the Sisters 
were substantially aided by the merchants of Bardstown, 
who offered to supply them with groceries and merchan 
dise during the ensuing year and to await their conven 
ience for payment; the Sisters were thereby enabled to 
appropriate all their means toward the expenses necessi 
tated by the buildings. But the greatest economy and 
exertion were required to meet the heavy debts perforce 
incurred. Finally the endeavor was justified by the 
result, a commodious edifice, large enough for one hun 
dred boarders. As soon as it was completed, pupils 
flocked from the South. 

Some time before the school s removal to the new 
building, the faculty had the great advantage of having 
the Rev. George A. M. Elder, first President of St. Jo 
seph s College, Bardstown, to> assist in establishing a 
regular order of school work. Educated at the noted 
Sulpician institutions of Maryland, St. Mary s College, 
Emmitsburg, and St. Mary s Seminary, Baltimore, 
Father Elder possessed an art, both mild and firm, of 
securing discipline. To illustrate the routine which he 
advised for Nazareth Academy, he assumed for one day 
the role of disciplinarian. He rang the school bell, pre 
sided during study hours, accompanied the girls to their 
classes and to the refectory. With Sister Ellen he ar 
ranged the classes for their respective hours. The school 
department then consisted of two rooms, one serving as 
study hall, the other as recitation room. In this circum- 



38 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

scribed space the classes trained by Father Elder moved 
with as much precision and formality as was observed 
when there were three hundred pupils marching down 
the long corridors of the later and larger Nazareth. The 
order which Father Elder and Sister Ellen established 
has been preserved almost unaltered. Father Elder 
maintained as a guiding principle that, in training chil 
dren, teachers should conform with their own regula 
tions, should if possible enforce silence in silence, and 
should seldom give a reproof in a loud tone. But after 
school hours were over, this exact disciplinarian gen 
erally participated in the recreation, walking in the woods 
with the merry bands of children and teachers, his amiable 
disposition and witty conversation making such occasions 
memorable. His interest and encouragement were among 
the prime factors in placing Nazareth s educational work 
upon a solid basis and in securing for faculty and pupils 
an excellent mental and spiritual discipline. 

During 1824= many new members were added to 
the Community, but, alas, death also made his har 
vest. Sister Scholastica O Connor was the first 
summoned. Born in Baltimore of a wealthy Prot 
estant family, this future religious had in her young 
womanhood married an eminent Catholic physician. 
She soon became an edifying convert, having Father 
David as her spiritual director. Some time after 
Father David s departure to Kentucky, Mrs. O Con 
nor passed through bitter tribulation; she lost her 
good husband, and through her affiliation with his reli 
gion she had already forfeited the good will of her rela 
tives, who now failed to console her in her bereavement. 
Thus her faith became her sole support and she longed 
to become a religious. She wrote to Father David, who 
told her of the little community under his guidance, of 
the zeal, generosity, self-sacrifice of its members, where- 



FORMATIVE YEARS. 39 

upon she petitioned for admission within its fold. Well 
she knew that her delicate health was scarcely equal to 
the hardships she was facing; yet without hesitation she 
gathered all the means of which her relatives ill will 
had not deprived her, that she might make a complete 
offering. Through her assistance the community was 
not only enabled to purchase the present site of Nazareth, 
but it was also supplied with many household articles; 
the silver spoons and forks still used in the priest s house, 
the teaspoons in the infirmaries were Sister Scholas- 
tica s, as were several handsome dresses that served as 
material for vestments and the adornment of Nazareth s 
early altars. She brought also a valuable Colonial clock 
(today the envy of collectors), still considered a wonder 
ful piece of mechanism, for it records the flight of time, 
chimes the hours, and indicates the phases of the moon 
and the day of the month. For many years it was the 
only time-piece in the house. 

Sister Scholastica s distinguished education, the refine 
ment of her mind and habits, and her frail constitution 
made her new mode of life more arduous to her than it 
was to those bred in more rugged conditions. Yet she 
cheerfully submitted to all privations. She was a culti 
vated musician, the first to teach music at Nazareth. 
Her piety, patience and personal charm were endearing 
and edifying to all who knew her. When, standing be 
fore her bier, Bishop Flaget spoke to the community, his 
voice was choked and tears suffused his countenance. 

Her demise was followed in a few months by the 
death of three other valued members : Sister Agatha 
Cooper, a devout religious ; Sister Mary Beaven, one of 
the earliest missionaries in the first branch school, Bards- 
town; and finally Mother Agnes Higdon, who was sud 
denly stricken while zealously directing the building of 
the new house. Six days after her death Mother Cather- 



40 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

ine was summoned home from Scott County to resume 
the duties of superior. All her energy and clearsighted 
ness were required to conduct the work awaiting her, to 
meet trials equalling, if not surpassing, those of earlier 
days. Mother Agnes, who was not an expert in finance, 
had neglected to keep accounts and receipts. Sister 
Frances Gardiner, the treasurer, seemed imperatively 
needed at St. Vincent s Academy, Union County. A 
month earlier the Bishop s niece, Sister Eulalia Flaget, 
had been appointed to succeed her; but Sister Eulalia s 
difficulty with the English language had made further 
confusion. Claims for money came daily, and there was 
little or none to give. Those among the Sisters who had 
the best right to know thought that certain amounts had 
been paid, but there was no proof, hence the necessity of 
often paying again. Mother Catherine s heart almost sank 
under her burdens. In reference to the period she said 
frequently that she scarcely knew how the community had 
struggled through it. In the successful clearance of diffi 
culties she saw a special mark of God s Providence. 

Another cloud upon Nazareth at the time was the 
death of Sister Columba Tarleton. This beloved young 
Sister had been a pupil at Old Nazareth, where she had 
made her first Communion. Withstanding opposition 
amounting almost to martyrdom, she entered the convent 
m her nineteenth year. She was employed in teaching 
music and other branches until her all too early death. 
During her painful last illness she expressed few desires; 
but having once vainly tried to partake of the food pre 
pared for her, she exclaimed: "I wish I had a partridge; 
it seems to me I could eat that." The infirmarian left 
the room, grievously regretting that she was unable to 
obtain the desired morsel for one who asked so little. 
Scarcely had she stepped into the kitchen when a par 
tridge flew upon the threshold, remaining quiet until she 




OLD NAZARETH. 



FORMATIVE YEARS. 41 

had seized it. The Sisters loved to see in this incident 
a favor designed by Providence for their cherished in 
valid. Sister Columba s patience, gentleness, considera 
tion, left a hallowed memory among her associates. 
Among those who watched frequently at her bedside was 
one of the older pupils of the academy, Margaret Carroll, 
whose own young heart had heard a call to the religious 
life. The dying Sister expressed a wish that Margaret 
when, garbed as a Sister of Charity, should be called 
Columba; one year later the wish was realized. 

At the close of the school year, 1825, an event of spe 
cial importance in the history of the institution occurred 
at Nazareth Academy, an event deservedly considered 
of significance in the history of education in the State, 
some of whose representative personages were partici 
pants. The number of pupils had now considerably in 
creased, as had the courses of study. In the beginning 
parents had left their children at school only one year, or 
at most two, and during so short a time only elementary 
branches could be taught. But as soon as pupils began 
to arrive from the South, a longer period was allowed 
and training became more complete. The thorough 
mode of teaching adopted by the Sisters from the be 
ginning gave their pupils more than a superficial knowl 
edge of the subjects taught, as Bishop Flaget, Father 
David and other reverend friends and lay patrons were 
well aware; but they wished the public also to be con 
vinced. Hence they urged the Sisters to have their 
pupils undergo examinations in the presence of parents 
and guardians, that the reputation of the academy might 
be firmly established and maintained. The judicious 
and learned clergymen insisted that, "however excellent 
may be the training given in a school, the school will not 
prosper unless a sufficient evidence of its work is pre 
sented to the public; parents will not willingly confide 



42 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

their children to teachers the fruit of whose skill has not 
been tested ; thus the sphere of activity which Providence 
may have designed for such instructors will be limited, 
the seeds of learning and piety will not be planted in the 
hearts of numberless children, and the vineyard will 
remain unproductive, because the gardener can find no 
roots to lay within its soil." The Sisters recognized this 
as the judgment of wisdom and experience; hence in 
July, 1825, the first public examination was held. The 
Fathers took pleasure in going from St. Joseph s Col 
lege to question the young students and Henry Clay pre 
sented the diplomas. Many other distinguished men and 
women were in attendance. How industriously the chil 
dren labored may well be imagined. Their assiduity was 
renewed as soon as the dread order to prepare for exami 
nation was heard ; and here again the Sisters were grati 
fied to note the fresh energy pervading the school. Thus 
the first examination met with signal success; each year 
was marked by additional progress and the reputation 
of the academy was more widely spread. The building, 
which had seemed gigantic and had been the marvel of 
the neighborhood was soon scarcely sufficient to shelter 
the pupils who now almost daily arrived from the South. 
While the convent school of the Kentucky woods was 
winning this favorable recognition, every effort was made 
to sustain this esteem and to strengthen the Sisterhood s 
bonds of union. All that was possible was done to en 
courage individual members and their talents and at the 
same time to foster that spirit of cooperation which is 
the very essence of community life. Letters from supe 
riors and Sisters of this early time manifest the general 
striving to prove worthy of the common vocation. Illus 
trative of this effort is a passage from a note written 
by a member of Nazareth s first household, Sister Har 
riet Gardiner, to one of her sisters, Sister Clare, then at 



FORMATIVE YEARS. 43 

St. Vincent s Academy, Union County, with allusion to 
another sister, Sister Frances : 

How do times go with you? I am thinking you find 
your hands full. You never saw any one more anxious 
than Sister Frances to improve, that she may go to your 
aid. She would study day and night if she were per 
mitted; so if you hear that she has killed herself, you 
need not be surprised. . . . Let us again and again 
bless the God of mercy for our precious vocation and 
resolve to live up to what we profess." 

The wholesome cheerfulness of this note is typical 
of a quality, distinguishing the community from the 
beginning, no doubt to be ascribed in part to good con 
sciences, yet also resulting from the fortunate tempera 
ments of the majority among the early Sisterhood. Many 
of them sprang from good Kentucky or Maryland stock, 
blessed with a certain grace of nature, a tendency to 
regard with amiability God s world and things in general. 
By no means did they fail to realize how serious an affair 
life is, but they had no disposition to face it in a grim, 
sombre mood. Like St. Francis and St. Teresa, they 
approved of cheerfulness within the convent walls, the 
happy-heartedness which springs from love of God, trust 
in Him, and the desire to share with His creatures the 
sunshine of a resolute and hopeful spirit. This trait pro 
moted a sisterly attachment among the members, an affec 
tion free from dross of sentimentality and caprice, but 
firmly based upon shared devotion to a lofty unifying 
purpose. Thus there was soon developed a noble esprit 
de corps, enabling them to bear trials and win triumphs 
shoulder to heroic shoulder, and thereby to create a tra 
dition of fidelity and solidarity for the inspiration of 
later generations. 



44 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

Exponent of all that was best in the early sisterhood 
and a prime factor in securing stability for its worthiest 
characteristics, Mother Catherine, who had been superior 
since the death of Mother Agnes in 1826, was reflected 
in 1828, to the deep joy of her daughters. They had 
learned to appreciate more and more her energetic self- 
devotion and sagacious direction. Ever watchful, she 
gladly marked the prosperity of the community and 
hoped that ere long it might become more active in the 
service of the poor, according to one of the first ends of 
its organization. Hence, she began applying in different 
directions for information about the management of hos 
pitals, asylums and similar benevolent institutions. She 
hoped that God would place in the Sisters hands the 
means to serve Him through ministrations to his forlorn 
ones. She knew that, because of inadequate resources, 
the Society was unable to undertake great works of 
charity; the bishop, though zealous and benevolent, was 
unable to give her any support or much encouragement. 
However, her heart continued to hold its generous 
dreams; with the patience of great souls she trusted the 
future to bless with harvest the seeds which she and her 
devoted associates were sowing in the wildwood of Ken 
tucky. 



CHAPTER III 
MOTHER CATHERINE 

THE foregoing sketches give some general idea of the 
valiant figures who were the very soul of early 
Nazareth ; but so distinctive were their respective person 
alities and their contributions to their community s 
growth that they deserve more detailed comment. All 
those heroic builders possessed what may be termed gen 
ius for the spiritual life; reflection upon the conditions 
over which they triumphed half persuades one that they 
succeeded by sheer force of that genius alone, but this 
supreme endowment being once duly recognized, there is 
no derogation therefrom in noting their other equip 
ments for their exacting careers. 

For instance, how auspicious the fact that many were 
daughters, native or adopted, of the soil whereon their 
labors began. Their hearts were beating in sympathy 
for it ; their minds were awake to its educational needs ; 
their spirits were yearning over the eternal welfare of its 
people. In no merely rhetorical sense, but in edifying 
actuality, every one stood ready, a gallant Jeanne d Arc, 
eager to give her best strength, her heart s blood if neces 
sary, for her dear land. 

foremost among those of whom this may be said were 
the first superiors. Their special endowments, their op 
portune appearance, offer striking examples of God s 
providence toward Nazareth. In the earliest days of the 
society, the particular need was for leaders capable of 
sturdy pioneer work; later, the chief requirement was 
administrative ability; still later, talent for educational 

45 



46 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

work combined with executive power. By fortunate co 
incidence the first Mothers of the community had gifts 
of spirit and personality admirably serviceable for their 
respective regimes, and especially was this true of her 
who with Bishop David occupies foremost rank in the 
sisterhood s affections and history Mother Catherine 
Spalding. 

This first superior of the Sisters of Charity of Nazar 
eth was born in St. Charles County, Maryland, in 1793. 
Her father, Mr. Ralph Spalding, was a second cousin 
of the father of Rt. Rev. Martin John Spalding, Arch 
bishop of Baltimore. After the death of her exemplary 
parents in her early childhood, Catherine made her home 
with her uncle, Thomas Elder, who with his large family 
had come to Kentucky in 1799. Before leaving Mary 
land, this family had already merited Heaven s blessings 
by sheltering for some time that other distinguished figure 
of American Catholicity, Prince Demetrius Gallitzen. 
His protectors gave to religion not only their adopted 
daughter, but a goodly line of ecclesiastics, including the 
Rt. Rev. Archbishop Elder of Cincinnati, the much loved 
Rev. W. E. Clark, president of St. Mary s College, Ken 
tucky, and numerous devout religious. 

Truly might Mother Catherine have said : "I have re 
membered my Creator in the days of my youth." 
Trained as a child in the practice of piety, she devoted 
the ardor and energy of her young womanhood to the 
cause of religion, joining Father David s little sisterhood 
in the second month of its existence. Her election as 
superior so soon after her affiliation with the society was 
justified, for she had promptly manifested the traits 
which were to distinguish her subsequent career charity, 
courage, spirituality, abundant common sense. These 
gifts of heart and soul were to prove precious stones in 
the building of Nazareth ; as one of the community of to- 



MOTHER CATHERINE. 47 

day has said: "After a century of activity and increase, 
there has been no special work done by the Society which 
Mother Catherine did not personally initiate." 

A remarkable tribute this, considering the changing 
conditions of a hundred years. Her achievement is a 
story of vision, patience, unflagging trust in Heaven. 
Slowly but surely in the first quarter of the nineteenth 
century she added stone by stone to Nazareth, now a 
room, now a new log house; now an upper story for 
God s humble tabernacle; now the greater dignity of a 
frame chapel; gradually brick buildings and a worthier 
chapel. Far from being satisfied with planting in one 
field, her zeal and sagacity promoted the sowing afar of 
the seeds of religion and education. Establishing branch 
houses wherever and whenever possible, for these she 
labored as vigorously as for the mother house. Shortly 
after the expiration of her second term of office, when 
she so firmly resisted re-election for the sake of conform 
ing to the rule, she gave a year and a half of industrious 
toil to the foundation named for her, St. Catherine s 
Academy, Scott County, Kentucky. Such a reputation 
for benevolence did she win in this central region of the 
State that she was deemed a saint ; on meeting her many 
would bend the knee and kiss her hand. 

Having given her constructive genius to the founda 
tion of this school in Kentucky s Bluegrass section, she 
was recalled to Nazareth by the death of Mother Agnes 
(September, 1824). Allusion has already been made to 
the anxieties awaiting her. Added to her trials was her 
sharp personal sorrow over the death of that exquisite 
flower of sanctity, Sister Columba Tarleton. Little time, 
however, had Mother Catherine to indulge in brooding 
grief, for the chaotic state of affairs at the mother house 
demanded her close attention. Before Mother Agnes 
sudden death, foundations had been laid for the new 



48 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

building, which through twenty years was to serve as 
the academy and for thirty years longer as the convent. 
But what contracts or disbursements had been made for 
the work done or to be done, none knew. A foregoing 
chapter has rendered tribute to the prudence with which 
Mother Catherine handled the difficult situation. Her ef 
forts win all the more admiration when it is remembered 
that she was then so young a little over thirty; older 
persons may well marvel at her successful coping with 
financial problems. The church and academy, whose build 
ing she directed, were monuments to her executive ability. 
At the end of the session in 1825, the principal hall was 
near enough completion to serve for the Examination 
or, as it was later less formidably called, Commence 
ment Day. On that occasion the numbers who came 
from far and near Kentuckians from neighboring and 
distant counties, patrons from the remote South were 
gratified by the appearance of stable structures, com 
pleted or in process of completion, giving assurance 
of the Sisters progressive spirit and their desire to 
provide their young charges with the best educa 
tional facilities. From year to year Mother Catherine 
continued to improve the grounds and academy, till by 
1828, $20,000 had been expended. This outlay was en 
tirely and promptly justified by the increase in pupils and 
the additions to the community. 

But heroically as Mother Catherine had accomplished 
her task of readjusting affairs and extending the sister 
hood s usefulness, she was not to be permitted unalloyed 
satisfaction in the fruits of her toil. At this period there 
were some who deemed the expansion of buildings and 
interests a departure from the society s original simplici 
ty. It was suspected that vanity might creep within the 
growing convent walls. A few still more scrupulous 
spirits found even the little unostentatious white linen 



MOTHER CATHERINE. 49 

collar a cause for criticism. How summarily Mother Cath 
erine s great spirit, so free from all pettiness, would have 
ended the discussion is shown by these words from a note 
to Bishop Flaget: 

"May, 1829. 
"RT. REV. B. J. PLACET: 

"Most Reverend and Dear Father, 

"We are now ready to adopt the white collar or 
to reject it entirely, just as you and Father David please 
to say. ... I feel that my life has been spent and 
my peace sacrificed to the good of the community; 
. . . and it would now, even according to the world, 
be foolish in me to introduce what would serve only for 
the vanity and enjoyment of those who come after me. 
Moreover, dear Father, we are not unmindful that if 
there are now splendid buildings, comfortable lodgings, 
it is not precisely for us who have borne the heat and 
burden of the day ... I conclude by begging the 
prayers of you both that, after passing through the many 
and various storms and trials of this life, I may at last 
be at eternal peace and rest in the next." 

Evidently the annoyance was disproportionate to its 
cause. No detailed report of the perturbed season is ex 
tant; and this is typical of the Sisters dignified reticence; 
their immemorial principle seems to have been a reluct 
ance to dwell upon trials ; rather have they entertained a 
wholesome confidence that time and God s justice would 
right all wrongs and clarify all misapprehensions. Such 
trust during this period seems not to have been misplaced, 
for the fretfulness subsided, the buildings which had 
seemed a temptation to vanity proved indispensable, and 
the neat white linen collar was retained. 

Following this season of disquietude, Mother Gather- 



50 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

ine, who had borne the brunt of the worry, was to enjoy 
several consolations. In 1829 the receipt of a papal Re 
script, conferring many privileges and blessings upon the 
society, indicated how far it had advanced on the paths 
of holiness and in the esteem of others. A gratifying 
assurance of temporal prosperity and stability was given 
in the same year, when Nazareth received its charter from 
the Kentucky legislature. A few incidents connected 
with the securing of this legal recognition are not with 
out interest. When the Bill for the charter was intro 
duced before the House of Representatives, among those 
particularly in favor of it was Mr. Crittenden, a member 
of a distinguished family, whose daughter was then a 
pupil of the academy. Another noted Kentuckian, Mr. 
Ben Hardin, declared in the Senate that Nazareth was 
"one of the best female schools in the country." He 
drew upon the best resources of his oratory to describe 
its curriculum, adding: "The character and virtue of 
these good nuns are beyond praise. The utmost vigil 
ance is used in regard to the morals of the pupils. They 
have sent forth to Society some of its brightest orna 
ments. The excellence of the school is known by many 
members of the Legislature whose daughters have been 
educated there. . . . But while advancing the cause 
of virtue and literature, the Sisters have experienced con 
siderable difficulties from the want of a corporate and 
legal existence. It is highly desirable to obviate these 
and other difficulties by creating a corporate body. While 
so much has been done for the education of males, shall 
nothing be done for females who form so interesting and 
important a portion of the community? They are in 
some degree a proscribed race; we have deprived them 
of interference in most of the public concerns of the State, 
but shall we deny them the advantages of education ? Is 
it generous to refuse legislative aid to the efforts of these 



MOTHER CATHERINE. 51 

helpless females who have already done a great deal for 
virtue, a great deal for piety, a great deal for charity, 
and a great deal for literature?" 

Mr. Hardin s chivalrous plea, supplemented by the 
good will and testimonials of others, secured the passing 
of the Bill for the incorporation of "The Literary and 
Benevolent Institution of Nazareth." 

The gaining of this charter, giving legal status and 
greater stability to the sisterhood s chief academy, was 
characteristic of Mother Catherine s vigilance over the 
community. But gratified as she was by this secure 
establishment of what was soon to become one of the 
best patronized schools of the South and Middle West, 
her zeal was not satisfied. Still another work persistently 
called to her. From the days of her girlhood novitiate 
to her last hours, if her great heart might ever have been 
opened, within would have been found inscribed : "So 
licitude for the orphans and other needy." One of her 
earliest prayers as a religious was that "God would place 
in the hands of the Sisters the means to serve Him in the 
person of His forlorn ones." In the truest sense could 
she echo the words of St. Paul, which St. Vincent had 
adopted as his motto : Caritas urget me. While her noble 
dream of benevolence had to await realization in a more 
propitious season, she found comfort in St. Vincent s 
words to Mile Le Gras: "Be not afraid to do that 
present good in your power; but fear your desire to do 
more than you can, and more than He means for you to 
do." This counsel Mother Catherine held in her heart 
till finally her supreme desire was granted in a manner 
which proves that steadfast purpose ultimately gains op 
portunity for noble realization. Like Mile Le Gras, 
she had devoted herself to the exacting labor at hand, and, 
while fulfilling this immediate task, her longed-for op 
portunities arrived. In 1831, her term of office being 



52 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

ended, she and several companions went to Louisville to 
open what has since become one of the most important 
branch houses, the Presentation Academy. Beginning 
humbly in a frame house next to St. Louis s Church 
(eventually superseded by the cathedral), this school was 
soon well patronized. In the growing city, Mother 
Catherine found many an opportunity for the exercise 
of her compassion. As formerly in Lexington, so now 
in Louisville she early established her reputation for 
charitable deeds. 

Like many other good works whose light shines afar, 
her efforts for the orphans began most informally. One 
day she learned that two children, whose parents had 
died on the way from New Orleans, had been landed 
friendless and destitute at the Louisville wharf. Imme 
diately she became interested in their welfare and took 
them home with her. Through the assistance generously 
extended by a number of ladies, she arranged for the 
children s maintenance and education. Thus was in 
augurated her noble work for the orphans. By the end 
of the year, four more children had found shelter in the 
small school house. One of the first infants in arms re 
ceived was the child of lately arrived German immi 
grants. Hearing of the family s pitiful condition, 
Mother Catherine sent Sister Regina to their aid. All 
the way to Portland (a western division of the city) and 
back a distance of three or four miles Sister Regina 
walked, bringing the baby back in her apron. Day by 
day other appeals were made to Mother Catherine s ever 
responsive sympathy. Finally, the citadel of her tender 
heart was to be even more powerfully besieged. In 1832, 
the cholera began its devastations throughout Kentucky. 
In Louisville, several families were stricken. The Rev. 
Robert Abell, a brilliant and distinguished clergyman of 
the city, who at the time was found day and night by the 



MOTHER CATHERINE. 53 

bedside of the sick and dying, acting as nurse, physician, 
priest, advised the Board of Health to ask for Sisters of 
Charity as nurses. Many members of the community 
longed to respond; those selected were Sisters Margaret 
Bamber, Martha Drury, Martine Beaven and Hilaria 
Bamber. Before their departure from Nazareth, Bishop 
Flaget called Mother Catherine, the Sisters, and Father 
David into the church, saying: "Come, my children, offer 
yourselves to God." They knelt in silence a few mo 
ments, then the bishop read aloud a short act of consecra 
tion and thus the heroic band went forth to death-haunted 
posts. From house to house they passed, nursing where- 
ever they were needed, but particularly among the poor. 
During those ominous days the Presentation Academy, 
Louisville, was necessarily closed, at least so far as school 
work was concerned, being practically converted into an 
orphanage and infirmary. To Mother Catherine s care 
were entrusted numerous orphans bereaved by the 
plague. Her compassionate arms received one after the 
other till the sheltering capacity of the little school was 
taxed to its utmost. Repeatedly was she seen turning 
from some plague-stricken district, carrying one infant 
in her arms, another in her apron, while a third toddled 
beside her, clinging to her skirt. 

The records of those days bear eloquent witness to 
two of Mother Catherine s typical traits, her profound 
charity and her strong character. The latter was par 
ticularly exemplified by the following incident. When 
the plague subsided, a group of bigots circulated reports 
which were repeated in a pulpit of the city, terming the 
Sisters work "mercenary" and asserting that the city s 
account books testified to the remuneration paid for their 
"services." Whereupon Mother Catherine addressed to 
the Mayor and Council of the City of Louisville this letter 
which reveals her dignity and her sense of justice : 



54 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

To THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF 
LOUISVILLE, 

"Feb. 10, 1834. 

"Gentlemen : 

"At that gloomy period when cholera threatened to 
lay our city desolate, and nurses for the sick poor could 
not be obtained on any terms, Rev. Mr. Abell in the 
name of the Society of which I have the honor to be a 
member, proffered the gratuitous services of as many of 
our Sisters as might be necessary in the then existing dis 
tress, requiring merely that their expenses should be 
paid. This offer was accepted as the order from your 
honorable board inviting the Sisters will now show. But, 
when the money was ordered from your treasury to de 
fray those expenses, I had the mortification of remarking 
that, instead of the term, "expenses" of the Sisters of 
Charity, the word "services" was substituted. I imme 
diately remonstrated against it and even mentioned the 
circumstance to the Mayor and another gentleman of the 
Council, and upon being promised that the error should 
be corrected, I remained satisfied that it had been attended 
to, until a late assertion from one of the pulpits of the 
city led me to believe that it stands yet uncorrected on 
your books, as these same books were referred to in proof 
of the assertion. If so, gentlemen, pardon the liberty I 
take in refunding to you the amount paid for the above 
named expenses, well convinced that our Community, for 
whom I have acted in this case, would far prefer to incur 
the expense themselves than to submit to so unjust an 
odium. 

"Gentlemen, be pleased to understand that we are not 
hirelings; and if we are in practice the servants of the 




MOTHER CATHERINE SPALDING. 



MOTHER CATHERINE. 55 

poor, the sick, and the orphans, we are voluntarily so. 
But we look for our reward in another and better world. 

"With sincere respect, Gentlemen, 
"($75 enc.) "Your obedient servant, 

"CATHERINE SPALDING, 

Sister of Charity." 

This note elicited an amende honorable to Mother 
Catherine and her associates. Her enclosure was re 
turned ; a correction of the city s books was made ; and the 
Mayor apologized for the negligence which had left the 
error uncorrected, thereby causing false impressions and 
assertions. Despite its disagreeable elements, the incident 
served to emphasize to the citizens in general and the 
city fathers in particular the probity of the Sisters of 
Charity and their superior. 

During the years following the plague, Mother Cath 
erine was busily occupied with her orphans. Twenty- 
five of these children were now crowded in the school 
house, the Sisters rooms being shared with them. But 
this arrangement failed to satisfy their tender guardian s 
heart. Therefore at her suggestion, Nazareth purchased 
a lot near the church where, through the aid of Father 
Abell and some of the devout women of Louisville, a 
home was built for the orphans. But this house also soon 
proved too small. Hence, two years later a newly-built 
tavern on Wenzel and Jefferson Streets was purchased, 
and thither in 1836 twenty-five little ones were trans 
ferred. No sooner was this done than Mother Catherine 
inaugurated another of her long entertained projects. 
Her new asylum had a few spare rooms, and these be 
came the first refuge for the sick in Louisville. Inform 
ally named "St. Vincent s Infirmary," these few rooms 
were the foundation for the future of St. Joseph s In 
firmary, now one of Louisville s largest institutions. 



56 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

To and fro from her orphan children to her patients, 
Mother Catherine went for a few years, solacing them, 
and widely endearing herself throughout the city. But 
content as she was to devote herself to the bereaved and 
ailing, the community had other needs for her energies. 
Mother Frances six years of office having expired in 
1838, again Mother Catherine was called to that leader 
ship which she had already so ably exercised. Dear as 
Nazareth was to her, constant as was her zeal for its 
growth in holiness and usefulness, she was loath to leave 
those who made so particular an appeal to her maternal 
sympathies, the Lord s forlorn lambs. One of the few 
surviving notes from her pen dates from this season 
(1838) : "I came back from Louisville to take again a 
burden I little suited and still less desired. My heart 
clings to the orphans and the sick whom I have to leave." 

Yet for all her reluctance in parting from her dear 
orphans, after her return to Nazareth she devoted her 
customary vigor to the duties of her executive office. 
The attendance at the academy now surpassed the num 
bers she had foreseen several years previous, when she 
had recognized the need for more spacious buildings. 
Pupils from Kentucky, adjacent States and the South had 
already began to crowd the school rooms; the register 
of 1839 records over two hundred boarders. Hence 
Mother Catherine was much occupied with the academy s 
affairs, with her large household of religious as well as 
students. Like the Valiant Woman of the Book of 
Proverbs, she was continually called upon to "put out her 
hand to strong things." Her administrative powers had 
to be exercised not only at home but for the growing 
branch houses of Louisville, Lexington, Bardstown, 
Union County. Frequently business matters required 
her presence in these various foundations. Her generous 
response to such demands may be all the more appreciated 



MOTHER CATHERINE. 57 

when it is remembered that at the time all journeys had 
to be made on horseback, by carriage or wagon. Many 
such tedious trips did Mother Catherine make, cheerfully 
enduring the fatigue of three or four days jolting over 
roads by no means always in perfect condition, during 
seasons not always clement. Yet, notwithstanding the 
difficulties, she undertook these arduous pilgrimages 
whenever her distant children called to her, and it was 
at all possible to go to them. The records of the eighteen- 
forties refer to substantial support rendered to the con> 
munity s branch institutions, to one a gift of a thousand 
dollars, to another, two thousand dollars, these sums 
proving that the mother house was prospering and that 
the good works of the branches were steadily increasing. 
But though, when viewed in time s long perspective, 
Mother Catherine s days seem to have followed a fairly 
even tenor of diligent labor and cheerful routine, again 
the other side of the shield must be shown. She has been 
said to have surmounted difficulties and it has been taken 
for granted that she did not escape the trials which beset 
the path of all human achievement, little or great; but 
how regrettable to note that this woman of generous 
heart and noble soul should have been subjected to a 
protracted strain of irritating embarrassments and petty 
annoyances such as are often far more disturbing to men 
tal and spiritual peace than is some tragic crisis ! A series 
of such difficulties made a certain season of Mother Cath 
erine s life a foretaste of Purgatory. It was another of 
those periods of disquietude, which occur in the history 
of nearly every individual and every human institution, 
one of those periods all the more lamentable when the 
chief victim s judgment and magnanimity are really su 
perior to the forces which, for the time being, have 
gained the ascendancy. The annals of the period state : 
"The year 1841 dawned ominously for the Community." 



58 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

Again the details of the difficulty are lacking, but the 
main factors of the trouble seem to have been misunder 
standings from without and disturbing influences from 
within, traceable to a few who disapproved of certain 
appointments and regulations. In some quarters the dis 
quietude left an impression of a more general lack of 
harmony than existed. The fact is that the discontent of 
the complaining few was one of the chief disturbing 
elements, and their subsequent withdrawal was followed 
by the return of concord. 

Before their departure, however, Bishop Flaget, then 
aged, feeble, and hardly equal to the task, undertook to 
restore harmony. Depending more and more upon 
others counsel, he gave favorable attention to sug 
gestions (primarily from his coadjutor, Bishop Chabrat) 
for radical changes at Nazareth. Among these was the 
affiliation of the community with the Sisters of Charity 
of Emmitsburg. As has been stated, when Bishop 
Flaget and Father David first planned to establish a 
sisterhood, they endeavored to obtain Sisters from Em 
mitsburg, but when this proved impossible, a distinct 
community was formed from the material at hand. Bish 
op Flaget and Father David then thought that the main 
tenance of independence, the freedom from connections 
with other groups, would contribute to the success of the 
Sisters work, but in 1841 came the suggestion for unit 
ing the Sisters of Nazareth with those of the Maryland 
Society. Had this plan materialized, the Kentucky com 
munity would have become subject to that of Maryland, 
and various other changes would have been necessitated. 
The whole idea was uncongenial to the Kentucky Sisters 
who, during three decades, had pursued an independent 
and distinctive career, determined in large measure by 
the particular circumstances in which their work had be 
gun. Bishop Chabrat especially favored an affiliation 



MOTHER CATHERINE. 59 

with the community of Emmitsburg, his idea apparently 
having been that such a union would give more stability 
to the Kentucky society. This prelate was exceedingly 
energetic in striving to accomplish his purposes; but 
Mother Catherine and the majority of the Sisters thought 
that Bishop Chabrat s endeavors were not always judi 
cious; he lacked a sympathetic understanding of the 
Nazareth Community. 

Another proposed alteration, distinctly distasteful to 
the majority of the Sisters, was the suppression of an 
article of their Constitution which provided for an im 
mediate ecclesiastical superior, secondary to the bishop. 
Such provision had been one of the fundamental and most 
prized privileges, indeed necessities, of the Society. What 
with the innumerable other duties of the episcopate, it 
was physically impossible for the bishop to give adequate 
attention to the affairs of the community, which mean 
time demanded some ecclesiastical head. In addition to 
the suggestion to omit the clause of the Constitution pro 
viding for such a director, other minor changes espe 
cially in the Sister s costume were advised. These were 
slight enough but the pertinacity and fervor with which 
they were urged exaggerated their importance beyond 
all reasonable limits. Bishop David, Father Hazeltine, 
Father Badin and other good friends of the community 
were not in favor of the proposed changes in Constitu 
tion and costume. They concurred with Mother Cath 
erine s judgment and that of her sympathetic associates. 
But obviously, great pressure was brought to bear upon 
Bishop Flaget. In April, 1841, this perplexed prelate, 
accompanied by Father Badin, appeared at Nazareth for 
the purpose of investigating the harmony or lack thereof 
in the community. Later documents indicate what sym 
pathy Father Badin had with the Sisters and what good 
judgments he made of their affairs. But evidently on 



60 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

this particular visit, the aged missionary was not able to 
end the discussions. The spirit of criticism and opposition 
which continued to prevail is all too pathetically regis 
tered in Mother Catherine s note below, with its mingled 
tone of meekness, dignity and integrity: 

"Rx. REV. B. J. PLACET; " A P ril 17 > 1841 - 

"Rt. Rev. Dear Bishop and Father :- 

"I do not know that you require any answer to your 
letter of yesterday. I have read it with all the attention 
of which I am capable and have spent not only one quar 
ter of an hour before the Adorable Sacrament (where in 
fact, I find my only comfort), but quarters of hours ; and 
I feel now as I did at first. I can only say that to the 
best of my power I will endeavor to comply with your 
orders. If you believe that Almighty God can be more 
glorified by our wearing a black cap instead of a white 
one, I hope you will do me the justice to believe that I 
attach no importance to those little articles of our 
clothes. ... It matters not white or black is the 
same to me, and for anything further I forbear to make 
any remark. May God s Holy Will be done ! and may He 
in His mercy grant me the grace to save my poor soul 
it shall be my only aim. 

"I feel consoled, dear Father, that in your visit the 
other day you found the community happy and contented 
in the regular observance of the rules and religious duties, 
which I do think to be the case as far as can be, and I 
fondly trust that with the blessing of God it may con 
tinue to improve. . . . 

"My God, I trust, knows the purity of my intention 
and I leave it in His Divine Hands. I did think I had 
experienced every kind of trial this is entirely new. 
God be praised for all and have mercy on me, 

"His humble and unworthy handmaid, 

CATHERINE." 



MOTHER CATHERINE. 61 

This, however, was not to be the end. The perturbed 
conditions continued. How serious they became, may be 
deduced from this note of Father Badin s with its accom 
panying document addressed to Bishop Flaget: 

"Rt. Rev. and Dear Sir :- 

"The Sisters sent for me some weeks ago, much con 
cerned. I heard what they had to say, as charity dic 
tated. I summed up the result of my own opinion, the 
inclosed observations, which one of the Sisters wrote 
under my dictation, as I have not the free use of the pen. 
My intention at the age of 73 may be presumed unbiased 
by human respect. 

"I remain in visceribus Christi, 

Yours very Respectfully, 

S. T. BADIN." 

Father Badin s "observations" were thus concisely 
summarized : 

"1st. It appears that the Sisters are happy in every 
one of the houses of the Institution. All are disposed to 
do good and to continue in their vocation under their 
rule and constitution. . . . The former success of 
the Institution is a proof of it. ... Any notable 
change may prove detrimental and create much confu 
sion. The Sisters hold their situation as a source of 
present and future happiness, both spiritual and tempor 
al. They have taken and renewed their yearly vows 
under their present constitution, with the conviction and 
presumed certainty that so long as it is not productive of 
serious evil, nay is productive of much good, their So 
ciety would and should be maintained in tranquillity and 
of course without change. 

"2ndly. The Sisters do cheerfully acknowledge accord- 



62 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

ing to their constitution that the Bishop is their first 
Superior. They must equally acknowledge that since the 
Bishop, by his necessary engagements in a multiplicity of 
diocesan affairs and Episcopal visitations, is unable to 
give in every emergency his personal and immediate 
attention to the minute details of the Government of the 
Institution which embraces so many houses with Sisters, 
novices, and academies containing pupils, orphans, etc., 
and so many visitors of various characters and sects 
which the Sisters cannot entertain themselves, there is a 
good reason and even necessity for an immediate second 
ary Superior, nominated by the Bishop himself and acting 
under his authority, to which the Community is most will 
ing to submit its transactions connected with Religion 
and Morality. It is a true and sincere truth that the 
Sisters would be happy to receive with respect and grati 
tude the Bishop s frequent visits and paternal instruc 
tions. Yet all the Sisters view the existence of an im 
mediate Superior as a necessary point of their Constitu 
tion. The Bishop himself has had the same view and has 
sanctioned the whole Constitution from the beginning. 
The most Reverend Archbishops of Baltimore have all 
sanctioned the same fundamental article for the Sisters 
of Emmitsburg. Since it has emanated from the Holy 
Founder St. Vincent De Paul, neither they nor the Sis 
ters have dared to suppress it. The Sisters think and 
flatter themselves that the Reverend Bishop Flaget, left 
to his own reflections and natural mildness, will not in 
sist upon the suppression of this fundamental article of 
their Constitution, so dear to all their communities. 
Otherwise we may look for frequent inconveniences, dis 
sensions and even divisions, sins, defections and perhaps 
dissolutions of houses which are now prospering to the 
honor of God and His Church. 

"Finally as to the article of the Sisters dress, we may 



MOTHER CATHERINE. 63 

with great probability expect that a notable change would 
afford room for public remark and probably general rid 
icule. Considering also that the time designated by the 
Bishop is so near the epoch of the desertion of three 
Sisters who however have left no regret after them in 
the community so long as the Sisters dress is not con 
trary to modesty and any notable change in it would 
create much rumor, the apprehension of which might 
have great bearing upon the imagination and feelings of 
the Sisters, it is conceived that such an important inno 
vation about the forms and colors might be let alone 
without criminality. They are well informed that the 
color worn by the Sisters in France is white. Having 
begun with it, they wish to retain the same, especially 
since it is the symbol of purity. Still a diminution of the 
plaits, the suppression of the cone and bow, which perhaps 
worldlings might attribute to vanity, would suffer no 
opposition to satisfy the Bishop." 

Thtis straightforward and friendly communication, 
with its French note here and there, was followed in July 
by another letter from Nazareth s grieving but prudent 
superior. Her admirable document is quoted almost in 
full, partly because it discusses categorically the points 
which were causing annoyance; secondly, because it 
again emphasizes the writer s strength of mind, her 
depth of feeling, her power of striking a balance between 
respect for authority and that freedom of personal opinion 
which the actual facts justified : 

"1841 

"RT. REV. B. J. FLAGET; 
"Right Rev. Father :- 

"Since the reception of your letter containing your 
late orders relative to the changes you required in our 
Community, we have spent much time in meditation and 
prayer to God for His light and grace ; we have repeated- 






64 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

ly offered up novenas, supplicating that His Holy Will 
be done in regard to our dear Community. And now, 
most beloved and venerable Father, it is with sentiments 
of the deepest respect and true filial regard, together 
with a profound regret, that we have come to the con 
clusion to lay before you, our Bishop and Father, our 
humble and earnest entreaty, that we be allowed to con 
tinue unchanged in the manner in which we have been 
established in your diocese by your zealous co-laborer, 
our revered Father and Founder in Kentucky. 

"We entered the house of Nazareth and embraced with 
our whole hearts the practices, rules and constitutions 
given to us by him, being assured that they were dictated 
by the Blessed Vincent of Paul, solemnly authorized and 
approved by yourself and sanctioned at the court of 
Rome, and we were always left under the firm convic 
tion that they were sacred and never to be liable to any 
change. 

"Father David, (whom you have so frequently and so 
warmly recommended to our confidence and reverence, 
as being one of the greatest divines and the holiest clergy 
men) has on numerous occasions expressed it to us as 
his decided opinion that it was much better for both our 
happiness and spiritual good that we should exist always 
as he and you thought proper to institute us a separate 
and distinct body and that he felt most grateful to God 
for so directing and ordaining it. And surely religion 
in Kentucky can be more extensively and effectually 
served by us as we now exist. 

"And here we may be permitted to express our humble 
thanks to Divine Providence and to your and our revered 
Founder s protection and instruction that Nazareth, as 
you acknowledge with parental joy, has never given any 
scandal in your diocese, but has constantly labored to do 
good the success of which efforts facts attest. 



MOTHER CATHERINE. 65 

"Permit us too, dear Father, to recall to your paternal 
recollection, those primitive days of our poor afflicted 
community when, with simple-heartedness of devoted 
children, we zealously and cheerfully spent the energies 
of our youth in the fields, looms, spinning-rooms, kitch 
ens, at St. Thomas s rejoicing that, by our humble 
labors in the most servile and lowest occupations, we 
might contribute our poor mite to the support of the 
seminaries and churches in your diocese, while at the 
same time we were struggling in the commencement of 
our own little community. Afterwards we labored with 
the same zeal for the college, seminary and Cathedral in 
Bardstown. And oh, Father, those were happy days, be 
cause we looked forward with delight to the rise and 
progress of the works of religion, believing that we our 
selves were settled in the way of life to which we were 
convinced we were called by our common Father. We 
never dreamed that a change would be required of us, 
otherwise our zeal and energy would have been paralyzed 
as they are now. 

"With due humility and a deep sense of the over-ruling 
care of Heaven, allow us to call to your mind the num 
bers of respectable families added to the Church by the 
education and religious impressions which individuals 
receive at Nazareth ; every year brings with it conversions 
either in the school or after the young ladies have left 
our Institutions ; and you know, far better than we do, the 
immense weight of prejudice which has been removed by 
Nazareth s humble efforts, aided by the Blessing of God. 
Add to this the baptisms and the first communions for 
which the children are regularly instructed and prepared 
each year in the Branch Houses and at Nazareth. Many 
scholars are also educated gratuitously each year in each 
one of the houses, and alms largely distributed to the 
neighboring poor. Of these things we do not boast, for 



66 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

it is only our duty; but we merely wish to give your 
paternal heart consoling- proof that Nazareth, as it ever 
has been, is devoted to the interests of Charity and Re 
ligion. 

"And the Orphan Asylum, which it was your most ar 
dent wish to see established (all who do justice must 
acknowledge), would not exist at this time, had it not 
been for the untiring exertions and labors of the Sisters 
of Nazareth, who moreover aided the good work by 
pecuniary means drawn from the resources of the So 
ciety. 

"It is true many members have left our community; but 
we have every reason to believe and to know that the 
same occurs, and perhaps more frequently, in other com 
munities where the vows are simple and yearly; and, as 
you are aware, such defections do sometimes, and not in 
frequently, take place in Monasteries, where vows are 
taken for life. We read in the discourses of St. Vincent 
de Paul, addressed to the first Sisters of Charity that, 
even during his life-time and in the first fervor of the 
company, many members left, and after leaving, spoke 
in the most disparaging terms of the order. During the 
last six years only three have gone from among us and 
they returned not to the world. 

"We need not remind you, beloved Father, that we 
commenced in a new country and not even in the most 
Catholic settlement of the country; therefore, owing to 
that cause and perhaps some others, our community is 
comparatively small. But we have always been taught 
to believe that the strength of a religious body depends 
not so much on its numbers as upon the fervor, zeal and 
devotedness of those who compose it; and especially 
upon the blessing of our good God, who seems to delight 
in effecting good by instruments few and feeble. Still 
we have five prosperous houses in your diocese, the mem- 



MOTHER CATHERINE. 67 

bers of which are happy in their state, and each house is 
doing a not inconsiderable portion of Charity from the 
resources and labors of the Sisters. 

"You have already had the unanimous testimony of 
the Sisters that the Community was never happier, more 
orderly, more united, or more zealous in the observance 
of rules; that all are most desirous of living up to the 
spirit of their state. For all this, we humbly and thank 
fully bless God. And although our schools and houses 
are flourishing and favored by the Almighty with suc 
cess, yet God forbid we should glory in being the instru 
ments; but we feel as every Christian heart would feel 
an anxious wish to maintain our Society unchanged, 
as our revered and holy Founder and Father first estab 
lished it, and as he believed and wished it would, under 
your paternal care, continue. We are accustomed to our 
manner of life, and feel thoroughly convinced that we 
could not find happiness in being connected with or mixed 
in any other community or family: and, furthermore, 
that we might by doing so, jeopardize our eternal sal 
vation, for which we have embraced our state of life. 

"Honored and dear Father, though we do most ur 
gently and humbly implore to be allowed to continue un 
changed as we began in the practices, rules and constitu 
tions as given to us by yourself and Father David, yet we 
beg you to be assured that it is our most earnest desire, as 
we know it to be your right, should disorders creep in, 
that you should administer your fatherly advice and cor 
rection. We always have cheerfully and gladly acknowl 
edged you as our first Superior; but we believe that the 
interest of the Society and our constitutional right re 
quire an immediate Ecclesiastical Superior. We cordial 
ly wish and urge frequent visits from you, and that those 
visits should be of such length as to enable you to be in 
timately and personally acquainted with the general in- 



68 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

terests and business of the house, and with each individ 
ual in particular. And we candidly assure you that it is 
and has ever been our fixed determination to persevere in 
our holy vocation, and to labor sedulously to advance 
constantly in virtues required by our state of life. 

"We attach little importance to the article of dress in 
itself, yet we think changes so striking as that which you 
propose in our cap, would be hazardous and calculated 
to arouse public observation, to elicit surmises and oc 
casion prejudices which may be highly detrimental to 
Nazareth and perhaps to Religion in Kentucky. Had 
we worn the black cap for twenty-five years, as we have 
done the white one, we should feel equally reluctant to 
so remarkable a change as that of the color; which un 
doubtedly would subject the community to animadver 
sion and ridicule, and thus might tend to diminish public 
respect and confidence, which St. Vincent de Paul con 
sidered as most essential to the success of the Sisters 
labors. 

"In terminating, most revered and cherished Father, 
we throw ourselves on your kind and fatherly forbear 
ance, begging you not to consider us importunate, but to 
listen with a Father s heart to the humble, earnest and 
most respectful remonstrance of your children, who feel 
convinced that these changes may be the laying of the 
axe to the root of that tree which you and we equally be 
lieve to have been planted and watered by the hand of 
God. Numbers of our sisters whose deaths have been 
most holy and edifying, have asserted such to have been 
their dying belief, and no one who is acquainted with 
the commencement and progess of Nazareth, can doubt 
its being the work of the Most High. 

"In the presence of our good and merciful God, and 
kneeling before the sacred image of His crucified Son, 
we hereto affix our names, earnestly imploring you, our 



MOTHER CATHERINE. 69 

dear and revered Father, in the name and for the sake of 
Him whose place you hold in our regard to yield to our 
entreaties and once more to restore to your children, that 
happiness and quiet of mind they have so long enjoyed 
at Nazareth, promising you, in all the sincerity of our 
hearts, that we shall with the grace of God, redouble our 
efforts to advance in the virtues of our states of life and 
to do good in your diocese." 

In addition to Mother Catherine s signature, this docu 
ment bore the names of the Sisters at Nazareth and those 
of the sister servants 7 of the branch houses. 

The conclusion of the matter was that the rule re 
mained unchanged; serenity was restored; the commun 
ity was permitted to continue as Mother Catherine de 
sired, a distinct body, independent of American or Euro 
pean affiliation. That such was a wise decision, time has 
proved. Virtually the same rule and uniform have been 
retained since the society s organization. Quaint, forth 
right Father Badin had said to Bishop Flaget a propos 
of the uniform : "Well, Bishop, I do not see why you 
should interfere with the Sisters dress. White or black 
cap what is the difference? I think their uniform very 
nice and proper for Sisters of Charity. Why not let 
their dress alone?" Father Badin s advice was followed 
and only a slight alteration was made; the white linen 
cuffs and undersleeves formerly worn were abandoned 
in favor of black sleeves of the same material as that of 
the habit; a simple bowknot on top of the cap was sub 
stituted for the large double bow with loops. Thus in 
inner life and outer appearance, the community has from 
the beginning preserved its original identity and pursued 
its distinctive career. In 1910, when the order received 
papal approbation, it was practically the same as that 

T This name has been customarily given to the superiors of the branch houses. 



70 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

which in the second decade of the nineteenth century 
had won the approval of Bishop Flaget and the paternal 
affection of "Father" David. 

In the year 1841, following the restoration of harmony 
at Nazareth, Mother Catherine suffered the loss of her 
holy guide and friend who had always been "Father" 
David to his beloved sisterhood. As a loving daughter, 
Mother Catherine ministered to his last moments, going 
herself to Bardstown to have him conveyed to Nazareth, 
where he wished to breathe his last, surrounded by his 
fond and heart-broken children. A later chapter gives 
in greater detail this incident, so fraught with sorrow for 
the community which he had helped to organize, and 
which was ever the object of his tenderest affection and 
paternal care. 

Two years later, Mother Catherine s term of office 
being again ended, she returned to her cherished or 
phans in Louisville. During six years she was to live 
among and toil for these forlorn ones whose welfare 
ever seemed her heart s central interest. Dearly as she 
loved this work, it was by no means free from great dif 
ficulties. Not always was adequate support at hand; yet, 
Mother Catherine was ever sustained by her faith that 
God would not forget His own. She did not, however, 
sit idly waiting for Providence, but acted according to 
St. Ignatius maxim: "Do all thou canst as if success 
depended wholly upon thy exertions; and trust to God 
for the result as if thou hadst done nothing." During 
seasons of need she visited wealthy citizens and told them 
of her orphans. The result was that one sent her supplies 
of sugar; another, coffee or flour; another, clothes for 
her little ones. Among her letters of this time is one 
from a voluntary benefactor. This aged man, born in 
1760, a survivor of the Revolution, wrote : "I have been 
told of your institution and the great number of orphans 



MOTHER CATHERINE. 71 

kept together by charity. I knew I was not able to do 
much, but I thought every little would help; and my 
Church and conscience called louder than aught else." 

In 1850, Mother Catherine was again elected to the 
office of chief executive. The following six years were 
to cro\vn her labors as superior of that community, whose 
first Mother she had been. Awaiting her were activities 
demanding the best of her administrative powers, her 
ever dependable resourcefulness. 

Early in February, Bishop Flaget was called to his re 
ward, and his episcopal burdens devolved upon the able 
shoulders of Rt. Rev. Martin John Spalding, a devoted 
friend of Nazareth, who in 1848 had succeeded Bishop 
Chabrat as Bishop Flaget s coadjutor. When the see 
was transferred to Louisville, in 1841, the Jesuit Fathers 
took charge of St. Joseph s College, Bardstown, where 
the seminary had been conducted since the erection of 
the old Bardstown cathedral, in 1819. One of Bishop 
Spalding s earliest activities was to appoint the Reverend 
Francis Chambige to resuscitate the old seminary at St. 
Thomas s, the cradle of the Church in Kentucky and of 
Nazareth itself. Father Chambige s zeal soon brought 
the seminary to a flourishing condition and he planned 
to have in connection with it an asylum for boys. He 
appealed to Nazareth for a Sister to take charge of the 
seminary infirmary and wardrobe, to superintend the 
kitchen, refectory and general work of the household. 
Mother Catherine s good heart promptly responded to 
this request. Accompanied by Sisters Victoria Buckman 
and Bernardine O Brien, she went in person to revisit 
the shrines of the first Nazareth. Touching memories 
of that pilgrimage have been transmitted through gene 
rations of Sisters. On arriving at St. Thomas s, Mother 
Catherine piously revisited the scenes of her dedicated 
girlhood; she renewed her vows before the altar where 



72 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

she had first pronounced them. She peered into every 
nook and corner, went down to the Old Spring, tenderly 
recalling early days. The brick walls she had put up at 
old Nazareth were still standing. She told Father Cham- 
bige to tear them down and use the brick to erect the 
orphans home. Then resolutely she turned away, and 
never again beheld that blessed spot of her early con 
secration." 

As a matter of fact, this woman of indefatigable 
energy could permit herself but few moments of happy 
recollection. Work at the New Nazareth was calling to 
her. Those academy buildings, which at the time of their 
erection had seemed to some timorous spirits a source of 
vanity and too large for any possible needs, were now 
evercrowded. Hence, once more, Mother Catherine s 
constructive spirit was to build more stately mansions for 
the activities of her community. But now again, before 
undertaking the erection of a new school building, she re 
called Bishop David s counsel of long ago: "Build first a 
house for God." Acting upon that advice, first of all she 
erected to God s glory the present Gothic church, "the 
gem of the diocese," Bishop Spalding termed it; it re 
mains one of the community s most beautiful buildings. 
Nazareth s estate supplied the materials for the edifice. 
The stone was quarried, the lime produced, and the bricks 
made from the farm s resources. On the nineteenth of 
July, 1854, it was consecrated. 

An impressive letter of Mother Catherine s, dated the 
following winter, illustrates what this new building sig 
nified to her no vainglorious expansion, but the erection 
of a firm fortress of the spiritual life. Entrenched there 
in, the Sisterhood should, in its superior s opinion, ad 
vance to greater perfection, to more united and efficient 
community life: 



MOTHER CATHERINE. 73 

"Jan. 9, 1855. 

"My heart yearns for you all with maternal interest. 
Oh, if you all have hearts as devoted to all the interests 
of the community as mine is, there would truly be but 
one common interest and self would be laid aside. . . . 
Our community must be the centre from which all our 
good works emanate, and in the name of the Community 
all must be done. Then let none of us be ambitious as 
to who does more or who does less. God will judge it 
all hereafter. Let us therefore strive hard daily to secure 
our eternal union in the bosom of our Blessed Lord in 
Heaven. Our Church is finished ; we are just preparing 
to put the seats in it. Then there will be an edifice to the 
honor of God, not indeed as fine and rich as the one 
built by Solomon; but as fine as His poor daughters of 
Nazareth could build for His honor for future genera 
tions. We hope to use the new Academy next summer ; 
then ... we are ready to begin to arrange this 
house for the Community, where the Sisters may live as 
a regular community should live. As it is, we are all 
scattered and sleeping about where we may find most 
convenient. Oh, how I long to see all fixed as a Com 
munity should be, and then I may lay me down in peace ! 
Pray for me, my dear child, that God in His own good 
mercy may give rest to my poor soul in a better world; 
for in this life there has been but little rest for me and 
indeed we should not seek rest here, for here is the time 
for labor and sorrow. Now, my good Sister, do not be 
too particular with your poor Mother. You know how 
hard it is for me to write since I have suffered so much 
severe pain; I never expect to be entirely well again 
. . . write to me whenever you can. I am always 
"Your sincere friend and Mother, 

CATHERINE." 



74 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

In 1855 the academy was completed. And now again 
timid souls whispered : "Mother Catherine is a visionary. 
Such immense halls are useless." Yet in a dozen years 
they too were overcrowded, fulfilling Mother Catherine s 
prophecy : "These rooms will all be filled and more will 
be needed." This exacting work of building being fin 
ished, Mother Catherine then began a series of visits to 
the various branch houses, dispensing sympathy and 
counsel. Generously as she gave her thought, prayers, 
toil, during these final months of her last administration, 
it may readily be judged that when her term as superior 
ended in the summer of 1856, she was not reluctant to 
lay down the burdens of an office so long and nobly 
borne. Indeed with a joyful heart she now returned to 
her beloved orphans in the Louisville asylum. There 
among them she was to labor while it was yet day; they 
were to be her last care, even as they had always been the 
subject of her tenderest solicitude. The scientifically 
dispensed philanthropy of today, with its often merely 
mechanical methods, lacking all spiritual elements, prat 
ing of brotherhood and often missing the essence thereof, 
and consequently achieving merely materialistic results, 
might well find a profitable example in Mother Cather 
ine s benevolence. Wise she was, as an expert sociolo 
gist might dream of being, in understanding of the 
human heart and its needs ; but her sagacity was tempered 
by a profound sympathy, rarely encountered even 
among the best exponents of our vaunted organized 
charities. The worth of her "methods" might be satis 
factorily measured by the worldly success of many whose 
lives she had guarded; but a greater tribute long sur 
vived her in the affections of the innumerable friends 
who felt that to her was due their eternal as well as their 
temporal welfare. 

The foregoing pages summarize the work so ably in- 



MOTHER CATHERINE. 75 

spired and directed by Mother Catherine; but they have 
not adequately recorded the spiritual support which she 
was continually giving to her children in religion, ever 
solicitously brooding over their welfare, yearning to 
lighten their drudgery, so that their strength might be 
sufficient for the service to God and God s children. Her 
letters to the Sisters on missions recall the early Chris 
tians messages to one another : "Grace be unto you and 
peace!" Those maternal epistles are primarily counsels 
of perfection, urging above all the love and glory of God ; 
and at the same time they contain practical admonitions 
concerning the immediate work to be done. Turning 
the pages of these old letters, admiration is divided be 
tween their virile power and their gentle tenderness. Now 
they vigorously encourage the recipient in a trying but 
necessary task; now, with simple affection, they tell of 
sending some Sister "a pair of soft gloves for your poor 
chapped hands." When her own circumstances forbade 
her giving all the material aid desired by her distant 
children, she gave a hundredfold of her stimulating en 
couragement. Thus when Sister Louisa wrote from the 
orphanage in Louisville, mentioning her need of assist 
ance, Mother Catherine was unable to help yet how 
richly comforting are her motherly words : "Rest assured 
you will always find in me a heart that will know how to 
sympathize with you in any difficulties a comfort which 
I never had in all that I had to encounter in establishing 
that house. If your heart beats friendly toward my dear 
orphans, be assured it is an additional claim you have on 
me, and an additional tie full as strong as the one that 
binds us in the sacred bonds of Religion." Then follows 
this final paragraph, again emphasizing her heart s con 
stant brooding over the orphanage: "If our good and 
venerable Bishop calls there, be sure to tell him from me 
that I wish him to give that place his special Benediction." 



76 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

How expressive of her spirituality, her wisdom, her 
respect for discipline, is this note which begins with 
an account of the prosperity and expansion of the acad 
emy and community in 1852, and then continues: 

"But what will all that profit us, if we neglect the spir 
itual building of our own perfection? Poor human na 
ture is apt to let every little thing interfere with regular 
attendance upon religious exercises and other observ 
ances. You are particularly blessed in that house, as all 
your labors are for those immediate works of Charity. 
Then have courage, and still strive more and more to 
make spiritual and corporal works go together; and re 
member St. Vincent says: If you keep your rules, they 
will keep you. Pray for me while I never forget any 
of you/ 

Mother Catherine devoted twenty-five years to her 
exacting responsibilities as superior. But her whole 
forty-five years as a Sister of Charity represent an in 
cessant labor of love for God, self-sacrifice for His poor 
and afflicted, affectionate fidelity to her order, and zeal 
ous endeavor for its welfare. Constantly spending her 
rich fund of energy and sympathy, it was typical that the 
Dark Angel could claim no moment of relaxed effort 
wherein to call her from her benevolent occupations; 
the summons came as she was exercising her strength 
and compassion in her wonted charities. She was again 
with her dear orphans in Louisville, and while on an er 
rand of mercy to a poor workman who had been hurt, 
she contracted a deathly cold. As the ceaseless devotion 
of her life rendered daily tribute to her Heavenly Father, 
so the hour of her death bore witness to her perfect trust 
in Him, her serene content in accepting from His hand 
whatever riches of Eternal Life her earthly sojourn had 
merited. With characteristic meekness, when she felt 



MOTHER CATHERINE. 77 

the end to be near, she begged to be placed upon the 
floor. And in that humble position she breathed her 
last on the twentieth of March, 1858, in her sixty-fifth 
year, the forty-fifth of her religious life. 

In her last moments, with touching humility she be 
sought pardon of any to whom she had ever given the 
slightest wound. But if indeed it was impossible to find 
any who felt the need for such humble contrition on her 
part, countless were the hearts whom her passing wound 
ed inconsolably. During her life some one had said : "All 
the orphans of the city claim you as their Mother." At 
her death these and numberless adults suffered the grief 
of bereaved children. The following incident casts two 
fold light upon her character her power to inspire rev 
erence and to stimulate a sense of duty. A laborer, who 
doubtless had shared in her benefactions, went into the 
office of a much occupied business man 8 and said : "What, 
and are you at work today, and Mother Catherine dead ?" 
"Yes," responded the business man. "and I suspect that 
Mother Catherine would feel more honored by your at 
tending to your own duty than by your idly laying off/ 

When the moments for the last rites drew near, all 
fitting offices of love and reverence were rendered to this 
Mother, so deeply cherished. A half mile from Nazareth 
her cortege was met by the whole community of Sisters, 
novices, and the academy s three hundred pupils. In 
solemn procession they took their way to the community 
chapel, where the Rt. Rev. Bishop Spalding, Father 
Hazeltine (then ecclesiastical superior), and other cler 
ical friends, officiated in the augustly sad ceremonial. 
Then passing to the cemetery they laid her, in fulfilment 
of her request, at the feet of "Father" David, her 
fellow-laborer in organizing the Sisters of Charity of 
Nazareth. At the suggestion of Bishop Spalding, in 

Mr. Jeremiah Corcoran of Louisville, uncle of the present writer. 



78 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

honor of her dignity as virtual founder, first and fre 
quent superior, upon her tombstone is chiselled a sun 
burst, fitting symbol of her noble warm heart, the un 
failing light of her spiritual vision, the untarnishable 
brightness of her good deeds. 

Today, gazing at the benignant countenance which 
looks forth from Mother Catherine s portraits, one reads 
unmistakably the outward signs of her radiant inward 
graces. Nobility, strength, tenderness, ardent trust 
these are eloquently proclaimed in the placid brow, can 
did eyes, indeed in every expressive lineament. Cantos 
urget me } the kind firm mouth almost speaks, as she 
seems to bless the Community and to share with it her 
serene strong faith. Her humility was so great, she 
would not have wished to be regarded as a model ; yet as 
such is she venerated in the numerous academies, infirm 
aries, asylums and other institutions which today are 
realizing her dauntless hopes, her generous visions. 



CHAPTER IV 

MOTHER FRANCES AND OTHER MEMBERS OF THE EARLY 
SISTERHOOD 

UPREMELY blest as the Sisters of Charity of Naz- 
areth were in their able and saintly first superior, 
they were also highly fortunate in her whose labors al 
ternated with Mother Catherine s in giving stability, 
direction and inspiration to the community during its 
first half century. Mother Frances Gardiner, the second 
of those who may be justly termed the great mothers of 
Nazareth, was born in Fairfield, Nelson County, Ken 
tucky, in 1800. Her family was well known for its piety 
and probity in her native State and in Maryland, whence 
her parents, Joseph Gardiner and Winifred Hamilton 
Gardiner, came to Kentucky in their early married life. 
Clement Gardiner, grandfather of Mother Frances, had 
the reputation of having done more than any other Cath 
olic layman for the Church and chanty in Kentucky. His 
wife, Henrietta Boone, a kinswoman of Daniel Boone, 
was likewise revered for her zeal and benevolence. A 
few words about this couple will indicate what spiritual 
inheritance they transmitted to three of their devout 
descendants who figured prominently in the history of 
Nazareth. Of Clement Gardiner an earlier historian* 
has said: "His benefactions were as important as they 
were unceasing. He not only subscribed liberally for the 
personal maintenance of the early clergy of the State; 
but he was never invoked in vain for aid in the construc 
tion of churches and for other undertakings in the in- 



Webb, "The Centenary of Catholicity in Kentucky." 

79 



80 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

terest of Catholicity, whether special to the people 
among whom he lived, or having reference to the wants 
of his brethren in other parts of the State. The tract of 
land upon which he lived embraced in whole or in part, 
the site of the present town of Fairfield. The original 
dwelling house built by him was erected with special 
reference to the religious wants of the settlers in the 
neighborhood. For eleven or twelve years the largest of 
its rooms was made to do service as a chapel." Mr. 
Gardiner later gave not only the ground for a church, 
but funds for the building thereof, and a plot for the 
cemetery. The historian above quoted says that Henri 
etta Boone Gardiner is "to be classed with the extraor 
dinary women of the early Church in Kentucky. She 
was not only an exponent of Christian courage, meek 
ness and piety; but she was an exponent of that charity 
which has for its standard of human equity the welfare 
of the neighbor." Her granddaughters conspicuous 
part in the Nazareth s educational work was foreshad 
owed by her own generous endeavors to secure mental 
and spiritual training for the children of her immediate 
vicinity. "The last act of her life for the good of others 
was worthy of the name she bore and of Christian re 
membrance. Her husband and herself had long enter 
tained the thought of founding a girls school in the 
neighborhood of Fairfield. The difficulty had been that 
they were unable to secure competent teachers. Early 
in 1821, Mrs. Gardiner consulted with the Bishop, and 
the result of their conference was a pledge on her part to 
make to the Bishop a deed of gift of three hundred acres 
of land near the town and a counter pledge on the part 
of the latter that a school building should be put up on 
the land and teachers furnished for the conduct of the 
school. Both pledges were fulfilled before the close of 
the year and in December, 1821, the property was placed 



OTHER MEMBERS OF THE EARLY SISTERHOOD 81 

in the possession of a colony of eleven Sisters of the 
Loretto Society." 11 This school served its excellent pur 
pose for several years. By thus liberally sharing their 
estate and their personal activities, Clement and Henri 
etta Gardiner were true pillars of religion and education 
in Kentucky; but perhaps their most valuable contribu 
tions to their high causes were their three granddaughters 
who became Sisters of Charity of Nazareth Mother 
Frances, Sisters Harriet and Clare Gardiner. 

As a child of eleven or twelve, Frances Gardiner first 
aspired to devote herself to religion. She was confirmed 
by Bishop Flaget, having first received spiritual instruc 
tion from Father David. As a young girl of eighteen 
she joined the Nazareth community (1818), receiving 
the habit in her nineteenth year. Gentleness, humility, 
marvellously pure austerity distinguished her girlhood, 
nor did the sanctity of her youth diminish during her 
later career of strenuous activity and many executive bur 
dens. To such cares she brought a gift for administration 
no less remarkable than her rare spiritual nature. 

Like Mother Catherine, Mother Frances indefatigably 
participated in increasing the community s spiritual 
forces, in developing the mother house, and in mission 
ary labors. During the society s early years and her 
own, her distinctive qualities of faith and devotion were 
a priceless boon. When the community began making 
foundations throughout Kentucky and elsewhere, such 
growth involved many trials, and Mother Frances met 
courageously and successfully the difficulties of the time. 
With her childlike reliance upon Providence, she never 
lost confidence, however dismaying the situation, however 
great her responsibilities. Steadfastly she worked, 
watched and prayed, and Heaven did not fail the heart 
whose faith and hope ever soared upward. 

10 Webb, "Centenary of Catholicity." 



82 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

Of her sixty years as a religious, Mother Frances gave 
thirty-five to the duties of superior. Among the promin 
ent branch houses opened by her, or during her adminis 
trations, were: St. Frances Academy, Owensboro 
(1849); La Salette, Covington (1856); Immaculata 
Academy, Newport (1857); St. Mary s Academy, Pa- 
ducah (1858) ; St. Clara s Academy, Yazoo City, (1871). 
Too much emphasis cannot be laid upon the prudence 
and executive ability demanded in this extension of the 
sisterhood s good works. A patience and energy equal 
to those of the community s first years were required to 
initiate these new foundations in unfamiliar fields and 
frequently inauspicious conditions. Meanwhile at home 
the growing academy and the community s increasing 
numbers were continually requiring wise guidance and 
energetic management. 

Mother Frances s terms of office or of shared respon 
sibility were tests of courage and fortitude; they were 
often coincident with one of those dire visitations which 
repeatedly called forth the sisters heroic qualities. Dur 
ing such ordeals as the Civil War, the yellow fever and 
cholera plagues, the valor and fidelity of the Sisters of 
Charity in hospitals and infirmaries matched the bravery 
and devotion of soldiers on the battlefield. Through 
such tribulations Mother Frances s burdens were indeed 
heavy. She, whose heart was ever tender and merciful, 
had an overwhelming solicitude for her spiritual chil 
dren, so nobly giving their services, imperilling their 
very lives, as nurses; yet recognizing the opportunities 
such seasons gave for testing the virtues to which they 
aspired, she longed to sustain them in their trials, to en 
courage them in rising to the heroism demanded. This 
is the tenor of her letters during days of affliction : "It is 
an honor to serve Our Lord in His suffering creatures." 
And again this high strain : To die while laboring for 




MOTHER FRANCES GARDINER. 



OTHER MEMBERS OF THE EARLY SISTERHOOD 83 

the neighbor, as did our dear Sister Mary Lucy, is to die 
as Martyrs of Charity." With a resolution like that of 
her patron, St. Francis of Assisi, she strove to infuse a 
spirit of cheerfulness into the hearts of those who had so 
much to endure ; for example this message : "Ask Sister 
Laurentia if she has lost an arm since the War she has 
not written to me for a long while." And in similar 
vein, with a deeper note of solicitude so evident : 

"Dear Sister: 

"I presume you have scarcely time to cross your 
self since the poor wounded soldiers have come into the 
hospital. Now indeed you may be a daughter of Char 
ity. Do all you can, my dear Sister, for this is the will 
of God. Take prudent care of your health in order to 
be better able to serve others." 

Well might Mother Frances give precepts to her Com 
munity, for she herself was well disciplined in "those 
things which are the chief glory of the religious life." 
Her strict fidelity to her rule and her constant solicitude 
for her society are golden testimonials to her fitness for 
the vocation to which she responded in her childhood. 
Her counsels were fraught with the spiritual wisdom of 
her own dedicated heart. In typical strain she wrote: 
"We are, oh I hope, in the same purpose of glorifying 
God, doing good to the neighbor, and sanctifying our 
own souls." She had a special gift for pointed phrasing, 
not, however, because she sought for effective terms, but 
because her sincerity, her ardent wish to fulfill her mater 
nal role, gave a vigor and a persuasiveness to her ex 
pressions. The following maxims are illustrative : "Try 
to keep your rules; do not neglect your spiritual exer 
cises, for they are your arms against the tempter ;" "Love 
recollection, prayer, silent prayer to the heart, while the 
hands are busy in acts of charity." 



84 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

The spiritual was the base of her every thought and 
every advice, yet she could also give admirable practical 
suggestions for the day s work, thus helping the individ 
ual s own progress and that of the community, for in 
stance: "You must not neglect to improve yourself all 
you can. Write every day and with care. Your letter 
was well done, Review and study, and never think you 
have reached the point beyond which you need not aim. 
Go ahead ever!" 

Those who knew Mother Frances but slightly might 
have been tempted to judge her austere; but her letters to 
the Sisters on missions are models of touching affection. 
Characteristic is one letter with its tender note, hoping 
that Sister Claudia gets her cup of coffee every morning. 
Still more typical is this communication whose "sweet 
reasonableness" is like a gentle touch upon a ruffled 
heart : 

"As I am as anxious for your happiness as I am for my 
own, I write you these few lines to ask you what I can do 
to effect it. Tell me, I pray, dear Sister, where you would 
like to be. I feel that the Sisters of the Council feel as 
I do on this subject; and if you will only say where you 
want to be, I will propose a change. You know that I 
have always been candid with you, that when I promise 
a thing, it is with the intention of fulfilling it." 

What gentle consideration breathes in these words, 
deepening the impression left by many traditions: that 
Mother Frances was one of those whose seemingly 
austere but really tender natures ceaselessly spend them 
selves in a thousand "little nameless unremembered acts 
of kindness and of love." Hence, a true portrayal of her 
is to be gained less from mere formal enumeration of her 
activities, than from such loving tribute as this, rendered 



OTHER MEMBERS OF THE EARLY SISTERHOOD 85 

by one whose intimate acquaintance with her gives au 
thority to the eulogy : "Who but God s recording angel 
could tell of the silent deeds of her charity, the whispered 
words that came just in time to save, the mercy that 
feigned not to see the transgressor? Here is a memory 
that must hallow the very walls in which she has lived." 

Undoubtedly, such guiding spirits as Mother Catherine 
Spalding, Mother Frances Gardiner, and Mother Co- 
lumba Carroll were chiefly responsible for directing the 
early band in the way of piety and prosperity; but they 
in turn were able to accomplish their work largely be 
cause of the loyal and energetic co-operation of their de 
vout associates. Hence further reference is due to these 
companions in the society s intrepid vanguard. 

Foremost among these, Sister Teresa Carrico deserves 
special commemoration. The first of the original group 
to respond to Father David s hope for a community of 
religious women, her fervor was really the cornerstone 
of the order. When Father David had almost despaired 
of being able to surmount the difficulties in the way of 
establishing the society, was it not her trust in Divine 
Providence that renewed her spiritual father s own con 
fidence? Having but little of what the world deems 
knowledge, she was blessed with unusual spiritual wis 
dom. An informal sketch thus describes her: "Her 
humility was so great that she never seemed to wish for 
any knowledge save that of the Cross. How great was 
her acquisition of this supreme knowledge God alone 
knew. But those with whom she lived could easily see 
that she had reached an extraordinary height of super 
natural wisdom. In her own simple way she had a judici 
ous answer for every question. Every word of hers 
seemed as if inspired by God Himself. Exaltavit humiles 
were certainly a fitting expression of Heaven s grace 
toward faithful Sister Teresa." 



86 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

The poet s praise of "drudgery divine" she richly de 
served : 

"Who sweeps the floor as for Thy laws 
Makes that and the action fine." 

A young sister had heard that for many years Sister 
Teresa had had so much to do in the kitchen that she 
could not leave her duties to make her meditation, and 
that on Communion days she could go to the chapel only 
at the beginning of Mass, leaving at the close, without 
longer time for thanksgiving. "Did you not find it very 
hard to do these things, Sister," asked the younger re 
ligious, "to miss so many exercises?" "Why, no, child," 
was the artless answer, "I never missed any exercises at 
all. Whenever I could go with the community, it was a 
joy to me and I was at my place ; and when I could not, 
I did the most I could where I was. Father David used 
to tell us that is the way to do, that God would make up 
for our spiritual exercises if we left them only for love 
of Him ; then, said Father David, our work becomes a 
prayer, and we miss nothing but only gain more merit. 
And how God did make up for it all !" 

Today has its own characteristic piety and its own 
phrasing thereof, but it is edifying to follow a little 
farther Sister Teresa s ingenuous sincerity: "Why, I 
don t believe I ever made better meditation, or more 
fervent preparation and thanksgiving for Communion 
than when standing by the fire in the old kitchen. I 
never could get anything out of books; but when I was 
by the blazing fire, it was so easy to think of the burning 
flames of hell and purgatory and the wickedness of sin 
that sends people there. And then I had so much to 
thank God for ! Just to think that a poor miserable crea 
ture like this old Teresa was allowed to live in His house, 
receive Him so often, and serve Him all the day long! 
And then He was blessing our little community so visibly ! 



OTHER MEMBERS OF THE EARLY SISTERHOOD 87 

We had been so poor that many a time I did not know 
what I could get to put in the kettle; but something 
always came ; then abundance came ; and now, you young 
Sisters can scarcely imagine how it used to be. We must 
never forget to be grateful to God for all this!" As her 
informal biographer comments: "The secret of Sister 
Teresa s life was thus revealed; she made of it an un 
broken prayer. Whatever she did, her soul was ever 
united with the will of God. The love of Him made the 
works He expected of her hands seem light the cross 
is no burden to a loving heart ; and Sister Teresa learned 
how to make everything serve to unite her more closely 
with her Heavenly Spouse. Her exact observance of the 
rule seemed to cost her no effort; she had imbibed the 
spirit of a true Sister of Charity, she walked in humility 
and simplicity before God, and the Sisters saw with 
great edification her homely features made beautiful by 
the holiness that shone through them, revealing the love 
liness of her soul. Her manner of observing silence was 
particularly striking. She seemed perfectly recollected 
and scarcely ever spoke an unnecessary word, but she 
greeted everyone she met with a kind smile. "And that 
smile was always sure to greet the Sister whose heart 
was heavy. It came like a ray of sunshine to direct 
thought heavenward and raise the sinking courage. . . . 
She could not bear to hear fault found nor any criticism 
of her superiors. Such unkindness never failed to bring 
a frown to her brow and the gentle sufficient rebuke: 
Tity, pity, child ; God sees to all these things ; good will 
come out of it; but harm will come to us if we foolishly 
discuss things in which it is none of our business to 
meddle ." 

Sister Teresa was particularly fond of the young 
Sisters, in whose society she was generally found during 
recreation hours. They, in return, loved and revered her. 



88 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

There was nothing austere in her words and ways. She 
was always cheerful, prompt to see what good there was 
in everyone, ready to sympathize with others in their 
little trials, to encourage them and say how she had once 
had perhaps the same trials : then always came her favor 
ite words: "My child, be obedient, and love God with 
all your heart, and everything will go right with you. 
. . . Labor for God alone." 

Exceptional were her humility, her piety, her love of 
holy poverty, but no less remarkable was her Christian 
perseverance. In her last years, though rheumatism 
badly afflicted her, she continued, whenever possible, to 
attend all community exercises. Sick or well, she never 
failed to rise at the first bell in the morning. If she felt 
too ill to continue dressing, she went to bed again, but 
never until she had made the first effort; she said that 
otherwise sloth might get the better of her. 

No one ever knew Sister Teresa s exact age, but she 
was not very young when the community was formed, 
and she lived in it many years. She and Mother Cather 
ine had labored together from the beginning of their 
order, and Mother Catherine s death was her own mortal 
blow ; only a month did she survive her friend and com 
rade in Christ. The Jesuit Father who preached her 
funeral sermon said to the Sisters: "You have parted 
with a saint." Thus reverenced, passed in 1858 the spirit 
of one whose virtues are among the community s most 
precious traditions. She was one of the lowliest, but 
one of the most glorious, of the Sisters of Charity of 
Nazareth their ever venerated "foundation stone of hu 
mility." 

If it may be said that the success of almost any im 
portant human work largely depends upon the sympathy 
which supports its incipient stages, then in great measure 
credit for the formation of the Nazareth Society may be 



OTHER MEMBERS OF THE EARLY SISTERHOOD 89 

ascribed to Sister Elizabeth Wells, second member of 
the small household with which the sisterhood began, 
who united her fervent request with Sister Teresa s for 
the organization of the community. Sister Betsy, as the 
quaint parlance of the day termed her, was a noble soul. 
Not till her sixteenth year did she become a Catholic, 
after making the acquaintance of Father Stephen Badin, 
who instructed her and received her into the church. 
Thenceforth her fervor was unabated, devoting itself to 
many pious works before and after her affiliation with 
Sister Teresa. Yet, for all her holiness, she was a little 
erratic. She eventually withdrew from Father David s 
little band, but this does not detract from the generosity 
with which she helped to accomplish its first mustering. 
Her piety and many other sterling qualities doubtless 
compensated for her eccentricities. She gave lavishly of 
her energies and her means, asking naught for herself. 
It was said of her: "Beyond food and clothing, she 
would accept nothing for her labor, holding with St. 
Paul that piety with sufficiency is great gain." 

To Sister Harriet Gardiner, sister of Mother Frances 
and Sister Clare, prominent place is due in any early 
history of the community. Brought up like her sisters 
in the religious atmosphere of her grandmother s home, 
she early manifested signs of strong character and solid 
piety. As a young woman she made a retreat under 
Father David s direction, and this spiritual season seems 
to have matured her childhood dreams of a religious life. 
She and Catherine Spalding had been playmates and 
friends from their early youth. They "formed their holy 
purpose together ;" and three months after Catherine had 
joined the sisterhood, Harriet enlisted in its ranks, thus 
becoming a member of Nazareth s first family, the 
original six religious of 1813. When the first election 
was held, Sister Harriet stood by the side of Mother 



90 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

Catherine as her assistant. By a dispensation of the 
rule, which the small number of members rendered neces 
sary, she filled this office for two consecutive terms. 

Endowed with a clear and superior intellect, Sister 
Harriet was an excellent teacher, and as such, she was 
successfully employed at Nazareth for many years. She 
possessed in an eminent degree the art of enforcing disci 
pline among children. With her this gift was a fine art. 
Her quiet, dignified bearing was enough to secure order ; 
she seldom found it necessary to administer a reproof; 
but when this was needed, she gave it in so firm and 
gentle a tone that the fault was at once corrected. She 
possessed the children s affection to such a degree that, 
when possible, they grouped around her with eager at 
tention and beaming countenances, listening to every 
syllable that fell from her lips, thus receiving profitable 
lessons in most effective form. 

Always pious and exact in the observance of the rule, 
Sister Harriet was a source of edification to the com 
munity. She was gifted with a special tact for conversa 
tion, and possessed the power of interesting and bene- 
fitting all. The Sisters recreation was never so pleasant 
as when her joy-imparting voice was heard. No one 
could utter a word contrary to charity, or savoring of 
complaint, that she did not know how to change the 
trend of conversation in such a way that no one could be 
offended or even perceive what she had done. If a Sister 
were sad, Sister Harriet was by her side, speaking of 
just such things as would best divert or console her, and 
that as though accidentally. 

Sister Harriet founded the school of Bethlehem in 
Bardstown and also that of Vincennes, Indiana. It was 
in the latter institution that she died, with no comfort 
but the grace of God and the testimony of a good con 
science. In this primitive mission there was a great 



OTHER MEMBERS OF THE EARLY SISTERHOOD 91 

scarcity of clergymen, and the one on whom devolved the 
care of the congregation was frequently away: he had 
been absent for two months when Sister Harriet s frame, 
wasted by a fever of thirteen days, at last yielded up its 
spirit. The four Sisters who formed the community 
there all contracted the same malady, and one with great 
effort crawled out of bed to help another. Sister Har 
riet s unfailing cheerfulness is revealed in the following 
letter, written on September 27th, 1826, when the fever 
must have been already upon her, for she died ten days 
later. It is addressed to Sister Clare. 

"St. Clare, Sept. 27, 1826. 
Ma tres chere Sceur, 

"What in the world is all this bustle about? You 
must pretend you get no letters from me or they are in 
tercepted. I wrote you in July. Mon Pere is gone to 
Canada. God only knows when we shall see him. I have 
had a terrible time since his departure. I am the only 
one well, and I think every day that my turn has come. 
I feel much like it at present. Hardly can there be found 
one house, whether in town or country, without some 
sick in it. Fevers of every kind are prevailing. Had I 
had time, I should doubtless have yielded but indeed I 
have hardly had time to breathe. I had plenty to keep 
me busy all day. Our school was very full all summer, 
but it is now quite small because of sickness. Our last 
examination was splendid, attended by nearly as many 
as the room would contain. But why should I tell you 
of our school ? You are as mute as a mouse about yours. 
I judged the reason to be its insignificance, of which 
you are ashamed. I must conclude by giving you the 
love of all the Sisters and begging you to give ours to 
all your children. . . . 

"Adieu, ma tres chere Sceur, 

SISTER HARRIET GARDINER/ 



92 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

It was to be her final "Adieu ;" her death occurred the 
following month, profoundly grieving the community to 
which she had given the service of her tireless energies 
and amiable disposition. 

Throughout Nazareth s early history appears the name 
of the third member of this devout triumvirate, Sister 
Clare Gardiner, who in 1819 joined her two sisters in the 
community. Though different in disposition from 
Mother Frances and Sister Harriet, she possessed traits 
which notably contributed to the community s early de 
velopment at the mother house and its branches. She was 
an admirable and exacting teacher, a strict disciplinarian, 
yet deeply beloved. During her years at Nazareth the 
pupils included a number of vivacious Southern girls, 
somewhat difficult to control. Sister Clare used to say 
that her success as a disciplinarian among these lively 
spirits was due to the fact that, whenever she entered the 
study hall to preside, she always thought of the guardian 
angels there, one for every mischievous girl ; this thought 
alone sustained and encouraged her. 

As Mother Frances s near kinswomen were thus united 
with her in religion, so Mother Catherine enjoyed the 
satisfaction of having her sister enter the order in 1816. 
Sister Ann Spalding was an admirable and talented re 
ligious, an especially able teacher of advanced classes. 
One of her first missions was to St. Catherine s Academy, 
of which she was in charge when it was moved to Lex 
ington, Kentucky. There she remained until her tragic 
death in 1848. Respected for her intellectual ability, she 
was beloved because of her piety and charity. She was a 
martyr to her kindliness and forbearance, having been 
poisoned by a negro girl whom she had cared for and 
protected. Though she discovered the identity of this 
murderess, Sister Ann refused to prosecute her; with 
Christlike forbearance and forgiveness, she and Mother 



OTHER MEMBERS OF THE EARLY SISTERHOOD 93 

Catherine requested that nothing be said about the 
deed. 

Another family blest by having a group of its members 
united with the little society of the Kentucky countryside 
was that of Sister Margaret, Patricia and Hilaria Bam- 
ber. All three gave devoted labors to their community, 
to God and to their fellow creatures. For many years 
Sister Margaret was the able superior of St. Vincent s 
Academy, Union County, where her administration was 
eminently wise and successful : but it is, above all, as a 
kind, skilful infirmarian that tradition has handed for 
ward her name. During the cholera epidemic she was 
one of the most successful nurses. For many years in 
firmarian at Nazareth, she survived her dear Mother 
Catherine only ten days. 

Sister Patricia Bamber was one of the community s 
early martyrs, she having lost her life while nursing 
cholera patients. Sister Hilaria Bamber entered the 
community with Sister Margaret Bamber in 1829. Her 
services to the order were manifold. She was an excel 
lent teacher, an able infirmarian. She, too, was faithful 
even unto death, dying a victim of the cholera epidemic 
of 1833. 

In glancing over the sisterhood s earliest records one 
is impressed by its good fortune in having several mem 
bers of rare intellectual endowment, others remarkable 
for physical energy, while some of the band possessed 
both mental and physical strength. From many of them 
Browning might have had an eloquent response to his 
question : 

"What hand and brain went ever paired ? 
What heart alike conceived and dared?" 

This variety of gifts enabled the community to fulfill 
its high and manifold destiny as a charitable and teach 
ing body. Foremost among those who gave distinction 



94 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

to Nazareth teaching corps, was Sister Ellen O Connell, 
whose name a preceding chapter has perhaps already in 
vested with interest. Her affiliation with the community 
was distinctly opportune. Possessing admirable native 
talents, a cultivated mind and taste, she was a disting 
uished candidate for the spiritual and intellectual guid 
ance which Father David, with his own still richer store 
of learning and Old World training, shared with his chil 
dren of Nazareth. Her lectures on Christian doctrine 
are said to have been as clear and impressive as those of 
Father David or Bishop Kenrick. As a girl she had 
made a special study of the Bible with her father," who 
was professor in a Baltimore college. Her abilities seem 
to have been as versatile as they were solid; she was a 
mathematician, an artist, a musician, a writer of consider 
able grace and imaginative power. Like many other 
highly intellectual persons, she possessed an excellent wit ; 
her distinguished acquisitions in no sense chilled or 
atrophied her genial spirits. Her charm and dignity 
in conversation, her discreet understanding of others and 
of the fine possibilities of the human relation, made her 
a valuable guide in initiating her pupils into the great 
art of living wisely and agreeably with one s fellow crea 
tures. One of the traditions of her life at Nazareth is 
that of her taking the pupils for long, delightful walks, 
during which the whole company gathered branches and 
twigs, bearing the same home for firewood, Sister Ellen 
meanwhile recommending the occupation as good ex 
ercise. 

Invaluable as was Sister Ellen s contribution to Nazar 
eth s academic life, the spiritual stimulus she gave must 

u A few years ago, while in Virginia, a Sister heard this story about Sister 
Ellen s grandfather, from one of his relatives. After the death of one 
of his children he dreamed of his own death, followed by a long journey 
which ended at a gate. He attempted to enter, but was restrained by a voice, 
saying, "You cannot enter here until you change your faith. You have one 
child here and soon you will have another." Mr. O Connell paid little atten 
tion to this dream till he lost a second child; he then took a course of in 
struction and became a Catholic. 




COLONIAL PORCH. 



OTHER MEMBERS OF THE EARLY SISTERHOOD 95 

have been equally enriching. Though unused to priva 
tion, she humbly adapted herself to the discipline and 
somewhat primitive conditions which awaited her at the 
mother house. A final proof of her meekness and forti 
tude was given in her late years. During one of those 
seasons of misunderstanding which occasionally befall 
those of best intentions, it seemed advisable for her to 
go forth to a new mission. She was given her choice of 
the school in Louisville or the more arduous and recent 
foundation at White River, Indiana, but with true re 
ligious spirit, she declined to choose. The council then 
decided upon White River, and thither she obediently 
went in her sixtieth year, and with the "generous cheer 
fulness" which characterized her life. That she was 
deeply wounded, no one will doubt, for she was human; 
but never did act or word of hers betray the fact. She 
was still ready to labor according to her strength. The 
foundation at White River was not entirely successful, 
and when it was closed, Sister Ellen went to Lexington, 
Kentucky, where she taught seven years until her death 
in 1841. There, as elsewhere, she gave untiringly of her 
intellectual powers, her gracious nature, her spiritual 
forces. Thus has her contribution to her community 
been summarized: "There is not one of us now, there 
will not be one in the future, free from indebtedness to 
her." 

In a particular sense this was true of her educational 
work, whose good methods and high standards were 
transmitted to her distinguished pupil, co-laborer and 
successor, Margaret Carroll, the future Mother Columba. 
So eminent and enduring an influence did this religious 
exert in the history of Nazareth, that a full length por 
trait is accorded her in the chapter bearing her name. 

No biographical sketches of the early sisterhood would 
be complete without special comment upon one who bore 



96 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

a prime part in the first work of the mother house and, 
as a true apostolic religious, vigorously aided in building 
and sustaining new foundations, Sister Martha Drury, 
called indeed to be busy about many things. What tra 
ditions her name recalls, of unflagging zeal, rugged piety, 
utmost compassion ! More than once her name must 
shine forth gloriously in the history of the community 
which she served for nearly seventy years. Like so many 
of the other first members, this young girl had been one 
of Father David s lambs. Under his instruction she had 
been prepared for her first Communion and for Confir 
mation, and great must have been his joy when, as its 
first postulant, she crossed the threshold of the new Naz 
areth in 1822. Knowing so well her indefatigable in 
dustry as a handmaid of the Lord, Father David chose 
her name; but did even he suspect the manifold labors 
by which she was to rival her Scriptural counterpart? 
Toil at the loom and in the fields ; domestic tasks innum 
erable; the burden of opening new schools and infirm 
aries ; faithful nursing of cholera patients ; attendance 
on sick and wounded soldiers ; care of orphan children 
how appropriate was the name Martha for one who gave 
such generous service to her Master ! 

After her early years of vigorous labor at the mother 
house, Sister Martha went on her first mission, Bards- 
town, whence she returned to Nazareth as infirmarian 
only to go forth again to establish a school in Fairfield, 
Kentucky, then back to Nazareth, where, as one of her 
friends says, "with her usual promptitude she set herself 
to work to straighten out whatever was amiss in the vari 
ous departments of labor in the institution." After these 
years of varied experience and discipline, Heaven deemed 
her equal to her first great ordeal, and she was to pass 
nobly through several. In 1832-33, when the cholera dev 
astated the country, valiant Sister Martha was one of the 



OTHER MEMBERS OF THE EARLY SISTERHOOD 97 

earliest to nurse the victims. She herself fell ill of the 
plague, but her hardy physique and doughty spirit van 
quished the disease. St. Vincent s Academy, Union 
County, the Presentation Academy, Louisville, St. 
Mary s, Paducah, St. Joseph s Infirmary, Louisville, were 
afterward to claim her glorious energies, her unbounded 
charity, and, to add one of her chief qualities, her ex 
cellent common sense. In the subsequent sketches of the 
several branch houses, her name and deeds will promin 
ently appear. In the present eulogy, no more telling 
summary of her virtues may be made than that con 
tributed at the time of her death by her distinguished 
friend above quoted, the Hon. B. J. Webb: 

"What a life of toil and abnegation has been here pre 
sented to us ! Think of it ! A woman, happily a strong 
and hearty one, with no will of her own beyond the will 
to be true to her God, to her superiors, and herself! 
Knocked about for more than sixty years, from pillar to 
post and back again not that she was tired of either post 
or pillar or they of her, but because the one or the other 
had greater need of her services ! Giving of her strength 
to the weak, her knowledge to the ignorant, her hope to 
the despondent, and the love of her heart to all, through 
Christ Jesus ! Now binding up wounded limbs, and now 
closing dying eyes and reverently folding lifeless hands 
over unheaving breasts. Here nursing the sick, wooing 
back to health by her gentle ministrations or whispering 
messages of peace and comfort into ears fast closing to 
all sounds of earth. Now teaching the little ones to pray, 
and now forming bands among the pupils of her schools, 
and encouraging them to raise altars in their hearts 
whereon to offer flowers of love and duty to the Cruci 
fied and His Blessed Mother!" 

Sister Martha had the gratification of sharing her vo 
cation \vith her sister, Sister Isabella Drury. This good 



98 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

religious was much beloved and she generously gave hei 
life and labors to her community during a period of 
fifty-one years. At the mother house she was long a 
valued teacher; one of those who inspired and retained 
the confidence of parents. Such a memory she left also 
at St. Vincent s Academy, Union County, where her able 
administration is commemorated in a subsequent chapter 
containing the recollections of her former pupil, Mrs. 
John A. Logan. 

Still another of the early sisterhood, whose career was 
an encouragement to her associates and is today a pious 
tradition, was Sister Elizabeth Suttle. Born in Maryland, 
she joined the Nazareth Society when she was only six 
teen years of age (1815). A long period of her fifty- 
eight years as a religious was spent at St. Vincent s 
Academy, Union County. Her last labors were those of 
hostess at Nazareth, where she endeared herself to the 
academy s household and to all who visited the institu 
tion. She was an able teacher, a cheerful, patient, chari 
table Sister. Father David held her in high esteem. A 
brief sketch of her contains this eulogy: "Would we 
find the keystone of a life so eminently beautiful and sin 
less ? Like the Beloved Apostle, she loved God truly and 
earnestly, and the burning chanty of her soul overflowed 
with love for all. In all she saw the image and the work 
of God ; she loved flowers, she loved the song of birds ; a 
ray of sunshine brought gladness to her soul ; every ob 
ject raised her thoughts to heaven in love and gratitude." 

To these glorious names of the early Nazareth Sister 
hood others might be added, but biographical details are 
inadequate for distinct portraits. The memory of all, 
however, is closely interwoven with the community s 
pioneer days. Their zeal, their inspiration, their heroic 
labors contributed time-proof threads to the fabric of 
Nazareth s history. In no small measure the strength 



OTHER MEMBERS OF THE EARLY SISTERHOOD 99 

and wide usefulness of the society today are due to their 
ardor, vigor, and patience. Grace of God and their own 
inspiration sustained their endeavors. So primitive was 
the mode of transportation during the first half century 
of the community s existence that they were virtually 
islanded from the world which lay beyond their rural 
estate; but thus cast upon their own resources, they de 
veloped initiative, self-reliance, confidence in Heaven, 
which served as strong armor for their immediate work, 
as swords of the spirit to pass to their successors. At 
one in their conviction that holiness is the supreme ideal, 
they represented, as has already been said, a variety of 
personalities and talents: sturdy pioneers, highly culti 
vated minds, simple souls whose zeal kept the flame of 
devotion glowing, delicately nurtured women, "of dis 
tinguished respectability," as the old phrase goes, several 
fortified by rich traditions of ancestral pieties. By the 
end of the community s second decade these diverse ele 
ments formed the nucleus of a promising society one 
which was to prove worthy of that mighty magnet, love 
of God and fellow-man, which had drawn them together. 



CHAPTER V 

EARLY FOUNDATIONS; IDEALS AND CURRICULA AT 
NAZARETH. 

WHEN the community had established itself as a 
teaching and benevolent society, it began to re 
ceive frequent requests for aid in the missionary settle 
ments of the South and Middle West. Not unlike the 
apostolic bands of yore the small companies, whenever 
possible, went forth to open schools, hospitals, infirmaries. 

In opening branch houses, two principles have from 
the beginning guided the superiors of Nazareth. They 
have been eager to respond when needy vineyards called, 
yet, with commendable prudence, they have been re 
luctant to undertake foundations where their toil might 
prove vain and impermanent. Undaunted by difficult 
tasks, they have wisely striven to devote themselves 
where the glory of God and the good of humanity might 
be most effectively served. Comparatively few of the 
branch houses have been closed; nearly all have enjoyed 
steadily progressive careers. This chapter will sketch 
their early days, while subsequent pages will recount 
their later histories. 

It was indeed fitting that, as the mother house was 
named Nazareth, the first branch house should have been 
called "Bethlehem." This academy was begun in Bards- 
town, Kentucky, 1819, in the home of a convert, Mr. 
Nehemiah Webb, whose family has long been represented 
at Nazareth by pupils and religious. Before the erection 
of the Bardstown cathedral, the principal room in Mr. 
Webb s house was used as a chapel ; it was auspicious 

100 



EARLY FOUNDATIONS, IDEALS AND CURRICULA. 101 

that the Sisters should have opened a school in such an 
already sanctified dwelling. Sisters Harriet Gardiner, 
Polly Beaven and Nancy Lynch established this academy, 
which was to" do honor to the noble parent tree. 

Though the purpose for which the sisters first went 
into Bardstown was the nourishment of the young minds 
and souls of the cathedral congregation, sterner tasks 
than teaching were undertaken from time to time. Dur 
ing the cholera epidemic of 1832-33, the Sisters laid 
aside their books and energetically performed spiritual 
and corporal works of mercy, many an afflicted house 
hold in Bardstown being blessed by their ministrations. 
They did house-to-house nursing, and served in the hos 
pitals improvised during the trying season. The follow 
ing episode is typical of their generous deeds : Two miles 
from the neighboring convent of Loretto, a family named 
Roberts had been stricken by the plague. Two Loretto 
Sisters had tried to give aid to the unfortunates; but 
one of these good nurses had succumbed to the scourge 
before the Sisters of Nazareth appeared. When Sister 
Martha and a companion arrived, they entered the 
kitchen where they found one negro servant dead and 
another with life almost extinct. Within the next room 
a child lay dying, watched by the grief -stricken parents. 
Two farm hands soon came in, evidently in the clutches 
of the pestilence. The Sisters had the manifold task of 
nursing and comforting the living, ministering to the 
dying, attending to the burial of the dead. Sister 
Martha s companion was unable to continue the exhaust 
ing, nerve-racking occupation, so Father Reynolds took 
her home. Sister Eulalia Flaget, the bishop s niece, then 
joined Sister Martha. When the latter saw that the sick 
children were far gone, she asked their father if he ob 
jected to her baptizing them ; his answer was expressive 
of the unreserved confidence which the Sisters had won 



102 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

for themselves: "My life, like my children s, is in your 
hands. I can grant you nothing, because I can refuse 
you nothing. If I still have anything, it is all yours. My 
friends have forsaken me; and you, who were a stranger 
to me, have come and stood by me in my distress at the 
peril of your life." 

When the plague subsided, the Sisters returned to their 
school work with the blessed adaptability of true Chris 
tians. Their generous nursing had won the affection and 
esteem of the townspeople, whose patronage thereafter 
gained a steady prosperity for Bethlehem Academy. 

The foundation of St. Vincent s Academy, near Mor- 
ganfield, Union County, Kentucky, in 1820, at first known 
as "Little Nazareth", has already been sketched. Like 
the mother house, it was built by pioneer women, whose 
vigor of spirit, mind and body infused it with their own 
vitality. It soon became one of the community s best 
patronized academies, drawing pupils not only from 
neighboring Kentucky families, but from Indiana, Ohio, 
Illinois, especially from their southern sections, where 
elementary education was chiefly in the hands of itinerant 
teachers. The Catholic academy of Union County, Ken 
tucky, \vas the only comparatively near-by school to offer 
more than reading, writing and arithmetic ; for painting, 
music, the languages, in fact, a well rounded education, 
girls were sent to St. Vincent s, often under the care of 
Father Durbin. In the wide territory of his missionary 
labors, this "patriarch priest" won many devoted friends 
among Catholics and non-Catholics, who gladly en 
trusted their children to his fatherly care. After the 
custom of those stage-coach days, many a time at the 
beginning of school sessions there might be seen passing 
through the rural districts of the above named States a 
merry caravan, a flock of St. Vincent s pupils, shepherded 
by Father Durbin. Vivid and happy reference to early 



EARLY FOUNDATIONS, IDEALS AND CURRICULA. 103 

academic life at St. Vincent s Academy occurs in the 
memories of Mrs. John A. Logan, widow of General 
Logan, in her volume, "Reminiscences of a Soldier s 
Wife." From her girlhood home in Southern Illinois 
this distinguished author went to the academy in West 
ern Kentucky, where she was graduated in 1855. In 
addition to their charm, her memories have a two-fold 
importance; besides commenting on the school s good 
training, they intimately picture that home life of the 
convent boarding-school which many parents have es 
teemed an attraction scarcely secondary to a well planned 
and taught curriculum. In the old days that existence 
was perhaps more easily secured than at present, a state 
ment which casts no reflection upon Sisters and pupils 
of today. But in the earlier epoch when the means of 
transportation were limited, the teachers and students 
were more dependent upon one another s resources, and 
many children were left for months, sometimes years, in 
the Sisters care. The present facilities of travel permit 
more frequent encroachment of city life and its distrac 
tions, and doubtless to some degree make the "home 
atmosphere" of the boarding school more difficult to 
maintain. Its idyllic tone of yore is felicitously recap 
tured in Mrs. Logan s memories. From her home, 
Shawneetown, in southern Illinois, where her father was 
President Pierce s appointee to the office of land registrar, 
she was taken to St. Vincent s Academy of the eighteen- 
fifties. "It was then and still is one of the best schools 
in the whole country. In the community where I lived 
there were few Catholics, and no churches, monks, nuns 
or priests. I was totally ignorant of the ceremonies and 
symbols of the church and of the significance of the cos 
tumes worn by priests and nuns, and consequently had 
much to learn that was not in the curriculum of the 
school." Evidently with some trepidation the young 



104 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

girl of fifteen accompanied her father to the unfamiliar 
doors of the convent. Her childish fears began to be 
dissipated when, in answer to her father s ring, "the 
angelic face of a Sister appeared ; . . . she quickly 
unlocked the door and invited us into the parlor. Under 
the influence of her gentle manner and the immaculate 
appointment of the room, together with the bright wood- 
fire in the fireplace, I began to feel less frightened. After 
seating us, the Sister withdrew to call the Sister Su 
perior. ... In a few moments Sister Isabella 
[Drury] came in. . . . She drew me close to her 
and in a voice of tenderness, welcomed me as one of her 
girls. I soon forgot my terror and thought her cap and 
gown especially becoming to her. After luncheon father 
completed all the arrangements for my remaining for the 
school year of nine months and took his leave while I, 
with tearful eyes, was led by Sister Isabella into the con 
vent proper, and introduced to some of the older girls 
who acted as hostesses to the new arrivals. At first I 
was very homesick, but soon forgot my unhappiness, sur 
rounded by light-hearted companions and the good kind 
Sisters who were ever ready to comfort and cajole the 
homesick and unhappy. 

"To have any idea of the conditions at St. Vincent s in 
1854-55, it would be necessary to turn back the leaves 
of time for more than fifty years and to realize that 
scarcely a single advantage, which the pupils at St. Vin 
cent s now enjoy, then existed. We were literally pion 
eers, and the opportunities we had were of the most 
primitive character; but underlying them all was the 
lovely spirit of devotion, purity, and tenderness of the 
dear Sisters which made the simplest exercises beautiful 
and attractive. 

"In those days we had the cabins of the slaves in the 
rear of the main buildings of the school. I remember 






EARLY FOUNDATIONS, IDEALS AND CURRICULA. 105 

very distinctly the pranks in which Sallie Cotton, the 
Van Landinghams, the Cunninghams, the Luns fords, 
Spaldings . . . myself and a host of happy unaf 
fected sweet girls engaged. We used to take our finery 
and deck out the pickaninnies and mammies in harlequin 
colors." 

Among these proteges of the blithe-hearted girls were 
Uncle Harry, the best hand on the farm, and Aunt Agnes, 
his wife, the cook, whose dainties endeared her to the 
girls. Aunt Agnes was eventually sold and pathetically 
borne away from her family an incident of heart 
breaking significance to Sisters and girls, who, led by 
Sister Isabella at the end of the sad scene of parting, 
passed into the church to pray for poor Agnes. An inci 
dent of happier character was a May-Day party : "The 
girls at St. Vincent s were happy, practical, sensible, con 
scientious girls, but full of mischief and fun. I remem 
ber our crowning the Lady Superior, dear Sister Isa 
bella, as Queen of the May. Uncle Harry, the faithful 
old colored man on the place, cut the poles for us, which 
we used as a broad platform, whereon we placed a rustic 
throne chair, covering all the floor of the platform with 
green leaves that made it look like a green carpet and 
twining greens about the chair, making a beautiful ap 
pearance an arch wound with wreaths above the chair. 
To this platform we conducted dear Sister Isabella, with 
all her maids of honor and attendants in regular state, 
Sister Isabella in her habit and cap and her sweet face 
full of smiles. We then crowned her, with a wreath of 
flowers, Queen of the May, and she presided over the 
various ceremonies, holding in her hand the sceptre which 
directed the Maypole dance and other features of this 
May Day Celebration, seemingly enjoyed by her with 
just as much enthusiasm as the girls. Through an ar 
rangement with the Sisters luncheon was served on the 



106 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

green. Toward evening when the sun was sinking low, 
we were marched back to the Convent, and at our sup- 
pertime we were surprised to find that Sister Isabella 
had her secret in preparing for all the school a lovely 
banquet." " 

"Transportation being difficult in those days, many of 
us spent our holidays at the Academy, and employed our 
time in embroideries, knitting, repairing our clothes, and 
sometimes in feasting and dancing. We were allowed 
to go into the parlor to be introduced to the parents of 
the girls. . . and on these occasions we were coached 
as to the manner of entering the room, saluting the guests 
and to withdraw without betraying awkwardness. In 
those halcyon days, in addition to our studies and school 
drudgery, girls of sixteen and upward had to make their 
own clothes, including a graduation dress of sheer fine 
muslin, together with a slip to wear under it. All this 
was made by hand, which meant many hours of careful 
sewing. . . . They not only had to make their own 
clothes but had to assist the Sisters in making the white 
dresses for the ten or a dozen orphans whom the Sisters 
had on their hands to clothe and educate. Good-natured 
Sister Superior Isabella would journey by water to 
Louisville, Kentucky, to buy the material for the dresses, 
together with many bolts of blue ribbon for sashes and 
bow-knots, which every girl was obliged to wear on 
Commencement Day. This was the one occasion of all 
the year when we laid aside our purple calico and white- 
apron uniforms. These on May 1st annually took the 
place of the black alpaca which we wore in winter. . 

"The last few days before graduation day were be 
wildering with the multiplicity of things that had to be 
done at the last moment final recitations for the elo 
cutionists, rehearsals for the musicians, and the last read- 

u Sisters College Magazine, Jan., 1917. 



EARLY FOUNDATIONS, IDEALS AND CURRICULA. 107 

ing of compositions which we innocently believed would 
startle the literary world if they could only appear in 
print. . . . Fame was my theme. ... I felt 
very proud of it then, and doubted if any author had ever 
written so fine a production as, after Sister Lucy had 
corrected it many times, and I had rewritten it, incorpor 
ating her corrections, it seemed to me nothing could be 
more perfect. I remember the difficulty of getting a 
quill pen, and selecting paper that was good enough for 
this wonderful production. . . . Memory carries 
me back to that bright morning in June, 1855, when our 
class graduated from dear old St. Vincent s. 
Beneath the boughs of the majestic trees of the lawn a 
large platform had been erected and covered with a bright 
green carpet. A fine piano was on one side, while a 
suitable place was arranged for the Bishop and priests 
who were to distribute the diplomas, medals, and prizes. 
After a long programme of music, addresses, giving of 
diplomas, awards, and a benediction by the Bishop, we 
marched to the refectory where a sumptuous repast was 
spread and enjoyed by all." 

Since that graduation day of 1855 the writer of the 
foregoing memories has actively participated in the life 
of affairs, sharing for thirty-one years the variously in 
teresting career of her soldier-statesman husband, Gen 
eral John A. Logan, and winning her own honors as a 
writer. Being once complimented by a gentleman upon 
her command of the English language, Mrs. Logan loy 
ally gave credit to her Alma Mater for this accomplish 
ment: "I had learned it in the dormitory of St. Vin 
cent s. To commit to memory a column in the dictionary 
was a form of punishment for a violation of the regula 
tions ; and, as I was frequently among the delinquents, 
I had learned much of the dictionary by heart." This 

13 Reminscences of a Soldier s Wife (Scribner, 1913). 



103 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

discipline now amiably recalled, immemorially in force 
also at Nazareth Academy, doubtless served the former 
St. Vincent girl in good stead when she was later pre 
paring her several volumes, numerous magazine and 
newspaper articles. One of the first books of its kind 
was her "Home Manual" (1869), with its quaint and 
comprehensive subtitle, "Everybody s Guide in Social, 
Domestic and Business Life," a book which still (allow 
ing for the changing customs of fifty years) remains an 
excellent first aid to living wisely, gracefully and well. 
Among her other volumes are "Thirty Years in Washing 
ton;" and, in collaboration with her daughter (Mrs. 
Mary Logan Tucker), "The Part Taken By Women in 
American History." To the aforesaid memorized dic 
tionary columns, dread but salutary penalty, is no doubt 
to be ascribed the clear, fluent, often forceful style of 
these volumes and of the many articles on national and 
international affairs which Mrs. Logan has long con 
tributed to periodicals. 

Among Nazareth s branches next in seniority to St. 
Vincent s Academy is St. Catherine s Academy, Lexing 
ton, Kentucky. Mother Catherine began this school in 
Scott County in 1823. Under Sister Ann Spalding s 
guidance it was transferred in 1833 to the chief city of 
Kentucky s Bluegrass region. During St. Catherine s 
ninety-two years of existence, occasional trials have al 
ternated with prosperous seasons. Upon its superiors 
and their assistants have heavily fallen, from time to 
time, the afflictions of pestilence and war. Nor have 
they failed to be candidates for the blessing promised in 
the eighth Beatitude to those who suffer persecution. At 
an early period an inimical sect endeavored to prejudice 
the citizens against the Sisters and Catholic institutions 
in general, but the futility of this opposition was proved 
by an editorial of the time, rejoicing at the establishment 



EARLY FOUNDATIONS, IDEALS AND CURRICULA. 109 

of the school : "There is nothing more calculated to raise 
us to an eminence than nurseries of learning of this kind. 
Many of my acquaintances have been under the Sisters 
tutelage ; and I have found the Sisters affable, agreeable, 
intelligent, polite, though quite plain, modest, unassum 
ing and unaffected in their dress and manner." The 
writer compliments the excellence of their pupils work 
as shown in the examinations the trying public ones 
then held in the presence of the most brilliant profes 
sional men of the commonwealth. The chivalric and 
just tribute then defends the Sisters from the charge of 
proselytism : "They make no attempt at proselytism ; and 
the only religious influence they exert is that of their in 
dividual piety and exemplary conduct." Thus their sea 
son of trial but served to win for them a more loyal 
esteem and to elicit for their humble lives an applause 
which they themselves would never have sought. 

The gradually attained prosperity of St. Catherine s 
Academy was due to the patience and industry of su 
periors and their assistants. Several of the community s 
most able religious guided its early destinies. Mother 
Catherine, its founder, and her sister, Sister Ann Spald- 
ing, who was in charge at the time of the Academy s re 
moval to Scott County, had a line of worthy successors, 
including Mother Frances Gardiner; Sister Gabriella 
Todd, daughter of Samuel Todd, at one time a prominent 
society woman, who became a convert and a Sister of 
Charity, and devoted her rare intellectual gifts to the 
service of God ; Sister Luc) r Lampton, under whose direc 
tion for many years, the academy reached a high degree 
of success. To a subsequent chapter belongs the account 
of the school s later development. 

When Bardstown was first made a bishopric, the epis 
copal territory extended to Indiana. There in Vincennes, 
in 1823, a band of Nazareth s Sisters, led by Sister Har- 



110 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

riet Gardiner, established a school. This, however proved 
to be one of the community s least fortunate foundations. 
Sickness among the Sisters and infrequent attendance of 
the priests caused the discontinuance of the school. 
Later it was reopened and for a while it flourished, but 
when, in 1834, Vincennes was made the see of a new 
diocese with Bishop Brute as first bishop, it was thought 
that the services of others would be more agreeable to 
him, and the Sisters returned to Nazareth. Burns "His 
tory of Catholic Schools in the United States" states 
that the schools established by the Sisters at Vincennes 
and in the vicinity formed the starting point for subse 
quent Catholic school settlements in Indiana. 

When in 1831 Mother Catherine with several com 
panions went down to Louisville to open a school in a 
small house next to the old St. Louis s Church, long since 
superseded by the Cathedral of the Assumption, great 
would have been her joy had she foreseen the noble struc 
tures which were to spring from her humble cornerstone. 
From the little school were to evolve the now handsome 
and prosperous Presentation Academy, St. Vincent s Or 
phan Asylum and St. Joseph s Infirmary. 

The original Presentation Academy had as its first 
band Mother Catherine Spalding, Sisters Clare Gardiner, 
Apollonia McGill and Serena Carney. So successful 
were their labors, that they were able in a few years to 
purchase a larger brick building on Fifth Street. There 
and in an adjoining house, which they later acquired, 
many of the representative Catholic and non-Catholic men 
and women of Louisville began their first steps up Par 
nassus. The present writer recalls with particular vivid 
ness a scene of many years ago: One morning dearly 
beloved Sister Sophia opened the class-room door, and 
there on the threshold stood a stately beautiful woman, 
looking into the room with obvious emotion. It was Mrs. 



EARLY FOUNDATIONS, IDEALS AND CURRICULA. Ill 

De Navarro, who as Mary Anderson had once been a 
pupil of the venerable school. Her volume, "A Few 
Memories" (Harper s, 1915) contains affectionate allu 
sion to her Alma Mater. She disclaims any particular 
brilliance, though in reading she was head of her class 
this proficiency being doubtless a case of facile princeps. 
She modestly recalls occasional punishments; but the 
memories thereof seem to be far from bitter. One re 
current penalty was being sent to stand in the corner or 
to sit on the "dunce stool", this durance vile being evid 
ently mitigated by the fact that the stool was cushioned. 
And to the culprit in question there were other consola 
tions. " I love sitting here , said I to Sister De Chantal, 
who was fond of me in spite of my mischievousness, and 
who always administered punishment in a kindly way, I 
love sitting here, for I am nearer to you and can see the 
girls better, and this seat is so much more comfortable 
than those hard benches ! 

But to return to the other institutions, St. Vincent s 
Orphan Asylum and St. Joseph s Infirmary, inaugurated 
in the original Presentation Academy, the little frame 
house of the eighteen-thirties. As has been said, the 
former began as a refuge for children bereaved by the 
cholera of 1832-33. When in 1836 it was moved to 
larger quarters, Mother Catherine availed herself of a 
few spare rooms which she arranged for the sick and 
named St. Vincent s Infirmary. These quiet rooms won 
the favor of city physicians. The Sisters reputations as 
nurses spread rapidly; the few rooms soon became in 
adequate; hence Mother Catherine at first rented (1853) 
and then bought (1858) St. Aloysius College on Fourth 
Street, originally occupied by the Jesuits. Thither in 
1853 the patients were transferred and the new infirmary 
was named St. Joseph s, now one of the community s 
largest institutions of its class. 



SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

In 1849 Mother Frances Gardiner established in 
Owensboro, Kentucky, another of Nazareth s eminent 
branch schools, fittingly named St. Frances Academy. 
Trials challenged the courage of the early bands at this 
foundation ; but soon the academy gained prestige among 
non-Catholics as well as Catholics. 

Sixty years ago Covington and Newport, Kentucky, 
laid the foundations for two prominent academies, La 
Salette and Immaculata. Responding in 1856 to a re 
quest from Rt. Rev. G. A. Carrell, Sister Clare Gardiner 
and five other religious undertook two schools in Cov 
ington, an academy and a parochial school. Bishop Car 
rell and Father Butler dignified the former by naming it 
after the famous French shrine, because it was estab 
lished about the time of the apparition at La Salette, and 
it is the only academy in the United States so named. 
This school, which was to become one of Nazareth s 
most creditable academies, was begun, and for many years 
continued, in a small two story brick house surrounded 
by commons. The impression made by the Sisters in 
dustry and their triumph over unfavorable conditions is 
revealed by a quotation from one of Bishop Carrell s 
Christmas sermons; His Grace wished the congregation 
the blessings of the season and then, addressing the Sis 
ters, said : "And you saints, also the same." Mother 
Frances comment was : "This is being canonized be 
forehand, without the expense of the devil s advocate." 
Providentially, Sister Clare, her associates and their suc 
cessors in the early days of La Salette possessed pioneer 
spirit enough to support them in their labors. Their 
house contained only six rooms and three in the basement 
which had to be utilized, as the place served not only as 
academy but also as residence for its own Sisters, for 
those teaching in the parochial school, St. Mary s, and 
those who every day walked across the bridge to New- 



EARLY FOUNDATIONS, IDEALS AND CURRICULA. 113 

port to teach in the Immaculata academy and parochial 
school. But though they were thus crowded, the Sis 
ters faith and zeal transcended inauspicious circumstan 
ces, and from their simple dwelling spread rich influences 
of education and religion. 

As is true of Nazareth s other branches, the establish 
ment of Immaculata Academy, has been due to the able 
superiors who have directed its course and to the zealous 
and faithful religious who have assisted them. Among 
the capable guiding spirits of earlier days was Sister 
Mary David Wagner, a devoted Sister of Charity, strong 
in character, unforgettably distinguished for her "spirit 
of poverty" in all that concerned herself. She was local 
superior in various missions, holding this office during 
many years at the Immaculata. She was in charge dur 
ing the erection of the first home and new school (1864), 
a structure ever since known as "David s Tower". Be 
cause of the small piece of ground at the Sisters disposal, 
it was necessarily run up to a height unusual at the time. 
The upper stories proved most serviceable when the floods 
invaded the ground floor; today the building is one of 
three used for school and convent. 

None of Nazareth s branches has won more local es 
teem and more fond approbation from the mother house 
than another pioneer institution that fondly termed 
"Old St. Mary s," Paducah, founded in 1858. Like 
their sisters in Covington, those who helped to establish 
this school are truly to be reckoned among Nazareth s 
"saints;" several came near being numbered among her 
martyrs. Hardships, spiritual and physical, marked 
their first years. Paducah was then but a village and 
prejudice was one of its prevailing mental attitudes. Into 
such an unsympathetic atmosphere and into living condi 
tions still primitive, dauntlessly fared the little army of 
spiritual and intellectual crusaders. It was particularly 



114 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

blessed in its leader, whose name has become a synonym 
for indefatigable energy, courage and kindheartedness 
Sister Martha Drury. As one of her associates of St. 
Mary s early days writes: "The Mother House well 
knew what material was required to go forth into the 
wilderness and produce the harvest. Born of Kentucky 
pioneer stock that trod the wilderness when the whoop 
of the Indian and the cry of the panther were the only 
sounds which disturbed the solitude, Sister Martha was 
endued with the sturdy spirit of her ancestors which de 
fied all hardships. She often told her cathechism class of 
the sacrifices undergone by the first Catholics. Among 
other things she told of traveling twenty-five miles on 
horseback without partaking of food or water to receive 
the Bread of Life." 

Associated with Sister Martha in the early days of St. 
Mary s were Sister Sophia Carton and Sisters Beatrice, 
De Sales, Guidonia, Jane Frances and Mary Lucy. 
Later these were joined by others. The devoted group 
spent a few years in arduous school work; then came 
the Civil War, bringing stern trial and affliction to Sister 
Martha and her co-laborers, and for the time requiring 
their services as nurses rather than teachers. 

One of the earliest foundations outside of Kentucky 
was that of Nashville, Tennessee. This, consisting of a 
school and a hospital, was begun in 1841 in response to 
an invitation from the Rt. Rev. Bishop Miles. Accom 
panied by Rev. Joseph Hazeltine, and Rev. J. M. 
Lancaster of St. Joseph s College, the Sisters arrived in 
Nashville in August, 1841. In the first week of September 
they moved to a commodious building on the brow of 
Campbell s Hill, formerly the home of Captain John 
Williams. There they at once opened a boarding and 
day school under the name of St. Mary s Academy. A 
few months later St. John s Hospital was begun bv the 



EARLY FOUNDATIONS, IDEALS AND CURRICULA. 115 

Sisters in the old church, the then new cathedral having 
been recently completed. Catholic orphan girls were re 
ceived at St. John s, where they helped the Sisters to 
care for the sick. 

Several years after their establishment in the benevol 
ent institution, the Sisters were again to exemplify the 
charity, fortitude, fidelity of Nazareth s nursing bands. 
During the Asiatic cholera, 1848, they gave unstinted 
care to the sufferers, winning from all sources cordial 
laudation for their heroic labors. Three of the Sisters 
had already been initiated into the task of nursing cholera 
patients, having served their trying apprenticeship when 
the plague visited Kentucky in 1833. The following 
paragraph pictures vividly the tragic conditions which 
these brave nurses were called upon to face : 

"Scarcely a family escaped the blighting touch. The 
rich and well-to-do, whose clean food and airy dwellings 
might have protected them, fled to the country. The poor 
were left in their squalid tenements without nurses, with 
out medical advice, to fight the battle out alone. To 
these the Sisters devoted themselves night and day. No 
hovel was too noisome for their visiting ; no atmosphere 
too tainted for their breathing. Their courage and con 
stancy won admiration and confidence ; the hearts of the 
infidel and the ignorant were touched by the spectacle 
of such heroic self-sacrifice; and the divine light of faith 
illumined more than one sin-clouded soul. When the 
plague had ceased in Nashville, the citizens returned to 
find the Sisters again in their class-rooms, ready to take 
up their work of the school year." 

At a later period, during the epidemic of small-pox, 
the Sisters again dispensed their tenderness and mercy. 
They fearlessly sought the afflicted homes and there 
cared for the sick and dying. Their generous offices ex 
tended to the many orphans bereaved by the dread visita- 



116 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

tion. Writing to Mother Catherine at the time, one who 
had intimately observed the Sisters noble labors said, 
"The Sisters in the hospitals went forth cheerfully; their 
care of the sick is the theme of every tongue ; even a 
Protestant minister spoke highly of them last Sunday." 

But zealous and successful as was the work of this 
group during ten years, distinct difficulties arose in 1851 
and prevented the order s continuance in Nashville. 
These obstacles sprang from different points of view 
held by the diocesan head and Nazareth s superior. The 
bishop wished to have a permanent staff of teachers. 
This, being at variance with the necessary discipline of 
the community, could not be conceded by the mother 
house. It was also desired to have the Sisters sing in 
the church, which, was also inconsistent with the society s 
ideals. When tidings of the situation reached Nazareth, 
Mother Catherine went to Nashville to investigate. Find 
ing that Bishop Miles desired a diocesan community, 
independent of any authority but his own, she stated 
her o\vn and Nazareth s unwillingness to accede to such 
an arrangement. Noting that five or six of the Sisters 
seemed disposed to acquiesce in the bishop s plans, Moth 
er Catherine expressed her deep regret at losing these 
religious, and returned to Nazareth with those who pre 
ferred to remain affiliated with the mother house. In 
September, 1851, the Nashville property owned by the 
Sisters of Charity of Nazareth was sold for twenty thou 
sand dollars. Through many hardships the separated 
group passed for a while. Finally in 1858 they moved to 
Leavenworth, Kansas. The story of their trials and 
triumphs is told by one of the members in an interesting 
volume entitled "History of the Sisters of Charity of 
Leavenworth." 

With the exception of this foundation and that of Vin- 
cennes nearly all of the early cornerstones laid by the com- 



EARLY FOUNDATIONS, IDEALS AND CURRICULA. 117 

munity still remain. Their history, a record of labor, 
piety, initiative similar to that of Nazareth s founders, 
must ever be ranked among the community s chief glories. 

While these branches were thus taking root, Nazareth 
Academy was increasing its prestige. Intimate pictures 
of its old-time school life survive in early pupils remin 
iscences, for instance those of Mrs. Eliza Crozier Wilk 
inson, who entered their ranks ninety-two years ago: 

"My first remembrance of Nazareth, as it appeared to 
me as a very small child in 1825-26, is a plain frame farm 
house in a verdant spacious yard filled with grand forest 
trees. An ample orchard was the daily temptation of 
the children. But the special object of our admiration 
was the Priest s House where Father David and Father 
Fouche were often found. Have I ever heard music 
that spoke to the heart as did the Nazareth choir of those 
days? . . . Now and then Father David, who 
even in his old age had a voice of surpassing melody, 
sang the Adoremus and Tantum Ergo at Benediction. 

"The girls arose long before daylight in the winter, 
and by the dim light of tallow candles, in ten sconces, 
huddled down the stairs. On the benches in the school 
room or gallery, they broke the ice to get water from 
the tubs which held it. In the summer their faces were 
often washed at the spring; or, what was sweeter still, 
they were bathed on the way in the dews from the grass, 
for we believed that would make us fair. 

"In Mother s room I was awakened by the Angelus 
bell, then rung by Sister Apollonia McGill whom long 
years after I knew as the tender mother of the orphans 
in Louisville and, better still, as the gifted nurse and In- 
firmarian beloved of all. Next to that room was the 
Treasury, then occupied by Sister Eulalia, the niece of 
Bishop Flaget, to whom she was devoted. The girls soon 
learned of her ardent affection and when we saw the 



118 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

Bishop coming there was a general cry like Sister Eula- 
lia s: Ah, mon Oncle; mon Oncle! I loved her very 
dearly and realized even then that France and that uncle 
comprized her world. Her room was always fragrant 
with mignonette the seed had come from France. 

"From Sister Eulalia s room we passed through the 
school room into the music room, occupied by Sister 
Joanna Lewis. Sister Joanna was of commanding pres 
ence, dignified but gentle. One quiet glance of her black 
eyes had more effect than punishment from others. She 
died the death of a true religious nursing cholera patients. 
Next to her room was that of Sister Ellen Directress 
of Studies. Young as I was, I saw that Sister Ellen s 
labors were incessant ; she taught all the higher classes in 
the school as well as general classes in writing, tapestry, 
embroidery, and painting for which she had a true and 
cultivated talent. At the same time being Mistress of 
Novices, she was preparing the young Sisters to be teach 
ers. A few years later I learned more justly to appreciate 
this gifted woman. Brilliant in wit and repartee, her lit 
erary taste was highly cultivated. Her English was per 
fect. Positive in character as one of such endowments 
and experiences must be, she was peculiarly fitted for her 
mission that of being the first accomplished teacher at 
Nazareth. Great in native gifts, she was also a thorough 
scholar. In Christian Doctrine and Biblical lore, she had 
no superior. She had a heart of profound charity, a 
humility that led her to bestow the utmost tenderness 
upon the erring rebellious child. 

"Sister Elizabeth Suttle, who is still so well remem 
bered at Nazareth, so cultivated in mind, so gentle and 
truly maternal, was the teacher of the first grammar 
class, then parsing Milton ! She seemed perfect mistress 
of her lofty subject; we little ones therefore regarded 
her as a marvel of learning . 



EARLY FOUNDATIONS, IDEALS AND CURRICULA. 119 

"I give my earliest recollections of Nazareth, but I 
think that even had I not known Mother Catherine in 
after years, I could never have forgotten the tones of her 
voice so gentle, but so deep and earnest, or the ex 
pression of her dark blue eyes which seemed to read your 
inmost heart. Her words were few and concise, but 
spoken with an enunciation so distinct they were sure to 
be remembered. I have heard my Mother, then a Protest 
ant, describe her first acquaintance with Mother Cath 
erine at Old Nazareth, St. Thomas Farm. She was then 
only nineteen years old, but the impression made by her 
manner, intelligence, beautiful modesty, caused my 
mother to say, stranger though she was, that she recog 
nized one to whose care she could confidently entrust 
her daughter. In those days we knew few Catholics and 
she was my Mother s first Catholic friend. Mother 
Catherine s entrance into our school room for a lecture 
was always hailed with interest and loving respect, so 
tender was she, especially to the erring or turbulent 
young creatures who drew strength and courage from 
her words. 

"In speaking of Mother Catherine s lectures I am re 
minded of others : especially Father David s Thursday 
evenings which were a great treat, filled as they were 
with beautiful illustrations from the Holy Scriptures 
and the Lives of the Saints. Bishop Reynolds, then Vice- 
President of St. Joseph s College, gave lectures to the 
first class on Philosophy, Chemistry and Literature, 
Father Fouche, the accomplished Professor of French, on 
the French Language and idioms. Ah, but Sister El 
len s lectures on neatness and politeness ! How the trans 
gressor trembled as Sister Ellen ascended the pulpit in 
the study room! Ah, how the little ones enjoyed her 
lessons! All had to walk the length of the study hall, 
greeting her respectfully and with all possible grace as 



120 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

we passed her, and making a profound courtesy to the 
school as we entered or left the room. In those days 
there were some untutored or green* subjects who made 
sad failures of their attempts but woe betide the girl 
who could not refrain from a smile on those occasions, 
or who committed any offence against grammar, neat 
ness or politeness one criticism from Sister Ellen would 
be remembered. 

"Our examinations were public not as public is now 
understood when Louisville and other places can fill with 
out difficulty the great exhibition hall, but the best part 
of the people of the vicinity and such of the children s 
relatives from a distance as might be at Nazareth were 
present. The Reverend Professors of St. Joseph s Col 
lege usually examined us, or handed the text book to some 
gentleman and scholar who might be present. There 
were no speeches nor dramas in those days, and the read 
ing of a graduate s composition was not done by the 
young lady herself. At fourteen years of age, when I 
finished my course at Nazareth, my valedictory was read 
aloud by Father Reynolds, my name being first given, 
while I, agitated and crying, tried to hide myself as 
much as possible behind the girl next to me! Henry Clay 
was present on that day and I had my premium from his 
hands. 

"Years afterwards, when Nazareth had so grown and 
the crowds on such occasions increased, Mother Cath 
erine said she looked forward to the day when all this 
would be changed. For many years it seemed necessary 
that the public should see what was the progress and 
capability of the school, but in time it would be so well 
established, that such public exhibitions would be dis 
carded and both sisters and girls spared such fatigue and 
trials, all of which would be more consonant with the 
spirit of Catholic female education. 






EARLY FOUNDATIONS, IDEALS AND CURRICULA. 121 

"We had few holidays ; the feast day of Bishop Flaget, 
(4th of November) when he happened to be in the vicin 
ity, and the feast day of Father David, the founder of 
Nazareth, were celebrated in the best style of that day 
by addresses in English and French and songs with 
original words. I felt it a great privilege to be one of 
the little torch bearers, clothed in white, standing near 
the young lady who modestly read her address from a 
ribbon-decked manuscript. Mother Catherine was al 
ways welcomed by the sounding of bells on her return 
from her visitations or from her founding of houses. 
Her journeys were made on horseback or in a heavy 
slow private conveyance they must have been very 
fatiguing. 

"Sister Columba Carroll was introduced to me as 
teacher of our little arithmetic class; I suppose it was 
just before her taking the habit. I recall her perfectly 
to-day, very slight, very fair and beautiful, with dark 
hair that could not have been taught any other style than 
its many curls. She was as gentle then, and dignified, as 
in her mature years. Ah, the delight and pride of being 
taught by her, and the wonder of the school (which was 
then almost entirely Protestant) that one like her, so 
young and lovely, should be a nun! Possibly I may 
seem to dwell too much upon the personal characteristics 
of the Sisters. But in all cases their personalities seemed 
to cast into relief their complete sacrifice of life, and all 
it holds dear, to the service of God." 

As comment upon and brief continuation of the spirit 
of Mrs. Wilkinson s memories may be added these words 
of Mrs. Wallace Strain, daughter of the Hon. B. F. 
Webb and mother of Sister Angela Strain: 

"How peaceful, how pleasant the backward view! 
Nazareth has always had among those she so fondly 
calls her children many who serve their God under dif- 



122 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

ferent forms of religion from her own ; but all love and 
serve Him better for having passed here those most 
important years of their lives, when their characters 
were building and heart and soul were most responsive 
to impressions of good. . . ." 

Ante-bellum life at Nazareth is pictured with intimate 
charm by another devoted pupil, Mrs. Julia Sloan Spald- 
ing: 

Tradition is the origin of my earliest impressions of 
Nazareth, and they extend backward almost to cradle- 
hood though I cannot claim to remember the ceremony 
of my infant baptism in the convent chapel, when Father 
James Madison Lancaster and Sister Sophia Carroll stood 
sponsors for the future Nazareth girl of 1853-1858. In 
the early fifties, Nazareth was situated in a sylvan soli 
tude. The approach was over an irregularly outlined 
dirt road, through a copse of broad-branched forest 
trees and vine-hung undergrowth, so dense that they in 
terrupted the beams of the sinking sun." 

At this time Reverend Joseph Hazeltine was eccles 
iastical superior of Nazareth. So devoted to Nazareth 
and so systematic was this distinguished priest and gen 
tleman that he made a practice of enrolling all entering 
pupils and keeping note of their later careers as far as 
possible. The writer of the above paragraph describes 
her enrollment : The ceremony seemed a solemn one a 
swearing-in as it were. Among the memories that en 
dure none stands out more clearly than those which arise 
when I think of Father Hazeltine. He had a mind ever 
calm, a heart always in repose. A uniform kindness and 
simplicity marked his intercourse with children. They 
sat around him on the floor, listening to his cheerful 
talk, playing games and partaking of the cakes and apples 
which he was in the habit of passing to them saying 
playfully to each one : Now take the biggest and best ; 



EARLY FOUNDATIONS, IDEALS AND CURRICULA. 123 

then each will get the biggest and best/ Patrons and 
visitors enjoyed his companionship and no courtier could 
receive the coming and speed the parting guest with 
happier grace. He presided over a little dominion of his 
own; he was custodian of the records and spiritual di 
rector of the community. 

"Father Hazeltine s negro body-servant, Henry Hazel- 
tine, as he was always called, must not be forgotten in 
connection with the master whom he faithfully served as 
valet and acolyte, much to the half-curious interest of 
the girls from the more northern states. The third mem 
ber of this ecclesiastical household was Jacko the Great, 
a feathered prodigy intimately identified with my earliest 
recollections. Jacko would never divulge his age; but 
we knew that he was the contemporary of several gen 
erations of Nazareth girls and easily an octogenarian, 
when he died of a broken heart because, so the story 
goes, of being supplanted by a younger bird and being 
sent to a strange perch to pine his life away. He was an 
intelligent parrot, but I remember him with no especial 
affection; he was officious and a tell-tale. When the 
girls went near the apple trees that stood just around 
the corner of Father Hazeltine s house, he would cry out 
vociferously: Girls stealing apples! Ha, Ha! [A 
more edifying tradition of Jacko is that when near the 
Sisters room he frequently participated in the commun 
ity s prayers, in fervent tones adding his Tray for us 
to the Litany] . 

"At this time the school numbered about three hun 
dred and thirty girls, mostly Southerners a vivacious, 
fun-loving set, indifferent toward study, impatient of re 
straint, and not consumingly ambitious. They repre 
sented the best families of the South, and many of them 
eventually became representative and dignified Nazareth 
graduates. In those days, travel was by stage-coach 



124 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

over the white turn-pike that led from Louisville to Nash 
ville. What a commotion when the stage horn sounded 
up the avenue of historic Elms and Locusts! Who was 
coming? Some girl s relatives, new pupils, what man 
ner of visitors ? Every point of observation was crowded 
that a glimpse might be had of the newly arriving. In 
those early days Nazareth was a summer resort. Weeks 
before Commencement Day, Whole families with babies 
and maids and luggage filled the strangers rooms and 
lined the galleries. They were refined intellectual people 
and afforded social intercourse to the school but taxed 
the Institution s hospitality. 

"Among the guests whose frequent and protracted 
visits to Nazareth were a distinct pleasure was Rt. Rev. 
Martin John Spalding who, in the seclusion of Nazareth, 
did much of his literary work. His talks and lectures 
were delightfully educational, and no one thought op 
pressively of his rank and scholarly attainments; his 
unaffected simplicity put every one at ease. 

"O. A. Brownson was once a guest. His appearance 
was as unusual as his character; he wore a loose-fitting 
suit of light clothes which gave him an unclerical ap 
pearancenot equal to what we had expected of our 
distinguished guest. With the frankly critical irrever 
ence of young girlhood, we thought his lecture the dryest 
we had ever heard. Of course he lectured above our 
heads. Nor did he make a favorable social impression 
upon us, seeming indifferent if not impatient toward 
our own efforts at affability. 14 

"The Jesuit Fathers did much to promote our educa 
tionspiritual, scientific, literary. Archbishops, bishops, 
and priests from a distance and distinguished people of 
every type did not think Nazareth too inaccessible or too 

u,!* l h i? ppea j s that M u , Brownson received a happier impression than that 
been defZ a rf e U ffV he . h * h -hef ted * c ^ girls. He declared that he had 
1 Wlthl 



u, h i j u , on an a 

been defZ a rf e U ffV he . h * h -hef ted * c ^ girls. He declared that he had 
SSfNfiyJSft 1 Wlth t , hls visit, and m some publication he made the statement 
that JSazareth was the most homelike institution he had visited. 



EARLY FOUNDATIONS, IDEALS AND CURRICULA. 125 

unimportant to be visited. Fixed in my memory as the 
most eloquent sermon I have ever heard was one that 
Bishop McGill of Richmond, Virginia, preached on 
Transubstantiation in the Nazareth Chapel. 

"In my school days French was taught by French 
ladies, Madame Boyer and Mademoiselles Tatu and Du- 
four. Mesdames Blaque and Chase drilled the girls in 
grace and deportment. And professors taught dancing. 
Monsieur de Grandeville demonstrated this art by doing 
all the dancing himself or more accurately, gy rating- 
scolding profanely in French when the girls failed to 
skip and whirl as nimbly as he did. His fiddle and bow 
received rough treatment in consequence of his im 
patience. 

"In 1856 the uniform, long characteristic of Nazareth 
pupils, was adopted. Garbed in purple calicoes on week 
days, and in buff dresses on Sundays, varied by maroon 
and blue winter frocks, capped by a nondescript but 
unique Quaker scoop, a Nazareth girl was easily identi 
fied and proud to be so recognized. From beginning 
to end of the year we were kept busy; but study was 
made interesting and the year with all its duties and 
pleasures passed rapidly. Lessons and tasks did not 
monopolize all our time. The Sisters allowed us to play, 
dance and sing as we pleased. Our stage performances 
were amusing if they had no other merit. Musical 
soirees, concerts, serenades and minstrelsy from the 
Bardstown swains kept our spirits attuned to youthful 
gladness. There were picknicks, lawn parties, hay-rides, 
phantom parties, nutting parties, candy pullings and 
fancy-balls with Nazareth colored band to fiddle and 
pick the banjo. O what fun! And the sisters were 
sure to serve refreshments from great baskets good 
substantial sandwiches, cakes and fruit. And so the 
spice of life conduced to our health and happiness. 



126 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

"Diplomas were first conferred in 1858, and Bishop 
Martin John Spalding then presented them to trie eight 
Young Lady Graduates . . . " 

Had not that old literary form, "Friendship s Gar 
land," become obsolete, not merely a chapter but a volume 
of goodly size might easily be written of such fond 
memories. Such a volume would include verses by the 
gifted Charlotte Mcllvain and, notably, a sketch con 
tributed to the Catholic World (January, 1893), by Mis. 
Emily Tarleton Snowden. Member of a well-known 
Kentucky family, a relative of Sister Columba Tarleton 
commemorated in foregoing pages, Mrs. Snowden was 
one of Nazareth s pupils in the early days and until her 
lamented death in 1914, she was one of the community s 
most loyal friends. Her sketch in the Catholic World, 
"A Famous Convent School of the Southwest," was one 
of the first and it remains one of the most just and elo 
quent tributes ever paid in print to her Alma Mater: 

"As for the sisters, their delicate personality meets 
with a ready and sympathetic response in the young 
hearts placed under their care. The obligations laid 
upon them they discharge with the utmost fidelity. 
They are above everything teachers, and realize to per 
fection the deep significance of their office ; to mould 
intellect, to develop character, to influence the whole 
future of a soul after the priesthood there is no more 
sacred calling." 

Unique but characteristic testimony to the fame which 
Nazareth had won for itself in the ante-bellum days is 
found in that interesting volume: "Forty Years in the 
United States, 1837-1885." 1 * Its author, Father Thebaud, 
states: "In 1842 en route by boat from Louisiana to 
Louisville, I was accosted by a distinguished gentleman 
who was accompanied by a delicate girl." After some- 

u In the Monograph Series of The United States Catholic Historical Society. 



EARLY FOUNDATIONS, IDEALS AND CURRICULA. 127 

what lengthy and repeated observations of Father 
Thebaud, the gentleman eventually asked if the 
priest were not a Catholic. On receiving an affirma 
tive answer, the gentleman said that such had been 
his supposition and, on the strength of Father 
Thebaud s assurance, he began to give his confidence 
and ask advice. The young girl was his wife. 
Though she was penniless, he had married her not only 
on account of her beauty but her sterling qualities of 
mind and heart. He lived in the interior of Mississippi 
where he was the owner of a large estate. Around 
him there were many rich families, and they formed to 
gether a most pleasant society. The young wife, being 
deficient in education, was at a disadvantage among 
these friends; but he had obtained her consent to go 
north to some educational institution, where she might 
spend a few years if necessary and gain some knowledge 
of music, geography, history, English literature. He 
wished to confide her to some nuns in Kentucky of 
whom he had heard, the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. 
What he now asked of Father Thebaud was advice 
on the prospect of her being received. He was afraid 
of being shown the door. Perhaps a "married lady 
among so many maidens would not be acceptable." 
Father Thebaud assured the husband that if the Sisters 
of Nazareth could not receive the wife, they would say 
so with all possible courtesy and certainly would not 
show the couple the door. Father Thebaud asked his 
confidant if he did not share the prejudice then existent 
in many pjlaces for instance, such as had provoked 
the Bostonians to drive out the Ursulines from Mt. 
Benedict. The gentleman assured Father Thebaud that 
the men of his class, though Protestants, had no such 
prejudice. Of late years he had entertained much in 
terest in Nazareth and its Sisters. All the young women 



128 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

of his vicinity who had been graduated from that convent 
returned home with deep affection for their former teach 
ers and spoke warmly of the treatment they had received. 
There was particularly, he said, "a Sister Ellen O Con- 
nell" whom all admired and loved. This was the chief 
reason, he wished his wife to be admitted as a pupil. 
Father Thebaud thought that there would not be any 
difficulty. It is supposed that there was not, and that 
the young Southerner entered upon her somewhat belated 
school life under the tutelage of the Sisters, whose good 
reputation as teachers had led her from her far-away 
home to the threshold of Nazareth Academy. 

At this point it is in order to give a resume of the 
curricula and general educational ideals which won pat 
ronage for the mother house and its branches, from their 
establishment to the period of the Civil War. That 
epoch, being synchronous with the society s fiftieth 
year of activity, supplies a fairly satisfactory point 
whence retrospection may judicially observe the sister 
hood s aims and accomplishment. 

The first records of Nazareth s academic life, compiled 
from memories of early pupils and teachers from 1822 
onward, emphasize the courses in Christian Doctrine, 
grammar, writing, music, history, French, plain sewing, 
tapestry and embroidery. From the beginning the regu 
lar school work was supplemented by lectures from the 
professors of St. Joseph s College on philosophy, chem 
istry, literature, French. Agreeing with Matthew Arnold 
that "conduct is three-fourths of human life," the faculty 
considered that in the cultivation of ideal Christian 
womanhood attention to dignity and grace of demeanor, 
courtesy and consideration for others, was as necessary 
as training in academic branches ; hence, by continual 
discipline of precept and example, stress was laid upon 
these virtues, at best so closely akin to spiritual qualities. 



EARLY FOUNDATIONS, IDEALS AND CURRICULA. 129 

The earliest printed copy of Nazareth s curriculum, in 
the Catholic Almanac for 1833-35, gives this account of 
the branches taught: reading, writing, arithmetic, Eng 
lish grammar, geography (with the use of globes), his 
tory, rhetoric, botany, natural philosophy including the 
principles of astronomy, optics, chemistry, etc. ; plain 
sewing, marking, needlework, drawing, painting, music 
and the French language. "This last branch, to wit, 
the French language, is taught with the greatest correct 
ness both as to grammar and pronunciation, there being 
actually in the Institution several French Sisters, besides 
others who understand and speak the language very 
correctly. A course of Lectures on Rhetoric and Philos 
ophy (Natural and Moral) will be given annually by 
the Professors of St. Joseph s College. Lessons and Ex 
ercises in Polite English Literature will also be given." 
With its quaint phrasing, the Almanac gives a good 
manifesto of the advantages and special characteristics 
of Nazareth Academy : "In point of health, pleasantness, 
retirement, water, etc., its situation is perhaps inferior 
to none in the Western country. . . . The school 
is conducted on principles similar to those of St. Joseph s 
College. It is under the supervision of the Right Rev 
erend Bishops, and the inspection of the President and 
principal professors of the College who quarterly ex 
amine the pupils and encourage their progress . 

"The Institution being conducted by a numerous com 
munity of religious persons who have consecrated them 
selves to the service of God and their neighbor, there is 
always a sufficient number of competent tutoresses whose 
tender and conscientious care of their pupils is calculated 
to gain the love of the children and the confidence of the 
parents. 

"A certain number of orphans or destitute children 
may be placed in this institution upon application . 



130 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

There will be an annual vacation from the last Thurs 
day of July to the first Monday in September." 

The Catholic Almanac for 1841 records the addition 
of Italian and Spanish languages, the harp, guitar, and 
dancing to the list of subjects taught. A paragraph con 
jures a picture of the Nazareth girl as she appeared in 
her winter uniform of dark merino, while her summer 
raiment required blue and pink colored ginghams and 
calicoes, with plain aprons and capes. Another clause 
definitely states that "no solicitation or influence is used 
to change the religious principles or creed of the pupils ; 
should any manifest a desire for such change, the parents 
or guardians are informed of the same." During many 
of the early years the non-Catholic children formed the 
majority of the pupils. Among these were three little 
girls who appeared in 1843, Mary, Anna, and Elizabeth 
Bradford, nieces of Jefferson Davis. From their uncle s 
Mississippi plantation these young Southerners arrived 
one May morning in Louisville, whence they departed 
on a seven hours stage coach ride to Nazareth. After 
a time one of the girls avowed her purpose of persuading 
Sister Columba Carroll to renounce her faith. Later all 
three, two other sisters, and their mother were baptized 
in Nazareth s church. At the time Father Hazeltine was 
ecclesiastical superior and a pleasing sketch of him 
occurs in the memories of one of these young women, 
Mrs. Edward Miles (Anna Bradford) : "Father Hazel- 
tine was the first Catholic priest we had ever met. We 
were charmed with his elegant appearance and courtly 
manner; and we could but admire the grace with which 
he wore his handsome well-made cassock with its long 
train and heavy sash; he won the respect and esteem of 
those who knew him. He was much pleased with our 
Christian names, and he would often stop to speak a 
kind word as we three sisters were sitting together in 



EARLY FOUNDATIONS, IDEALS AND CURRICULA. 131 

the shade of the grand old trees; he would slowly pro 
nounce our names: Mary, Anna, Elizabeth. We did 
not then know why he so often called, our names in meet 
ing us ; but in after years when we became Catholics we 
knew the nature of his thoughts." 

The earliest catalogues of Nazareth Academy extant 
those of 1857, 1858, 1859 indicate the numerous at 
tendance from the South. Louisiana and Mississippi vied 
with Kentucky in patronage as the French and Spanish 
patronymics suffice to reveal : Alpuente, Lacour, Rous 
seau, Le Blanc, Le Vaudais; with such characteristic 
Christian names as Delphine, Mathilde, Antoinette, Jus 
tine, Celeste, Clarisse and Adeline, occurring as fre 
quently as the less romantic Marys, Annas, Ellens of the 
neighborhood. In 1860 the enrollment from Louisiana 
was one hundred, while Mississippi and Kentucky were 
represented respectively by fifty; in the following year 
Mississippi and Louisiana both surpassed the creditable 
registration of eighty-eight Kentucky girls. Meantime, 
the numbers in the entire school mounted tow r ard three 
hundred, being augmented by pupils from Ohio, Indiana, 
Illinois, Arkansas, Alabama and Texas. During these 
years the school term ended July 1st or the last Thurs 
day in June. Though the mercury in Kentucky ther 
mometers probably mounted as high in those days as at 
present, Nazareth was so much farther North than many 
of the children s homes that it was considered no hard 
ship for the girls to be left in school so late; in fact, 
as an earlier reminiscence has stated, many Southern 
families during the summer enjoyed the Sisters hos 
pitality in the spacious Kentucky convent home. 

The ante-bellum catalogues record the addition of 
vocal music (which, however, was really taught from the 
beginning), German, composition, epistolary style (the 
Lost Art?), parsing in Milton s "Paradise Lost," parsing 



132 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

in poetry. The naming of these last two studies may 
today provoke a smile, perhaps a frown, since in some 
quarters it has become the custom to regard such parsing 
as a two-edged sword, doing mortal damage to the 
poetry itself; spoiling it for those who thus study it. 
The point is indeed well taken with reference to the 
manner in which the teaching of such a course has often 
been done; but the contrary was the case at Nazareth 
of yore (and in other convents which might here be 
named) where "Parsing in Poetry, Parsing in Milton s 
Paradise Lost/ " left an ineradicable and most profitable 
love and appreciation of the literary masters. Such 
parsing may indeed have had its terrors for the parser; 
none the less it gave a good training in grammar and in 
interpretation of great literature, a far better interpreta 
tion than that which the present with some of its dry 
analyses sometimes secures. Taught by the gifted faculty 
of early Nazareth, it became an initiation into the mean 
ing and true values of poetry, familiarizing the pupils 
with the best thought and noblest feelings of all time 
expressed in best language, "spiritual beauty . 
wrought out in terms of visible beauty, swift image, 
noble phrase, making the profoundest interpretation of 
the soul of man." Compared with courses of study to 
day, those early courses in poetry perhaps seem the 
most antique branches in the old curricula; they were 
incontestably among the most valuable, giving a dis 
tinction to the thought and modes of thought, the excel 
lent English, the general "tone" of the pupils who in 
that far away time added prestige to their Alma Mater. 
The dignity, charm, precision of diction still encountered 
among convent-bred women of distant yesterdays con 
trast so sharply with much of our current speech, that 
one need not be irreclaimably a laudator tcmporis acti 
to wonder if the modern systems, however "improved," 



EARLY FOUNDATIONS, IDEALS AND CURRICULA. 133 

have not forfeited some potency possessed by earlier 
methods which now win an indulgent smile. 

Reference has recurrently been made to the stimulus, 
encouragement, assistance given to Nazareth s faculty by 
the professors of St. Joseph s College, Bardstown, and 
other eminent scholars and educators. The academy and 
the college were a mutual advantage to each other in 
securing patronage. In many neighboring and distant 
regions there was scarcely a family of note or interest 
in education which did not have representation at one or 
both of these Kentucky institutions. As Nazareth s early 
registers contain names well known and esteemed, so 
onward from the year 1823 St. Joseph s College began 
to include among its alumni such men of distinction as 
L. W. Powell, Governor of Kentucky; Hon. James 
Speed, attorney-general under President Lincoln s ad 
ministration; Governors Roman and Wickliffe of Louis 
iana ; Rt. Rev. John McGill, Bishop of Richmond ; Alex 
ander Bullitt, editor of the New Orleans Picayune; Col 
onel Alexander and Samuel Churchill, of Louisville, 
Judge Buckner of Lexington, Kentucky, Drs. William 
Donne and John J. Speed, Messrs. Joshua Speed, Henry 
Tyler, William Cuthbert, Washington Bullitt of Louis 
ville, Hon. Cassius Clay. 

From 1832 to 1846 the Jesuit Fathers had charge of 
St. Mary s College near Lebanon, Kentucky, and from 
1848 to 1868 St. Joseph s College was under their care. 
Like the early Kentucky bishops, many of these Jesuits 
were scholarly and devout Frenchmen; especially was 
this true of the first band of St. Mary s College which 
included such men as Father Chazelle, one time chaplain 
of the famous military school of Lafleche in France, and 
later president of Montmorillon College, France, "whose 
whole life was but an exhibition of uprightness and faith 
fulness to duty;" Father Nicholas Petit, born in Hayti, 



134 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

the son of a wealthy Creole planter of French birth 
(Father Petit was for many years in New York) ; Father 
Simon Fouche, who has already been mentioned, spent 
some time at Fordham, New York; Father Evremond 
Haissart, a zealous missionary as well as earnest teacher ; 
Father Vital Gilles, a tireless worker who went from 
Kentucky to the office of chaplain in the Sacred Heart 
Convent, St. James Parish, Louisiana; Rev. Thomas 
Legounais, revered as a saint (he too became one of the 
faculty of Fordham). Revs. Augustus Thebaud, Peter 
Lebreton, Hippolyte Charles de Luynes were among the 
other foreign born clergy who toiled with able native 
ecclesiastics to give distinction to St. Mary s. 

When, in 1848, the Jesuits took charge of St. Joseph s 
College, Bardstown, their ranks included a few Belgians 
of piety and learning: Rev. Peter Verhaegen, Rev. 
Francis D Hoop, Reverend Charles Truyens. Natives 
of France and of America also assisted in maintaining a 
high degree of scholarship and discipline in the school. 
The attendance was considerably increased, having a 
noteworthy effect in augmenting the enrollment at 
Nazareth. The Jesuits from St. Mary s and St. Joseph s 
College were always cordially interested in Nazareth s 
welfare, ever ready to share their stores of erudition with 
Sisters and pupils, and to give of their spiritual resources. 
Association with their scholarly minds, intimate acquaint 
ance with their high standards, their excellent methods, 
which trained some of the most eminent men of the day, 
was an invaluable privilege to the Sisters of Nazareth. 
Once and for all it freed them from the limitation all 
too often and too unjustly ascribed to convent faculties 
aloofness from the larger world of thought and mental 
discipline. 

Meantime in their rural estate the Sisters might enjoy 
all the seclusion they desired for themselves and their 



EARLY FOUNDATIONS, IDEALS AND CURRICULA. 135 

young charges. There, remote from the city and its 
frequently unprofitable diversions, they could mould their 
pupils according to their own lofty ideals of simplicity, 
diligence, morality. In the spacious grounds, the stead 
ily increasing buildings, it had become more and more 
possible to promise good health and excellent educational 
facilities to the children entrusted to their care. Thus 
by degrees a tradition of true culture was established- 
one that combined the old classic ideal, mens sana in 
cor pore sano, with the still higher ideal of Christian 
training that took account of heart and soul. It was this 
rounded ideal of education that soon won for Nazareth 
Academy the esteem of representative Catholics and non- 
Catholics, who were willing to be separated for months, 
sometimes years, from their children in order that the 
latter might have the advantages of the Sisters careful 
instruction. In turn the patronage from such sources 
with their own high standards of conduct and intelli 
gence was an encouragement to the Sisters and decid 
edly a factor in maintaining the reputation of Nazareth 
Academy as one of the eminent educational institutions 
of the South. 



CHAPTER VI. 
MOTHER COLUMBA. 

HARACTERED in gold in the community s his- 
tory is the name of Columba Carroll who, after 
Mother Catherine s death alternated with Mother Frances 
as Superior. As teacher, directress of studies, ideal reli 
gious, she was a prime force in gaining for Nazareth the 
prestige ascribed to it in the forgoing chapter. She is a 
vivid and venerated memory to those who knew her in 
life; while those whose recollections are of shorter span 
have received from the past no more inspiring legacy 
than the traditions of her exceptional personality and 
endowments. 

Like the early missionaries to Kentucky, Mother 
Columba was a gift of the Old World to America. As 
France had given Nazareth its ecclesiastical founders, 
so another land of faith and tender hearts, Ireland, gave 
to the order one of its most distinguished and cherished 
members Margaret Carroll, the future Mother Columba. 
This third of Nazareth s great mothers was born in 
Dublin in 1810, but in her sixth year she came to America 
with her parents. During her childhood she gave promise 
of her later vocation to the ranks of Charity. One Sun 
day morning, when she was still a little girl, she went to 
church, wearing a handsome cloak. At the church door 
she encountered a beggar, in whose behalf she bettered 
St. Martin s generosity, for she bestowed her whole 
beautiful new garment upon her mendicant. The benev 
olent spirit, thus so early manifested, was not only a per 
sonal, but an inherited virtue; for the young almoner s 

136 



MOTHER COLUMBA 137 

parents were themselves martyrs to their own goodness 
of heart they died of fever contracted from a needy 
priest whom they had befriended. 

After the death of these parents, their two daughters 
Esther and Margaret were sent respectively to Lor- 
etto and to Nazareth. Both, however, became Sisters of 
Charity. During Mother Columba s early years in the 
community, she had the gratification of being joined by 
her sister, Esther Carroll, known in religion as Sister 
Sophia. From her entrance in 1833 to her death, 1841, 
Sister Sophia Carroll contributed valuable services to 
her society. She was a good teacher, an affable, un 
selfish religious, long remembered "as a sunbeam in the 
community." Among the Nazareth pupils there was a 
young girl of whom she was particularly fond, and to her 
she said one day : "After a while you will come to Naz 
areth to remain and bear my name." Fifteen years later 
the prophecy was accomplished the subject thereof be 
ing Sister Sophia Carton, for years the esteemed superior 
of the Presentation Academy, Louisville. 

Endowed by Heaven with rare gifts of spirituality, 
intellect, beauty, the future Mother Columba was 
especially blessed in those who helped to foster her 
talents. Her intellectual guide was Sister Ellen O Con- 
nell, long directress of studies at Nazareth; her spiritual 
counsellor was that truly sanctified religious whose name 
she was to bear Sister Columba Tarleton. A passage 
in the Society s early records states that at the first com 
mencement (1825), Mother Catherine and Sister Ellen 
"proudly beheld Margaret Carroll, a young girl grad 
uate, who had whispered a request that the name of her 
beloved teacher be reserved for her. Though the world 
offered her brilliant prospects, she had determined to 
follow the narrow way." In 1825 she entered the novi 
tiate, and received the habit the following year. Almost 



138 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

immediately she became one of the teaching corps, at 
once giving evidence of her admirable endowments. 

While she was still young in years, Sister Columba 
Carroll (as she was then) passed through a stern pro 
bation for her career in the ranks of charity. During the 
cholera epidemic in Bardstown in 1833, she shared the 
noble ministration of those who in that dire season added 
a chapter of heroism to Nazareth s annals. Though Sister 
Columba was but twenty-three years old, she bore a 
significant part in the ordeal; and for her it was a pro 
bation all the more severe because of her inexperience 
among the sick and the dying. Tragically familiarized 
did she then become with virulent disease and death. 
She saw her companions succumb one by one, while upon 
her devolved the burden of sharing the survivors toil, or 
indeed facing alone the hours of harrowing solicitude. 
When Sister Patricia Bamber died, the other Sisters were 
either exhausted, or busy elsewhere. To Sister Columba 
fell the sad and dangerous task of caring for Sister Pa 
tricia s lifeless frame, keeping solitary vigil beside it all 
day, "while the whole town seemed wrapt in the very 
stillness of death." Not a person could be seen in the 
streets. No one entered the house save Bishop David 
and Father Reynolds, until a conveyance was sent to bear 
Sister Patricia s remains to Nazareth. Unquestionably 
then and there Sister Columba s heart-strings were at 
tuned to that sympathy and pity which in later years she 
so liberally dispensed during the Civil War, the plagues, 
and in all her relations with her associates in the blessed 
bond of charity. 

From that first test of her fortitude, she returned to 
her tasks at the academy. She was soon to take a most 
conspicuous part in the work of higher education at 
Nazareth. The presence of such an intellectual influence 
in the community was at the time most opportune. 




MOTHER COLUMBA CARROLL. 



MOTHER COLUMBA 139 

Nazareth was steadily augmenting its reputation ; through 
the South and elsewhere branch houses had begun to ex 
tend the influences of education and religion. In those 
schools and at Nazareth, Mother Columba s rare qual 
ities were among the foremost guiding and constructive 
forces. At her death a writer of note expressed his 
doubts whether or not any religious community had 
possessed a better educator than she had been. Assum 
ing the office of directress of studies in 1832, when her 
intellectual powers were in their first vigorous bloom, she 
retained that position till 1862, when she became superior. 

Mother Columba s administrations have been termed 
a "Rule of Love." That she deserved this eulogy is 
demonstrated by her letters, which breathe a spirit of 
tender affection for those under her care, both Sisters and 
pupils. Her beautiful even penmanship was characteristic 
of her equable temperament, of that gentleness, dignity, 
and refinement which made acquaintance with her one 
of life s valued experiences. She had in perfection the 
gift of facile expression; felicity of mood and phrase 
ran a golden thread across her pages. This note is illus 
trative, being moreover a pen-picture of the Nazareth 
girl of long ago: "Yesterday, as the cold weather has 
passed, Mother permitted the girls to resume their hoops. 
Had Queen Victoria s regal diadem been placed on each 
head, more exaltation could scarcely have been apparent. 
It had been a great privation for them to be destitute of 
these charming adornments. However their submission 
was edifying." 

Mother Columba s letters bear witness, as did her 
spoken words and her demeanor, to that serenity of soul 
whose source of strength lies beyond all earthly dis 
quietudes and uncertainties. The beauty of God s world, 
especially in His garden-spot, Nazareth, was a theme 
upon which she never wearied of expatiating. Typical 



140 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

is one of her letters of July, 1862 ; the early part of this 
missive describes the loveliness and peace at Nazareth in 
sharp contrast to the turmoil and desolation elsewhere; 
after the first paragraph follows this strain of profound 
anxiety, coupled with admirable fortitude and confidence 
in God: 

"Dark as is the prospect, we will trust lovingly in 
His parental care. I reflect with dread on the responsi 
bility now devolving upon me; but the virtues and de- 
voutness of our community will ensure God s blessing. 
The coming year will be one of struggle and difficulty." 

Truly prophetic was the last sentence. The following 
chapter will recount the community s heroic work during 
the Civil War ; but that narrative may here be anticipated 
in order to throw into high relief Mother Columba s 
courage and resourcefulness. To and fro in the neigh 
borhood of the mother house, troops were constantly 
passing. During the early months of the war, servants 
began deserting. The task of running the farm, as well 
as conducting the academy, added perplexing and ardu 
ous burdens to Mother Columba s anxious heart. The 
pupils, many of whom were from the South, were a 
source of profound sympathy. Her solicitude, combined 
with her resolution to maintain the poise which her re 
sponsible office demanded, is revealed in these 
extracts from her correspondence of those distressing 
days: 

"Nazareth is passing through a fiery ordeal. In God s 
providence I trust all will eventually end well. I do not 
suffer myself to yield to sadness, but I cannot banish 
painful anxiety for interests so dear to us all and to Re 
ligion." 

And Mother Columba s anxiety was by no means 
confined to her immediate surroundings, for several of 
the branch houses were located near the scenes of war. 



MOTHER COLUMBA 141 

A letter, dated October, 1862, to a Sister in one of the 
institutions expresses the deepest maternal concern; 

"During these tedious weeks of utter isolation from 
our dear Sisters, I have thought much of you and have 
longed to hear from you. . . . The disturbed state 
of the country and the condition of things generally have 
precluded the possibility of affording you the relief you 
so much need. Even now the letter communication is 
uncertain, and indeed it is difficult to have our mail 
(which comes three times a week) brought out. The 
other day I sent a black boy to town, and while he was 
in the office his horse was taken away. When General 
Buell s army passed us in search of rebels, our two black 
men went with them ; and now our physician has gone to 
the army. As you see, we have had our share of troubles 
and annoyances." 

Yet, seriously and grievously as she felt the chief 
burden of this trying time Mother Columba endeavored 
with marvellous strength of nature to comfort others, to 
infuse into their hearts a keen sense of the spiritual op 
portunities which the season was providing. Typical is 
this note, sent during 1863, to a Sister in one of the 
hospitals : 

"How are you all? Busy, I am sure; and laying up 
such treasures of merit that we are almost tempted to be 
jealous or rather envious of you." 

For Mother Columba s reassurance at this time, and as 
proof of the esteem in which Nazareth was held, guar 
antees of security had been forwarded from President 
Lincoln and from high officers in both camps. Yet, 
faithfully on the whole as these promises were kept, they 



142 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

could not avail to banish Mother Columba s daily nay, 
hourly, anxiety. Although no serious intrusions or dis 
turbances might occur, these were nevertheless constantly 
imminent. Repeated skirmishings in the neighborhood 
kept the atmosphere tense with excitement. This culmi 
nated on a certain occasion which sternly challenged 
Mother Columba s equanimity. Within Nazareth s se 
cluded precincts one day appeared a foraging corps. 
Mother Columba consented to share her stores, provided 
that no annoyance was given by the soldiers. The cap 
tain gave his promise, which some of his men disre 
spectfully broke; a group of them crowded toward the 
windows of the recreation hall, endeavoring to engage 
the attention of the schoolgirls who were already in a 
condition of excitement and anxiety. Immediately, 
Mother Columba with her marvellous dignity passed into 
the yard ; one of the officers stepped up and asked if she 
wished anything. "I am looking for a gentleman," said 
she, and the words proved sufficient to disperse the 
offenders. 

No greater testimony to Mother Columba s strength 
of nature and intellect may be found than that offered 
by her firm guidance of both community and academy 
during the years of the war. Generalship of a high 
order was needed at that time to keep the academic 
routine running smoothly, to preserve her own mental 
and spiritual placidity, to comfort and sustain the hearts 
of her pupils, her anxious teaching Sisters, and those 
sacrificial spirits whom the dread season claimed as 
nurses in camp and hospital. But gloriously as her 
handling of affairs during the nation s conflict redounded 
to her honor, still further evidence of Mother Columba s 
abilities was given by the remarkable prosperity of Naz 
areth in the years following the war. After the tribula 
tion and depression of the four preceding years, Naz- 



MOTHER COLUMBA 148 

areth, in 1865, registered three hundred pupils. There 
were likewise many additions to the community. In no 
small measure, the capable superior was personally re 
sponsible for this prosperity. She had endeared herself 
to those pupils whom she had guarded during a season 
so perilous; her wise and stable administration had won 
the confidence it so richly deserved. 

Fortunate as was the community in having Mother 
Columba as superior during the war and the years im 
mediately following, no less propitious for continued 
success was the fact that at the expiration of her term 
(1868), she resumed the office which she had previously 
held with such honor and efficiency, that of directress of 
studies. Especially identified as this position was with 
academic work, it did not preclude Mother Columba s 
active participation in the other interests of the society. 
Ever zealous as member of her particular order, valuable 
as adviser, and sympathetic as friend and helper, what 
ever her specific office she constantly bore significant part 
in the community s general affairs. 

Re-elected superior in 1874, she again entered upon a 
series of responsibilities which were to make a final test 
of her poised intellect, her fortitude of soul, her judg 
ment and her unwavering trust in God. The order s ter 
ritorial expansion then required a still firmer grasp upon 
the helm. Constantly from various quarters came re 
quests for new foundations, demanding the exercise of 
keen judgment, the strict tempering of zeal with prud 
ence. A particularly important work which she super 
vised at this time was the building of the large Sts. Mary 
and Elizabeth Hospital, Louisville (1873-1874). 

As she thus ably guided and served her sisterhood, it 
was truly fitting that the community should signally 
manifest its affection and reverence for her when the 
year 1877 brought around her fiftieth anniversary as a 



144 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

religious. To-day, after the flitting of forty years, the 
occasion remains a memorable one, so fervent was the 
tone of the many felicitations offered, so united were 
Sisters and friends in their manifestations of fond at 
tachment. 

The happy moments of Mother Columba s festal day 
how different were they from the sombre hours of the 
following year, 1878, when the dire plague of the South, 
yellow fever, swept the land, desolating Mother Col 
umba s tender heart, testing the resources of her brave 
spirit. Once more the daughters of St. Vincent were 
called upon to prove themselves in the truest sense Sisters 
of Charity. Better than any comment, Mother Columba s 
letters of this sad period reveal her brooding affection, 
her reliance upon God, her double emotion of harrowing 
anxiety and Christian confidence. One of the greatest 
afflictions of this sorrowful season was that the Sisters 
often gave not only their strength and labor but also 
their health and life itself to their self-sacrificing occupa 
tions. Many of them died; numbers endured long 
periods of illness. What a maternal cry is this from 
their grieving Mother s heart : "Ah, that I could fly to 
your bedside this morning; but we must pray, my dear 
children, now as ever, God s will be done!" And again: 
"His ways are full of mystery, but they are full of love. 
Your letter, my dear child, comforted your poor afflicted 
Mother s heart . . . because I see how God is 
comforting and sustaining you. No words can convey 
to you an idea of the anxiety and grief of your Sisters 
here and in the different houses. Be very prudent in 
your convalescence. God brought you through your 
dangerous illness that you might love Him still more 
and more. Holy and sanctifying is the Hand of illness 
and affliction He has laid upon you." 

Equally expressive of her parental solicitude, now tak- 



MOTHER COLUMBA 145 

ing thought of her children s physical comfort, now con 
sidering their spiritual welfare, are these two messages 
to those in tribulation : "Be sure to inform me if there is 
anything I can send for your comfort;" "My dear chil 
dren, do not permit your thought to dwell on the sorrow 
ful scenes of the past sad weeks; but be cheerful, laugh 
and joke, and strive to amuse and sustain each other. 
God s fatherly Hand and Heart directed in love the trials 
and sorrows that visited your sweet happy home." 

But if, during the stress and strain of this sombre 
period, Mother Columba again displayed those virtues of 
charity, equanimity, maternal solicitude which had 
marked her foregoing career, she who had been such a 
source of strength and comfort to others did not remain 
unscathed by the stern ordeal. Weakened by the worry 
and burden of distressing experiences, that noble over- 
fraught heart was to break beneath the excessive strain. 
Those who remember the harrowing days recall her 
pathetic appearance, especially when the mail arrived. 
She dreaded to open it, lest it contained tragic news of 
her Sisters illness or death. 

Moreover to add to her "sorrow s crown of sorrow," 
her guide and friend from girlhood years, Mother 
Frances, passed to her eternal reward in November, 
1878. The following month Mother Columba herself 
succumbed. Thus almost together entered upon their 
richly merited season of heavenly recompense, these two 
spirits who rank among Nazareth s most able architects, 
who alternated for many years as superiors. Coupling 
their names during Mother Columba s obsequies, the Rt. 
Rev. Bishop McCloskey fittingly said to their bereaved 
community and their numerous other mourners : "Be ye 
imitators of them, as they were of Christ Jesus!" V .iat 
eulogy more eloquent, what higher praise were p^ oible ? 

Those who knew Mother Columba may deem that the 



146 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

bishop s words adequately epitomize the merits of one 
whose supreme aim was to walk in her Divine Master s 
footsteps ; but those who know her merely by report may 
desire more detailed characterization. The following 
quotation from the Hon. B. Webb s "Centenary of Cath 
olicity in Kentucky may consolingly vizualize the in 
tellectual and personal distinction of this rare woman 
who, for more than half a century, was one of Nazareth s 
precious ornaments, as she will ever be one of its most 
treasured and inspiring memories : 

"She was of the middle stature, perhaps a little above 
it. She was very fair, and her features were of that 
regular order that is judged by artists as comprehensive 
of all requisites to facial beauty. Her eyes were of a light 
blue, mild and encouraging where her confidence was 
either given or sought; and piercing, with an expression 
that spoke of sorrow as well as grievance, when she felt 
called upon to repress among her pupils either levity in 
speech or breaches of decorum. No one could look into 
her face and not discern therein an intellectuality of a 
high order, and neither could any one hold intercourse 
with her and not discover that her nature was noble. 
Her voice was as pleasant as anything in nature that is 
most grateful to the ear, and her conversation was of 
the precise character that one would expect out of the 
mouth of an intelligent Christian woman. Looking at 
her and listening to her, as I have often done, I have 
felt that there was no earthly dignity to which she might 
not have aspired, and of which she was not worthy; and 
I have felt too that it was meet that such excellence, 
with its wealth of capabilities and capacities, should have 
been reserved for Heaven and its King." 

Fervent as this eulogy is, to some extent it leaves the 
impression that Mother Columba was particularly fortun 
ate in her endowments. But this undoubted fact must 



. 



MOTHER COLUMBA 14:7 



ot be allowed to overshadow her zealous and persistent 
co-operation with Heaven. For though graces abundant 
were her dower, she daily merited them afresh. Because 
she knew the value of discipline, and had intimately 
learned God s ways with the soul, she could persuasively 
share such counsels of perfection as these : "Be humble, 
fervent, generous; never stopping to mourn over the 
petty contradictions and ills that may sometimes start 
up in your pathway. God is lavish of His favors to us ; 
be never parsimonious with Him. When a duty is as 
signed, think not of your capability but proceed forth 
with to perform the task with your heart and soul, and 
God will supply the zeal or imaginary deficiency." 

To those more interested in spiritual values, in the 
complexion of the soul if the phrase may be permitted 
than in superficial aspects, these words portray Mother 
Columba s spiritual nature more accurately than does 
any description of her appearance. In these words she 
truly reveals her own soul, proving that however admir 
able were her own countenance and demeanor, certainly 
the supreme beauty of this particular King s daughter 
was within. Hence, even as her cultivated intellect, her 
dignity and comeliness of mien, have ever been prized 
among the fairest pillars of the House of Nazareth, so 
her exceptional spiritual qualities were at once the crown 
of her own nature and must ever be ranked among the 
precious graces which have given her community its 
high character and have helped to win for it Heaven s 
perennial benedictions. 



CHAPTER VII. 
THE CIVIL WAR. 

IN seventeenth century France, under St. Vincent 
de Paul s direction, the Sisters of Charity first es 
tablished their claim to a term often since bestowed upon 
them, "Angels of the Battlefield." This role they ful 
filled during the disasters of the Fronde ; later, while the 
French Revolution raged, their charity again was freely 
exercised. Repeatedly when seasons of strife have spread 
death and desolation, they have gone forth as eager to 
heal and save as the combatants have been to wound and 
kill. Side by side with the forces of destruction, their 
hands have worked for the conservation and rebuilding 
of human life. 

This tradition of compassionate deeds the Sisters of 
Nazareth gloriously exemplified during the Civil War. 
Their earliest and some of their ablest services began on 
that Kentucky soil whence their order had sprung to life. 
Early in the tragic drama, Louisville was the scene of 
martial activities. In the spring of 1861, Bishop Martin 
John Spalding sent a formal communication to General 
Robert Anderson of Fort Sumter fame, then in com 
mand of the department of Kentucky, tendering the of 
fices of the Sisters of Charity as nurses. The offer was 
cordially received and immediately arrangements were 
made for the Sisters to work in the hospitals of Louis 
ville and the vicinity, according to the following agree 
ment: 

"The Sisters of Charity will nurse the wounded under 

148 



THE CIVIL WAR 149 

the direction of the army surgeons, without any inter 
mediate authority or interference whatever. 

"Everything necessary for the lodging and nursing of 
the wounded and the sick will be supplied to them with 
out putting them to expense; they giving their service 
gratuitously. 

"So far as circumstances will allow, they shall have 
every facility for attending to religious and devotional 
exercises. 

ROBERT ANDERSON, 
Brig.-Gen l, U. S. Army." 
"M. J. Spalding, 

Bishop of Louisville." 

Three large manufacturing establishments were placed 
at the service of the Government and transformed into 
hospitals. Twenty-three Sisters and an army surgeon 
were given charge thereof. Immediately an orderly 
system was introduced where there had been chaos. The 
long cot-lined rooms of the improvised hospitals were 
so divided that a Sister might have supervision over 
every section. 

Before the arrival of the nurses, one battle and several 
skirmishes had occurred, and many Confederates had 
been captured. Thus the Sisters were immediately in 
itiated into a scene of heartbreaking anguish. Awaiting 
their merciful care were hundreds of Union and Con 
federate men agonizing, mutilated, mortally wounded, 
disease-stricken. As soon as the orderlies had performed 
their first services to the disabled, the Sisters labors 
began. Impartially their skilful hands ministered to the 
Blue and the Gray, to soldiers gentle and uncouth. 
Seasoned fighters and little drummer boys groaned side 
by side; but for all there was the same consideration. 
Wounds received in battle were not always the most 



150 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

serious sources of anxiety. Contagious diseases those 
scourges of Bellona s train these too had to be vigor 
ously handled. Typhoid and other fevers, erysipelas, 
pneumonia, were among the foes which the Sisters had 
to combat. Moreover, they expended unflagging effort 
as ancillcc Domini; for though the parish priests faith 
fully attended the sick and the dying, the Sisters supple 
mented their spiritual works of mercy. They prepared 
those who desired baptism or other sacraments, and 
rendered many other offices for the soul s welfare. 

Other parts of Kentucky were fortunate in sharing 
the Sisters benevolence. It was lavishly exercised in 
Bardstown. This town was successively occupied by 
Union and Confederate troops, and several hostile en 
gagements occurred in the immediate neighborhood. As 
soon as possible, Mother Columba sent a corps of nurses, 
and the Baptist Female College was converted into a 
hospital for the numerous disabled Confederate soldiers, 
eager to be again on the march. Expeditiously and 
successfully the Sisters cared for their wounds, where 
upon they departed, only to be immediately followed 
by a relay of Union men. As a reporter of later times 
aptly expressed it: Thus in the midst of civil strife, 
with bullets flying thick and fast, did the Sisters work 
under one flag, a flag that was respected by Northerner 
and Southerner alike the flag of humanity." 

Paducah as well as Bardstown was the scene of some 
of the most stirring excitement in which the Sisters par 
ticipated. Early in 1861 General Smith, in command 
of seven thousand Union men, appealed to Nazareth for 
aid, the request having been prompted by Dr. Hewit, 
who had elsewhere observed the Sisters ability as nurses. 
This Dr. Hewit was a brother of the noted superior of 
the Paulist Fathers in New York. When the request 
was made to the Sisters in Paducah, Sister Martha Drury 



THE CIVIL WAR 151 

was then Superior of St. Mary s Academy. At the time 
no communication could immediately be made with the 
mother house; but it was a crisis demanding prompt 
action and such charitable response as Nazareth would 
have cordially sanctioned. Hence, Sister Martha forth 
with gathered her little band and went to take charge 
of the sick and the wounded. Vigorous as were her 
mind and spirit in post-bellum days Sister Martha said 
that such had been the strain of war-times, her life 
before that nerve-racking period had become almost a 
blank. Paducah was filled with dying and wounded 
soldiers from the battle-fields of Fort Donaldson, Fort 
Henry and neighboring scenes of conflict. In 1862 
General Forest led a raid of Confederates into this town, 
and anxiety ran riot. Stored in one building not far from 
the river, where the gunboats were appearing, was pow 
der enough to blow up the town. A general flight 
occurred. Motherly Sister Martha sent as many of her 
companions as possible to places of safety for a few 
days, some being sheltered in the home of Sister Marie s 
family, the Menards. Sister Martha, with typical cour 
age, remained praying for peace till it was safe for the 
other Sisters to return. 

That return, however, was not to the ordered routine 
of teaching, for the school had been virtually closed. 
The immediate needs were for hospitals and infirmaries 
for nurses rather than teachers. A Baptist church was 
converted into a hospital, and there the Sisters were 
placed in charge of the sick and wounded. All gave 
noble service; one expended her life itself in her faith 
ful nursing a sacrifice all the more impressive, in that 
its victim was so young and gifted. What the Sisters 
tender care meant to their patients may be judged from 
the tribute paid to this member of Sister Martha s de 
voted company, Sister Mary Lucy, a former pupil of St. 



152 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

Vincent s, Union County. At the outbreak of the war, 
she was one of the youngest religious in the community. 
She relinquished her duties as music teacher in St. 
Mary s Academy to become a volunteer hospital nurse. 
Because of her youth and zeal, some of the most difficult 
cases were assigned to her. Her successful nursing re 
stored to health many victims of typhoid fever and ser 
ious wounds ; but, alas, that enemy, the fever, which her 
care and skill had so often routed, at last vindictively 
claimed her own young ardent life. Her death was a 
source of profound grief to the soldiers of both armies. 
Their sorrow was impressively manifested in her obse 
quies a military funeral was accorded her. In com 
pliance with her desire, she was laid to rest in the vicin 
ity of her beloved Alma Mater, St. Vincent s, Union 
County. Thither several files of soldiers accompanied 
her remains. With muffled drums the cortege marched 
from the hospital in Paducah to the Ohio River, where 
a sombrely draped gun-boat was waiting. Slowly the 
boat drifted to Uniontown ; and thence the faithful mili 
tary escort bore their sorrowful burden to St. Vincent s. 
From the moment their cherished nurse and friend had 
been taken from the hospital to the place of her last 
earthly repose, a guard of soldiers kept constant vigil, 
watching all through the night with blazing torches made 
of pine knots. 

How the heart stirs at this reverence shown to a meek 
young religious during a period of such bitter strife. 
From the dark background of the time the incident stands 
forth, radiantly illumining the virtues of charity, gentle 
ness, mercy, offering what a sharp contrast to the cruelty, 
the harshness, the vindictiveness which ever follow in 
war s horrid train. 

The circumstances of Sister Mary Lucy s death and 
her impressive obsequies give to her martyrdom the 



THE CIVIL WAR 153 

character of a profoundly moving drama, set it apart, 
lift it to the plane of the unusual. Richly did the heroic 
young Sister deserve such distinction; yet the piety, the 
spirit of sacrifice which inspired her dedicated offices 
were likewise infusing the hearts of many other members 
of the Community whose daily, indeed hourly, routine 
was one of self-immolation and charitable ministries. 
The following incident illustrates the Sisterhood s un 
hesitating response to the urgent needs of the time : 

One September evening in 1862, twelve Confederate 
soldiers appeared at Nazareth. They had ridden all the 
way from Lexington, Ky., to ask for a corps of nurses. 
Immediately Mother Columba granted the request. The 
leader asked her : 

"How many can you spare?" 

"Six now, and more later if necessary," was the 
response. 

"When will they be ready to return with us?" was 
the next question. 

"This very night, and at once!" was the prompt, gen 
erous answer. 

"Isn t God good to us to call us in the night?" one of 
the Sisters exclaimed. 

Nazareth s history contains many impressive episodes 
but few more unusual than the unique procession which 
set forth next morning the armed soldiers, the six Sis 
ters with little baggage save their rosaries and their 
books of devotion. Under the protection of a flag of 
truce they took their way. They spent one night in a 
farmhouse; the following evening Frankfort sheltered 
them. Arriving in Lexington, they promptly entered 
upon their duties. Later, another band of Sisters went 
to Lexington s aid to nurse Union soldiers quartered 
in old Transylvania College. 

Greatly endeared did the Sisters become during their 



154 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

generous labors in Lexington. Sister Blanche Traynor, 
one of the first group to arrive, recalls the gratitude of 
the soldiers during those days when the sick and the 
wounded crowded the hospitals, receiving from the gentle 
hands of the Sisters a care so tender as to draw tears to 
the eyes of mature men and little drummer-boys. 

Not only among soldiers, young and old, did the Sis 
ters win respect and esteem ; among the citizens of Lex 
ington they made lasting friendships. Typical of the 
gratitude felt for their services is the fact that Mrs. 
Morgan, the mother of General Morgan, had new uni 
forms made for several of the nurses. 

Owensboro and Calhoun, Kentucky, were among the 
other scenes of the Sisters benevolent labors. After the 
battle of Shiloh, the hospitals could scarcely accommo 
date the victims of bullet, powder, disease. Wherever 
and whenever it was possible to give succor, the Sisters 
did so thus immortally enrolling themselves in their 
country s and Nazareth s legion of honor. Unostenta 
tiously as they passed from one field to another, dispens 
ing charity and mercy to men of the Blue or the Gray, 
these humble nurses were making some of the greatest 
history of the tragic epoch. In the stress of the time 
and because of their great humility, many of their noble 
deeds failed to be chronicled. Yet numerous episodes, 
then and since recorded give some idea of what the Sisters 
accomplished and what they endured. Many of the 
soldiers had never seen a religious; some had known 
but few Catholics. But mere ignorance was not the 
worst condition to be met and reckoned with. Distrust, 
suspicion, prejudice, bigotry these had to be overcome. 
Here, however, was an opportunity for the victories of 
that charity which worketh all things. It was a prin 
ciple with the Sisters never to obtrude their creed upon 
any, yet their daily lives were constantly exemplifying 



THE CIVIL WAR 155 

their faith to many in great need of spirtual aid. Fre 
quent were such incidents as this : One of the Catholic 
soldiers was indifferent toward doing anything for his 
soul. But nearby was a non-Catholic who had overheard 
the words which the chaplain and the Sisters had ad 
dressed to his impenitent neighbor. Eventually he called 
a Sister and requested to be instructed in Catholic belief. 
Shortly afterwards, with swift consecutiveness, he re 
ceived four sacraments; Baptism, Penance, Holy Com 
munion, Extreme Unction. 

Among the most touching scenes of these pathetic days 
were the deaths of those untimely victims of war the 
drummer boys and buglers. One day to a Louisville hos 
pital were borne three boys, fair haired, blue-eyed, but 
alas, in the final stages of pneumonia. Side by side on 
their cots for several days lingered the poor little com 
rades-in-arms. The mothering of these wounded lambs 
became the Sisters chief heart-breaking task. One of 
the boys exclaimed what all felt: "O you are just like 
my mother to me!" Still another lad of twelve or thir 
teen in his last moments sobbed : "O Sister, put your head 
right down by me and don t leave me!" With his arms 
clasped around the Sister s neck, the little one passed 
into the arms of the Good Shepherd. 

Typical of the indebtedness which the patients felt to 
ward their good nurses is the fact that a certain soldier, 
a Mr. Sherer of Bowling Green, wished to obtain a pen 
sion for Sister Patricia who had helped to take care of 
him. This was one of the formal manifestations of the 
respect and esteem which the Sisters received ; many were 
the other tributes repeatedly paid to thm. Characteristic 
is the following letter from an army surgeon to Mother 
Frances in 1862 : 

"I regret very much to have to inform you of the 



156 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

death of Sister Catherine at the General Hospital in this 
city. She, as is true of the other Sisters at the hospital, 
has been untiring and most efficient in nursing the sick 
soldiers. The military authorities are under the greatest 
obligation to the Sisters of your order. Bishop Spalding 
has informed me that you have some apprehension that 
your institution may be taken as a hospital. You may 
rest assured that there is no danger of Nazareth Academy 
being taken by the Government. You shall not be dis 
turbed in the quiet possession of your buildings. 
"Very Obediently, 

"Your Respectful Servant, 

JOHN MURRAY." 

Many of the branch houses, being in or near the storm 
centres, were converted into hospitals and infirmaries; 
but fortunately the mother house itself was permitted to 
enjoy comparative peace and freedom from belligerent 
occupation. As the foregoing chapter has stated anxiety 
of course existed. The seventy pupils included an equal 
number of northerners and southerners; the nineteen 
graduates of 1862 gradually dwindled to seven. With 
their keen sense of responsibility for their young charges 
Mother Frances, Mother Columba, and the Sisters knew 
many moments of grievous apprehension. In some 
measure this was allayed by assurances from officers in 
charge. President Lincoln himself sent a card to Mother 
Columba, promising every effort to leave Nazareth undis 
turbed. One of Nazareth s treasured autographs runs as 
follows : 

"Let no depredation be committed upon the property 
or possessions of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth 
Academy near Bardstown, Ky. 

A. LINCOLN. 

Jan. 17, 1865. 



^fc^Cx 



/ 







AUTOGRAPH OF I^KKSII^NT LIXCOLX. 






THE CIVIL WAR 157 

This card had been enclosed with the following note 
from Mr. L. W. Powell : 

"Senate Chamber, Washington, 

Jan. 17, 1865. 
"Miss Columba Carroll, 

"Mother Superior of Nazareth, 

Bardstown, Ky., 

"I received your letter of the 9th inst, two days ago. 
I called on the President this morning and presented 
your case for his consideration. He promptly gave me 
a safe-guard which I enclose herewith; it will protect 
you from further depredations. It affords me pleasure 
to serve you in this matter. If I can serve you further, 
command me. 

Respectfully, 

L. W. POWELL." 

Lincoln s courtesy to Nazareth gains a certain per 
sonal note when it is recalled that, with his mother, who 
was a Catholic, he attended Mass at old St. Joseph s 
Church, in nearby Bardstown, when he and his family 
were on their way to their future home in Illinois. 

Hon. James Guthrie of Louisville, one time Secretary 
of State, also made special application to the President 
for the institution s protection. The President issued 
an order, declaring that any violation thereof would incur 
his serious displeasure. Similar injunctions were given 
by leaders of both sides. The following is a letter from 
Brigadier-General Wood of the United States forces : 

"To the Lady Superior and Sisters of the Convent of 
Nazareth : 

"I have just had the pleasure of receiving by the hands 
of your messenger the very polite and complimentary 



158 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

note of the Rt. Rev. Bishop Spalding, and I hasten to 
apprize you that it is my earnest desire and intention to 
afford you perfect protection and the enjoyment of all 
your rights, both as an institution and as ladies in 
dividually. It is my earnest desire and intention to secure 
you and your ancient institution which has educated so 
many fair daughters of my own native State, Kentucky, 
from all molestation and intrusion ; and to this end I pray 
that you will not hesitate to make known to me any 
grievances you may have on account of any misconduct 
on the part of any officer or soldier, under my com 
mand. I assure you that it will be equally my duty and 
my pleasure to attend to any request you may have 1o 
make. I beg you to dismiss all apprehensions on account 
of the presence of the soldiery in your sacred neighbor 
hood, and to continue your peaceful and beneficent vo 
cations as if the clangor of arms did not resound in your 
neighborhood. 

"I have the honor to be, ladies, your very obedient 
servant, 

TH. J. WOOD, 
Brig. Gen l, U. S. Army." 

What a contrast between the courtesy, the chivalry, 
the note of true Christian civilization in this document 
and the devastation wrought in venerated shrines these 
days of the European conflict (1914-1917). 

With frequent assurance of protection from so many 
faithful friends and patrons, Nazareth did endeavor to 
pursue its peaceful and beneficent vocation, difficult as 
this sometimes was. Not the least burden was the effort 
to console and calm the hearts of the pupils, many of 
whom were so far away from their loved ones. On the 
whole, it was possible to maintain a fair degree of order, 
though the conventual serenity was now and then threat- 



THE CIVIL WAR 159 

ened by exciting episodes. One day a Sister, glancing 
out of a window, saw a Bardstown physician fleeing from 
his pursuers; he was riding at full speed, he and his 
horse "clearing fences like a bird." This fugitive finally 
found refuge at St. Vincent s Academy, Union County. 

Mother Columba s letters give an idea of the general 
perturbation and her constant solicitude. "It is impos 
sible for me to express my extreme anxiety to see you 
all, but I cannot say when I shall be able to go down. 
Mid the taking possession and evacuation of places so 
common now, I might be blockaded in your city for a 
long time . . . The truth is, while troops are 
passing I could not leave home." 

Again she writes : "No news from Lexington which 
causes anxiety." But how characteristic of her Christian 
fortitude and equanimity are these words : "Thank God, 
hard as times are, and constantly as we have to feed the 
hungry and clothe the indigent, His blessed Providence 
has not failed." 

Grave and afflicting as the situation was, not entirely 
lacking were incidents to lighten the gloom. One of these 
episodes, for all its touch of humor, illustrates the strain 
which the Sisters were continually undergoing, and their 
valiant resourcefulness. One day as Sister Mary Ann, 
who had charge of Nazareth s cattle, went down into 
the pasture, her black sunbonnet drawn over her white 
cap, she was accosted by a soldier who was hunting for 
strays or recruits : 

"Madam," he said, "where is your husband?" 

Immediate was the retort: 

"Gone to the war, sir, where all the heroes are!" 

It is supposed that the answer sent her interlocutor 
in the same direction. 

The chief actor in another episode was an old re 
tainer of the academy. As the war proceeded, this loyal 



160 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

soul was among the few men remaining at Nazareth, 
and he had a due sense of his importance as a protector. 
One evening when a skirmishing party made its appear 
ance, the Sisters faithful guardian, armed with an ancient 
and probably innocuous weapon, leaned out of a window, 
saying: "O pass on, good sors, we re only faymales 
here!" 

During these stirring days some of the Sisters were at 
St. Thomas s Seminary, Bardstown. Sister Mary Louis 
vividly recalls a day when Father Chambige heard that 
there was a wounded soldier in the neighboring woods. 
This Confederate, Colonel Brown, and his body-servant, 
Gus, had been left behind by Bragg s men when news of 
Buell s approach hurried them onward from a camp 
nearby. Colonel Brown sent to St. Thomas s for medi 
cal aid, and Father Chambige answered that if Colonel 
Brown would go to the seminary, his wounds would be 
dressed. The invitation was accepted and during many 
weeks the Southern soldier remained under the care of 
the seminary force, including the Sisters. In the begin 
ning, however, it was not an entirely tranquil conval 
escence. Colonel Brown had never before known any 
Catholics, and ignorance had bred distrust. Whenever 
slumber weighed his eyelids, he would whisper to his 
valet ; "Don t go to sleep, Gus ; keep one eye open." The 
Sisters care soon dissipated suspicion and won esteem. 

Still more personal is another of Sister Mary Louis 
memories. One day as she went into the garden, a Union 
soldier appeared and demanded the whereabouts of a 
"rebel" supposedly hiding in the neighborhood. Sister 
Mary Louis gave an evasive answer; whereupon the 
soldier retorted: "If you don t tell where he is, I will 
shoot." 

"Shoot away!" was the intrepid answer. 

But the soldier decided to continue his search and spare 



THE CIVIL WAR 161 

Sister Mary Louis faithful religious, diligent sacristan, 
whose careful hands long made Nazareth s chapel a place 
of consummate order and loveliness. Well might she 
say: "I have loved, O Lord, the beauty of Thy house," 
cherished Sister Mary Louis who, in her additional office 
as bell-ringer, during fifty years punctually summoned 
Nazareth s household to its daily routine! 

To return to memories of war times : Sister Marietta, 
then a school girl, recalls a visit made to Nazareth by 
Generals Bragg and Hood, with their respective staffs. 
In their company was General Buckner, wan and feeble, 
who had just been released from Camp Chase. Impres 
sive indeed must have been the occasion to soldiers and 
pupils; to the former, so far from home and from 
young relatives of school-girl age; while likewise stir 
ring was the soldiers presence among the students 
whose own kinsmen were even then fighting, perhaps 
dying, on the battle-fields. Sister Marietta conjures a 
pathetic picture of General Bragg standing tall, grave, 
care-burdened, near one of the pillars of the recreation 
hall. The pupils sang for him and his companions the 
stirring melodies: "Maryland, My Maryland;" Dixie ;" 
and "Jump Into the Wagon and We ll All Take a Ride." 

Though spared any serious molestation, certainly few 
untroubled hours were the portion of Mother Columba, 
i Mother Frances and those who shared with these supe- 
jriors the responsibilities of the disastrous time. It is 
worthy of record that academic work at Nazareth pro 
gressed as systematically as if the din of war were not 
| prevailing in the outside world. Hearts ached, of course, 
| at times, and tears fell. The children felt keenly the 
| separation from home and friends, the awful dread that 
|they might be utterly deprived of both. Yet the buoy- 
iancy of youth, the tender care of the Sisters, and the 
contentment that regular employment creates, kept the 



162 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

pupils pleasantly occupied with the day s routine. Sister 
Adelaide Bickett, the beloved disciplinarian of those 
trying times, was as a tower of strength to her young 
charges. Among the children she bore the reputation 
of being a saint, and they would often beg her to prophesy 
how battles would result, or when tidings from home 
were to arrive. She certainly knew how to dry the 
falling tear, and how to instill a spirit of holy resignation 
or bright hope into stricken hearts. 

Sister Mary Rose O Brien, in the infirmary, soothed 
the grief-stricken and nursed the ailing with a mother s 
tenderness, which made the old infirmary rooms "seem 
like home." The students of those days never forgot 
dear venerable Sister Emily Elder, the cheery teacher of 
music, who was as willing and as able to lead the girls 
to fun and frolic as to direct their song or piano lesson. 
There were many others whose names are ineffaceably 
enshrined in the hearts of the Nazareth girls of war 
times: Sisters Mary Vincent, Augustine, Xavier, Anne, 
Harriet, and others, many others ! During that sad era, 
a bond of intimate affection, a freedom of intercourse, 
and a tie of close sympathy existed, which happier seasons 
were less likely to foster between Sisters and pupils. The 
threatening dangers endeared all to one another, gave 
to the Sisters an influence, and to the children a confid 
ence, which resulted in life-long attachments. Of Sister 
Marietta s own school girl memories these latter para 
graphs are partly woven. 

To summarize the sombrely disguised blessings of the 
distressing days : the season assuredly laid up crowns of 
reward for many of Nazareth s heroic daughters. To 
Confederate and Union men alike, the days of trial 
proved the exceeding merit of the tenderhearted nurses, 
who knew not what it \vas to fail at their posts, though 
all too often forfeiting life itself. Hence after the sub- 



THE CIVIL WAR 163 

sidence of the strife, many who had seen their ability 
sternly proved, made requests for new foundations under 
the Sisters direction, Thus, where the red flowers of 
battle had crimsoned the soil, there were to spring the 
fairer blossoms of education and religion, of which the 
gentle, able gardeners were to be the Sisters of Charity 
of Nazareth. 



CHAPTER VIII. 
POST-BELLUM DAYS. 

VEN before the end of the War requests for Sisters 
had begun to be made from various quarters. In 
1862 Rev. Joseph De Vries of Bowling Green, Kentucky, 
appealed to Nazareth for a band of teachers. As educa 
tional facilities in that town were meagre, the need was 
urgent, for in addition to Father De Vries regular par 
ishioners, the many families settled along the railroad 
then being built increased the necessity for instruction 
in religion and letters. 

In response to the zealous pastor s petition, Sisters 
Constantia Robinson, Mary Louis, De Chantal, and Flor 
entine were appointed. On their arrival in Bowling 
Green, they were met by Father De Vries and a group 
of their future pupils. Among these was a little girl 
who was afterward to be an active member of the Naz 
areth community, Sister Dula Hogan. The little colony 
took up its residence in a building that had been alter 
nately occupied by Federal and Confederate soldiers. 
As may be conjectured, time and patient labor were re 
quired to put things in order, for the disorganizing con 
ditions of war prevailed. School furniture that had been 
ordered was not sent in time for the opening of school, 
fuel and provisions were with difficulty conveyed to their 
destination, in fact the first supply of coal, after long 
delay, was dumped in the yard, without regard to exits 
and entrances. On the evening of its unceremonious ar 
rival, the Sisters retired, not knowing how they could 
get it into more convenient place on the morrow. But 

164 



POST-BELLUM DAYS. 165 

a kind neighbor, a Mr. Meagher, noticed the situation 
and, like Aladdin of the wonderful lamp, removed the 
coal to its proper place; the morning revealed a well- 
stored coal-house and a yard swept and garnished. This 
same benevolent friend, because of his services to the 
army was allowed weekly rations; he directed the local 
commissary department to convert his allowance into 
baskets of bread. Promptly every Saturday morning 
these welcome hampers were delivered at the school door. 
It was a most fortunate arrangement because, even had 
the materials for bread-making been at hand, many in 
conveniences attended the evolution of a loaf. What 
with the many deprivations caused by the War and the 
Sisters humble circumstances, it was sometimes neces 
sary to send to a neighboring blacksmith s shop to procure 
live coals to start a fire. Help being so scarce, and the 
Sisters so busy with school work, such difficulties as this 
concrete if homely example illustrates were frequent 
and annoying. 

No sooner were the Sisters installed in their school, 
than five denominational schools were also opened, but 
they were as rapidly closed, for neither pupils nor means 
were forthcoming. Already the Sisters had won the 
esteem of fair-minded people and the school became well 
patronized by all classes. 

Father De .Vries constantly exhibited interest and 
solicitude for the Sisters and the school. Till his death 
he continued to be the Sisters spiritual father and faith 
ful friend. His weekly conferences to the little com 
munity were an encouragement to their daily labors, as 
well as an uplifting inspiration to walk before God and 
be worthy of their holy vocation. 

In 1869, the school was removed to the fine lot on 
Centre Street. There St. Columba s Academy prospered, 
becoming revered as the Alma Mater of many dis- 



166 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

tinguished citizens. Among its daughters who chose 
that "better part," the religious life, is Sister Dula 
Hogan, a member of the present General Council of 
Nazareth. Many of Bowling Green s representative 
families, Catholic and non-Catholic, have been patrons 
of the academy, such as the Covingtons, Gerards, Black- 
burns, Hodsons, Thomases." 

When in 1878 the yellow fever made its dread visita 
tion in Bowling Green, school work had to be suspended. 
While the scourge desolated the town, the Sisters gave 
whole-hearted care and sympathy to the ailing and the 
dying, solacing the living with their words of comfort. 
Thus once again under the banner inscribed Caritas, 
they laid up treasures of earthly esteem and gratitude, 
as well as rich store of heavenly recompense. 

When this period of anxiety and busy nursing was 
ended, school was re-opened. From time to time other 
laborers joined the original missionary band, and toiled 
nobly for God and the neighbor. Sisters Angelica 
O Dwyer, and Patricia Grimes especially became well- 
known and beloved. Both died at Nazareth and the 
occasions of their death called forth glowing tributes. 
Among these is the following eulogy by the Rev. Frank 
M. Thomas, then of Owensboro, to the memory of Sister 
Angelica and her companions: 

"The sad news reached Owensboro a day or two ago, 
that Sister Angelica, for a long time teacher in St. 
Francis Academy, had gone to meet the Heavenly Bride 
groom. This news brought a pang of sorrow to many 
who knew her and loved her. The writer of these 
lines had known her well nigh thirty-five years. As a 
very small boy he received his first schooling in St. 
Columba s Academy, Bowling Green, where she was 

16 Rev. Frank Thomas, a noted Methodist minister of Louisville, Kentucky 
was a pupil of St. Columba s Academy. 



POST-BELLUM DAYS. 167 

then teaching in the flush of her young womanhood. At 
that time, to his boyish imagination the school seemed like 
a section of Paradise. It was a fine old Southern man 
sion aloof from the street amid noble forest trees, whose 
leaves swayed only to the sound of prayers and the low 
hum of boys and girls, studying at the feet of devout 
women robed in black. There was Sister Constantia, 
Mother Superior, with her masculine brain, womanly 
heart and sublime faith. There was Sister Beatricia, 
whose cheeks were as rosy as the apples she sometimes 
gave us. There was Sister Angelica, with her sweet 
sunny nature, bright mind, and words of good cheer for 
us all. There were other noble women who had set 
apart their lives wholly for God; but these three remain 
in memory, photographed forever in the fadeless colors 
of the human heart. And now all are gone! Sister 
Angelica has gone one of the radiant spirits who made 
my early boy-hood sweet. She was well named the 
Angel-natured. And I am sure that she is at home, 
Where the Saints all immortal and fair are clothed in 
their garments of white. She was indeed a sister to 
this sorrowing sinful humanity of ours, lightening many 
a heavy load by her loving sympathy and kind words. 
Many a noble deed done in the silence of the Sister 
hood will rise up at the Judgment and bless her name." 

On the passing of Sister Patricia, a former pupil 
wrote: "Sister Patricia has gone; but the memory of 
her good works will live forever in the hearts of her de 
voted pupils of Bowling Green, among whom she labored 
for almost half a century. It was dear little Sister 
Patricia whose gentle touch soothed many a dying 
soldier and whose kind words brought many an erring 
one back to the true fold. At every crisis Sister 
Patricia proved herself a Spartan Mother. If we could 



168 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

materialize our affection for Sister Patricia, we would 
fain build a monument as lasting as her love and care 
for UG have ever been." 

In 1911 the present pastor, Rev. Thomas D. Hayes, 
built a parochial school on the lot belonging to the 
church. He erected also a neat substantial home for the 
Sisters close to the church, on a lot which had been pre 
sented to Rev. Joseph De Vries by Mr. Edward Coving- 
ton, a non-Catholic gentleman of Bowling Green, as a 
compliment to the priest and with the hope of inducing 
people to settle in that vicinity. This hope was realized ; 
the handsome church was built, paid for, and consecrated 
before Father De Vries death. A fine congregation 
had grown up in the neighborhood and the young people 
have a very accessible parish school, St. Joseph s, which 
has now superseded St. Columba s Academy. 

Several years before the yellow fever devastated the 
South and called forth the heroism of the Sisters in 
Bowling Green and elsewhere, Kentucky was visited by 
that other dire scourge, small-pox. Louisville was one 
of the most afflicted centres. Dr. Ford of that city, in 
the name of the Mayor and Board of Health, with the 
bishop s approbation, appealed to Nazareth for Sisters 
to take charge of a hospital, known as St. John s Erup 
tive Hospital. Four Sisters were sent immediately, re 
maining from January till July, 1872. During their 
heroic sojourn the Dominican Fathers of St. Louis 
Bertrand s Church were most zealous in spiritual minis 
trations to the Sisters. Mayor Charles Jacob, then in 
office, had greatly feared the pestilence; but after the 
Sisters took charge of the hospital, he made a practice 
of calling upon them regularly, thus giving cordial evi 
dence of his admiration for their courageous and com 
passionate spirit. 

The Sisters generous response to this appeal for their 



POST-BELLUM DAYS. 169 

merciful offices was nothing short of an act of self- 
immolation; yet envy and prejudice could not restrain 
a note of bitterness. Such incredible narrowness and 
bigotry, however, served to elicit eloquent contradiction ; 
one defender, apparently a non-Catholic, wrote thus : 

The Sisters taking of the hospital was the subject 
of envy. Some inquired if there were not other nurses 
carefully trained. To our notion all this nervous in 
quiry about creed and professions in such a case is an 
impertinence and an absurdity. With the Mayor, in his 
selection of persons for a trust so sacred and responsible, 
the inquiry first of all should be as to fitness. This is not 
a question of orthodoxy but of competence. It is not a 
question of creeds but of training and experience in car 
ing for the sick. Then the matter of compensation, 
though a minor matter, is one of importance. If these 
Roman Catholic Sisters can discharge this most difficult 
and really appalling service better than others, then in 
the name of humanity and common sense, accept their 
services. . . . While we are on the subject, we 
shall go a step farther. In these days people have a way 
of judging religion not by its pretensions or profession 
but by its fruit. Wherever men find the sweetest charity, 
the most self-sacrificing devotion to the welfare of others, 
the most of the spirit of Him who went about doing good 
without any ambition but love, without any reward but 
joy of the work there, they will think, is the most 
genuine religion. If the Roman Catholic church of all 
the churches furnishes nurses of trained and loving hand 
who are ready with heroic devotion, without fee or re 
ward, to enter the lazar house where the air is heavy with 
pestilential vapors, to go by day and night from ward to 
ward with unwearied foot, to minister to those afflicted 
with most loathsome and deadly disease, then we say : All 



170 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

honor to this ancient and honorable Church, and all 
shame to those who fail to make provision for this blessed 
work of mercy . . . . We congratulate the Mayor 
and the city in securing these efficient and self-denying 
nurses for the new Hospital." It may be added that 
other nurses had been requested to take charge, but they 
had declined. This fact accentuates the Sisters prompt 
acceptance of their difficult role, and discredits the in 
vidious criticism of their detractors. 

The Catholic Advocate of that year states that the 
opening of the hospital under the Sisters care was the 
death-blow to the dreadful disease: "It lost from that 
day the greatest part of its horror. People went gladly 
to the hospital to receive proper attention. The flag of 
terror disappeared from the streets and hardly any one 
knew that the scourge was still raging but the Sisters of 
Charity who sat by the bed-side of the sufferer. It is 
there that the Sisters became known to a great many 
who will never forget their tender care, nor lose sight 
of the power of religion." 

In his annual report of the year the Mayor of Louis 
ville paid a similar tribute to the Sisters: "Actuated by 
a sense of duty to their God and of love and sympathy 
for their afflicted fellow-creatures, liable at any moment 
to be themselves stricken down with this most loathsome 
disease, these noble women labored night and day with 
out pay or earthly compensation until all apprehensions 
had been entirely removed from the public mind of a 
farther spread of small-pox. The names of these faith 
ful and self-sacrificing Samaritans who, when their labor 
of love and charity was over, left as quietly and unos 
tentatiously as they had come among us, are Sisters 
Euphrasia, Antonia, Joachim, Andrea, Valentine and 
Mary George ; and I feel that your honorable body would 
be honoring yourselves by giving some official recognition 



POST-BELLUM DAYS. 171 

of their great services. I myself would earlier have 
borne public evidence to their work except that I desired 
to mention them in my annual message, when their 
heroism could be recorded in the Municipal Reports of 
the Year. " 

When the epidemic ceased, the Sisters withdrew; 
thenceforth the institution was presided over by the city 
officials. However, in 1890, contagious diseases prevail 
ing, the authorities again applied for the Sisters to take 
charge, and Sisters Albina, Mary Josephine, and Wal- 
trude responded to the call and tenderly nursed the 
patients confided to their care. 

In 1893 a destructive fire consumed the hospital. It 
was promptly rebuilt, and almost immediately became 
the refuge of the victims of small-pox. Sisters Romania, 
Waltrude, Mary Brice and Macaria, formed the second 
group devoted to the heroic work in which they toiled 
till the close of 1895. A spirit of prejudice then ap 
peared to control affairs and the Sisters were recalled to 
Nazareth. To the honor of Louisville, it must be said 
that the ungracious dismissal of the Sisters met with gen 
eral indignant censure. A number of influential citizens 
asked the Board of Safety to fight the case in the courts 
and retain the Sisters, but the latter refused to remain, 
not wishing to be there under such conditions. It was 
recalled at the time by Judge Burnett that in 1873, dur 
ing the small-pox epidemic, the Sisters of Charity were 
the only ones who would nurse this class of patients and 
that they came voluntarily from Nazareth to attend the 
stricken. It was deemed a grave injustice to force the 
Sisters from the hospital, but the Board of Safety was 
powerless under the circumstances and the Sisters pre 
ferred to relinquish the charge. 

One of the most important works of the community 
during the first decade of post-bellum days was the 



172 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

building of Sts. Mary and Elizabeth Hospital (1873-74). 
This institution, now one of the largest hospitals of 
Louisville, was originally the gift of Mr. William 
Shakespeare Caldwell in memory of his wife, Eliza Mary 
Breckenridge. Mrs. Caldwell was a graduate of Naza 
reth and the only daughter of James Breckenridge, a 
noted lawyer and statesman of his day, at one time Con 
gressman from Kentucky. At the formal opening of 
the Sts. Mary and Elizabeth Hospital Dr. Yandell, one 
of the city s chief physicians, said : "I should rather have 
founded this hospital than have been the commander of 
a victorious army. . . . Nay, I should rather have 
had my pathway to a better land bedewed by the grate 
ful tears of the sick poor restored to health, than made 
luminous by banners won on a thousand battle fields." 
A similar tribute was paid on Epiphany when the build 
ing was dedicated, and the orator of the occasion fittingly 
said : "The incense of prayer will arise from the abode 
built by the gold of charity, and souls brought back to 
God by the way of suffering shall offer up the purifying 
myrrh of mortification. Thus the triple gift of the Magi 
will be perpetually renewed." 

Since that day of edification, forty years and more ago, 
stone after stone has been added to the original structure. 
The spacious hospital, under Sister Uberta Keyes guid 
ance, is one of the prominent institutions of Louisville, 
respected and esteemed by leading physicians and other 
citizens. 

Founded in 1877, St. Joseph s Hospital, Lexington, is 
another of Nazareth s large hospitals. By one of time s 
happy dispensations, its superior until Feb., 1917, Sister 
Euphrasia Stafford, was she who nearly forty years ago, 
with a little band of Sisters, laid the foundation for the 
structure of to-day. In the country near Lexington, 
Sister Euphrasia and her companions first rented a dilap- 



POST-BELLUM DAYS. 173 

idated small house where the sick were sheltered and 
nursed. Old and young, rich and poor, without distinc 
tion of creed or color, there received the ministrations of 
Sister Euphrasia and her associates, Sister Gonzaga, 
Sisters Jovita, Bonaventure and Florida. Struggles and 
difficulties were for some time the portion of these heroic 
benevolent women. Though occasionally aided by a few 
gifts, in their early years they feared that their zeal was 
not to be crowned with success, but at the moment when 
the hospital s continued existence seemed precarious, the 
able superior of Nazareth, then Mother Helena Tormey, 
brought her executive power into play, and purchased 
for her children a new home on the present site of St. 
Joseph s. 

This place, to-day so sanctified by good works, is his 
toric soil. It is associated with the chronicles of many 
well-known Kentucky families. The first patent to the 
land was granted and signed by Thomas Jefferson when 
Governor of Virginia. This patent was given to one 
John Floyd and, as soon as issued, was assigned to John 
Todd, Jr. ; but the aforesaid Floyd failed to transfer the 
land granted to him in 1779. Hence arose complications 
involving numerous legal proceedings. These, instead of 
diminishing, increased during the following years. To 
the mind untrained in legal technicalities, the details are 
but abstruse complexities. Nor were these knots im 
mediately untangled when in the course of time, by be 
quests and purchases of one kind or another, the property 
became the Sisters possession. 

But if these long and difficult legal proceedings baffie 
the uninitiated, they meantime cast into high relief a few 
interesting facts: for instance, certain data which attest 
the remarkable efficiency and sagacity with which Mother 
Helena repeatedly handled some trying situation arising 
from the legal quibbles and quiddities. On one occasion 



174 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

she expeditiously went from Nazareth to Lexington, with 
five thousand dollars tied in a napkin, therewith sum 
marily and substantially settling a disputed point. 

Another interesting fact in the early history of this 
now stably organized, widely loved institution is the 
variety of sources, Catholic and Protestant, whence it 
has received generous bequests. Glancing through the 
annals, one notes as friend of St. Joseph s a kindly Meth 
odist, Miss Sofia Chenowith, and members of other de 
nominations, to say nothing of numerous Catholic bene 
factors. In its turn, St. Joseph s has been a generous 
Samaritan whose charity has not been confined to its own 
people. Its liberality has been returned to it a hundred 
fold, not only in material gifts but in the affection of 
many grateful patrons. 

Yet here again, in noting the wide-ranging esteem this 
noble institution has won, mere abstractions are inade 
quate. For such a centre of beneficence, even as the 
mother house, Nazareth, must ever be thought of in 
terms of constructive human personalities. Thinking 
thus of Lexington s great hospital, one sees in imagina 
tion a cohort of nurses whose diligence, sympathy, skill, 
are the real foundation-stones of to-day s impressive 
structure. And even more particularly does the vision 
focus upon the figure whose direction since the beginning 
has guided and sustained this hospital and its admirable 
corps. Reluctant to do violence to an admirable charac 
teristic of the Nazareth community which makes its mem 
bers Sisters of humility as well as of charity, one names 
this figure with hesitation. Yet here is one of those 
lives which have been inspiring models to other religious 
and even to those not in religion. The record of such 
work as hers cannot fail to stimulate and encourage 
humanity to lofty aspiration, to noble industry. This 
particular Sister of Charity has given such encourage- 



POST-BELLUM DAYS. 176 

ment and example to her generation that in her jubilee 
year, 1914, she was the subject of editorials in the Lex 
ington papers; surely then in these more intimate pages 
of her community s annals one of those editorials (from 
The Leader) may now be quoted : 

"There dwells in this city one whose remarkable ca 
reer is lasting proof of the constructive energy and far- 
sighted judgment which a woman may exercise in the 
administration of business affairs and yet retain and de 
velop the exquisite beauty, the most precious traits of 
womanhood. Sister Euphrasia has for fifty years been 
doing a man s work in the world. She has planned with 
greater confidence, she has builded with better skill, she 
has concentrated her thoughts to better effect than most 
business men. She has directed the work of a small army 
of workers in the same workshop for thirty-five years 
with better results and less friction than any employer 
could boast in the same length of time. She has given 
more to the support of St. Joseph s Hospital than its most 
wealthy patron, for she has given it the benefit of a 
courageous spirit and has asked nothing in return. She 
has worked harder to save the lives placed in her never 
weary, yet rested hands, than many a physician. She 
has prayed more earnestly for the souls of men than many 
a priest. And she has amassed a greater wealth than any 
financier; for in the heart of every man, woman and 
child who has ever known her, she has laid away a store 
of the incorruptible gold of loving kindness. Cloaked 
in a sweetness, a dignity, a gentleness and unbounded 
sympathy, which have been as great a protection from 
unthinking offense as the simple garb of the Sisters of 
Charity of Nazareth, Sister Euphrasia has entered the 
busy world of mankind and for the good of mankind 
has toiled and striven in a labor few men would be hardv 



176 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

enough to undertake. . . . She has been con 
stantly in charge of St. Joseph s here, and has seen it 
grow under her direction from a small, inadequately 
equipped building to one of the most widely known in 
stitutions in central and Eastern Kentucky. It is not 
the wish of the Nazareth Community to have their per 
sonal works and deeds given publicity, so that in the roll 
of names of women who have accomplished great things 
for Lexington, that of Sister Euphrasia is seldom seen. 
But the appreciation of a city and a people is none the 
less deep because infrequently expressed, and not even 
she herself will know how many hearts echo the Leader s 
Sunday greeting: God bless you, Sister Euphrasia/ " 

Special praise belongs also to Sister Euphrasia s help 
ers during those early days, when she and they had to 
struggle through many hardships in their care of patients 
who sought aid and shelter. Greater accommodations 
and more laborers were gradually added, and the humble 
refuge of 1877 has become the spacious flourishing St. 
Joseph s Hospital of to-day. 



CHAPTER IX. 
EXPANSION IN THE SOUTH. 

BETHLEHEM ACADEMY, Holly Springs, Mis 
sissippi, was one of the foundations requested by 
those who had noted with admiration the Sisters work 
during the Civil War. Among those who especially 
wished to have this school established was a non-Cath 
olic, Colonel H. W. Walters of Holly Springs, who had 
been in camp near Nazareth and later had entered his 
daughter there. On returning home, he became ambi 
tious to see a branch house of the institution in his own 
city and in 1868 he solicited and obtained a colony. 
Sister Adelaide Bickett was put in charge, and the school 
was opened in a fine old Southern home, surrounded by 
an orchard and gardens. In a few months the attendance 
was equal to the accommodations. That the Sisters 
labors were genuinely appreciated is evidenced by the 
following extract from a local paper, published in 1874 : 

"You are doubtless cognizant of the existence in this 
city of a Catholic Institution known as Bethlehem Acad 
emy for the education of females, presided over by and 
under the exclusive management of the Sisters of Char 
ity. The mere presence in any community of these good 
and holy women, who have abandoned the world with 
all its tempting allurements and fascinating interests, is 
in itself a blessing of inestimable worth. But how much 
more valuable are their active influences when exerted 
in the proper and legitimate channels the instructing 
and training of the young, the moulding of the tender 

177 



178 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

minds of innocent ones that are to become the women 
of this, our beautiful South. Already, though Bethle 
hem is in its infancy, it has given to Society some of its 
most refined and accomplished women, some of its bright 
est ornaments, whose every word and deed conclusively 
demonstrate that their education and training have been 
received under the benign guidance of these most execu 
tive women and efficient teachers." 

In 1871 the congregation of Yazoo City, Mississippi, 
determined to found a Catholic school, for which the 
need was sore. The following notes have been con 
tributed by members of the Nazareth community who 
have been associated with the Society s labors in Yazoo 
City: 

Mrs. P. M. Doherty was designated by the pastor, 
Rev. P. Le Corre, to visit Nazareth, Kentucky, to see if 
a colony of Sisters could be induced to take this mission. 
A better delegate could not have been chosen ; for Mrs. 
Doherty and her sister, Mrs. Richard Davis, had been 
educated at Nazareth and they tenderly loved their Alma 
Mater. They proved successful ambassadors ; in response 
to their request, on December 26, 1871, six Sisters were 
sent to the distant mission. Sister Mary Lawrence 
Perry was the superior of the little band. Their journey 
of twenty-five miles over a rough road in a great lumber 
ing stage-coach was an experience whose hardships may 
scarcely be realized in these days of comfortable travel 
and rapid transportation. Reassuring, however, was the 
welcome at the journey s end. Major Doherty met the 
stage-coach at the entrance to the town and took the 
Sisters to his home where they were hospitably enter 
tained. 

Though the citizens of Yazoo had done all in their 
power to make ready for the newcomers, many things 



EXPANSION IN THE SOUTH. 179 

were wanting, not only simple comforts, but necessities. 
The Sisters furniture had been shipped by rail and had 
to be conveyed by wagons from Vaughn s Station, 
twenty-five miles distant. It arrived in installments. 
One night a few bed slats were delivered ; the next night, 
the foot of the bed appeared ; then a desk or two. It was 
April before all the furniture had been received. But 
such delays, and the inconvenience they entailed, served 
to prove the courage of the Sisters, who found subject 
for many a jest in their needy state. 

Although lacking furnishings, St. Clara s Academy 
was opened on January 4th, 1872, only fourteen pupils 
presenting themselves on the first day. But the Sisters 
kept up hope, and by May the number of pupils had in 
creased to thirty- four. 

In March, 1875, the shadow of the cross fell heavily 
upon the colony. The beloved pastor, who had been 
their support and counsellor, was called by the Master 
to his eternal reward. When Father Le Corre realized 
his critical condition, he asked the Sisters to gather 
around him, as he particularly wished to speak to them. 
"My dear Sisters," said he, "I have only one regret in 
dying, and that is because I leave you before you are 
firmly established. I have brought you so far from 
home; but now I must leave you. You will have trouble 
and sorrow, but God will support you. My first prayer, 
when I stand before God, will be that He will send you 
a good father." It is worthy of remark that Father 
Mouton a noble priest who later proved his own loy 
alty to the Sisters going to mail a letter to the dying 
priest, his bosom friend, found a communication from 
the bishop notifying him of Father Le Corre s death 
and appointing him to the vacant place. In the sum 
mer of 1877 Father Mouton gave the Sisters retreat and 
took up his office of pastor. 



180 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

At St. Clara s Academy, Yazoo City, as at Bethlehem 
Academy, Holly Springs, the work of education was 
being carried on diligently when, in the fall of 1878, 
the terrible scourge of yellow fever invaded the South. 
School tasks had to be relinquished while the Sisters went 
forth to minister to the stricken. Nine of these heroic 
nurses fell victims to the plague, and the rest recovered 
with impaired constitutions. If the community had never 
before endeared itself to the South, now in this sorrow 
ful season it forged permanent links of love and grati 
tude. Like dry leaves before November winds the victims 
succumbed. Throughout Kentucky, Tennessee, Missis 
sippi and elsewhere lamentations of the dying and the 
bereaved re-echoed. The reports of those days fill the 
heart with horror, stir the soul with pity. Yet again 
there is the fairer side of the shield, the story of the Sis 
ters indomitable courage and unstinted toil. One writer 
declared: "The entire press rings with their praise. In 
this time when no words can give an idea of the horrors 
in the plague-stricken districts, the sisters go forth ; and 
no matter what duty they are called upon to perform, 
they accomplish it with a cheerful smile, without com 
plaint." 

Heroically as the Sisters undertook their labors, bitter 
was Mother Columba s anxiety concerning them, espe 
cially when she heard that several of the valiant company 
had contracted the fever. The following excerpts from 
her letters of the time reveal her solicitude and her 
fortitude : 

"In these days of sorrow and darkness, love and 
mercy guide all His dispensations in your regard and 
ours. Your letters, my dear child, comfort your poor 
afflicted Mother s heart, because I see how God is com 
forting and sustaining you. No words can convey to 






EXPANSION IN THE SOUTH. 181 

you an idea of the anxiety and grief of your Sisters 
here and in the different houses. Prayer and trust in God 
alone sustain us. ... For two days the papers 
have reported that the dear Sisters of Mercy were ill, 
I was inexpressibly anxious and troubled. Your letter, 
therefore, my dear Sister, is a great relief to me. God 
bless and reward them and the other Sisters." 

The Sisters gratefully recall the good services of the 
benevolent Howard Society, whose members immediately 
sent nurses and supplies. Deathless gratitude lives in 
the community s heart also for the devotion and self- 
sacrificing ministrations of the four Emmitsburg Sis 
ters. The good devoted Sisters of Mercy, to whom 
Mother Columba refers, had gone from Natchez to the 
aid of their sister religious. "To tell of their kindness," 
wrote one who had at first hand observed it, "would 
be almost impossible. Day and night they were by our 
bedsides, trying to comfort us, to gratify our wishes, so 
far as possible. A mother could not have done more 
or been more self-sacrificing than were these good 
Sisters." 

The first victim of the fever in Yazoo was a Protestant 
lady who lived next door to St. Clara s Academy. In 
the first stages of her illness she sent for the Sisters, and 
they visited her every day until she died. Then they 
continued to care for her family until their own house 
hold was stricken. Sister Zenobia was the first of St. 
Clara s band to be smitten. While she was in her last 
agony, Sister Corona fell sick; she breathed her last 
within six days of Sister Zenobia s death. Sister Mary 
Lawrence was the next victim. Then Sisters Isadora, 
Angeline, Emerentia and Cyrilla passed almost to the 
verge of death being spared, however, for God s other 
demands of them. 



182 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

The annals of these dark days in Yazoo City are in 
complete without an allusion to Father Mouton s heroic 
loyality to the Sisters. Day and night this devoted 
friend kept vigil with them, caring for their spiritual 
and temporal needs. But at last he was told by the city 
authorities that he would have to be quarantined. "It 
will then be with the Sisters," said he, "they shall not 
suffer." The bishop sent as a substitute for this loyal 
pastor, Father Huber, who had recovered from the fever. 
He arrived too late to save Father Mouton, who suc 
cumbed, a victim to his fidelity. Father Huber s kind 
ness, like Father Mouton s, knew no bounds. 

Though the season of death and anguish was indeed 
tragic, now in retrospect it has become one of the most 
illustrious periods in the community s history, a period 
in which several members fulfilled to the utmost the 
role of Charity. The time sternly tested their vows of 
consecration to God and humanity s welfare; and con 
vincingly did they manifest the sincerity, the absolute 
perfection of their dedication. How impressive the fact 
that the glory which now aureoles their memory was a 
triumph of forces so different from those usually under 
lying worldly victories. Humility, self-effacement, heroic 
offices that tested the physical strength and delicate 
sensibilities of the nurses sometimes themselves none 
too robust by these factors were won the triumphs of 
mercy and charity which inscribed the name of many a 
meek religious upon Heaven s registers and upon many 
grateful hearts. The reports of the time render cordial 
tribute to the nursing corps as a whole; but so reluctant 
are the members of the society to receive special honor, 
it sometimes happens that individual names are not 
mentioned. Yet occasionally in the journals of the period 
may be found reference to certain Sisters whom the re 
porter had particular reason for remembering. Subject 



EXPANSION IN THE SOUTH. 183 

of such memory was Sister Laurentia Harrison, a martyr 
to her love of God and pity for His afflicted during the 
epidemic in Holly Springs. A graduate of Nazareth, 
at one time directress of studies there, her ability as a 
teacher was equalled by her efficiency in the nursing 
ranks when the sick and the dying claimed her. The 
following excerpt from a newspaper gives some idea of 
the unspeakable trials she must have endured, above 
all the bitterness of seeing her associates yield beneath 
the terrible flail of disease: "Out of the thirteen of these 
Christian messengers only one, Sister Laurentia, has 
escaped the scourge. She has stood by her post, and ad 
ministered to the sick and the dying and the dead with a 
heroism that reflects splendour upon womanhood !" But 
her sacrifices for others were not to be a pledge of her 
own permanent immunity she was to receive the 
martyr s crown in this season of dread probation. A 
special halo of sacrifice aureoles the passing of this abso 
lutely self-abnegating religious; she made a voluntary 
oblation of her own life for that of another. When the 
scourge was at its worst, among those who contracted 
it was a cherished friend and guide of the Sisters, Rev. 
W. J. Elder, then Bishop of Natchez, future Archbishop 
of Cincinnati. Realizing what a calamity his death at 
such a time would be to the Church generally and to his 
already sorely tired diocese, Sister Laurentia offered up 
her own life that his might be spared. Years afterward, 
referring to this crowning act of sacrifice, Archbishop 
Elder wrote to the community: I was expecting to die 
of yellow fever in 1878, when your generous Sister 
Laurentia Harrison at Holly Springs offered her own 
life for me. She asked to be spared long enough to at 
tend to the other sisters who were ill. And I believe 
that it was on returning from the funeral of the fifth (?) 
that she went to bed herself. I remember all your com- 



184 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

munity and particularly those living and dead who 
labored under my care at Holly Springs and Yazoo City." 

Sister Victoria Stafford is another of those heroines 
whose golden deeds elicited the liveliest gratitude. Even 
after she herself had been attacked by the disease, she 
ministered tenderly to others till her exhausted limbs 
could no longer sustain her. On the honor roll of this 
trying period are found also the names of Sisters Mar 
garet Kelly, Stella Fitzgerald, Stanislaus Morissey and 
Cointha Mahony who won the crown of martyrdom in 
the cause of Charity. Nor should the heroism of Fathers 
Oberti, Dutto, and Lamy be unrecorded. The first of 
this generous trio died a victim to his priestly zeal, while 
Father Dutto survived his no less arduous ministrations. 
When the trying season had reached a climax, Father 
Lamy, Redemptorist of New Orleans, hastened to Holly 
Springs and endeared himself to the Sisters and the 
people by devotion that could not have been surpassed. 

To-day in Holly Springs Cemetery, in a plot given by 
the town for the Sisters graves, rises heavenward a 
monument to the noble spirits whose deaths were truly 
all-glorious martyrdoms. One side of the monument 
bears the words, "SISTERS OF CHARITY/ followed by the 
inscription : 

OBERTI ANACLETUS 

ITALUS 
MlSSIONARIUS ZELOTUS 

MONIALESQUE 
VICTORIA, COINTHA, STANISLAUS, STELLA, LAURENTIA 

ET MARGARITA. 
IMMANE LUE GRASSANTE 

PESTIFERIS MINISTRANTES CHARITATIS VICTIMAE 
OCCUBERE 

A. D. MDCCCLXXVIII. 

AD PERPETUAM REI MEMORIAM 

GRATI CIVES. 



&.** 



B* 



|**>H 



^ v 



MONUMENT TO THE SISTERS. 
Holly Springs, Mississippi. 



EXPANSION IN THE SOUTH. 185 

On the opposite side of the monument appears the 
name of Father Oberti, with the words: "Requiescant 
in Pace." On the left side is the following: "Greater 
Love Hath No Man Than This, That He Lay Down His 
Life for His Friends. John, Chap. XV., Ver. 13." On 
the right side are the words : "The Good Shepherd Giveth 
His Life for His Sheep. John, Chap. X, Ver. II." 

A recent pupil of Nazareth, Miss Gertrude McDer 
mott," sending the photograph and the above details to 
one of the Sisters, wrote a short time ago : 

"I wish you could see this monument and visit the 
graves of your illustrious dead who sacrificed their holy 
lives, combatting the dreadful pestilence which ravaged 
the whole Southland in Seventy-Eight. Holly Springs 
holds dear to her heart the memory of the noble women. 
They were truly ministering angels to the afflicted, and 
the sacrifices they made imprinted an indelible character 
upon the minds and hearts of the people. There remain 
several who escaped the dreadful malady; and some 
whose hair has turned silvery gray often re-call those 
sad scenes with tear-dimmed eyes especially when Naz 
areth is mentioned." 

Thus vividly and affectionately are the Sisters deeds 
of mercy remembered and reverenced after nearly forty 
years. At a closer range of time and vision what pro 
found admiration their heroism must have won! The 
following letter to Major S. E. Powers, from Capt. Jack 
Abbott of Holly Springs, is an illustration : 

"You know, Major, that of late years I have been 
much opposed to priests and preachers ; but that beautiful 
feature in the Catholic church, the Sisters of Charity, 
has changed me. I have witnessed so much goodness 

17 Special thanks are due to Miss McDermott and her father, Mr. Robert 
McDermott of Holly Springs, who drove out to the cemetery to photograph 
the monument and copy its inscriptions. 



186 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

in their devotion to the sick in our Hospitals, that I shall 
always love and respect them." Strolling through the 
Court House which had been used as an infirmary during 
the plague, this gentleman had discovered upon the walls 
the following pencil-written tribute by Dr. R. M. Swear- 
ingen of Austin, Texas, to Sister Cointha : 

"Within this room, October, 1878, Sister Cointha 
sank into sleep eternal. Among the first of the Sisters 
to enter the realm of death, she was the last one to leave. 
The writer of this humble notice saw her in health, 
gentle but strong, as she moved with noiseless step and 
serene smiles through the crowded wards. He saw her 
when the yellow-plumed angel threw his golden shadows 
over the last sad scenes; and eyes unused to weeping 
gave the tribute of tears to the brave and beautiful 
spirit of mercy: 

She needs no slab of Parian marble, 

With white and ghostly head, 

To tell to wanderers in the valley 

The virtues of the dead. 

Let the lily be her tombstone, 

And the dew-drops, pure and white, 

The epitaph the angels write 

In the stillness of the night." 

The fervent eloquence of this son of the South sum 
marizes the gratitude, which the Sisters won for them 
selves individually and for their order during this per 
iod of dire affliction. Like their deeds of mercy during 
the War, so now their sympathetic work during the pes 
tilence inspired numerous requests for the establishment 
of schools and infirmaries. Thus, though the grief and 
the desolation of the epoch were enough to depress the 
bravest spirit, Providence was to bring the daughters 



EXPANSION IN THE SOUTH. 187 

of Nazareth out of their great tribulation into seasons 
of fresh strength and prosperity. Where, in the gloom 
of death, they had valiantly fought the plague and all 
its horrible train, now in the sunshine of more auspicious 
prospects they were to return to their constructive work 
of teaching though never relinquishing their offices as 
consolers of the sick and afflicted, as tender shepherdesses 
of God s needy lambs. 

Bethlehem Academy resumed its school work as early 
as possible. For several years it continued to be the Alma 
Mater of many a Southern girl, whose affectionate mem 
ories still cling to the beautiful convent home and its 
cherished teachers. However, the gradual decline of 
patronage, added to the difficulty of obtaining the neces 
sary spiritual advantages, induced Nazareth reluctantly 
to recall the Sisters in 1893. 

After the subsidence of the fever in Yazoo City, the 
Sisters of St. Clara s Academy began picking up the 
threads of life s duties and weaving them into the piece 
of work that God had given them to do knowing that, 
to paraphrase the poet s lines, though 

"Blessed are those who die for God, 
And earn the martyr s crown of life, 
Yet they who live for God may be 
Still greater conquerors in his sight." 

To their recent sorrows, difficulties of a financial 
character were now added. The purchase of their prop 
erty had been made by subscriptions among the citizens ; 
many non-Catholic names appeared on the list, so eager 
were all to have a good school. The cost was fifty-two 
hundred ($5,200) dollars. One payment was made in 
cash, and notes were given for the rest. When the first 
note became due, the subscriber was unable to meet his 
obligation; at Father Le Corre s request, Nazareth can- 



188 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

celled the note. In December, 1876, Sister Mary Law 
rence presented the first payment of five hundred ($500) 
dollars to the trustees, who refused to accept it 
saying that, in subscribing their names, they had never 
intended to have the contribution returned. General 
Wiliam R. Miles heading the list, these gentlemen wrote 
to Mother Columba, asking her to accept the gift, which 
she did gratefully. The Sisters, then considering them 
selves in secure possession, put up a commodious build 
ing, thereby incurring considerable debt. Bishop Elder 
claimed that the property was dioscesan, and demanded 
the deed. When he was transferred to the archdiocese 
of Cincinnati, Bishop Janssens repeated the demand. 
Nazareth refused to give up the deed, but directed St. 
Clara s Academy to refund the payments according to 
the original contract. This arrangement the Sisters com 
pleted in 1895 by self-sacrifice and rigid economy; the 
circumstance proves that no El Dorado had been dis 
covered in this particular part of the Southland. 

The present superior of St. Clara s Academy, Sister 
Emerentia, took charge in 1880. She had travelled the 
via dolorosa of 1878; and again, when small-pox at 
tacked three of her Sisters and carried off Sister Anine 
in 1900, she once more felt the pressure of the Cross. 
Panic seems to have been ubiquitous. Some time pre 
vious, the beautiful church had been destroyed by fire 
a visitation which had befallen its predecessor. In con 
sequence, as had been the case on another occasion, the 
Sisters school hall was now serving as parish church, 
but on the appearance of the dread disease, other quar 
ters had to be sought. Who shall describe the feelings of 
the Sisters as they saw the altar hastily dismantled, pas 
tor and congregation fleeing from them? Yet one con 
solation was theirs: their Sacramental Lord remained 
with them in their little chapel. Nor were they forgotten 



EXPANSION IN THE SOUTH. 189 

by their loving Sisters in far-away Kentucky, two of 
whom hastened to their aid, though neither was im 
mune. 

Sister Anine s death was most beautiful. Though de 
prived of the Sacraments, even in her delirium she offered 
her life to save the children from contagion. When on 
April 17, she breathed her last, and her poor emaciated 
body was hurriedly borne to the grave, with no attendants. 
no mourners save Dr. McCormick and another dear 
friend of the convent, Mrs. E. H. Kelly, the Sisters 
felt that, severe as their ordeal had been, they now had 
another advocate in Heaven. 

Many of the townspeople did much to assist the Sis 
ters in these trying days, notably Mrs. Susie Malone 
Devota who, like an angel of mercy, came every morn 
ing to the Sisters to see that they lacked nothing which 
she could procure for their comfort. 

During the next ten or twelve years, a season of pros 
perity seemed to have dawned for St. Clara s and the 
now beloved Southern town. But on May 25, 1904, the 
fire fiend again devastated Yazoo City. From nine 
in the morning until four in the afternoon the flames 
raged, consuming every church, store, hotel, hall, and 
two hundred houses. No other city has ever experienced, 
in proportion to its size, a loss from fire equal to this. 
Though three times attacked by the flames, the convent 
was spared; the children s prayers seemed to prevail, 
and the devouring flames fled from the house as by a 
miracle. 

Again the Sisters hall became the refuge of the con 
gregation and thus served as church for over three years : 
their pastor, Mgr. Wise, who to-day remains in charge, 
would not hear of rebuilding the church for the third 
time, until his parishioners had rebuilt their homes 
Many of them had lost their all ; some who had formerly 



190 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

lived in affluence were so reduced as to accept charity. 
But nobly, uncomplainingly, did they bear their dep 
rivations, while thanking God that the convent was 
spared. Our beneficent Heavenly Father was, as it were, 
constrained to bless them, and give them the means to 
replace their home and their stores, and then to rebuild 
for the third time their beautiful church. 

St. Clara s can point with pride to many of her sons 
and daughters. Some are good fathers and mothers; 
some have chosen "the better part" and are now laboring 
for souls in the Master s vineyard. With special pride 
the academy rejoiced in 1901, when one of her sons, 
Rev. F. X. Twelmeyer, received Holy Orders in the So 
ciety of Jesus. Within St. Clara s walls he learned his 
letters, and there continued his studies till his sixteenth 
year. 

Among the daughters of this school who have em 
braced the religious life are two sisters of Mrs. Devota, 
Sister Evangelista and Sister Mary Catherine Malone, 
now respectively treasurer and mistress of novices at 
Nazareth. 18 Several others are doing good service for 
God and humanity. Meanwhile St. Clara s is daily pur 
suing the tasks allotted to her by Divine Providence. 

18 Their notes have been used almost verbatim in these pages on St. Clara s 
Academy. 



CHPTER X. 
EXPANSION IN THE SOUTH, CONTINUED. 

DURING the years of recuperation following the 
epidemic, several schools and benevolent institu 
tions were added to those already existing in the South ; 
to inaugurate and sustain them abilities not unlike those 
of the pioneer Sisterhood were needed. And now again 
Nazareth was fortunate in her whose strong hand held 
the helm, Mother Helena Tormey. 

Like Mother Columba, Mother Helena was a gift of 
Ireland to the Kentucky community. During her girl 
hood, her family had moved to New York, whence 
she set forth for Nazareth in 1845. On All Saints Day, 
1846, she was professed. Mother Helena s first mission 
was to St. Vincent s Academy, Union County. There 
she taught Mother Cleophas Mills, who later became 
her successor as Nazareth s superior. In several other 
institutions she held various charges which prepared her 
for her able conduct of the community s affairs during 
twelve years as superior. 

Among the scenes of her efficient labors were St. Cath 
erine s Academy, Lexington; the parochial school of 
Louisville Cathedral; La Salette Academy, Covington; 
the Immaculata Academy, Newport; St. Frances Acad 
emy, Owensboro; Bethlehem Academy, Holly Springs; 
the Sts. Mary and Elizabeth Hospital, Louisville. In 
the last named city she founded St. Helena s Home, a 
residence for the Sisters of the parochial schools. 

In the memory of those who knew her, Mother Helena 
is revered for that invaluable trait of character, straight- 

191 



192 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

forwardness. Notwithstanding her remarkable strength 
of nature, she was surprisingly childlike and innocent; 
this was often revealed by her quick blushes. Easily 
embarrassed by the smaller courtesies of devoted friends, 
she could with admirable poise conduct large transactions 
demanding virile administrative power. Occasionally 
somewhat brusque, she had a heart of rare tenderness, 
a charity all the more praiseworthy in that she sought no 
recognition of it. Like God s sunshine, it warmed the 
hearts and filled the hands of others, without asking grat 
itude or recompense. A characteristic illustration of her 
benevolence so active in small as well as great affairs 
is given by this little incident. One Christmas when 
boxes of delicacies from fond parents were being distrib 
uted, there was an anonymous box for a girl who would 
not have received anything had not Mother Helena s 
tenderness and foresight prevented any such neglect. 
Typical was the true maternal feeling, thus forestalling 
any wistfulness or disappointment in the forlorn pupil s 
heart. The circumstance was related years afterward 
by the grateful recipient of the kindness in a letter to 
Mother Helena. 

Among Mother Helena s first tasks as superior was 
the opening of several Southern institutions. In the com 
munity s early years the South had begun sending its 
daughters northward to the Kentucky academy, thereby 
forging strong ties between that region and Nazareth. 
Hence it was but natural that as the development of the 
South increased, many appeals should come for the open 
ing of schools and benevolent institutions, and whenever 
it was possible and prudent, Nazareth responded. 

In 1879, the Rt. Rev. Edward Fitzgerald of Little 
Rock, asked for Sisters to take charge of the Sacred 
Heart Academy in Helena, Arkansas. On the 16th of 
August of that year, Sister Estelle Hasson and her five 



EXPANSION IN THE SOUTH, CONTINUED. 193 

companions left Nazareth for this mission. From the 
diary of one of the band the following particulars may 
be gleaned. After a week s travel by land and water the 
party arrived unheralded at the Helena wharf one black 
rainy night, and were conveyed through pools of mud 
to the Sacred Heart Academy. The Rev. John M. 
Boetzkes greeted the Sisters most warmly, and by lamp 
light gave them an introduction to their new home. The 
early sunrise next morning revealed distant mountains, 
clad in purple mist; and still nearer, the winding Missis 
sippi River. The convent stood almost isolated, and was 
approachjed by lofty terraces, adorned with rows of 
beautiful magnolia trees. 

The pastor was ever kind and attentive. He spent 
much of his leisure at the academy, repairing the place 
and trying to make it comfortable; for he was one of 
those generous happy geniuses who in an emergency can 
turn a hand to anything. As the emergency often oc 
curred, he was by turns carpenter, painter, printer. He 
could be physician for both body and soul. Under the 
combined activity of the Reverend Father and Sister 
Estelle, the place speedily assumed a decidedly different 
aspect from that first presented. 

For some years there had been no Catholic school in 
Helena, and the evil results were apparent in the sparse 
attendance at Mass. On the first Sunday the Sisters 
formed almost the entire congregation. This sad state 
of affairs, it was confidently hoped, the Sisters and the 
school would gradually remedy. Pupils entered the 
school in goodly numbers; hence at the end of a month 
another Sister was needed for the classes, and soon 
additions were made to the buildings. In a short time 
the music pupils formed a creditable choir, and the 
church services were better attended; the faith began 
to enter into the hearts and lives of the people, and a 



194 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

new church was erected in 1888. The school has had its 
seasons of vicissitudes ; but the advent of the Sisters has 
increased the blessings of religion in this city of 
Arkansas. 

In 1880 a foundation somewhat similar to that of 
Helena was made at Pine Bluff. The zealous pastor, 
Rev. J. M. Lucey, found Catholicity at a very low ebb 
when he took charge of the parish in the late sixties. 
There was virtually no church, and only a very small 
congregation, many of whom were almost without re 
ligious instruction. Father Lucey s first act was to build 
a new church, and then to get the Sisters to teach the 
children, for he believed this to be the only way to better 
the conditions then existing. With Bishop Fitzgerald s 
cordial approval, he petitioned Nazareth to send some 
members of its community to open an academy. The 
mother house responded to his request; and during Sep 
tember, 1880, a colony of five Sisters, with Sister Silvia 
O Brien in charge, was comfortably installed in a neat 
little cottage. This had been the pastor s own house, 
but he gladly placed it at the Sisters disposal, building 
two small rooms for himself in the rear of the 
church. 

Thus was laid the foundation of the present flourishing 
Annunciation Academy. Through several stages of 
evolution the institution passed before attaining its stately 
appearance of to-day. A few years after the opening 
of the Academy the rooms became overcrowded, and 
it was found necessary to add to the building. Nazareth 
bought the property and erected a large two-story edifice 
sufficient for school and residence purposes. In May, 
1901, this was partially destroyed by fire, the cause of 
which was never discovered. Preparations were made 
at once to repair the damage. This was accomplished by 
removing the frame building to the rear; and in its place 



EXPANSION IN THE SOUTH, CONTINUED. 195 

a substantial brick house arose, handsome in appearance 
and a credit to the community and to the city. 

Several years after the establishment of the Annun 
ciation Academy, the authorities of the Church urged 
the priests of the South to give more attention to the 
conversion of the negro. Rev. J. M. Lucey was among 
the first to respond to the call. Again he appealed to the 
charity of Nazareth to help in this apostolic work, and 
the request was not made in vain. The mother house 
sent more Sisters who for a time resided at the Annun 
ciation Academy, going forth every morning to a distant 
part of the town. They had comfortable, well-lighted 
and well-ventilated school rooms, and later Father Lucey 
obtained money from friends in the North and East to 
build more extensively. A handsome brick house was 
erected and furnished with all modern conveniences ; and 
a boarding school for negro girls was opened. 

This increase of educational opportunities meant that 
more teachers were required, and again Nazareth sup 
plied the need. A neat frame church was built on the 
new school grounds. Thus it was that the Sisters had 
every spiritual advantage to help them in the arduous 
work which they had undertaken. That the experi 
ment was not a success was not the fault of the pastor 
or the Sisters. After twelve years of really apostolic 
labors, so little seemed to have been accomplished for 
the souls of the pupils, that the Sisters were transferred 
to more auspicious fields. However, Father Lucey felt 
that the disappointment over the work for the negroes 
was more than compensated for by the benefits which 
accrued to the white congregation from the teaching 
and influence of the Annunciation Academy. 

This little sketch of the Pine Bluff foundations would 
be incomplete, were not emphasis laid upon the devoted 
friendship which, from the beginning, Father Lucey 



196 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

showed the Sisters. Their interests, their success, and 
their trials, were his own. He took charge of the 
erection of the two academies, the forwarding of school 
interests being always his first consideration. Those who 
lived under his wise guidance will never cease to give 
him grateful remembrance. 

At Little Rock, the principal city of Arkansas, the 
Sisters have for many years conducted St. Vincent s In 
firmary, in a sense a monument to the heroines of the 
yellow fever epidemic. During the terrifying visitation 
of 1878 a Catholic gentleman, Mr. Hager, made a vow 
that if Little Rock were spared, he would devote his 
means to some charitable purpose. The infirmary owes 
its foundation to the fulfillment of this pious vow. St. 
Vincent s was opened at the request of the Rt. Rev. Ed 
ward Fitzgerald, on May 24, 1888, Sister Hortense Guil- 
foyle being installed with her little company of five 
Sisters. 

The first house occupied by the Sisters proved too 
small; immediately it had to be enlarged. After eight 
years the bishop, who had come into possession of a fine 
lot in the Capitol Hill district, erected thereon a hand 
some structure, capable of accommodating one hundred 
patients. This infirmary has a chapel which is a gem, 
beautified by six stained Munich windows. These and 
all other necessary furnishings were the gift of a grate 
ful friend of the Sisters. The institution s later success 
has been due to other benefactions and to the co-operation 
between the dioscesan authority and the Sisters. Besides 
numerous paying patients, the infirmary annually shelters 
and cares for all who can be accommodated, without 
distinction of race, color or creed. In connection with 
the hospital there is an excellent operating department, 
and a training school for nurses who receive instructions 
from the Sisters and special lectures from the doctors of 




MOTHER HELENA TORMEY. 



EXPANSION IN THE SOUTH, CONTINUED. 197 

the city. Forty to sixty such nurses, thus equipped with 
admirable practical experience, annually receive merited 
certificates. 

So well patronized has the establishment been that 
another addition was made by the present ordinary, the 
Rt. Rev. J. B. Morris, in 1908. Thus the first dwelling 
of eight rooms has been replaced by an institution of two 
hundred rooms, with all the improvements and con 
veniences required. God has surely blessed the mustard 
seed, for it has grown into a large tree. 

In 1882 the Sisters resumed work in Tennessee, es 
tablishing themselves in Memphis, where they now con 
duct three flourishing schools and St. Peter s Orphanage. 
The earliest invitation for this mission was received from 
the Rev. William Walsh, pastor of St. Brigid s parish. 
In response, Sister Mary Vincent Hardie led the first 
colony to Memphis, and began the direction of St. 
Brigid s school, with the sympathetic co-operation of the 
reverend pastor, a loyal friend to the Sisters. Two years 
later the Rev. John Veale called on Nazareth for teach 
ers to conduct St. Patrick s school, which was started 
by Sister Mary Vincent, who presided over it till 1886, 
when she was appointed to the more arduous mission of 
St. Peter s Orphanage in the same city. This institution, 
erected to the memory of Mother Mary Agnes Mageveny, 
a Dominican nun, is under the supervision of a board 
of trustees, composed of gentlemen of the city, both 
Catholic and Protestant, but the management is left en 
tirely to the Sisters, to whom the Rt. Rev. Bishop extends 
his pastoral kindness and solicitude. 

The present superior of the orphanage, Sister Pelagia 
Grace, is most happily adapted to her charge. During 
her incumbency spacious new buildings have been erected, 
and many modern improvements and facilities introduced 
for the education and training of the children in various 



198 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

industrial lines, till the place has become an ideal home, 
worthy of the highest commendation. 

Among the community s other schools in Memphis are 
St. Joseph s, opened in 1890, and the Sacred Heart, in 
1900. The Sisters have likewise taught very success 
fully for years in Knoxville, Clarksville, and Dayton, 
Tennessee. 

In 1890, at the earnest solicitation of the Rev. Wil 
liam Walsh, Nazareth purchased several acres at East 
Lake, a suburb of Chattanooga. On this beautiful site, 
St. Vincent s Infirmary was opened, offering the Sisters 
new opportunities for their benevolent energies, which 
were generously and heroically exercised, notably during 
the Spanish-American War. The following sketch of 
the Sisters work is contributed by one who bore a noble 
part in it : 

"On the 16th day of May, 1898, the first soldiers of the 
Volunteer Army were encamped at Chickamauga Park. 
On the same day, three soldiers who had contracted 
pneumonia on the way from the North were brought to 
St. Vincent s Infirmary. Every clay new victims of 
pneumonia and fever arrived at the Infirmary, until all 
rooms and wards were occupied. In some cases the 
malady had made such headway that the physician had 
little hope of recovery; but, as one patient remarked, 
the Sisters seemed determined to leave nothing undone 
to restore health and strength. The sufferings of the 
soldiers, though not caused by shot and shell of the 
battle field, were none the less acute and appealed none the 
less to the tender sympathy of the Sisters. Day and 
night found the Sisters at the bedside of the sick, un 
tiring in their efforts to alleviate suffering. While bodily 
comforts were provided, spiritual assistance was not 
wanting. All the Catholic soldiers approached the Sacra- 



EXPANSION IN THE SOUTH, CONTINUED. 199 

ments. It was the beginning of a new era in the lives of 
some who had not been practical in their faith. Tm 
going to be better, was the general resolution with 
which many took farewell of the infirmary. The greater 
number of the patients were non-Catholics, many of 
whom had never seen Sisters of Charity; their ideas of 
all things Catholic were grotesque and ridiculous in the 
extreme ; but when they were racked on beds of suffering 
the watchful tender care of the Sisters was to them not 
only a renewal of health and strength, but a revelation 
of the beauties of a religion, offering faithful examples 
of the Good Samaritan in every Sister of Charity. 

"A gentleman, whose son had been among the sick 
soldiers at the Infirmary, wrote to the Sisters: Though 
not a Catholic, I never meet one of your order that I do 
not feel like raising my hat and saying "God bless you." 

"One sultry day in June, an unusual number of am 
bulances conveying the sick arrived. Accompanying them 
was a young man of rather boyish appearance. He 
told the Sister in charge that he would like to remain and 
be of whatever service he could to the boys. Just call 
me Ray, he said to Sister a very simple name amid 
such a flourish of military titles. Ray was quite useful, 
running errands, picking cherries, and, in short, making 
himself the small boy of the place. Hence the Sisters 
were not a little surprised on one occasion when Ray, 
in telephoning, announced himself as Rev. Mr. Gyles. 
It was only then that the clerical character of Ray re 
vealed itself. This young man remarked when going 
away that had it been said thirty years previous that 
the preachers and the Sisters would work so well together, 
it would not have been credited. 

"The number of soldiers nursed in the Infirmary was 
one hundred and twenty. The institution could not ac 
commodate all who applied. Often a convalescent soldier 



200 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

would express regret that his sick companions at the 
Park had not the same good care which he had received. 
"After the soldiers left, every day s mail brought let 
ters bespeaking the deep and lasting gratitude to the 
Sisters, to whom the soldiers considered themselves in 
debted, for a new lease of life. On one occasion a regi 
ment was ordered to Porto Rico from the Park. Sixteen 
of its members the Sisters had nursed through pneu 
monia and these, being unable to repair to the Infirmary 
to bid good-bye, went to the nearest telephone to ex 
press their gratitude to the Sisters who had taken such 
good care of them." 

Thus, as ever, the humble Sisters of Charity giving 
their compassionate aid to the suffering, asking no 
recompense save their Divine Lord s approval, won the 
praise of men and angels, gave shining examples of con 
secrated virtues and laid up treasures of heavenly reward. 

It seems fitting that Maryland, whose descendants had 
contributed so many members to the early community, 
should in its turn have received from Nazareth a band of 
laborers for its own vineyard. With the approbation 
of His Eminence, Cardinal Gibbons, the Sisters were 
asked in the eighteen-eighties to make a foundation at 
Leonardtown. It had been difficult to obtain Sisters 
for this mission ; the patience of priest and people had 
been exhausted when, with the idea of making a founda 
tion if it seemed advisable, Mother Helena made a visit 
to old St. Mary s County. From this particular region 
many pioneers had set forth to their future Kentucky 
homes. Seeing in this ancestral land of many of the 
Sisterhood a possibility for God s work, Mother Helena 
sent a colony to Leonardtown in the year 1885. These, 
under the leadership of Sister Madeline Sharkey, opened 
St. Mary s Academy. 



EXPANSION IN THE SOUTH. CONTINUED. 201 



Though the Sisters had been so eagerly sought, their 
first experiences were discouraging. Instead of the 
fifty boarders expected, they had at first only two, and 
only eleven day-pupils. The books which had been 
ordered had to be returned. Soon, however, this dis 
maying state of affairs changed. The pupils increased in 
numbers, and the Sisters speedily had opportunities for 
teaching and for the exercise of many corporal and 
spiritual works of mercy. The fees had to be moderate 
in the academic work, and free scholarships were ex 
tended to many. To compensate the Sisters for their 
liberality and to assist them in making necessary im 
provements, Mr. James Green well secured from the Leg 
islature an appropriation of $5,000, which sum tided 
the institution over a trying season. Within a decade 
a flourishing school was established. In its tenth year, 
Mother Helena s golden jubilee was celebrated, and 
Leonardtown signally participated in showing honor to 
her who in 1885 had gone to the rescue of the Mary 
land community. Her feast day was made the occasion 
of general rejoicing. Rev. C. K. Jenkins celebrated a 
High Mass of thanksgiving, the music being rendered by 
the pupils of St. Mary s Academy. The church was 
thronged with grateful friends. 

To-day the academy is among the best schools of 
Southern Maryland. On the occasion of its silver jubilee 
this fact was emphasized by the addresses of His Emin 
ence, Cardinal Gibbons and His Excellency, Governor 
Crothers, who spoke on the spiritual, intellectual and 
temporal advantages which had been secured to that 
region by St. Mary s Academy. So noteworthy was the 
celebration, that the following report of it may be here 
incorporated : 

"The seventeenth and eighteenth of May, 1910, were 



202 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

devoted to appropriate solemnities and festivities. His 
Eminence, Cardinal Gibbons, vested in cappa magna, 
presided at the High Mass on both days, attended the 
banquet, the reception, and the Commemorative exercises 
at the Academy. Besides the Cardinal, many of the 
clergy honored the occasion; among them were: Rev 
erend J. F. Hanselman, S. J., Provincial of the Maryland- 
New York Province; Rev. Joseph Himmel, S. J., Presi 
dent of Georgetown University; Reverend F. X. Brady, 
S. J., President of Loyola College; Reverend Eugene 
McDonnell, S.J., President of Gonzaga College; Brother 
Paul, superintendent of St. Mary s Industrial school; 
Reverends Clement Lancaster, S. J., P. J. CX Carroll, S. J., 
W. J. Tynan, S. J., Brent Matthews, S. J., F. Fan- 
non, Joseph Meyers, D. C. Keenan, E. X. Fink, S. J., 
Harman, S. J., Kelly, S. J. Among the visiting laymen 
were: his Excellency, Governor Austin L. Crothers, 
Judge N. G. Burke, C. C. Magruder, Clerk of the Court 
of Appeals, Michael Padian, P. C. Mueller, Senator 
Wilkinson and Dr. F. F. Greenwell. Also prominent 
among those who attended the Jubilee ceremonies were 
Sister Madeline, first Superior of the Academy, and 
Sister Mary Catherine, her successor during fifteen years 
of the school s successful career." 

With characteristic generosity the Sisters of Leonard- 
town share their labors with needy fields. In the rural 
districts of Maryland they hold catechism classes every 
week. Their work in these sections is that of noble mis 
sionaries and recalls the devout endeavors of earlier days, 
winning high praise. The clergy especially value this 
liberal extension of their zeal. 

Eight years after the foundation in Maryland, an 
other of Kentucky s foster-parents, Virginia, ap 
pealed for a colony of Sisters. Responding to the invita- 



EXPANSION IN THE SOUTH, CONTINUED. 203 

tion of the Rt. Rev. A. Van De Vyver of Richmond, the 
Sisters entered this new field, going to Roanoke, where 
they found a cordial reception and most charming 
courtesy. One of the community thus describes their 
idyllic location, adding other data relative to the founda 
tion: 

"Under the suggestive appellation, The Magic City, 
there lies in a fertile valley of Virginia the beautiful 
city of Roanoke. As a verdant girdle, the mountains en 
circle the city on the East and South the Blue Ridge; 
the Alleghanies on the West and North. 

"No more picturesque scene may be imagined than 
that from the eminence upon which the Church property 
rests. Below lies the city, with its stately buildings, beau 
tiful residences and handsome park; the blue of the 
skies rivals that of Italy ; while all around the mountains 
rear their lofty height, clearly outlined in springtime, 
misty and purple-veiled in the melancholy days of autumn. 
From the base of Mill Mountain on the southeast gushes 
a spring of sparkling water which daily sends forth five 
million gallons a water supply not only for Roanoke, 
but also for the suburban towns of Selem and Vinton. 
So transparent are its cooling waters, it is deservedly 
called Crystal Springs. An incline railway ascends Mill 
Mountain, upon whose summit is an observation tower 
whence an extensive and delightful view of the city and 
valley may be obtained. 

"The early history of Roanoke is interwoven with 
memories of the Indians the name being derived from 
the Indian word, Rawrenoke, meaning Fortune Money. 
The significance of the term has been borne out by the 
city s marvellous growth. Where three decades ago were 
waving fields of grain there are now towering buildings, 
busy work-shops, lovely homes, imposing churches, ex- 



204 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

cellent schools all that secure the culture and advance 
ment of the once modest hamlet. 

"In this now beautiful city, nestling among mountains, 
the Right Reverend Bishop found a desirable location for 
a boy s orphanage. He had long wished to have such an 
institution established in his diocese. A part of the con 
templated orphanage was built on a bluff overlooking 
the entire city. In February, 1893, its doors were opened 
to receive the children of the diocese needing its pro 
tection. Sister Mary Vincent and her companions took 
charge, and assumed the additional duty of teaching in 
the Parochial school which had previously been con 
ducted in another building under lay supervision. At 
the time, the Reverend J. W. Lynch was pastor of St. 
Andrew s church, then recently erected. The number of 
pupils, Catholic and non-Catholic, kept pace with the 
ever-increasing number of orphans, until the Home be 
came overcrowded and it was deemed necessary to seek 
other accommodations for the school. 

"From its foundation the orphanage at Roanoke had 
enjoyed the generous patronage of Mrs. Thomas Ryan, 
whose name is so closely associated with charitable un 
dertakings in Virginia, New York, and elsewhere. Hear 
ing of the need of more room for her boys as she 
called the children, she built out of her personal funds 
the Ryan School, consisting of beautiful airy rooms for 
class work and music, with every necessary modern con 
venience. On Thanksgiving Day, 1897, the building 
was opened for inspection; and Holy Mass was cele 
brated within its walls. From that time it has continued to 
minister to the needs of forlorn children. Parish and 
orphanage have always received a well deserved meed of 
recognition from local educators." 

In 1901, Mrs. Ryan extended her generous benefac- 



EXPANSION IN THE SOUTH, CONTINUED. 205 

tions to the city of Richmond. Besides the magnificent 
stone cathedral which she erected there to the glory of 
God, she has built a good school house and a comfortable 
convent. While the lamented Rev. J. B. O Reilly was 
pastor, Sister Xavier Smith and four assistants opened 
classes in this new school, which has now an attendance 
of four hundred and fifty pupils. Two years later Mrs. 
Ryan provided a school building in Newport News. An 
other colony of Nazareth s Sisters accepted this charge, 
now teaching there about two hundred and twenty-five 
children. 

Thus auspiciously Nazareth s schools and other insti 
tutions in Virginia have been begun, flourishing and pre 
paring the way for still greater activities. The mother 
house regards her foundations in Virginia, Maryland 
and the farther South with special and just gratification. 
However fortunate the circumstances of their beginnings 
or their later history, they have demanded from the 
Sisters in charge the steadfast exercise of prudence, in 
dustry, zeal. Winning many staunch friends, the various 
groups of religious engaged in teaching, nursing, caring 
for orphans and other needy, have made an honored 
place for themselves and their community in these 
regions, and Heaven has liberally blessed and established 
the work of their hands. 



CHAPTER XL 
EXTENSION IN THE NORTH AND EAST. 



its earliest days the mother house has been 
requested to send Sisters to eastern and northern 
missions, but not always has it seemed wise or even pos 
sible to accede to these appeals. However, as the de 
velopment of American towns and cities has created an 
increasing need for teaching and benevolent institutions, 
Nazareth has, whenever practicable, sent forth its en 
ergetic laborers to till new vineyards for the Lord, and 
even as in the early nineteenth century the Sisters grap 
pled with pioneer conditions, so Nazareth s missionary 
bands have ably faced the difficulties of later times. In 
the manufacturing towns of the Middle West and East 
they have helped to train native-born children and youth 
according to the high ideals of Christian manhood and 
womanhood. The work done in these sections represents 
some of the community s most valuable services to Amer 
ican Catholicity. Nazareth s schools have been a price 
less agency in helping to foster good citizenship during 
what has been termed our country s industrial epoch. 

At the earnest request of Rev. D. B. Cull, the Nazar 
eth Sisterhood made its first venture across the Ohio 
River and established itself in his parish at Portsmouth 
in 1875. When, four years later, Father Cull was trans 
ferred to Bellaire, a second colony of Sisters went to 
take charge of his school at the new mission. The school 
building comprised two small rooms. However, the 
growth of St. John s parish has steadily paralleled the 

206 



EXTENSION IN THE NORTH AND EAST. 207 

expansion of this manufacturing town, Bellaire, and the 
school has been proportionately enlarged. At present 
(1917), over five hundred children are enrolled. 

Besides teaching the children, the Sisters have per 
formed many other good deeds, such as assisting the 
older generations in obtaining positions and caring for 
helpless members of families while the younger ones were 
taught to be self-supporting. In times of flood or fin 
ancial depression the Sisters, by innumerable acts of 
kindness, have endeared themselves to the hearts of their 
fellow-townsmen; and these good people hold in grate 
ful recollection all that Nazareth s religious have done 
for them. Even at the risk of making a more personal 
reference than her humble spirit would approve, the 
devoted labors and immeasurable tenderness of the pres 
ent mother-general, Mother Rose Meagher, during her 
sojourn in Bellaire must be mentioned. Her sympathetic 
kindness won the hearts of young and old, rich and poor. 
The mention of her name to-day brings grateful tears to 
many eyes. A visit from her becomes the occasion of a 
royal reception. As soon as Mother Rose s arrival is 
announced, prominent citizens, aged men and women, 
and little children begin making their pilgrimages of 
affection to her. All are eager to manifest their undying 
gratitude for the devoted services and tender sympathy 
exercised toward them during twenty-two years. 

Another Ohio school which has prospered from its 
opening session to the present day was inaugurated at 
Mt. Vernon in 1884, Sister Cleophas, who later became 
mother superior, being at its head. During Nazareth s 
centennial festival in 1912, the present gifted pastor Rev. 
L. W. Mulhane, a distinguished scholar, paid high tribute 
to the Sisters for their steadfast upholding of the priest s 
arms wherever God s work was to be done. In 1891, 
Father Mulhane erected a new, well-equipped school 



208 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

building, thus increasing the opportunities for success 
ful labors in the fields of religion and education. St. 
Vincent s annually dispenses its spiritual and educational 
pabulum to nearly two hundred and fifty children. 
These go forth prepared to be good home-makers, or 
to take their places in business, and sometimes in the 
religious life. 

St. Joseph s School at Circleville represents some of 
the community s most industrious and constructive work 
in Ohio. The Rev. M. M. Meara, pastor at the time of 
its foundation, is an ardent apostle of Catholic education. 
He remained director of the school till 1900, when he 
was recalled to Columbus by the bishop and entrusted 
with the financial affairs of the cathedral. A magazine 
article of 1899 gives the following sketch of St. Joseph s : 

"The school was opened in 1886 by six Sisters of 
Charity, with Sister Dula Hogan as superior. From 
the time of its organization, St. Joseph s has been given 
the most careful attention. Everything possible has been 
done for the pupils comfort. In season and out of season 
the Pastor and the Sisters in charge have been assiduous 
for the elevation and advancement of the children. Those 
who have been graduated from the High School have 
been launched upon their careers with a thorough edu 
cation and with principles that are sure to have their 
beneficent effect. Among former pupils are priests, pro 
fessional men, capable and edifying women. The present 
Vicar-General of Galveston, Texas, Very Reverend James 
M. Kirwin, received his early education there; he is a 
devoted friend of the Sisters. The late Reverend John 
Haughran, Rector of St. Patrick s Church, Houston, 
Texas, was also an honored pupil of St. Joseph s, Circle 
ville." 

In the rapidly developing towns of the mining dis- 






EXTENSION IN THE NORTH AND EAST. 209 

tricts of Ohio, several schools have been established, 
whose importance can scarcely be over-estimated. Many 
of these towns have a mingled population of immigrants 
and natives. The children of the region might easily 
have grown up without any Christian training, without 
mental discipline, but since the year 1888 the Sisters of 
Nazareth have generously aided the zealous pastors in 
these parts, and together they have built bulwarks of 
spiritual safety for the growing generations. Among 
their schools are St. Bernard s, Corning, Ohio, founded 
in 1888, now annually enrolling about 225 pupils; St. 
Mary s school, Martin s Ferry, 1889, which averages 195 
pupils; St. Mary s Shawnee; and the Immaculate Con 
ception, Dennison, 1891, where over a hundred pupils 
are usually registered. 

The interesting, if at first humble, history of these 
Ohio missions testifies to the fact that the Nazareth com 
munity of the last quarter of a century has not forfeited 
its characteristics of pioneer days. Zeal, industry, trust 
in God, these virtues, so requisite in the olden days, have 
been equally necessary in the later tasks to which the Sis 
ters have been called, and creditably have they been mani 
fested. A few more words about these missions will 
indicate the particular problems which they have offered : 
For instance, Bridgeport, Ohio, opposite Wheeling, West 
Virginia, has as its chief interests the coal mines and 
iron works. Similar in character are other neighboring 
small towns such as Maynard and Barton, where the 
Sisters have also opened schools. In these places the pop 
ulation is distinctly unstable, consisting almost exclu 
sively of immigrants. Fourteen different nationalities at 
one time lent variety, to say nothing of difficulty, to 
the task of shepherding the children. Their parents 
were nearly all poor; many of them were but transient 
laborers. Deprived of opportunities to practise their 



210 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

religion, many of them had become indifferent toward 
their spiritual salvation. To organize them in any way, 
to mould them into anything like a stable flock, presented 
a discouraging task to the most zealous shepherds. But 
with excellent wisdom the Rev. J. A. Weigand, whose 
charges they were, recognized that the best mode of 
handling the perplexing situation was to get the children 
started toward the Kingdom of Heaven through the 
doors of a good school ; therefore he called the Sisters to 
his aid. In 1892 four Sisters from Nazareth were as 
signed to this, St. Anthony s mission. It was a vocation 
to privations and hardships. Far from encouraging 
seemed the few pupils who presented themselves to re 
ceive the Sisters training. In fact the endeavor to start 
a school seemed quixotic, but in a year it was justified; 
the enrollment steadily increased ; the at first meagre 
and fluctuating attendance became regular and otherwise 
creditable. 

Some years later the pastor made another appeal to 
Mother Cleophas in behalf of neighboring missions, es 
pecially that of Maynard, a small settlement twelve miles 
distant. Here again was a work for pioneer spirits, a 
challenge to fortitude, fervor, actual physical endurance. 
The Sisters had to rise at four o clock in the morning, 
walk half a mile to the station, then travel five miles to 
their pupils at St. Stanislaus. The small school room 
at this lonely place, however, was consecrated by the 
circumstance that it occasionally served as a chapel when 
Mass could be said in this mission. Undaunted by in 
auspicious prospects, the Sisters bravely assumed their 
responsibilities. Their first pupils represented six different 
nationalities, and therefore had to be first taught the 
English language as a medium of common instruction. 
Nor does this complete the story of the difficulties. One 
of the most ominous troubles was lack of financial sup- 



EXTENSION IN THE NORTH AND EAST. 211 

port, but Heaven was not to fail the devoted spirit who 
had so bravely and generously undertaken the arduous 
mission. During the first year, a pious Catholic, a Mr. 
McCabe, who kept a general supply store, and whose 
heart was even larger than his means, maintained the 
school almost exclusively through his own benevolence. 

The second year dawned ominously, for no support 
was at hand, but the situation challenged the pastor s 
resourcefulness. He promptly entered upon the publi 
cation of "St. Anthony s Monthly Visitor," which re 
ceived the approbation of the Bishop, the Apostolic Dele 
gate, and the blessing of His Holiness, Leo XIII. The 
favor of Heaven attended the endeavor and the school 
was continued. Heroically the Sisters went forth every 
morning on a train which arrived two hours before the 
school began. But success was to crown their hardships ; 
for their privations the Lord was to render consolation. 
The little school so courageously begun, so perseveringly 
continued, at last became permanently established in the 
community. Even non-Catholics would gladly have en 
tered their children had there been room for them. To 
day a commodious convent, built by the Rev. O. H. Von 
Lintel, is a monument to the early laborers in this at first 
difficult field. A beautiful little church has been added 
and the community has begun to manifest the good re 
sults of the Sisters influence. Well may one of the 
order, intimately acquainted with the Sisters exertions 
in these regions, say: "The work done by the Sisters at 
Bridgeport and its adjoining missions will form one of 
the brightest pages in the history of the Nazareth Com 
munity." 

In the record of the Ohio missions special reference 
is due to the zeal and indomitable industry of the Rev. 
R. McEachen. At his request in 1904, Mother Alphonsa 
Kerr sent three Sisters to open the school of Holy Angels 



212 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

at Barton, Ohio. Conditions there were similar to those 
of Maynard. In order to fit himself for his pastoral 
duties in this vineyard Father McEachen made two trips 
to Europe to study some of the many languages and 
dialects used by his flock. He mastered several tongues, 
thus enabling himself to write a series of text-books of 
religious instruction and to prepare charts for the im 
parting of knowledge to his classes. During his pastorate 
Father McEachen erected a commodious school build 
ing at Maynard. Schools were conducted for a time 
also at Portsmouth, New Straitsville, East Liverpool and 
Mingo Junction, Ohio. 

Upon none of its foundations does Nazareth reflect 
with deeper gratification than upon those of the East, 
in the archdiocese of Boston. The extension of activ 
ities to this region so far from the mother house was 
a departure from what had been in some measure a guid 
ing principle, a home-keeping tendency, so to speak. The 
extension southward was scarcely in abrogation of 
this principle, for, in general conditions and standards, 
there perhaps prevailed greater similarity between the 
South and Kentucky than between Kentucky and the 
North and East. Undoubtedly something was gained by 
this conservative tendency; it probably secured an in 
tensive development of Nazareth s ideals and character. 
Its foundations being limited to Kentucky and the South 
for about three score years and ten, the community long 
drew most of its members from these regions in this 
manner still further increasing the society s homogeneity 
and preserving its particular characteristics. Those who 
highly esteem the influence of the order may regret that 
hitherto it has not drawn into its fold members from 
more various and widely extended fields, and that until 
the last quarter of the century its labors have not had 
a larger territorial expansion. Yet these regrets may 



EXTENSION IN THE NORTH AND EAST. 213 

always be counterbalanced by speculations upon the pos 
sible losses or radical alterations such additions and 
expansions might have caused during the community s 
early epoch, when methods of communication and trans 
portation were not so expeditious as they are now, when 
therefore it might have proved difficult to maintain the 
unity and solidarity which have been a source of strength 
to the Sisterhood. Nazareth s highly creditable prosper 
ity has to a great extent sufficiently justified her prin 
ciples ; yet when, eventually, she began planting in distant 
Northern and Eastern fields, goodly harvests justified her 
new endeavors. 

Nazareth s first corner-stone in the East was laid in 
Newburyport, Massachusetts, in 1882, where a parochial 
school was opened at the request of one of the com 
munity s steadfast friends, Mgr. Teeling. The first con 
vent was a neat, homelike dwelling near the school and 
church; but by 1886 the original colony, nine Sisters, 
had increased to twenty, hence larger quarters were 
required. Necessary accommodation and spacious 
grounds were afforded by the purchase of the Wells prop 
erty, a beautiful residence where, according to tradition, 
George Washington once lodged. From the beginning 
prosperity attended this foundation. Pupils soon as 
sembled in throngs (the term is not an exaggeration) ; in 
consequence two of the public schools were closed. It 
was early found advisable to add a girls high school to 
the grammar grades. This high school prospered so well 
that a resolution was made to secure similar opportunities 
for boys. Hence in December, 1883, Mgr. Teeling in 
duced Rev. Mortimer E. Twomey to take charge of a 
high school department for boys. In a few years twenty 
or more vocations to the priesthood were among the 
fruits of Father Twomey s labors. The combined schools 
soon numbered five or six hundred pupils. 



214 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

The Sisters were always greatly encouraged by the 
favorable consideration of the late Archbishop Williams 
of Boston, and of the Rt. Rev. John Nilan, Bishop of 
Hartford. The school was kindly commended also by 
John Boyle O Reilly, who was often the guest of the 
pastor. From his own lips the Sisters and pupils heard 
of his adventurous escape from Australia. Michael Da- 
vitt, the great Irish patriot, was once present at an enter 
tainment in his honor. John Jeffrey Roche, Mr. Ford, 
and Miss Katherine Conway of the Boston Pilot were 
frequent visitors. 

To afford recreation and the benefit of the sea breeze, 
to the Sisters, Mgr. Teeling placed his cottage on Plum 
Island at their disposal. During the vacation, several 
times a week the little band sailed down the Merrimac 
to enjoy the day on the quiet beach. Excursions were 
occasionally made to the home of Harriet Prescott Spof- 
ford, who lived near Newburyport; and to the home of 
Whittier, where the revered poet became a familiar 
figure. The distinguished explorer, Adolph Washing 
ton Greeley, returned from his Arctic expedition, visited 
Newburyport, where his aged mother lived, and the 
town s ovation to him was an inspiring event to Sisters 
and pupils. Thus both persons and places of historic 
interest lent charm to the early days of these first mis 
sions in the far East. 

The blessings vouchsafed to the schools of Newbury 
port induced the pastors of neighboring cities to attempt 
similar undertakings, the opening of institutions under 
the care of religious, a venture at first somewhat unique 
in this section where the public schools had so long held 
sway and enjoyed an enviable reputation. 

St. Patrick s School, Brockton, Massachusetts, was 
opened September 12, 1887, with an attendance of nearly 
five hundred children. It was the first, and for many 



EXTENSION IN THE NORTH AND EAST. 215 

years the only parochial school in Plymouth County, the 
home of the Puritans. Ten Sisters formed the first 
colony, which was presided over by Sister Silvia O Brien. 
The teaching staff now numbers thirteen ; the pupils six 
hundred. 

In the early days of this foundation every possible 
encouragement was given the Sisters and the school by 
the Rev. Fathers McClure and Glynn. Superintendents 
and professors of the public schools, visiting St. Patrick s, 
marvelled at the Sisters success. Occasionally prejudice 
or curiosity may have prompted the calls, but after a few 
experiences, these visitors, even if they did not go to 
scoff and remain to pray, were frequently generous 
enough to admit that the parochial schools were not below 
the reputation ascribed to them by their friends. Indeed 
this was repeatedly proved by the notable success of the 
boys and girls of the parochial schools in competitive 
tests with the students of the public schools. 

At the advent of the Sisters, Brockton consisted of 
one parish attended by three priests. Now there are 
six parishes and fourteen priests. Many of the pupils are 
to be found in the ranks of the priesthood. Great good 
is accomplished in all these eastern missions through the 
sodalities and Sunday schools. They promote sympathy 
and interest among the members, encourage piety, and 
become a means of carrying out in a systematic manner 
various charitable and benevolent undertakings. 

By the statistics of still another of these Eastern 
foundations one s sense of numbers is almost bewildered. 
One thousand four hundred is the present enrollment of 
St. Raphael s, Hyde Park, Massachusetts. When this 
school was established in 1888, Hyde Park was a thriv 
ing little town, seven miles from Boston. Though so near 
that intellectual centre, of which it has since become an 
integral part, Hyde Park was an admirable field for the 



216 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

Sisters endeavors. The population, partly native, partly 
foreign, was distinctly in need of religious and educa 
tional opportunities. Prejudice was by no means absent. 
The general conditions of the place were different from 
those elsewhere handled by the Sisters; but the zealous 
spirits and active intellects of the little band that ac 
companied Mother Cleophas when, in August, 1888, 
she went to lay the foundation of this mission, vigorously 
applied their best energies, their keenest intelligence to 
the problems of religious and educational work awaiting 
them. Particularly fortunate were they in having their 
efforts seconded by a stanch co-laborer and helpful ad 
viser, Rev. Richard Barry, who so justly deserves the 
title, "Church Builder of the North." In the two schools 
first undertaken there was an almost immediate enroll 
ment of several hundred children. May not the patron 
of the school, St. Raphael, the great Archangel who 
once befriended the little Tobias, have helped to gather 
the little ones of Hyde Park into the safe fold of the 
Sisters care? 

St. Raphael s immediate prosperity was indeed an evi 
dence of Heaven s blessings. The large enrollment soon 
demanded another teacher; and the following year still 
another had to be added, making the Apostolic number 
twelve. But so marvellously has the school since grown, 
that this corps of teachers has now been doubled. Sister 
Mary Ignatius Fox, one of the original faculty, was 
placed in charge in the autumn of 1892 ; as superior she 
ably conducted the affairs of this important mission till 
1912, when she was elected a member of the general 
council at Nazareth. 

A few days after St. Raphael s school was opened, the 
Sisters learned, to their great dismay, that good Father 
Barry had been appointed to build a church in Back Bay. 
Many were the expressions of sorrow at the loss of so 



EXTENSION IN THE NORTH AND EAST. 217 

good and generous a pastor the Sisters knew not the 
blessing that God had in store for them in the person 
of Mgr. James J. Chittick, pastor of Plymouth, whom 
His Grace, Archbishop Williams had appointed as Father 
Barry s successor as early as August, 1888. 

From the day that Father Chittick went to Hyde Park 
to the present, he has been the stanch friend of the Sisters, 
supporting them in every trial and difficulty, and sacri 
ficing everything for his beloved school. In less than ten 
years he has not only liquidated the heavy debt which 
almost prostrated him at his going to the parish, but he 
has also built a school in Corriganville, Massachusetts, 
enlarged the convent and school next to the church, as 
well as the school in Readville, Massachusetts. All these 
schools are models in organization and equipment. So 
many improvements have been made in St. Raphael s, 
and the parish has so much increased, that the Rt. Rev. 
Mgr. Chittick s school of fourteen hundred children is 
now one of the largest in the Archdiocese of Boston. In 
competitive examinations, in which the public school 
children also contest the pupils of St. Raphael s are al 
ways conspicuous in merit and number. This is true 
likewise of the students of Nazareth s other schools in the 
region. 

These excellent schools, founded within three decades, 
have become the community s chief glory in the East. A 
few benevolent institutions under the Sisters care like 
wise do honor to Nazareth. In Lowell, Massachusetts, 
in 1887, the Sisters took charge of St. Peter s Orphan 
age, where little girls and boys are received. In New- 
buryport they have charge of a home that shelters many 
motherless little ones. 

Subsequent pages will complete the history of the So 
ciety s extension in Ohio and the farther East. But after 
all, in the story of such expansion, the most significant 



218 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

chapters are those which record the first hours labor in 
the vineyard. To summarize, then, the fruits of that 
toil : the Sisters who began the Ohio and Massachusetts 
foundations have made new places of honor for their 
society, have greatly increased its opportunities for good 
works. Bravely facing unfamiliar and often difficult 
conditions, they have perpetuated the zeal, the fortitude, 
the resourcefulness of the pioneer community. They have 
opened the way and made straight the paths for their 
successors, those who, under God s Providence, will con 
tinue their work of Christian education and benevolence. 



CHAPTER XII. 
THE MATERNAL COMMONWEALTH. 

WHILE the light of the Society s good deeds was 
thus shining afar, it was imparting a bright glow 
also to regions nearer home. In Louisville, Kentucky, 
the early foundations were improved; new schools and 
benevolent institutions were established to meet the grow 
ing city s needs. Yet, for all these gratifying general 
conditions, one incident of gloom cast a shadow across 
the last decade of the nineteenth century. On March 
27, 1890, occurred that direst catastrophe in the history 
of Louisville, the tornado which swept the Sacred Heart 
school to the ground and caused the death of Sister Mary 
Pius. 

At sundown on Holy Thursday an ominous cloud was 
seen across the horizon. Between eight and nine o clock 
the terrific blast started upon its way, demolishing stone 
warehouses, overturning massive engines, shattering 
tenement houses and taking a heavy toll of human life. 
The whirlwind entered the city at Eighteenth and Maple 
streets, just two blocks away from the Sacred Heart 
school and church. Tearing its way along, it filled the 
air with the sound of crashing walls, shrieks of the dying 
and the wounded, lamentations of the living. Imme 
diately alarms of fire were rung, and the glare of con 
flagration added another note of horror to that already 
prevailing. Buried beneath ruins, many went to their 
death; others were rescued with bruised and lacerated 
bodies. The tornado created a fellowship of sorrow 
wherein all bemoaned dear ones dead or disabled. In 

219 



220 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

this great tribulation the Nazareth community bore a 
most afflicting part. The Sacred Heart Church and 
School were among the buildings earliest struck and 
Sister Mary Pius, of the teaching band, was one of the 
first victims of the disaster. Well may be understood the 
effect produced upon the Sisters by such an abrupt inter 
ruption of their quiet evening hour. Stunned, unaware 
of the exact nature of the catastrophe, Sister Mary Pius 
started across the yard, immediately receiving her death 
blow. Sister Anselma and others were buried under the 
debris, where they remained for some time imprisoned in 
living death; when the rescue corps arrived, the Sisters 
could hear voices saying that there was no use in remov 
ing the debris as in all probability no victims lay beneath 
it, the poor distracted religious meantime wondering if 
they were doomed to be buried alive. Finally they were 
unearthed, soon forgetting their own anguish in their 
grief for their lost companion. Their bereavement drew 
sympathy from strangers as well as friends. The Cour 
ier-Journal of Good Friday morning contained this af 
fecting passage : 

One of the saddest processions wended its way from 
the ruined Sacred Heart at Seventeenth and Broadway 
at eleven o clock last night. On a bier lay all that was 
mortal of Sister Mary Pius. Slowly the procession 
moved along, the reverend Fathers of the Church at the 
head with lighted lanterns to show the pall-bearers 
through the debris. It was a strange close for such a 
life of peace; and the uncouth men who lifted the bier 
were strangely delicate, as if they feared to disturb the 
sleeper." 

Needless to say this tragic death cast a pall over the 
spirits of the surviving Sisters and other members of the 
community. Yet they had to endure still another strain 



THE MATERNAL COMMONWEALTH. 221 

on their tender hearts, that of sympathy for the afflictions 
in their pupils families. Once more the sisterhood, 
grieved and burdened as it was, exercised compassionate 
offices, bearing solace to the homes of the devastated 
neighborhood. 

The total loss of church and school amounted to $25,- 
000; the church had been built a few years previous at 
a cost of $15,000. The triple loss of church, school, 
faithful teacher, broke the heart of the devoted pastor, 
Father Disney, who never completely recovered from his 
grief. In time he rebuilt the school, which has steadily 
prospered, having a present enrollment of four hundred 
children. 

To pass from the tragic episode of the tornado to 
happier incidents: one of the most valuable services to 
education in Louisville about this time was the erection 
of the new Presentation Academy on the corner of 
Fourth and Breckenridge Streets. Since its foundation 
in 1831, this institution has enjoyed a progressive career, 
having been the Alma Mater of many esteemed men 
and women. Rev. Charles P. Raffo, pastor of St. Charles 
Borromeo s Church, Louisville, was among the academy s 
"boys." Even to-day the homely ancient building on 
Fifth Street, where Sister Sophia Carton was long the 
presiding genius, is fraught with associations dear to 
many. One of the noteworthy departments in the school 
of yore was that familiarly known as "Trinity College," 
named very likely after the famous institution of Sister 
Sophia s native land, Ireland. The dignified appellation 
was given to an upper room at the end of the academy s 
lot; what may have been lacking in outward appearance 
was compensated for by the propriety and discipline 
which Sister Sophia maintained among her "young gen 
tlemen," as the youths of approximately twelve, thirteen 
and fourteen years were always termed. With an ap- 



222 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

parently stern demeanor, but with the fondest heart, she 
ruled them, winning their affection and confidence by 
her genuine interest in their welfare, an interest that 
followed them into their later careers. Many of Sister 
Sophia s "young gentlemen" are to be found holding 
positions of responsibility. Mr. Wible Mapother and Mr. 
Addison Smith, vice-presidents of the Louisville and 
Nashville Railroad, and other able citizens of Louisville 
of to-day were once students in Trinity College." 

By faithful adherence to high standards of mental 
and moral training the academy gained a liberal patron 
age from non-Catholics as well as Catholics. Ultimately 
the city s increasing traffic in the neighborhood of the 
old school necessitated new and larger quarters. Under 
the direction of Mother Helena Tormey and Sister 
Augustine Callen the present building was erected on the 
corner of Fourth and Breckenridge Streets in 1893. 
Sister Augustine retained the office of superior of the 
Academy until she was recalled to Nazareth (1894), to 
assume for the third time the duties of treasurer. Sister 
Augustine was a gentle and dignified religious, zealous 
for the honor of God and the good of her society. She 
was an accomplished teacher; and many of her pupils 
have become distinguished members of Nazareth acad 
emy s faculty. 

Particularly fortunate was the new Presentation 
Academy in its second superior, Sister Eutropia Mc- 
Mahon, who succeeded Sister Augustine in 1894. Able, 
fervent, gracious in nature and demeanor, she had the 
twofold power of engaging the youngest pupil s affection 
and of employing the force needed for the direction of 
a large school in a developing city. The supreme testi 
mony of her abilities was her eventual election as mother 
of the community and later as mother general. Under 
the able guidance of Sister Bernardine Townsend, who 



THE MATERNAL COMMONWEALTH. 223 

succeeded her in 1909, the school continued to prosper, 
sustaining the reputation ascribed to it by the Kentucky 
historian, Colonel Stoddard Johnston, in his "History of 
Louisville :" The Presentation Academy, second to none 
in a city famous for its fair seats of learning." While 
Nazareth s chief academy in Louisville was thus pro 
gressing, annually enrolling about four hundred children, 
the parochial schools of the city were likewise richly 
benefiting by the Sisters zealous labors. In 1859 St. 
John s School was begun; St. Michael s in 1866; St. 
Augustine s for negro children, built by the late Rt. Rev. 
M. J. Spalding, 1871; St. Cecilia s, 1877; the Sacred 
Heart, 1877; St. Brigid s, 1887; St. Frances of Rome, 
1887; St. Philip Neri, 1889; The Holy Name, 1891. By 
the closing years of the nineteenth century the yearly 
registration in these schools was approximately two 
thousand pupils. To their tasks of teaching, the Sisters 
of these schools added many activities to be classed as 
general parish work, visiting the sick, counselling and 
cheering parents, instructing classes in catechism, sup 
porting the pastors in various other good works. Thus 
many a parochial school of Louisville under the Sisters 
care (and the same is true elsewhere) has anticipated the 
work accomplished in later years by neighborhood houses, 
settlement houses and similar institutions ; for the Sisters 
industry, neatness, order, co-operative spirit, as well as 
their piety, have been distinctly valuable influences in 
many localities. 

Meantime the benevolent institutions under the Sisters 

care were developing St. Joseph s Infirmary and Sts. 

Mary and Elizabeth Hospital increasing in size and in 

number of patients. With the tenderness of mothers 

; and often the self-sacrifice of mothers who receive almost 

I no reward for their labors, the faithful guardians of the 

! orphans were caring for the boys of St. Thomas Orphan- 



224: SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

age and the girls at St. Vincent s Orphan Asylum. For 
many years almost the entire burden of these forlorn 
children developed upon the Sisters. Many kind citizens 
from time to time gave assistance ; Father Bouchet, faith 
ful friend of the Sisters and their charges, edited The 
Record in their behalf; but for the most part to the 
mother house and the compassionate and laborious re 
ligious at the orphanages is due the care given for over 
three-quarters of a century to thousands of these bereaved 
children. To-day, fortunately, a board of trustees has 
lightened the Sisters labors and responsibilities. 

While the Louisville schools and benevolent institutions 
were thus expanding, elsewhere in Kentucky statelier 
structures were rising upon ante-bellum foundations and 
many new establishments were made. With special grati 
fication Nazareth saw her oldest branch houses progress 
ing from year to year. Already has been noted the heroic 
part played by the Sisters of Bethlehem Academy, Bards- 
town (begun in 1819), during seasons of pestilence and 
war. Following such ordeals, whence their spirit of 
mercy and compassion came forth as thrice refined gold, 
the Sisters resumed school work with the happy adapt 
ability of true Christians. Receiving both boarding 
and day pupils, Bethlehem Academy has steadily pros 
pered. In 1910, the frame dwellings on either side of the 
original edifice were replaced by brick structures all 
three buildings, the old one and the two new ones, form 
ing an institution which is an ornament to historic Bards- 
town. To the zeal and encouragement of the Very Rev. 
Dean O Connell, the school is greatly indebted for its 
present success. 

St. Vincent s Academy, Union County, has proved 
worthy of the vigorous spirits who founded it ninety-six 
years ago. Who can estimate the accomplishment of its 
generations of able Sisters? Mrs. John Logan s rem- 



THE MATERNAL COMMONWEALTH. 225 

iniscences have already paid honor to the early convent 
and its faculty ; the present superior, Sister Estelle Has- 
som, has energetically continued the work of her pred 
ecessors. During her ten years incumbency she has 
added many improvements to the now well-equipped 
modern academy and its spacious estate. On the oc 
casion of her golden jubilee as a religious (1916), 
tributes from numerous devoted friends eloquently wit 
nessed to her admirable endeavors and to the esteem 
she has inspired. 

St. Vincent s importance as an educational influence 
not only in Kentucky but also in neighboring states was 
illustrated during Indiana s centennial celebration of 
1916, the Kentucky academy being accorded representa 
tion because of its share in the education of Indiana 
girls. In the commemorative pageant, daughters of 
representative families impersonated grandmothers and 
great grandmothers who had attended the venerable 
school across the Ohio River. Seven girls garbed in 
St. Vincent s first uniform purple dresses, white collars, 
cuffs and belts revived the early days of St. Vincent s ; 
while the present pastor, Father Lubberman, imperson 
ated that revered missionary of pioneer days Father 
Durbin, priest, friend, counsellor, to so many families. 
His church across the road from St. Vincent s was known 
as The Chapel; and even as Father Durbin added so 
many offices to his distinctive one of pastor, so The 
Chapel occasionally served other than strictly religious 
needs. For example, on Saturdays Father Durbin was 
wont to bring home from the nearest town the mail for 
the Sisters, their pupils, and for the various households 
of the vicinity. The mail-bag was carefully borne to the 
sacristy where it was emptied upon the floor, the letters 
being then claimed by their rightful owners. The primi 
tive method of distribution may seem questionable; but 



226 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

under the supervision of Father Durbin, who knew his 
flock so well, it was evidently safe. 

St. Catherine s Academy, Lexington, Kentucky, es 
tablished by Mother Catherine in 1823, has perseveringly 
sustained the prestige won by its founder. Vicissitudes 
have occasionally been its lot; but the prudence and in 
dustry of superiors and their associates have vanquished 
recurrent difficulties. To the academy s development 
have been devoted the thought and energy of such guides 
as Mother Cleophas Mills who for a while bore the 
responsibility of the general government of Nazareth, 
and Sister Mary Vincent Hardie, a former pupil of St. 
Catherine s, a religious of rare ability, forceful charac 
ter and intellect, during many years one of the most 
valuable members of Nazareth s own faculty. Long 
did she labor in Lexington till she was called "home" to 
the mother house, where in 1915 her faithful and efficient 
life was ended. Under the direction of Sister Imelda, 
excellent teacher and disciplinarian, St. Catherine s has 
continued to advance. Besides its own faculty it shelters 
eleven other Sisters, four of whom teach more than two 
hundred children in St. Paul s parochial school; four 
others instruct the negro children of St. Peter Claver s 
School. 

During the three score and eight years since its estab 
lishment, St. Frances Academy, Owensboro, Kentucky, 
has steadily increased its reputation, gradually outgrow 
ing the little schoolhouse opened by Mother Frances 
Gardiner in 1849. When in 1888 larger quarters be 
came necessary, a lot was purchased whereon two years 
later the present St. Frances Academy was built; while 
it was rising upon its foundations, untiring in direction 
and wise supervision was the superior, Sister Guidonia 
Flaherty, one of the Community s jubilarians. At this 
point may be emphasized the fact that when pilgrimages 



^ 



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Jon. e+~ii* H v/ r~-^c) ^^1 n. >// 




AUTOGRAPH OF ST. VIXCKXT DE PAUL. 



THE MATERNAL COMMONWEALTH. 227 

are made to the mother house and handsome branch 
houses, sometimes but superficial is the realization that 
these well-equipped stable structures are monuments to 
executive ability of the first order, to the unassertive but 
firm and prudent women who have superintended the 
erection of stately academy, good school house, hospital, 
infirmary, as the case may be. All the more eagerly is 
the tribute paid, because those who inspire it seek no 
praise that makes them conspicuous, being content to let 
work of hand or brain redound to the honor of God 
and Nazareth. 

Indebted as St. Frances Academy has been to those 
who have guided its destinies and their associates, par 
ticularly fortunate have the Sisters been in such loyal 
friends as the Rev. Eugene O Callaghan, one of the 
Society s most liberal benefactors, and the succeeding 
pastors, Mgr. Gambon and Rev. Edward S. Fitzgerald, 
the present incumbent; these three special friends of 
Nazareth have lent valuable encouragement to all the 
Sisters endeavors. 

Parallel with the expansion of these early branch 
houses has been the growth of those other ante-bellum 
foundations La Salette Academy, Covington, Kentucky, 
and the Immaculata Academy, Newport, Kentucky. Re 
luctant as members of the community are to have any 
particular mention, certain ones have by long service 
become identified with certain institutions; such is Sister 
Lauretta Meagher who in 1879 became superior of La 
Salette Academy, giving to that office thirty-three years 
of unsparing labor. In her girlhood this zealous teacher 
and religious was a pupil of St. Vincent s Academy, 
Union County; soon after her graduation she entered 
the community. Her first mission (1862) was to Louis 
ville, to nurse the soldiers in the military hospitals of the 
Civil War. How truly the spirit of St. Vincent echoes 



228 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

in her words describing this undertaking : "I was a young 
idealist, with great dreams of what a Sister of Charity 
and a follower of St. Vincent should do to nurse the 
sick and care for the orphans and the needy." During 
those years the novices and young Sisters were taught 
to bandage wounds and render other services to the 
ailing and the disabled; hence the "young idealist" was 
well trained for her tasks. After several months of char 
itable ministrations to soldiers of the Blue and the Gray, 
she was recalled to Nazareth to teach for a while, later 
going to St. Catherine s Academy, Lexington, Kentucky. 
When Sister Lauretta became superior of La Salette, 
the little brick house where the school had first been 
started in 1856 was still serving as academy and Sisters 
residence; Sister Lauretta was wont to remark of La 
Salette : The beauty of the king s daughter is within," 
so sharply did the neatness and tidiness of the small house 
contrast with its surroundings. The resourcefulness of 
the superior and her assistants is illustrated by the fol 
lowing incident: From the time of their establishment in 
Covington the Sisters had attended Mass at the old 
cathedral ; when the new one was erected several blocks 
away, Sister Lauretta knew that the long walk to it 
would be hard on her household; hence she decided to 
have a chapel within her own walls. At Christmas one 
of the Sisters received a little silver bell. "That will do 
for our chapel," said Sister Lauretta. When she prof 
fered her request for a chaplain, the bishop, knowing 
the smallness of the house, said "But, how can you have 
a chapel? Have you any furnishings?" "Yes," was the 
answer, "a silver bell." The bishop then promised a 
chaplain, not dreaming that by spring the devout superior 
would have found a means to accomplish her wish. 

Meanwhile a still more difficult project challenged 
Sister Lauretta s energy. All this time the Sisters had 



THE MATERNAL COMMONWEALTH. 229 

labored under the disadvantage of not owning their 
home and school ; moreover the old building in use since 
1856 seriously hampered the Sisters educational work; 
therefore from the mother house sanction for a new 
school house was requested and obtained. In 1886 the 
corner-stone was laid for the present substantial struc 
ture, providing room and opportunity for developing an 
academy of the first rank. The prompt increase in en 
rollment necessitated additions to the teaching staff; 
hence a new home for the Sisters was required. On 
March 25, 1903, a modern residence stood completed, 
superseding the antiquated one of 1856. The capable 
superior, whose foresight inspired the building of the 
new academy and convent, ascribes to another the ac 
complishment of her wishes : "St. Joseph built the Con 
vent ; I kept telling him that I wanted him to build a fit 
ting home for his Lady, the Blessed Virgin. I said : You 
know the kind of home she ought to have ; and so, St. 
Joseph really built it." This comfortable convent now 
shelters twenty-nine or thirty Sisters, including La Sal- 
ette s own faculty, and the teaching bands of St. James 
school, Ludlow, Kentucky, and St. Patrick s and St. 
Mary s parochial schools, Covington. St. Mary s School, 
whose career began simultaneously with La Salette s, and 
even more humbly in a cottage and a few detached 
apartments is now established in a well-built school- 
house erected by the former pastor, then Father Bros- 
sart, who has since been elevated to episcopal honors. 

In 1912 Sister Lauretta laid aside the burdens of office, 
her sight having begun to fail alas, that human facul 
ties have not the longevity of zeal and piety! Her suc 
cessor, Sister Aime, at the end of a year was followed in 
office by the present gifted superior and devout religious, 
Sister Columba Fox, who>, with her sister, Sister Mary 
Ignatius, the present directress of studies at Nazareth 



230 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

and a member of the general council, had been among 
Sister Lauretta s pupils at St. Catherine s Academy, Lex 
ington, Kentucky, whence they passed to Nazareth Acad 
emy, and eventually into Nazareth s novitiate. Sister 
Columba has loyally paid tribute to her former teacher: 
"Sister Lauretta kept the academy abreast of the times, 
so there was little to be added, save a strengthening and 
beautifying touch when needed and occasion permitted." 
As a matter of fact nothing has been spared to make La 
Salette an academy of first rank ; hence the school begun 
sixty years ago by Sister Clare Gardiner in such small 
and inauspicious quarters now averages an annual enroll 
ment of two hundred and fifty and a teaching force of 
fifteen. Regular school work is supplemented by lectures, 
recitations and similar entertainments educational in 
character, given by the best talent of the country. The 
pupils have an annual spiritual retreat, given by a Jesuit, 
Passionist or other religious. The work of the students 
bears witness to the high standards maintained; illus 
trative of these standards was an entertainment in honor 
of the Rt. Rev. Ferdinand Brossart, following his ap 
pointment to episcopal office (1916) : the chief features 
of this entertainment being an address in Latin, one in 
French, and one in English. An active and loyal Alumnae 
Society, now affiliated with the International Federation 
of Catholic Alumnae, fosters the spirit of La Salette and 
exercises a fruitful influence in the social and civic life 
of Covington. 

Shortly after La Salette had entered upon its efficient 
career, a few Sisters began walking across the bridge 
every morning to Newport, Kentucky, where in 1857 
they founded the Immaculata Academy. Among the 
valiant band who under trying circumstances began this 
school were Sister Euphrasia Mudd, the first superior, 
Sisters Mary Magdalen McMahon, Angela Brooks, 



THE MATERNAL COMMONWEALTH. 231 

and Camilla. The early days of the Academy are as 
sociated also with Sister Marcella, Mother Helena and 
Sisters Isabella Drury and Mary David Wagner, who 
successively held office. For twenty-two years (1858- 
80), the last named religious gave the service of her 
distinguished mentality, executive ability and piety, 
to securing stability and prestige for the Immaculata 
Academy. Not till seven years after its establishment 
did the Sisters have a permanent home and school. Fi 
nally in 1864 was erected "David s Tower," the tall nar 
row building still in use, whose name honors both the 
Psalmist and the efficient religious who there spent many 
days of toil and thought. 

From Sister Mary David s hands the guidance of the 
Immaculata passed successively to two capable and de 
vout superiors Sister Mary Walsh and Sister Blanche 
Traynor. In 1886 Sister Eulalia Gaynor was appointed 
to succeed Sister Blanche, but only for a few weeks was 
she permitted to fill her office, for within less than a 
month she was burned to death, her clothes having ignited 
from a candle while she was dressing. Tragic as were 
the circumstances, her death was calm and holy; ever 
thoughtful of others, a few minutes before the end she 
reminded the weeping Sisters that it was time for them to 
repair to church to receive Holy Communion. 

Especially fortunate was the Immaculata Academy in 
the superior who followed lamented Sister Eulalia. In 
September, 1886, Sister Constance Davis assumed the 
duties of an office which she was to hold for twenty-four 
years. A sister of the present Bishop of Davenport and 
of the Rev. Richard Davis, chaplain of Nazareth, and 
a cousin of the present mother-general of the community, 
this religious was one of an exceptional little company 
who during the seventies came from Ireland to take their 
part in the work of education and religion in America. 



232 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

Sister Constance was one of three who entered the Naz 
areth society, the others being Mother-General Rose 
Meagher and her sister, Sister Gonzales. One of the 
number has said : "We were practically received into the 
Community before we left Ireland, for Mother Columba 
knew that we were coming." To this fact, that their 
novitiate was virtually begun in the Isle of the Blest, 
may doubtless in some measure be ascribed the vigor, the 
piety, the white-hot zeal which has ever marked the 
work of the little group all too humble to welcome such 
eulogy, whose truth none the less forces its way from the 
historian s pen. 

When Sister Constance began her labors in Newport 
a need confronted her similar to that faced in Covington 
about the same time, the necessity for modernizing the 
equipment and curriculum of the academy. For many 
years the Sisters had lacked conveniences and resources 
for accomplishing the good works to which they aspired. 
During those seasons of limited means, however, faith 
ful friends were at hand who later were nobly to second 
all exertions for the Immaculata s development. Promi 
nent among these benefactors were Mr. and Mrs. M. V. 
Daily, who permitted scarcely a day to pass unmarked 
by their generous and courteous offices. Mr. Daily s an 
nual gift was a check in full for the fuel supply of the 
entire year, while Mrs. Daily never failed to send to the 
convent every Saturday a well-filled basket of provisions 
sufficient for the week. 

In 1898, Mr. Daily died, bequeathing his beautiful 
residence to his daughter, Mrs. Peter O Shaughnessy. 
At once she and her generous husband made over by a 
fee-simple to the Sisters of the Immaculata Academy this 
valuable property, Mrs. O Shaughnessy s girlhood home. 
The acquisition of this estate, increasing the facilities for 
the accommodation of students, marked an epoch in the 



THE MATERNAL COMMONWEALTH. 233 

history of the academy; since then its success has been 
assured. Another valuable addition to the Sisters prop 
erty was made in 1901, when the residence and grounds 
of Mr. M. J. King, adjoining the Daily estate, were 
purchased, making an ideal convent, quiet and secluded, 
yet in the heart of the city. With its faculty and pupils 
now comfortably housed, the Immaculata Academy takes 
a foremost place in the local educational field ; its Alumnae 
Association, affiliated with the International Federation 
of Catholic Alumnae, includes women of rare worth, an 
honor to their city and their Alma Mater. In 1907 the 
institution, thus prosperously established, celebrated its 
golden jubilee; during the solemn High Mass of com 
memoration the celebrant, Rev. James McNerney, re 
joiced the hearts of all present by reading a cablegram 
from Rome, conveying the Holy Father s blessing to 
Sisters, pupils and the entire congregation. 

While the Immaculata Academy has been attaining 
its notable position of efficiency and stability, the Sisters 
work in the Immaculata parochial school has likewise 
been blessed. Its prosperity may in large measure be 
ascribed to the generous encouragement and support of 
Mr. Peter O Shaughnessy. The convent, rectory, the 
schools and church stand as perpetual memorials of his 
untiring zeal and financial aid. His unflagging energy 
and his indomitable courage in surmounting difficulties 
secured the erection of the new parochial school in 1891. 
Since its completion the attendance has greatly increased, 
necessitating the addition of two teachers to the five al 
ready in charge. Perhaps nowhere are the labors of the 
Sisters of Charity of Nazareth more appreciated than 
among the faithful people of Newport. The Sisters 
work has, as it were, grown with the city and its citizens, 
whose joys and sorrows have been shared by the devoted 
religious during more than half a century. 



234 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

For many years several religious from the Immacu- 
lata Academy went every day to teach in St. Anthony s 
School, Bellevue, six miles from Newport, but in 1913 
Reverend Frank Kehoe built a convenient home for the 
Sisters near the school, the erection of this convent being 
justified by the average enrollment of one hundred and 
twenty-five pupils. 

Another Kentucky academy ranked among Nazareth s 
eldest daughters; St. Mary s Academy, Paducah, dat 
ing from 1858, has repeatedly given evidence of that re 
silience which is excellent proof of vitality. Earlier chap 
ters have recorded the valor of its household during the 
Civil War. Undaunted by the depressing experiences 
of that conflict, the Sisters resumed school work when 
the strife ended, also giving their services as nurses in 
an infirmary which Sister Martha started in response 
to the request of those who had observed the faithful and 
tender offices of the black-robed nurses during the War. 

Sister Martha s successors at St. Mary s Academy were 
Sister Sophia Carton, later so endeared as superior of the 
Presentation Academy, Louisville, and Sister Laurentia 
Harrison, the heroic religious who sacrificed her life 
during the yellow fever epidemic in Hdlly Springs. 
Before that visitation Sister Laurentia was called upon 
to endure a most severe trial; the cholera devastated 
Paducah in 1873 while she was superior at St. Mary s. 
Once again the Sisters laid aside their tasks of the 
schoolroom and performed corporal and spiritual works 
of mercy among the sick and dying, one of the Sister 
hood winning the martyr s crown : Sister Ursula whose 
life was forfeit to her self-immolating services. 

During the superiorship of Sister Mary Regina, 
St. Mary s Academy entered upon a less troubled period 
of existence. The Sisters present residence, a hand 
some brick convent, was begun, and the subsequent sue- 



THE MATERNAL COMMONWEALTH. 235 

cess of the academy has been due in no small measure to 
Sister Mary Regina s wise guidance. By their vigorous 
efforts of hand and brain and their piety, her successors 
have furthered the school s development. Under Sister 
Anatolia Byrne s direction the new academy was built, 
its completion crowning the foundation s jubilee year, 
1908. 

While thus from the mustard seed sown by the early 
Sisterhood have sprung noble plants, elsewhere in the 
State the community s later activities have yielded gratify 
ing fruit. In Paris, Kentucky, not far from Lexington, 
St. Mary s School was established in 1888. Not only 
the townspeople but those from surrounding counties 
evince a marked appreciation of the Sisters labors. In 
1890 St. Bernard s School was begun in Earlington, a 
mining town where the Sisters presence is a valuable 
influence. Owing to changing conditions St. Joseph s 
Academy, Frankfort, has been discontinued; but the 
Sisters still teach the parochial school, for which a new 
building is now being considered by the present pastor, 
Rev. Joseph O Dwyer. St. Rose s Academy, Union- 
town, has been superseded by a parochial school named 
for St. Agnes, erected by the zealous pastor, Rev. T. 
Kellenaers. 

Among the prosperous rural schools conducted by the 
Sisters is St. Jerome s School, Fancy Farm, Graves 
County. When a teaching band went thither in 1892, 
they found a harvest ripe for their gathering ; the people 
of the neighborhood welcomed an opportunity to se^ir.e 
Catholic education for their children. At one time this 
need had been answered by a Franciscan sisterhood 
which, however, had removed to Iowa a few years be 
fore the arrival of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. 
To the latter, cordial encouragement was given by the 
pastor, Rev. C. A. Haeseley. One hundred children were 



236 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

enrolled during the first term ; and so rapidly did this en 
rollment increase that it soon became necessary to make 
additions to the teaching corps and the school house; 
the original village school became an educational centre 
for the surrounding district. To this little Parnassus of 
Graves County several pupils daily make a long journey 
on horseback. Others board nearby in order to avail 
themselves of the educational advantages offered by the 
Sisters. The reputation which they have established 
is proved by the fact that one year, when the five months 
term of the local county school ended, the teacher and her 
pupils in a body entered St. Jerome s school for the re 
maining months of the term. Particularly successful 
have the Sisters girl pupils been in gaining positions of 
responsibility, while the boys, after some additional col 
lege work, pass creditably into professional or commercial 
life. 

A long cherished desire of Mrs. Anna Bradford Miles, 
a loyal former pupil, was realized in 1900, when Mother 
Cleophas Mills, accompanied by three Sisters, went to 
New Hope, Kentucky, to arrange for opening St. Vin 
cent s parochial school. Mrs. Miles and her husband 
were the chief benefactors of the parish, having built both 
the church and the school house; Mrs. Miles was wont 
to say ; "Our ambition is to see our parochial schools the 
best in the land and the teachers from our convents 
equally the best." The present pastor, Rev. A. O Shea, 
has made many improvements in the church and the 
Sisters dwelling, and the good results of Christian edu 
cation reward the benefactors zeal and Nazareth s teach 
ing staff. 

Too much praise cannot be bestowed upon the brave 
spirit and the wise practicality with which the Sisters 
have met the needs of isolated rural neighborhoods. To 
day in some districts of Kentucky, as is true in other 



THE MATERNAL COMMONWEALTH. 237 

States, the clergy experience trials equal to those of 
pioneer priests; and noble participants in their toil and 
difficulties are the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. Like 
the community s early foundations, some of its schools 
of the present lie almost in the heart of forests, whence 
the Sisters good influence radiates. Among these credit 
able rural schools is St. Mary s-of-the-Woods, Whites- 
ville, Dane County, founded in 1901. The zealous pastor 
of this settlement, Rev. Hugh O Sullivan, energetically 
co-operates with the indefatigable Sister Mary Agnes 
Pike and her companion, who "have accomplished wond 
ers." In establishing such schools, Nazareth is continu 
ing the great missionary work with which her career 
began. The development of the mother house, the pros 
perity of benevolent institutions and academies after the 
War and the plagues, might have satisfied the commun 
ity s zeal, being indeed enough to gain for the Sisters a 
worthy place among the toilers in the Lord s vineyard. 
But to be content with Work accomplished was far from 
the spirit of their unresting patron, St. Vincent, and 
from Nazareth s own traditions. Thus their aspiration 
swept beyond stately academies and hospitals to the 
humblest localities even unto "the least of these;" in 
lowly frame school houses they labored for their Divine 
Master and thereby saved young souls, perhaps otherwise 
neglected, trained young minds, and helped to make 
good citizens for this world and worthy ones for that 
heavenly country which is the fixed goal of their own 
hopes. 

This gratifying record of new branches planted in 
fresh fields and primitive foundations matured into well- 
equipped modern institutions, must of course be ascribed 
to the thorough spiritual and mental preparation given to 
the teaching bands before their departure from the novi 
tiate and normal school of the mother house, ever the 



SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

subject of thoughtful care. From the days of Father 
David, Nazareth has chosen as the moulders of her 
future ranks those combining spiritual qualities with in 
tellectual gifts and that personal power needed in training 
recruits for the religious life. As mistresses of novices 
or instructors in the normal school, some of the most 
capable members of the community have employed their 
energies and talents, such women as Mother Catherine 
herself, Mother Frances, Sister Ellen O Connell, Sister 
Scholastica O Connor, Mother Columba, Sister Adelaide 
Bickett, Sister Xavier Anderson. Their names recall 
others, who with them helped to give prestige also to the 
academy: Sisters Regina and Seraphine, Mary Vincent 
Hardie, Augustine Callen, Mary Elizabeth Duprez, Scho 
lastica Fenwick, possessor of a most beautiful voice, Sis 
ters Harriet Emerson, Emily Elder, Anna Mclntyre and 
many others too numerous to mention, yet revered as the 
diligent builders of the reputations of Nazareth Academy 
and its branch houses. 

The standards and curriculum prevailing at the mother 
house until the period of the Civil War have already been 
indicated. That conflict, with its distressing effects upon 
the South, was not without disadvantages to Nazareth; 
however, a creditable enrollment continued. If numbers 
sometimes fluctuated, the development of the Society s 
branch houses maintained the allegiance of the South. 
Meanwhile, the material expansion of Nazareth during 
the seventies gave evidence of prestige not only sus 
tained but growing. To acommodate the pupils, new 
dormitories had to be added; under the supervision of 
Mother Columba the auditorium, with its seating capacity 
of 1500, was completed in 1871, its upper floor being used 
for commencement exercises, its lower rooms serving 
as a recreation hall during vacation till recent years, when 
they were converted into a museum and art gallery. Still 



THE MATERNAL COMMONWEALTH. 289 

another addition made about this time was the presby 
tery, adjacent to the church a comfortable home for the 
resident chaplain, visiting clergy and other gentlemen 
guests. 

This material expansion was paralleled by the progress 
in school work. Conservative in the best sense as Naz 
areth has been, no opportunity to keep abreast of good 
methods was lost. With virtually no distractions to in 
terrupt the routine of school life, it was possible to ar 
range a program of study alternated with such recreation 
periods as conduced to health and mental freshness. 
Though the work in the advanced classes crowned the 
more elementary, and was particularly characteristic of 
Nazareth s methods and ideals, stress was laid through all 
the classes on fundamentals, reading, writing, spelling, 
grammar, mathematics. To these subjects, begun in the 
primary department, the intermediate grades added geog 
raphy and United States history, rhetoric and composi 
tion. Through the four years of the senior grades the 
higher branches were duly distributed; in the first year 
English grammar was continued; literature was studied 
with special attention to American authors, rhetoric with 
particular emphasis upon style ; geography was reviewed ; 
physiology and ancient history were begun. In the 
second year, the course in grammar was completed; the 
study of literature was continued, with seven British 
authors as chief topics ; in the rhetoric class versification 
was studied; zoology, English history and philosophy 
were added ; book-keeping was elective. The third year s 
work included literature, algebra, modern history, chem 
istry, criterion, mythology, rhetoric, Mills lectures, arith 
metic (reviewed). In the fourth and final year the sub 
jects were : general history, geometry and trigonometry, 
logic, botany, geology, literature, astronomy, civil gov 
ernment; a general review of fundamentals was made. 



240 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

Latin, French or German was obligatory through the 
senior grades ; exercises in writing included training in 
"Epistolary Correspondence," as the old phrase goes ; 
elocution and etiquette extended through the course. 

A carefully selected library of numerous volumes helped 
to develop taste for good literature, and this constant 
aim of the faculty was seconded by the frequent visits 
of eminent lecturers and scholars, who supplemented 
their formal addresses by participating in the pupils rec 
reation hours, thereby helping to foster proficiency in that 
fine art, conversation. Dramas composed and (acted 
by the members of the first senior class, assisted by pupils 
of other grades, were among the features of the year s 
work which helped to develop talent for composition and 
expression, and to cultivate grace and dignity of bearing. 
Often founded on historical or other cultural subjects, 
these plays were instructive, while adding recreative 
values to school life. Regular courses in music were 
supplemented by artists and pupils recitals. Painting, 
drawing and fine needlework were skilfully taught ; when 
desired, courses in stenography, typewriting and tele 
graphy were given. 

A place of importance was given to the study of 
French language and literature. From the beginning 
Nazareth had two special advantages in teaching this 
branch : the presence of several religious of French birth 
or descent, and the patronage of Southern families in 
timately acquainted with la belle langue Frangaise. 
Pupils from these families signally helped to main 
tain a high standard of proficiency in the speaking and 
understanding of idiomatic French. Beginning in the 
intermediate grades, the pupils were drilled in French 
grammar, reading, conversation, dictation. The higher 
classes were trained to translate passages of French lit 
erature into English and vice versa ; a general acquaint- 



THE MATERNAL COMMONWEALTH. 241 

ance with the history of French literature was obtained 
and the senior classes were familiarized with several 
masterpieces of such authors as Racine, Corneille, 
Moliere, Bossuet, Fenelon, Lacordaire, Massillon and 
Bourdaloue. From month to month, especially on "Note 
Days" and other important occasions, poems, dialogues 
and similar exercises were recited for the instruction and 
entertainment of the whole school. Crowning such pro 
grams were the plays given once or twice a year, the 
chief roles being taken by the French girls from Loui 
siana or other Southern States, to the admiration and 
emulation of the other pupils. A double purpose was 
sometimes served by the rendition of an English drama, 
or a part thereof, in French. A pupil 18 of a quarter of 
a century ago records this memory: "The words, all in 
French, of Lady Macbeth in the sleep-walking scene are 
still distinctly impressed on my mind, as I learned them 
at Nazareth. I recall very vividly the French plays of 
the year, the principal roles being enacted by the French 
girls from Louisiana. . . . These French plays 
were admirable exercises for the French girls themselves 
and an incentive to those of us not so conversant with 
the language. . . . Among the courses in French 
Literature I consider one of the most valuable that de 
voted to the famous pulpit orators. Such readings, with 
dictated lectures in French, as those we had from Bos- 
suet s Discours sur 1 Histoire Universelle or his Orai- 
sons Funebres/ gave a definite and positive direction 
for later studies. ... It was this course in French 
Literature that, while I was still in the class-room at 
Nazareth, inspired me to go to Paris, and awakened my 
lasting admiration for the French language and litera 
ture. The greatest attraction for me in Paris was the 
Cathedral of Notre Dame, with all its associations with 

Miss Mary Susan Miller, of Washington, D. C. 



SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

the great pulpit orators. One of the most pleasant and 
thrilling experiences of my first visit to Paris was the 
fulfillment of my resolution, made at Nazareth, to hear 
for myself the famous Lenten Conferences de Notre 
Dame those Conferences de Car erne which had been 
immortalized for us in our Kentucky school." 

In some quarters there has been a persuasion that 
convent schools have been less successful in teaching 
mathematics and other exact sciences than in teaching 
belles-lettres. The criticism does not hold true of Naz 
areth and its branch schools; girls and boys from the 
Sisters academies and parochial schools make good 
records in examinations and class work, frequently being 
ready for more advanced work in mathematics than 
children with whom they are graded according to their 
standing in other subjects; their good training success 
fully stands the test when they take positions in civil 
service or other occupations demanding accuracy of 
thought and methodical habits. A later chapter, out 
lining Nazareth s present curriculum, offers material for 
comparison with courses of study elsewhere pursued; at 
this point, recording work accomplished approximately 
from the eighteen-seventies to the end of the century, 
the standard of mathematics at Nazareth may be illus 
trated by the verdict of one well qualified to judge a 
former pupil * who supplemented her several years at 
the Kentucky convent by years of study at the University 
of Chicago, at Cambridge and Oxford Universities, Eng 
land, and in Continental institutions of note. This loyal 
alumna has said: "I think Nazareth would then (late 
eighteen eighties and early nineties) have been classed 
as A-A in the teaching of mathematics. The training in 
arithmetic and algebra was unsurpassed. That Davies- 
Bourdon which we were obliged to master contained such 

20 Miss Mary Susan Miller, already referred to, a scholar of distinction. 



THE MATERNAL COMMONWEALTH. 243 

difficult problems and formulae to be anaylzed, it verged 
on a College Course. The manner of regular instruc 
tion in Mental Arithmetic as we termed it, in contra 
distinction to work in Practical Arithmetic was to be 
commended as excellent mental discipline. Nowadays 
when the teacher is supposed to pour everything into the 
passive pupils minds, instead of training these pupils 
(often inclined to be inert) to use their own faculties, the 
advantages of Mental Arithmetic as it was taught at 
Nazareth are not sufficiently recognized. The freedom 
from the city distractions at Nazareth, the regular, tran 
quil life conducing so much to concentration of the 
mental faculties these and numerous other conditions 
are so favorable for young women desirous of obtaining 
the mental discipline, as well as the knowledge, which 
the course in mathematics facilitates." 

The element of partiality in this tribute may be coun 
terbalanced by the statement that, in passing entrance 
examinations for college and university, this former 
Nazareth pupil was repeatedly asked where she had re 
ceived her training in mathematics; her examiners were 
in some cases scholars eminent in research work as well 
as in teaching. These facts are somewhat liberally quoted 
because they help to refute the charges against the teach 
ing of mathematics in convent schools in general as well 
as emphasizing the standard of instruction at Nazareth. 
The pupil in question, after a year s absence from Naz 
areth, passed a strict examination for teaching in the 
public schools of Texas, one of the chief examiners being 
a member of the faculty in a famous private school of the 
State, noted for excellent teaching in Greek, Latin and 
mathematics; the former Nazareth pupil s papers were 
marked "100." She successfully passed also the exam 
inations in "Pedagogy and School Discipline/ though 
the theory of these branches was unknown to her; she 



244 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

answered all questions according to the methods seen in 
practice at Nazareth. Though possessing ability of rare 
order, this pupil ascribes her excellent training to her 
teacher "who taught us how to think for ourselves. I 
had great opportunity to appreciate her great mentality 
and exceptional abilities . . . her true nobility of 
character and deeply religious spirit, her unalterable 
mildness and goodness. . . . She was really what 
Sister Seraphia called her: a marvellous mathematical 
bulwark, against all pretenses and laziness of pupils." 
Only consideration for this teachers humility forbids 
another loyal pupil (the present writer) from adding to 
the foregoing eulogy this Sister s name, one already 
made illustrious in her community s history by two re 
ligious distinguished for their sanctity and high in 
tellectuality. 

While such instructors were maintaining a high stand 
ard in the mathematical work of the academy, zealous en 
deavors were made to provide thorough grounding in 
the other sciences. Of special advantage in the teaching 
of these branches was the assistance given by the Rev 
erend Francis Chambige, a member of the faculty of St. 
Joseph s College, President of St. Thomas s Seminary, 
who in 18G1 became ecclesiastical superior of the com 
munity, taking up his residence at Nazareth in 1869. 
Father Chambige was proficient in chemistry, botany, 
geology, having begun these studies in his native France, 
where his father was a pharmacist of note. Besides 
generously sharing his erudition with the Sisters, Father 
Chambige presented to them his collection of geological 
and mineralogical specimens which to-day forms a valu 
able contribution to one of the academy s best equipped 
departments, the Museum. During his several years 
residence at Nazareth, Father Chambige encouraged the 
Sisters in all their academic work, giving inestimable aid 



THE MATERNAL COMMONWEALTH. 245 

especially to teachers and students of chemistry. The 
acquisition of globes, charts, a telescope, various appara 
tus for the laboratory, a planetarium (the invention of 
another ecclesiastical superior), gradually increased the 
opportunities for teaching physics, geography, astronomy 
and the other sciences. 

This outline of work planned and accomplished at 
Nazareth indicates the gradual development of the cur 
riculum, which in turn demanded additions to the faculty. 
By 1890 this augmenting of teaching force and courses 
of study was well under way, not only raising standards 
and increasing educational facilities at home but also ex 
erting a stimulating influence upon the branches, to which 
the mother house has ever been a well of refreshment and 
inspiration, both spiritual and intellectual. The United 
States Bureau of Education in a Circular of 1899 con 
tains this reference to Nazareth Academy: "A view of 
the school as it was in 1822 and as it now is would well 
display not only the growth of the Institution itself, but 
in a general way the expansion of higher education in 
Kentucky at this time." 

From the academy s earliest days, woven across the 
fabric of every occupation was of course the influence of 
religion. Doubtless because many members of the origin 
al Sisterhood had ties of kinship with that land of re 
ligious liberty, Maryland, a respect for the honest convic 
tions of others always prevailed at Nazareth, forbidding 
any attempt at proselytism. How faithfully this prin 
ciple was observed is proved by the numbers of non- 
Catholic pupils constantly enrolled; often they formed 
the majority. For the Catholic girls the routine study 
of catechism and Christian Doctrine was enriched by 
lectures from devout and learned ecclesiastics, by annual 
retreats and weekly sodality meetings. Meantime in 
telligent and idealistic non-Catholic parents were grati- 



246 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

fied to have their children benefit by the fruits of the Sis 
ters own religious discipline, so definitely and evidently 
responsible for the academy s standards of honor, gen 
tleness, consideration for others and similar "little flow 
ers" of the spiritual life. Programs and catalogues from 
the eighteen-tvventies onward give prominent place to 
awards for conduct and diligence, politeness and amiable 
deportment, neatness and order, these old-fashioned form 
ulae emphasizing the ideals of character training and 
behavior persistent in the academy. 

While this training of morals, minds, manners, was 
progressing at Nazareth, the infirmarians, Sister Mary 
Rose and sunny-hearted Sister Boniface, were helping 
to guard the pupils physical well-being. During thirty- 
six years the former richly merited the tribute written at 
the time of her death in 1895 : "Dear Sister Mary Rose! 
Your gentle tender voice, like your soft warm hand, had 
a marvellous power to soothe and comfort feverish little 
sufferers. Even the forward young truant from school 
duties was not slow to succumb to your persuasive words. 
Many a lesson more impressive than these received in the 
class room you have taught to the self-righteous de 
linquent. But who can estimate the happy influence your 
cheerfulness exercised? Truly, as you were wont to 
say, cheerfulness is often more necessary than medicine. 
Your memory will long be kept green by the bright ex 
ample of your solid piety and unswerving discharge of 
duty." 

Having so long sent forth pupils to the larger world 
beyond the academic walls, Nazareth in 1895 recognized 
the wisdom of forming an Alumnae Association. The 
time was coincident with the formation of women s 
clubs now so numerous, and none was begun with aims 
more ideal than those which inspired the little group 
gathered in Nazareth s oratory, June, 1895, representing 




EARLY LIFE AT NAZARETH. 



THE MATERNAL COMMONWEALTH. 247 

the academy s worthiest traditions. An impressive fea 
ture of the occasion was the presence of three gener 
ations of one family, all graduates of Nazareth: Miss 
Margaret Fossick, class of 95, her mother, Mrs. Mary 
Ellis O Reilly Fossick, and the latter s aunt, Mrs. Mar- 
cella O Reilly Davis. The first formal meeting was not 
held till the following year (1896), when from as far 
West as California, from the Southern Gulf States, from 
North and East, hastened elderly alumnae, eager to re 
trace the paths of girlhood, middle-aged dames and 
numerous young matrons and maidens, all happy to sub 
scribe their names to this first manifesto of the society, 
indited by Mrs. Julia Sloan Spalding, of St. Louis, Mis 
souri, class of 1858 : 

With one accord 

The pupils of Nazareth reunite 

To revive the affection which affiliates them ; 

To strengthen the claims which bind them ; 

To further the interest of Alma Mater, 

To perpetuate her triumphs and immortalize her. 

Let the Nazareth girl of another generation, 

Who may read this list of honored names, 

Remember 
That we are patriots in a common cause, 

One in loyalty and love, 
Nazareth has left us a priceless legacy- 
Sweet memories which shall endure forever. 

At the Society s first election presidential honors were 
by unanimous choice accorded to Mrs. Anna Bradford 
Miles, a woman of exceptional grace of nature, cultivated 
mind, an exponent of the best traditions of Nazareth, 
where she had been graduated half a century earlier. 
She and her sisters, whom a preceding chapter has men 
tioned, were ever zealous for the welfare of their Alma 



248 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

Mater. One of these sisters, Mrs. J. S. Mitchell, was 
the ante-bellum pupil who had hoped to proselytize 
Mother Columba, an ambition referred to in a note writ 
ten fifty years after her school days, paying tribute to 
Nazareth : "When I told Mother Columba that my mis 
sion was to enlighten her, she calmly replied that if I 
could convince her that she was in error, she would 
hasten to embrace the truth. It was not long before I 
asked her for instruction. . . . We should ever 
be proud of what women can do when united in the 
noble work of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth." 

Under the guidance of Mrs. Miles, with the loyal sup 
port of representative women from various sections of 
the country, the Nazareth Alumnae Society auspiciously 
began its career. Rich in joys of the heart and spirit as 
the subsequent reunions have been, they are not merely 
agreeable social gatherings. They have done good work 
in gaining new pupils for Nazareth and in heartening the 
Sisters in their faithful activities. Annually assembling 
delegates from the branch houses, the meetings 
strengthen the ties between a noble Mother and her 
children. No delegate ever returns home without a 
glowing memory of Nazareth, its beauty, its atmosphere 
of hallowed peace and high ideals. To the alumnae them 
selves the reunions afford a genuine refreshment of heart 
and spirit. 

Besides the first formal meeting of the Alumnae Asso 
ciation, one more impressive occasion marked Nazareth s 
calendar of 1896, the golden jubilee of Mother Helena 
Tormey and Sister Alexia McKay, both worthy daugh 
ters of St. Vincent. After years of devoted services in 
school, infirmary, and elsewhere, Mother Helena was 
again in office. At St. Vincent s Orphanage, Louisville, 
Sister Alexia had spent toilsome days and sleepless nights 
as tender foster-mother of the little waifs. During the 



THE MATERNAL COMMONWEALTH. 249 

solemn Mass of the day, Father William Hogarty, while 
felicitating the jubilarians, paid tribute to the typical 
spirit of the Sisterhood: "Let the fruit of this festival 
be a renewal of the spirit of Nazareth, that unworldly, 
unselfish spirit, which makes the little nursery of St. 
Thomas Farm apparelled in celestial light, which makes 
Nazareth the special glory of this historic diocese, a point 
to which the sick turn for mercy and the dying for a place 
of rest. Long may All Saints look lovingly on it and 
bless it and gather from it new accessions to their lot 
in light!" 

In some communities such anniversaries are disre 
garded, the commemoration thereof being considered 
provocative of vanity, or as setting the individual aside 
for special honor. At Nazareth such festivals, far from 
being occasions of undue personal gratification, foster 
the life and spirit of the community, strengthen the 
ties of loyalty among the members and freshly dedicate 
to God their bonds of affiliation. Hence, in a special 
sense, the diamond jubilee of the community s establish 
ment (1897) offered opportunity for such replenish 
ment of inspiration and renewal of allegiance to Heaven 
and one another. The alumnae also shared in the com 
memoration, presenting to Nazareth the beautiful memor 
ial window in St. Vincent s church. Another noteworthy 
incident of the occasion was the fact that the alumnae ad 
dress was made by one whose attachment to her Alma 
Mater is both a tradition and a personal fealty, Miss 
Ophelia Chiles of Lexington, Kentucky, the eighth of 
her family, the second of her name, to have been gradu 
ated from Nazareth. Thus permanently does the vener 
able academy forge links of loyalty. 

On the whole the final decade of the nineteenth cen 
tury was one of gratifying achievement and progress 
for the Sisterhood. From this period date several im- 



250 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

portant improvements at the mother house, the introduc 
tion of electric light, modern water-works, the enlarge 
ment of Nazareth s green-houses so prime a factor in the 
beauty of the grounds, the installation of steam plant 
for heating and other purposes. This last was made 
financially possible by the legacy of Sister Berenice 
Downing, a religious much beloved and lamented, a 
musician of rare promise. In 1899 the Sisters new in 
firmary was built through the bequest of the Rev. Eugene 
O Callaghan. 

To the Nazareth girls themselves the most important 
alterations, if not improvements, of these years were 
the changes in uniform. For the immemorial purple 
calicoes and buff frocks the death knell had now struck. 
The Quaker scoop, by which for nearly a century the 
Nazareth girl might be identified from afar, was super 
seded by a sailor hat. But if the outward raiment 
had assumed different form and hue, the Nazareth girl 
of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century was 
expected to be garbed in the same dignity, modesty, 
gentleness that had characterized her predecessors. 

To summarize the community s history from early 
post-bellum days to the end of the nineteenth century: 
It was a period of significant expansion ; the work of the 
primitive sisterhood was in gratifying measure repeated 
for the benefit of humble sections of the country which 
lacked educational facilities ; in the large towns and cities 
there was steadily realized all that Mother Catherine s 
great vision had foreseen nearly a century earlier, the 
dispensing of educational opportunities on an extensive 
scale, the opening of charitable institutions, the ripening 
of those seeds of piety and good works which, with true 
apostolic spirit, Father David had sown : "I have ap 
pointed you, that you should go, and should bring forth 
fruit; and your fruit should remain." 



CHAPTER XIII. 
THE TWENTIETH CENTURY. 

WITH incidents of gloom, yet with seasons of joy 
to follow, the twentieth century dawned for the 
community. Toward the end of the year 1900, the So 
ciety suffered a grievous double loss. In the early part 
of December, Nazareth s devoted chaplain, Father Rus 
sell, passed to his reward; a fortnight later Mother 
Helena Tormey s vigorous life was brought to a close. 
To Father Russell, long a faithful friend to the com 
munity, tribute will subsequently be paid; but at this 
point it is fitting to render final honor to Mother Helena, 
whose many zealous deeds have already praised her in 
preceding pages. Fifty-five years she gave to her com 
munity ; during twenty- four of these she alternated with 
Mother Cleophas Mills as superior, holding at other 
seasons such offices as permitted the exercise of her ad 
mirable common sense and executive ability. Justly did 
her panegyrist glorify her strong mind, "more power 
ful than many armies, more safe than fortified towers." 
Every moment of her life, declared a friend was "one 
of usefulness and benedictions." Another eulogy con 
tains the words : "Whence drew she these fountains of 
strength and grace? From the fountain of love, the 
Holy Eucharist." Her life was a continuous act of 
faith and love, and her last days crowned such service; 
in July, despite her advanced years, she attended all the 
exercises of the spiritual retreat, her last and blessed 
retreat during which, it was said, she "died to the world 
and began her eternal life in God." With the ending 

251 



252 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

of her career was closed one more chapter in the story 
of those noble and able mothers of Nazareth who were 
pillars of strength to their community and who remain 
sources of inspiration to their spiritual children. It were 
far from their wish to be unduly glorified, to be lifted 
upon a plane of superhuman faultlessness. More grati 
fying to their humble hearts would have been the state 
ment that, even as their companions, they were striving 
toward perfection; thus their solicitude for their soul s 
salvation linked them with other pilgrims along the heav 
enward way, while their able fulfillment of the duties 
of their exacting offices undoubtedly gained for them 
deserved distinction in their sisterhood s annals. 

In Mother Cleophas Mills, who, during many years 
alternated with Mother Helena as superior, the commun 
ity possessed a guide whose gentleness, refinement, 
dignity, widely endeared her. At her Alma Mater, St. 
Vincent s Academy, Union County, Kentucky, she be 
gan her girlhood dedication to God. In 1851, accom 
panied by Mother Catherine and two other candidates 
for the religious life, Sister Beatrice and Sister Basilla, 
she went to Nazareth. Between the years of her novitiate 
and her several terms as superior she faithfully and zeal 
ously labored on several missions. Among these were St. 
Catherine s Academy, Lexington ; the Immaculata Acad 
emy, Newport, Kentucky ; La Salette Academy, Coving- 
ton, Kentucky; St. Vincent s School, Mt. Vernon, Ohio; 
Sts. Mary and Elizabeth Hospital, Louisville. During 
her years as Mother, she opened several schools in Ohio 
and the East, and lent hearty encouragement to those of 
Kentucky and the South. Laboring thus steadfastly 
for her heavenly Master, she lived to see many of her en 
deavors crowned with success. In 1902 she had the deep 
joy of celebrating her golden jubilee as Sister of Charity, 
a spiritual festival shared with three other well-beloved 



THE TWENTIETH CENTURY. 253 

religious: Sister Euphemia Morrissey, Sister Johanna 
Lynch, Sister Mary Vincent Hardie. At the pontifical 
Mass on this impressive occasion Father Joseph Hogarty, 
once a pupil of venerable St. Joseph s College, Bards- 
town, and always a devoted friend of Nazareth, delivered 
an eloquent address which may be freely quoted because 
of its well-deserved tributes to the jubilarians of the 
day, and because of its sympathetic appreciation of the 
community s ideals : 

"He that is mighty hath done great things to you. 
During the fifty years of your religious life, how glor 
iously God has blessed you. At your entrance into the 
community, the majority of your Sisters in Religion were 
of that noble and favored band who had been nurtured 
and trained by your saintly founder and father, the vener 
able Bishop David. The religious atmosphere of Naz 
areth in those days was redolent of the first ages of faith. 
It was your happy lot to have been contemporaries of the 
illustrious Mother Catherine Spalding, of holy, happy 
memory, and of the other founders of Nazareth, whose 
lives were so fruitful of blessings to the community and 
to the diocese at large. . . . You had the singular 
privilege of living as Mothers Frances, Columba and 
Helena, whose lives of prayer and holiness were as a 
lamp to your feet and a light to your path. You like 
wise have been made associates of a glorious multitude 
of holy souls who by their heroism during the dark days 
of war and pestilence, on fields of battle, in hospitals and 
pest-houses, in the house of the dying and the dead, have 
been as a crown of glory and honor to this, the Mother 
Diocese of the Church in the West. You, dear Mother 
Cleophas and Sisters Euphemia, Johanna and Mary Vin 
cent, have valiantly borne your share of the burthen and 
the heat of the day. It is most assuredly a testimony of 
Divine pleasure that you have been preserved unto this 



254 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

blessed day, and have been selected by the Almighty from 
a great multitude, that you might experience personally 
in the celebration of your golden jubilee, how blessed a 
thing it is to have served the living God in sanctity and 
holiness all the days of your life." 

Mother Cleophas day of honor was the occasion for 
the presentation of many beautiful gifts. The church 
which Mother Catherine had built was now renovated 
and newly adorned. From the branch houses came the 
musically toned Westminster peal of chimes. The stained- 
glass window in the right transept was sent by the Rev. 
Michael Ronan, pastor of St. Peter s Church, Lowell, 
Massachusetts. On the part of the Alumnae Association 
Mrs. Edward Miles, the president, presented a pair of 
handsome candelabra, saying: "May our lights near the 
altar mingle their brightness with the ever burning lamp 
of your sanctuary." 

In the year following her golden jubilee, Mother Cleo 
phas was succeeded in office by Mother Alphonsa Kerr, 
one of the most beloved members of the Nazareth So 
ciety. The affection in which this superior was held by 
her sister religious was shared by hundreds of Nazareth 
pupils, far and wide. In December, 1862, Mother Alph 
onsa first crossed Nazareth s threshold. Three months 
earlier she and a young friend, who afterward became 
Sister Kostka, had entered Louisville en route to Nazar 
eth from their home in Pittsburgh. Far from auspicious 
was their first experience in Louisville, where the tides 
of war were then rising high. The railroad between that 
city and Bardstown was in a precarious condition. 
Bridges were down; Bragg with his large army was 
marching toward Louisville, where General Nelson was 
in command. The latter being unprepared to meet 
the Confederate general, had ordered all the women 
and children to be ready to leave at a moment s notice, 




MOTHER CLEOPIIAS 



THE TWENTIETH CENTURY. 255 

as he intended to burn the city rather than surrender 
it. 

This was the perturbed situation which awaited the two 
young women, who had journeyed so far to enter upon 
a peaceful conventual life. The trip to Nazareth being 
fraught with such perils, Bishop Spalding advised them 
to return to Pittsburgh. They acted upon his suggestion ; 
but three months later they again made an effort, this 
time a successful one, to arrive at the goal of their fer 
vent hearts. Meanwhile, Sister Alphonsa had overcome 
considerable opposition in order to ally herself to the 
Sisters of Charity. Her beautiful voice had been much 
admired, and she had received great encouragement to 
embrace a professional musical career, but her thoughts 
and aspirations, were firmly dedicated to Him who had 
bestowed her gift of song, and she could not be per 
suaded to employ her talent in any lesser service than His. 
In the novitiate she had as her teacher Sister Victoria 
Buckman, who had been trained by Father David and 
Mother Catherine. When her own term of probation 
was completed, she entered upon her career of nearly 
forty years as teacher of music. Many were those 
charmed by the pure tones of her beautiful voice leading 
Nazareth s choir; and to innumerable Nazareth girls of 
to-day the region of the music rooms still breathes of her 
amiable presence. But successful as was her work in this 
department, her long experience at the mother house and 
her gifts of prudence and piety eventually made desirable 
her exaltation to the office of superior, in 1903. Almost 
immediately she undertook a task which was to crown 
her administration, the erection of the new convent. 
Since the days of Mother Catherine s energetic building 
in the eighteen-fifties, the visitor to Nazareth was di 
rected to a simple house of three stories, once considered 
a handsome, indeed to those whom the log cabins had 



256 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

sheltered, an over-ambitious structure. Iron-railed steps 
led to its humble porch and doorway. Ah, but in what 
genial glow memory enshrines that simplicity, so digni 
fied and kind was the courtesy which there met the 
stranger, so fond the greeting to returning friends! 
Through the little hall and unostentatious parlor, how 
many Nazareth girls had first entered upon their scholas 
tic careers ; how many young candidates for the religious 
life thence filed into the novitiate! Therefore, with all 
these associations of the past, it was not without a pang 
that many heard in 1903 the sound of the destroying 
hammers, the demolition of the old walls. Yet, whatever 
laments there were for the passing of these old haunts, 
these regrets were tempered with happy expectation of the 
statelier mansions soon to arise. 

Once the work of rebuilding was under way, Mother 
Alphonsa zealously applied herself to the other manifold 
duties of her office. The affairs of the academy and 
branch houses constantly presented problems demanding 
careful administration. One task which early called to 
Nazareth s superior was the opening of another Ohio 
mission that of Barton. In September, 1904, at the 
request of Rev. R. McEachen, indefatigable shepherd in 
the missions of the coal regions of the neighborhood, 
Mother Alphonsa sent three Sisters to found a school, 
which was called Our Lady of the Angels. Pioneer spirit 
of the olden type was demanded for this new mission; 
patience, fortitude, fervent zeal were needed. The 
schoolhouse, was extremely humble, the furniture scanty. 
The children awaiting the Sisters care represented a 
variety of nationalities; they were Hungarians, Poles, 
Italians, Bohemians, Belgians, Irish, Germans, French, 
a cosmopolitan population with whom education was by 
no means a burning ambition. It was the custom to send 
the children to work in the mines as soon as they were 



THE TWENTIETH CENTURY. 257 

old enough; many, therefore, could not read, some could 
speak no English, several had never heard of God. Only 
a primitive ethical code prevailed among these little waifs 
of various Old World countries, individual rights over 
pencils and books were disregarded, and the limited re 
sources of the first schoolrooms at the Sisters disposal 
made discipline difficult to enforce. Fortunately, how 
ever, general conditions were gradually improved. A 
well-equipped, furnace-heated building superseded the 
original school, and the pupils gave encouraging re 
sponse to the Sisters efforts. Convincingly, if amus 
ingly, this was exemplified a few years ago during a 
visit from the bishop. At the end of a little entertain 
ment in his honor he asked the twenty boys present how 
many were going to be archbishops; the enire group 
stood up and signified its inclination toward the archi- 
episcopal office. The girls, seventeen in number, were 
then asked how many were going to be Sisters and 
again surprisingly general was the avowal of religious 
vocation 

The second year of Mother Alphonsa s term of office 
(1904) was a season of unique interest for Nazareth. 
I At the beginning of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, 
i held in St. Louis, many letters were sent to the academy 
! requesting its representation in the educational work of 
| the Fair. In response to this request, the mother house 
and the branch schools gathered what was known as the 
Collective Exhibit of the Nazareth Literary and Benevo 
lent Institution, a special space being allotted to this ex 
hibit in the Kentucky section of the Educational Build 
ing. A silk flag, seven and a half yards long, formed 
the background, against which stood forth a highly cred 
itable comprehensive collection, illustrating nearly every 
department of work done at Nazareth and the branch 
! houses. Even the foundations in the small towns and 



258 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

the humblest rural schools, were represented; and these 
won much praise for their examples of method and ac 
complishment. Numerous cabinets attested what hun 
dreds of pupils had been achieving in painting, drawing, 
the sciences, indeed all the regular academic courses. 
Thirty-three folios, containing pressed leaves and blos 
soms, and entitled: "Blue Grass and Wild Flowers of 
Kentucky" illustrated the flora of Kentucky found on 
the Nazareth estate. Sacred and profane histories were 
traced in admirably planned charts, entitled "A Chain of 
One Hundred Years from the Louisiana Purchase to 
the Exposition." For this chart, subsequent to the Expo 
sition, Nazareth received an offer of $2,500. It had as its 
central medallion a pen -picture of Thomas Jefferson, 
president during the Purchase, and a pen-picture of Theo 
dore Roosevelt, chief executive at the time of the Exposi 
tion. From one of these pictures to the other was sus 
pended a chain of links, bearing the date of the years from 
1803 to 1903, and inscribed around the links were the 
principal events of every year. This chart was made by a 
student in Nazareth s normal school. That department 
also contributed beautiful aquamarine mushroom studies, 
excellent charts illustrating work in physics and chemis 
try. The students of the academy and of the various 
branch houses sent portfolios from classes in science and 
belles-lettres. Especially notably were the examples of 
mechanical drawing by children in the parochial schools, 
those from the pupils of Hyde Park, Massachusetts, in 
cluding sketches made in neighboring factories. Par 
ticular attention was paid to this work of the parochial 
schools, as well as to that done in the orphanages and 
rural schools, work which in a sense testified most elo 
quently to the Sisters high standards and their un 
stinted industry. 

Nazareth was represented in two other sections of the 



THE TWENTIETH CENTURY. 259 

Exposition. The Forestry Building contained among its 
treasures a case of the natural woods found on the 
grounds of Nazareth, these specimens having been col 
lected and prepared by the late Rev. David Russell, 
whose carvings were much admired during his long career 
as chaplain of Nazareth. Nuts and acorns, gathered and 
classified by the postulants and novices of the normal 
school of the mother house, were exhibited in the For 
estry Building; as were also folios of wild plants. This 
latter collection contained over one thousand specimens, 
being at the time the largest made in Kentucky. To 
the "Kentucky Home" Nazareth contributed exhibits of 
painting, drawing, and needlework. Side by side with 
the plain or fancy sewing of today, were a few garments 
showing exquisite stitches made fifty years ago by two 
little Dorcases then at Nazareth. 

A crowning incident to Nazareth s representation in the 
educational departments of the Exposition was the cele 
bration of Nazareth Day. Many distinguished Kentuck- 
ians, other than former pupils of the Sisters, participated 
in this festal occasion. Draped in Nazareth s blue and 
white, with banners bearing the word, "Nazareth," the 
Kentucky Building was virtually relinquished for the day 
to the famous school which for nearly a hundred years 
had borne so generous a part in the education of Southern 
gentlewomen. This was the keynote of the address made 
by the Governor of Kentucky, Mr. Beckham: "I take 
the greatest pride in Nazareth for the good that it has 
done. Its beneficent pious influence is felt over the en 
tire country, especially in the South. Within its old 
historic walls, lessons of piety have been taught by 
grand and noble women, none other than the Sisters 
of Charity." 

At the mother house during 1904 the erection of the 
new convent was still in process; hence it was not ready 



260 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

for the annual Alumnae meeting, which therefore, was 
arranged for St. Louis; and thither in September, jour 
neyed Mother Alphonsa, Sister Marietta, Sister Marie, 
Sister Eutropia (as she then was), Sister Cicely and 
many of the alumnae from far and near. The graduating 
class of the year also participated in the joyful reunion. 
Members of the Alumnae Society residing in St. Louis, 
constituted themselves a genial hospitality committee: 
Miss Lula Hopkins, Mrs. Filley, Mrs. Julia S. Spalding, 
Mrs. Given Campbell, and several others. 

Many are the happy memories of these days at the Ex 
position, but perhaps none is so happily recalled as that 
of the Sisters childlike joy, their eager relish of their 
holiday. One day Mother Alphonsa was heard to ex 
press some anxiety about getting home in the evening in 
time to say her prayers ; whereupon with girlish spirit 
Sister Eutropia confessed that she had said all her devo 
tions before breakfast so as to have the day clear for the 
pleasures thereof the interesting instructive exhibits of 
the Exposition, the happiness of being with old friends. 
But delightful in every way as this World s Fair reunion 
was, in the hours of greatest joy the memory strayed 
backward to Nazareth; Mrs. Kate Spalding, who deliv 
ered the Alumnae address of the day, expressed the senti 
ments of all : There is no fairer or more sacred spot 
than our dear Alma Mater. To her, thousands of hearts 
have turned. . . . To-day in the midst of this 
great Exposition her children rise and call her blessed." 

The year following this happy foregathering of 
Nazareth s friends and former pupils was marked by two 
incidents which caused deep sorrow throughout the com 
munity the death of Mother Cleophas and that of Sister 
Mary Anthony, one of the faculty in the Sacred Heart 
school, Louisville. In 1905, five years after her golden 
anniversary, Mother Cleophas Mills was called to the 



THE TWENTIETH CENTURY. 261 

reward which her fervent and faithful spirit had merited. 
In her youth and mature womanhood she had given 
generously of her strength as teacher or as superior in 
several missions. Coming to a Nazareth already firmly 
established by the initiative, energy, perseverance of the 
earlier Mothers, she zealously sought to continue their 
traditions. What their perhaps more robust qualities 
had contributed to the community, she supplemented with 
the grace of her gentle nature, her devout and refined 
spirit. 

Profound as was the grief of the community in losing 
a member so widely endeared as Mother Cleophas, her 
passing had rounded a long life of noble endeavor, and 
this thought offered some meed of comfort to her sur 
vivors. But no such source of consolation was to be 
found for the untimely and tragic death of young Sister 
Mary Anthony, whose thread of life was suddenly 
snapped in her thirtieth year. On the morning of April 
3, 1905, she and her companion, Sister Mary Leander, 
started from St. Helena s Home to the Sacred Heart 
School where they taught. That fateful morning a new 
system of transferring had been adopted by the street 
car company, and new men had been taken on as con 
ductors and motormen. One of these, an inexperienced 
motorman, was in charge of the westbound Broadway 
car, boarded by the Sisters. As the Fourteenth Street 
railroad crossing was approached, the motorman saw 
that the bars were down, but he could not control the 
car; it struck the train and was driven off parallel with 
the railroad tracks. The motorman had cried to the 
passengers to jump, but for some the warning had come 
too late. Sister Mary Leander was able to leap in time ; 
as soon as she recovered from the first moments of 
stunned fright, she sought Sister Mary Anthony 
only to find her unconscious, doubtless dead, lying be- 



262 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

tween the street-car and the train, "as if the angels had 
placed her there," said her heart-broken companion. Her 
poor frame was thus left safe from being bruised or 
marred by any further motion of train or car. During 
five minutes Sister Mary Leander remained alone with 
the pitiful victim, saying the short act of contrition and 
prayers for the dying and the departed. Finally Father 
Felton arrived and the Sisters from St. Augustine s and 
the Sacred Heart schools. All that was mortal of Sister 
Mary Anthony was borne to the home of a neighboring 
family. As the two religious rode down Broadway that 
morning, Sister Mary Anthony had been reading her 
prayers, including the Litany for the Dead. Her young 
heart s prayers for others were thus mounting to heaven 
a little in advance of the flight of her own devout spirit. 
Her death was long lamented at Nazareth and by none 
more deeply than by the sympathetic Sister who had been 
with her in that tragic moment which fulfilled the words 
recorded by St. Matthew: "One shall be taken, and one 
shall be left." 

Before the removal of the old convent at Nazareth, 
the pulses of memory and affection were always stirred 
by a first glimpse of the Sisters House simple and 
homelike, overshadowed by ancient oak and sycamore. 
But in the spring of 1906, and thereafter, other sensa 
tions were to be roused by a different scene greeting the 
approaching guest. Where once the lowly convent had 
stood, a handsome fagade of five stories now rose be 
fore the vision. Superseding the plain iron pillars of the 
old-fashioned veranda, the massive columns of a colonial 
porch now mounted to the third story. In noble and 
beautiful simplicity a new Nazareth stood revealed. True 
symbol of what lies beyond Nazareth s now broad thres 
hold is the outward appearance of this central building 
of the institution. The wide white doors open into a 



THE TWENTIETH CENTURY. 263 

hall, flanked on each side by a spacious parlor; just be 
yond extends the colonial hall, comfortably furnished, 
containing among other articles the eight-day clock which 
Sister Scholastica O Connor brought to Nazareth in 
1820, and which still keeps time, being wound and 
regulated by Sister Mary Louis punctual hands. Open 
ing upon the colonial hall are Mother s room, the treas 
ury, the post-office and the community room, all airy and 
well-lighted, simple enough to fulfil the conventual ideal, 
yet large and comfortable enough to expedite the mani 
fold labors which have accumulated with the community s 
growth. Rivals of the busiest offices to be found any 
where are Mother s room and the treasury, what with 
the attention, industry, careful deliberation there devoted 
to the important affairs constantly to be transacted. And 
nowhere has the Government a more efficient post-office 
than the flawlessly neat and orderly room, so eloquent of 
Sceur Etienne s deft systematic hands during many 
years so resourceful in contributing "artistic touches" 
and in otherwise supplementing the task of teaching Naz 
areth girls to parler Frangais. 

Simultaneously with the building of the new convent 
many modern equipments were added to the academy. 
Steam pipes had taken the place of stoves, electric lights 
supplanted the old-time lamps. The Nazareth girls of 
long ago sometimes had to break the ice in their basins 
for morning ablutions ; today the most modern water 
works are installed. Well might the returning pupil of 
former years envy the Nazareth girl of the twentieth 
century her many luxuries, while wondering if life is 
any happier, any richer than in the old days of fewer 
conveniences, but of equally intense young life. Yet, 
contemplating the Nazareth of 1906, none would wish 
back earlier days; such reactionary regrets were incon 
sistent with Nazareth s own progressive spirit. Hence, 



264 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

those who had known the earlier, dear Nazareth, now 
passed through the spacious portals of the new with an 
invocation in their hearts that, even as Nazareth and her 
white-capped legions had accomplished so much for 
Christian education in the pioneer homes of 1812 and 
1822, so in these more commodious halls they might 
prove equal to new opportunities, and continue their tra 
ditions for fostering the life of the spirit and intellect. 

Three years after the completion of the new convent, 
Mother Alphonsa remained in office exercising through 
out the academy her benign influence, encouraging the 
work of the branch houses. At the expiration of her sec 
ond term she was succeeded by Sister Eutropia Mc- 
Mahon, elected Mother of the Sisters of Charity, July, 
1909. More than forty years earlier, as a young girl, 
Mother Entropia had accompanied her sister to Naz 
areth where she was graduated in 1872. Descending 
from her Alma Mater s stage to her father, a beautiful 
white-crowned young woman, she almost immediately 
requested permission to dedicate herself to Religion. 
Through her instrumentality her father had been re 
united with the Church, and with generous spirit he 
consented to relinquish his daughter to the service of her 
heavenly Father. 

During the several years following her novitiate, Sister 
Eutropia taught in the class-rooms of her Alma Mater, 
giving evidence as a young teacher of her future valuable 
services to the community. In 1885 she replaced Mother 
Cleophas as superior of St. Vincent s School, Mt. Vernon, 
Ohio. Several years afterward, she became superior of 
the Presentation Academy, Louisville, which during fif 
teen years she guided so well, significantly increasing 
its enrollment and reputation. She made a deep impres 
sion upon both Catholics and non-Catholics of the city 
by her admirable character, her beautiful presence and 



THE TWENTIETH CENTURY. 265 

demeanor. Her transfer to Nazareth was to many a 
source of deep personal loss, which however indicated 
Nazareth s great gain. 

One of Mother Eutropia s first activities as Superior of 
her Community was the establishment of a new rural 
school, St. Mildred s, Somerset, Kentucky. To the joy of 
the pastor, Rev. B. J. Bowling, Sister Madeline and her 
little colony went thither in September, 1909. 

Thus promptly fulfilling the tasks awaiting her at 
Nazareth and elsewhere, Mother Eutropia undertook a 
project of prime importance to her society; she made a 
visitation of all the branch houses and learned that the 
entire sisterhood concurred in her own wish to obtain 
the approbation of the Holy See, which would elevate 
the community to the rank of a religious order, secure 
for it greater dignity and stability and place it under 
direct papal jurisdiction. Mother Eutropia had the Con 
stitutions of the society revised in conformity with the 
new status which she desired for the community, and six 
weeks after the petition was presented to Rome she had 
the satisfaction of receiving on September 10, 1910, the 
Decree of approbation and praise, signed by His Holiness 
Pius X, now treasured among the Order s most 
precious documents. The following is the Decree from 
the Secretariate of the Sacred Congregation of Religious : 

"With singular benevolence the Apostolic See wishes 
to follow the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, having their 
principal House in the Diocese of Louisville, who, having 
originated about one hundred years ago, and happily 
multiplied in number and in Houses, deserve most well 
concerning the Christian good. 

"Wherefore this Sacred Congregation of Religious, 
in full Committee, on the 26th day of August, 1910, the 
commendatory letters of the Most Reverend Ordinaries 



266 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

having been duly considered, and in all things maturely 
weighed, determined and decreed to grant to the afore 
said Institution of Charity of Nazareth a definitive ap 
probation, always without detriment to the Most Rever 
end Ordinaries, the rule of the Sacred Canons and of the 
Apostolic Constitutions. 

"Which sentence of the Most Eminent Fathers, Our 
Most Holy Lord Pope Pius X, benignantly deigned to 
confirm, in an audience granted the following day to 
the sub-Secretary of the said Congregation, all things to 
the contrary notwithstanding. 

"Given at Rome from the Secretaries of the Sacred 
Congregation of Religious, the 5th day of September, 
1910. 

(Signed) 

Fr. I. C. CARD. VIVES, Prefect. 
VINC. LA PUMA/ 

It was especially through the efforts and advice of the 
Rev. Elder Mullan, S. J., secretary from the United 
States to the general of the Jesuit Order, resident in 
Rome, that the community expeditiously received its De 
cree; hence this distinguished ecclesiastic is now enrolled 
among the order s most valued friends. 

In seeking papal approbation, the Sisters had occasion 
to request from several other dignitaries notes of intro 
duction and recommendation. The number and tone of 
these eloquently rendered honor to the Sisterhood which 
has so long done so much for the American Church 
in general and in particular for the missions of Kentucky 
in both early and later days. So definitely do these notes 
characterize the Sisters labors in various regions that 
they may here be quoted, first place being duly given to 
the letter from the Bishop of Louisville, in whose diocese 
the mother house stands: 




MOTHER ALPHONSA KERR. 



THE TWENTIETH CENTURY. 267 

"Bishop s House, Louisville, Ky. 
"June 14, 1910. 

"The Sisters of Chanty of Nazareth is an old Com 
munity in the Diocese of Louisville, and its record is 
without a blemish and above reproach. 

"Although but recently appointed Bishop of Louis 
ville, I have known of the good work of these Sisters 
for many years. They have been a most important fac 
tor in the cause of Catholic education from the beginning 
of their organization, and they still continue the work 
with earnestness and true Catholic zeal. 

"The Community has always shown a most respectful 
spirit for ecclesiastical authority here, and a profound 
reverence for the Holy See. 

"The Sisters labors are given chiefly to Catholic edu 
cation, conducting primary and high schools, and in this 
field their work has been everywhere productive of the 
best results, both in this Diocese of Louisville where the 
Community was founded in 1812, and in other Dioceses 
where they have later established Catholic schools and 
Academies. 

"The Community is not mercenary but charitable. The 
compensation received for the members services bears 
no proportion to the benefits rendered. Their first 
thought is always to instruct and edify and for the rest 
they trust to Divine Providence. Their services to this 
Diocese of Louisville for almost one hundred years would 
be hard to measure. 

"For these reasons, I beg Your Holiness to grant the 
favor requested by the Mother General and Assistants 
respecting the approval of the Institute and of their con 
stitutions. 

(Signed) 

DlONYSIUS O DONAGHUE, 

Bishop of Louisville." 



268 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

To the many other manifestations of his encourage 
ment, Cardinal Gibbons added the following approval : 

"Baltimore, Maryland, 

"June 17, 1910. 
"MOST HOLY FATHER, 

"For the past twenty-five years the Sisters of Nazareth 
have been in the Diocese of Baltimore, in charge of the 
Academy of St. Mary, Leonardtown. 

"As Ordinary, I, the undersigned, have not the slight 
est hesitation in testifying to the great good my people 
owe to these Religious, who are to them a source of great 
edification by their lives, and of temporal assistance 
also by their corporal works of mercy, undertaken ac 
cording to their Constitutions. It is for me a very great 
pleasure to acknowledge the great work which is being 
done by the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth in Leonard- 
town, for the great cause of Catholic education. The 
Community has, on all occasions, shown a most respectful 
spirit for ecclesiastical authority. 

"For these reasons, I humbly beg of Your Holiness 
to grant the favor requested by the Mother General and 
the Assistants respecting the approval of the Institute and 
of their Constitutions. 
(Signed) 

J. CARD. GIBBONS, 
Seal. Archbishop of Baltimore." 

From other sources were received the following words 
of recognition for past endeavors and of stimulus to 
further effort : 

"Covington, Kentucky,- 

"May 30, 1910. 

"The Bishop of Covington takes pleasure in recom 
mending to the Holy See the approbation of the Sisters 
of Charity of Nazareth, Ky. 



THE TWENTIETH CENTURY. 269 

Tor well nigh a century these good Sisters have as 
siduously labored in the field of Catholic education and 
charity with great success. By their religious spirit, 
their earnestness and kindness they have secured the re 
spect and good will not only of our Catholic people but 
of non-Catholics as well. 

"In my own Diocese they have eight parochial schools, 
four Academies, one Hospital, and a school for colored 
children. Everywhere they have been a potent force 
for good and have been a powerful help to the Reverend 

Clergy. 

CAMILLUS PAUL MAES, 

Bishop of Covington." 

"Richmond, Virginia, 

"May 27, 1910 
"DEAR MOTHER EUTROPIA, 

"I cheerfully unite my approbation to that of the Bish 
ops of the United States and ask for the approbation of 
the Holy See for your Order or Society. All the Sisters 
of Nazareth in my Diocese have always manifested such 
a true religious spirit that I, my Priests and people are 
truly edified. 

"Yours faithfully in Christ, 

A. VAN DE VYVER, 
Bishop of Richmond." 

"Quinton P. O., Ark. 
"May 20, 1910. 
"Dear Mother, 

"Your letter of the 13th inst. has been forwarded to 
me here, . 

"I beg to congratulate you heartily on the approaching 
centennial of your foundation. I am aware of the good 
results achieved by your Sisters in the way of Catholic 



270 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

education at Yazoo City the only place in my diocese 
that enjoys their presence and labors; and I cordially 
recommend your petition to obtain the approbation of the 
Holy See for your Society which has already lasted so 
long, spread so widely, and done so much good, especially 
along the lines of Catholic education. 
"Yours sincerely, 

T. HESLIN, 
Bishop of Natchez." 

"Columbus, Ohio, May 16, 1910. 
"DEAR MOTHER EUTROPIA, 

"It affords me great pleasure to bear testimony to 
the noble and self-sacrificing work done by the Sisters 
of Charity of Nazareth, Kentucky, in the parochial 
schools of the Diocese of Columbus. 

"The work of the Sisters with the Polish, Slavish, 
Hungarian and Italian children is deserving of the high 
est praise, and will certainly bring God s blessing on 
the Community. 

"In the face of the greatest difficulties and most dis 
couraging circumstances, they are giving these poor 
children a thorough Catholic education and saving hun 
dreds of them to the Church. Their work proves that 
the only practical solution of the question as to how we 
are to care for the children of the foreign population 
coming to our shores, is to place them under the care 
of native Religious Communities in charge of our par 
ochial schools. The Sisters of Nazareth have accomplished 
wonders in their work with these poor children in this 
Diocese. 

"It is with pleasure and gratitude that I recommend 
them to the Holy See for such favors as they wish to 
obtain on the occasion of the coming centennial of their 
foundation as a religious community. 



THE TWENTIETH CENTURY. 271 

"Wishing you and your Community the blessing of 
God, 

Your servant in Christ, 

JAMES J. HARTLEY, 
Bishop of Columbus." 

The obtaining of papal approbation crowned the com 
munity s years of labor for God and humanity. While 
retaining its traditions of simplicity, meekness, self- 
sacrifice, the sisterhood was now advanced to the dignity 
of a religious order and all the Sisters who had been 
professed as long as six years now made perpetual vows. 
The rule, receiving merely minor modifications, remained 
virtually the same as it had been. Significant, however, 
was the creation of a new office, that of mother general 
and an assistant governing body composed of five as 
sistants general, one of whom is treasurer general; an 
other, secretary general. The term of office for the mother 
general and her staff, known as the general council, is 
six years. In accordance with the order s ideal of humil 
ity, the assistants continue to be addressed as "Sister," 
the maternal title being accorded to the chief executive 
alone. 

In July, 1911, Mother Eutropia was elected to the new 
dignity of mother general. In September of the same 
year, she and her household were honored by a visit from 
the Apostolic Delegate, Cardinal Falconio, an occasion 
which, as it were, put a seal and special blessing upon the 
community s new status. Immediately the superior de 
voted her energies to many good works; improvements 
were made in the academy; additional wings were built; 
educational activities elsewhere were encouraged. In 1911 
the Sisters resumed teaching at St. Patrick s School, 
Louisville, where the Very Rev. James P. Cronin, Vicar 
General of the Louisville diocese and pastor of St. Pat- 



272 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

rick s Church, has given hearty co-operation to the Sisters 
since their return. A substantial school building, erected 
by him, facilitates the teaching of over three hundred 
children. 

One of the particular projects which engaged the in 
terest of the mother general during the early months of 
her administration was the centennial festival of the com 
munity, planned for the autumn of 1912. This cele 
bration which was to be one of thanksgiving for the 
attainment of papal sanction, and which was still more 
specifically to commemorate the society s establishment in 
1812, Mother Eutropia anticipated with keen eagerness; 
in such a season she foresaw many opportunities for 
abundant spiritual graces but, alas, her ardent spirit 
was not to share therein save from another sphere ! On 
April 8, 1912, her apparently rich vigor was suddenly 
quenched at its source; a few hours illness ended her 
earthly labors. Well might her passing have evoked the 
exclamation: "She should have died hereafter!" Her 
demise bereaved Nazareth of one of its ablest, best be 
loved religious, and left inconsolable the hearts of friends 
innumerable. Justly did Rev. Louis G. Deppen observe 
in Louisville s diocesan paper, The Record: "Begin 
ning with Mother Catherine Spalding a century ago, 
Nazareth has had a long line of brilliant and saintly 
Mothers Superior; and none was more gifted, none more 
revered and loved than Eutropia McMahon, Nazareth s 
first Mother-General, now resting we trust in God." 
Like the early superiors, Mother Eutropia seemed a prov 
idential gift to her community, bringing to the Sister 
hood at the time of her election the most opportune qual 
ities. Her vision, her executive and progressive spirit, 
so admirably blended with all that was best in an earlier 
tradition, her dignity and endearing personality, were 
an invaluable dower. All too briefly as she was permitted 




MOTHER EUTROPTA McMAHON. 



THE TWENTIETH CENTURY. 273 

to occupy the supreme office, she advanced the honor of 
that Nazareth to which her girlhood piety had been 
pledged and to which her mature womanhood lent such 
enrichment. If all too soon the silver cord was broken, 
she left an inestimable legacy of affection and inspira 
tion; abundant fruits spiritual v and temporal did her 
order reap from seeds planted by her wise judgment; 
beyond the convent walls numerous hearts were to beat 
all the more reverently for having known her influence. 



CHAPTER XIV. 
THE CENTENNIAL YEAR. 

term of office which Mother Eutropia s death 
left uncompleted was filled out by Sister Rose 
Meagher, who had already acted as assistant superior and 
as incumbent of other responsible offices: In July, 1912, 
she was formally elected mother-general. Like Mother 
Columba and Mother Helena, Mother Rose was a gift 
of Ireland to Nazareth. She was born in Kilkenny in 
1855; in 1874 she came to America with her sister and 
four young cousins. The entire company embraced the 
religious life; three of the devout group, Mother Rose, 
her sister Sister Gonzales, and their cousin Sister Con 
stance Davis, joined the Nazareth Community. Mother 
Rose entered the novitiate in December, 1874, receiving 
the habit in June, 1875, making her vows in July, 1876. 
Her first mission was to Yazoo City, Mississippi, where 
she labored piously and industriously. Later she went to 
Bellaire, Ohio, where her charity and able superiorship 
endeared her to all classes. 

During the early months of her administration at 
Nazareth, Mother Rose s generous spirit responded to 
requests for new foundations. In September, 1912, St. 
Ann s School, Morganfield, Kentucky, was opened, Rev. 
Robert Craney then being pastor; his successor Rev. 
Charles Rahm now faithfully presides over this flourish 
ing school. In the same year an addition was made to 
the prosperous Massachusetts foundations; the Nazareth 
School, South Boston, was requested and built by one of 
the order s valued friends, Rev. Mortimer E. Twomey, 

274 



THE CENTENNIAL YEAR 275 

whose name has been mentioned earlier in connection with 
his encouragement of the Sisters school in Newbury- 
port. In that city Father Twomey had been pastor at 
the time of the Sisters first establishment in the East; 
afterward, when he was assigned to Concord, Massa 
chusetts, he wished the Sisters to take charge of a school, 
but at the time this was not possible. Still later, when 
this loyal friend became pastor of St. Eulalia s School, 
South Boston, he again requested the co-operation of the 
Community in his educational work, and the Nazareth 
School was the response to his request. 

This highly creditable institution is situated on Far- 
ragut Road, South Boston, known until 1804 as Dor 
chester Neck. The neighborhood is rich in historical as 
sociations, recalled in the following little sketch con 
tributed by a member of the Eastern teaching staff : 

Within sight of Nazareth Convent stands Fort Inde 
pendence, known in the early part of the seventeenth cen 
tury as Castle William. Here Paul Revere with a de 
tachment of men rebuilt the battered walls and strength 
ened the defences which the British, while retreating 
from Boston in 1776, had destroyed. Here, too, during 
the War of 1812 was won "a bloodless victory," as a 
recent writer asserts; for the manifest strength of the 
fort so overawed the enemy that they dared not make 
an attack. Though it was one of Boston s chief de 
fences during the Civil War, it was not called upon for 
any service save the housing of a few deserters from the 
Union lines. In the Spanish-American War, it was con 
verted into a torpedo and naval station. To-day 
"wrapped in memories of stirring times," Fort Independ 
ence forms a part of Boston s park system and serves as a 
reminder of true patriotism to coming generations. 

A short distance west of Nazareth Convent is another 
historic spot the Murray House, sacred to the memory 



276 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

of Bishop Cheverus and Rev. Francis Matignon. Here 
Father Matignon bought land for a church, which was 
never built, as the Catholic population was too small to 
warrant its erection. The Murray homestead, however, 
became a treasure-house wherein to-day may be seen 
souvenirs of Bishop Cheverus and Father Matignon. 

During the Sisterhood s centennial year (1912) the 
Nazareth School was built at the foot of Broadway Hill, 
one of the Dorchester Heights "the glory of South 
Boston." From it may be seen Evacuation Monument, 
commemorating the departure of the British from this 
point, March 17, 1776. Eastward from the schooPplay- 
grounds may be seen the statue of Farragut, guarding the 
approach from the Atlantic. With such historic sur 
roundings and a flag in every class room, what was said 
of the boy heroes of Boston Common may be repeated of 
the pupils of the Nazareth School, "Liberty is in the 
very air they breathe." When this school was opened, 
three hundred children were almost immediately enrolled ; 
five hundred is now the average attendance. 

While this successful foundation was propitiously be 
ginning preparations for the Centennial Festival were 
being made down at the mother house. One hundred 
years having elapsed since the establishment of the Sister 
hood, it seemed fitting to set aside a season of thanks 
giving for a century rich in temporal and spiritual bless 
ings. As the order s welfare had become a matter of 
deep personal concern to many friends among clergy and 
laity, it was determined that these too should be given 
an opportunity to felicitate the Sisters; hence several 
festival days were planned. Varied as the programs of 
entertainment were, one exercise was repeated every day ; 
this was the historical pageant, telling the story of the 
community s development. First came forth a herald, 
invoking all things animate and inanimate to praise God 



THE CENTENNIAL YEAR 277 

and rejoice with Nazareth. Then followed an impressive 
tableau the log cabin of 1812 in the Kentucky wilder 
ness, with the first Sisters of Charity impersonated by 
pupils of 1912. Vividly the early days spent at loom and 
spinning wheel were recalled in typical scenes. The next 
tableau was that of the first school; nine little girls of to 
day, in quaint costumes and with demure bearing, enacted 
the parts of those who in 1814 were Nazareth s first 
pupils. On the school s registers are the names of those 
little Kentuckians of long ago: Cecilia O Bryan, Ann 
Lancaster, Eleanor Miles, Delia Thomas, Julia Haydon, 
Polly Cook, Ellen Beaven, Ann Haydon, and Polly Hay 
don. In succeeding pictures were illustrated the Sisters 
deeds of mercy during the plagues. With much ver- 
similitude one scene portrayed Mother Catherine car 
rying an infant in her arms, another in her apron, while 
a third clung to her, representing the three children with 
whom the Society s first orphanage began. Particularly 
impressive was a Civil War scene, with the Sisters as 
nurses of the Blue and the Gray. Other parts of this 
interesting entertainment depicted the later activities of 
the Sisters with their 18,000 pupils, their numerous 
schools, orphanages, and benevolent institutions. In an 
admirably arranged final tableau the educational and 
charitable works of the Sisters were illustrated by groups 
of girls of various ages and sizes, bearing fittingly in 
scribed banners; standing thus, phalanx upon phalanx, 
the pupils of 1912 lifted their voices in the Te Deum, a 
hymn of thanksgiving for the prosperity crowning the 
pioneer labors of 1812. 

With the indulgent spirit of a mother, Nazareth char 
acteristically set apart the first day of her festival for the 
alumnae who travelled from far and near to honor their 
Alma Mater; at her festal board gathered women of 
eighty, maidens of eighteen, representatives of the in- 



278 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

tervening ages, the hearts of all beating with the filial 
sentiment expressed by Mrs. Emily Tarleton Snowden, 
beloved and brilliant alumna of ante-bellum days : "It 
seems proper that the pupils of Nazareth should be the 
first to attest their love and loyalty on this occasion that 
brings to Nazareth the grace, dignity and distinction of 
one hundred years. To her children every reminiscence 
of Nazareth is most dear. To every child of her heart 
she is Naomi. Her country is their country; her home 
is their home, her God, their God. Her physical beauty 
but adds to this singular attachment, and not one of 
her pupils but longs to return some day to this holy 
shrine, to rest again in the shade of her trees. Never 
have we had a better reason nor a better time for re 
joicing and thanksgiving than now, when we are cele 
brating Alma Mater s hundredth birthday. Kentucky 
surely has a right to salute her with pride and affection 
as she looks down upon what her fair hand-maid has 
achieved in a century." 

One by one Nazareth s other former pupils laid at 
her shrine the tributes of affection all re-echoing the 
words of the loyal President of the Alumnae Society, Mrs. 
James McKenna : "As we rejoice in the rich harvest Naz 
areth is reaping to-day, we feel that, extol her merits as 
we may, she is still worthy of more than is in our power 
to give; and only the Divine Master can bestow upon 
her the just reward of her achievements." 

Following this rich love feast, Founders Day was 
commemorated in honor of Bishops Flaget and David 
and that third of Nazareth s great corner-stones, Moth 
er Catherine Spalding, The celebration began with a 
scene of special solemnity, a pontifical High Mass sung 
by Bishop Hartley of Columbus, Ohio. An archbishop 
and three bishops were seated in the sanctuary in gar 
ments of episcopal purple. These were assisted by many 




MOTHER GENERAL ROSE MEAGHER. 



THE CENTENNIAL YEAR 279 

priests, deacons and subdeacons, whose vestments and 
surplices repeated the tones of the centennial and papal 
colors. Nave and transept of the Gothic church built 
nearly a half century earlier by Mother Catherine s 
zeal, offered an impressive spectacle, being occupied by 
priests from nearly every diocese in the United States; 
a memorable ecclesiastical picture was formed by the 
black cassocks and white surplices of the secular clergy 
and the Jesuits, the brown habits of Franciscans and 
Trappists. 

At the conclusion of this solemn Mass, Bishop O Don- 
aghue of Louisville congratulated the Sisters on their 
century of good works, crowned by the magnificent re 
sults of the present, and expressed the gratitude of the 
thousands of children now taught and guarded by the 
Sisters. Particular acknowledgment was made for the 
assistance given to him and to his priests by the indus 
trious and benevolent order. After this address the late 
Bishop Maes of Covington, passed to the altar, whence 
he imparted the papal benediction received by cable from 
Pope Pius X. These august ceremonies ended, the clergy 
were guests of honor at a banquet, not the least entertain 
ing incident of which was the music rendered by the 
negro band of Bardstown, whose leader and several of 
whose members were descendants of Nazareth s former 
slaves. Throughout the repast the Sisters were the 
theme of cordial felicitation, notably from Mgr. Teeling 
of Lynn, Massachusetts, who thirty-two years earlier 
had journeyed to Nazareth to request Sisters for the 
Eastern diocese : "One hundred years attending to the 
aged and infirm what a glorious record ! One hundred 
years spent in alleviating suffering and consoling those 
in misery and distress Daughters of Mercy! What a 
wonderful work must have been performed during these 
hundred years, by the Sisters ministry. . . . One 



280 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

hundred years devoted to the poor children deprived of 
father and mother." Then followed hearty praise for 
the Sisters labors in the schools : "All glory to them for 
their great work in the line of Catholic Education!" 

Another generous tribute was paid by the community s 
faithful friends, Rev. Joseph Hogarty of Lebanon, Ken 
tucky : "Today Nazareth on earth is joined with Nazar 
eth in Heaven. The Magnificat which the children of 
Mother Catherine sing to-day in thanksgiving for a cen 
tury s grace and blessings is taken up by Mother Cath 
erine and her Sisters in Heaven and is re-echoed around 
the throne of God! May these holy souls obtain for 
Nazareth the spirit of its founders. Nazareth now faces 
the new century with its manifold duties and responsi 
bilities, with its new problems. Will the new century be 
as glorious as the one now closing? God alone knows. 
But we feel sure it will if the coming generations keep 
alive the spirit of humility, the spirit of self-sacrifice, of 
zeal for the welfare of religion which Mother Catherine 
and her successors infused into the hearts of the Naz 
areth of a hundred years ago. . . . When time 
shall be no more, may they and we all children of the 
saintly Flaget and David be gathered before the throne 
of God to chant an eternal Te Deum." 

Many telegrams and letters from other distinguished 
guests still further contributed to the Sisters pleasure 
and encouragement. From Rome Cardinal Martinelli 
forwarded his good wishes and regrets for his enforced 
absence; from the Apostolic Delegate, Mgr. Bonzano, 
came a similar message, "Congratulating you and your 
community on the good work you have done during the 
hundred years of the existence of your congregation; I 
pray God that He may continue to bestow on you His 
choicest blessing." With his wonted courtesy and friend 
ship, Cardinal Gibbons sent the benediction of his good 



THE CENTENNIAL YEAR 281 

wishes. From- Cardinal Farley s secretary came the 
words : "His Eminence directs me to send you and your 
devoted Community his warmest blessings and the as 
surance of his prayers that God may shower his choicest 
benedictions on the noble work in which you are en 
gaged." Similar assurances of deep interest and con 
gratulation were received from Archbishop Glennon of 
St. Louis and from Cardinal O Connell of Boston. As 
typical of other messages, while expressing the special 
personal interest of their writers, two other notes may be 
included in this account of Nazareth s historical Centen 
nial exercises : 

"Piazza Cavour 17. 

"Roma, 

"Sett. 28, 1912. 
"REV. MOTHER SUPERIOR, 

"I have just received the joyful news of your Centen 
nial Celebration. . . . The good Sisters of Char 
ity of Nazareth, as well as all those who know your 
Institution, indeed have good reason to rejoice on this 
happy occasion. You, my dear Sisters, with the as 
sistance of Divine Providence, have done a great work, 
especially for the Christian education of our young, and 
deserve our gratitude and good wishes. 

"I remember with pleasure my visit to your Mother 
House and I am glad to say that it made a lasting impres 
sion on my mind. May God in His goodness continue to 
bestow upon your Institute His choicest blessings. 
"With sincere best wishes and congratulations, 
"Yours in Christ, 

"D. CARDINAL FALCONIO." 



The second of these particularly treasured notes runs 
as follows : 



SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

"Archbishop s House, 
"San Francisco, California, 

"Sept. 21, 1912. 
"MOTHER SUPERIOR OF THE SISTERS OF CHARITY OF 

NAZARETH, 
"MY DEAR MOTHER, 

"I received yesterday your very kind invitation to be 
present at your Centennial Celebration. ... On 
account of the very great distance between this city and 
your home it will be impossible for me to attend. I shall 
however not forget you and your intentions on that day 
of celebration, and shall unite myself with your many 
friends in thanking God for the graces of the past hun 
dred years, and praying for the future that the years 
may be full of merit for Eternity. What a contrast be 
tween the year of your foundation and the year of your 
Centennial Celebration! The poverty and trials of the 
first years made the future years successful. It is only 
when the seed is planted in the furrows that have been 
turned by the passing plough that the farmer may expect 
a harvest, and so in the sufferings of the first years and 
their privations the seed of the present splendid success 
was sown, and Almighty God blessed what had been done 
and you are reaping the harvest of your labors in the 
first years of your existence. How truly may the words 
of Holy Scripture be applied to your Congregation : Go 
ing they went and wept, carrying their seeds. But com 
ing, they shall come with joyful gladness, carrying their 
sheaves. 

When I look over the past years of our existence as a 
Church in this country, and ask myself to what sources 
we may trace whatever success we have had, I am con 
vinced that while, in a great measure, it has been due to 
the Apostolic character of the Bishops and the clergy, 
and the generosity of so many of our people, not the 



THE CENTENNIAL YEAR 283 

least factor has been the zeal and piety of our Sisters in 
the different Congregations among which they are dis 
tributed. No persons in the Church have carried down 
the ages the characteristic virtues of our holy religion 
more completely than they have. The meekness, gen 
tleness and humility of our Blessed Lord and Master 
have been presented by them more than by any other 
people in the Church. To these virtues I think Chris 
tianity owes its enduring and attractive features. 

"I shall not forget to say Mass on Oct. 15, for your 
Sisters, that God may bless them and their work, and 
that they may be instrumental in the future as in the 
past, in bringing thousands of souls to sanctification on 
this earth and to glory eternal in the life that is to be. 

"Faithfully yours, 

"P. E. RIORDAN." 

With fitting sentiment the mid-week of these festival 
days was devoted to a memorial service for those sainted 
dead whom the Very Rev. Dean C. J. O Connell of Bards- 
town, Kentucky, eloquently characterized as "The blessed 
spirits of Nazareth, hosts of virgins and martyrs, hov 
ering above us, and in the company of God s holy angels 
clustering around this altar before which they so often 
knelt in prayer and silent adoration." 

After this impressive day, the pupils of the academy 
were given their share in the celebration a holiday, a 
banquet and other merry-makings. On this occasion were 
welcomed also those friends other than the clergy and 
alumnae. Next followed "Old Nazareth Day" in some 
respects the crowning event of the centennial season. In 
the morning Mother Rose and sixty-four or five Sisters 
made a reverent pilgrimage to Old Nazareth (St. 
Thomas s), the woodland cabin where the original Naz 
areth was planted a hundred years earlier. Through 



284 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

Bardstown, the famous seat of the old Kentucky bish 
opric, the happy pilgrims took their way to the seminary 
where Bishop Flaget lived for some time and where he 
and Father David laid the foundations of Nazareth. As 
the Sisters carriages passed through Bardstown, Dean 
O Connell vigorously rang the bell of old St. Joseph s 
Church, the same bell that once announced the services 
over which Bishop Flaget and "Father" David presided. 

Arriving at their destination, the visitors found the 
ancient church and the venerable log cabin of 1812 
adorned with evergreens; the Sisters had themselves 
borne from Nazareth baskets of flowers to decorate the 
first home of their spiritual forbears, the altar of their 
founders. When the blossoms from the luxurious gardens 
of Nazareth of to-day had been reverently placed for the 
adornment of the humble Nazareth of a century ago, 
the bell of old St. Thomas Seminary sounded the hour 
for Mass, of which Father Breintner, the pastor of the 
neighborhood, was celebrant. What an impressive spec 
tacle as the Sisters, their hearts beating with emotion, 
knelt where the first Mother of Nazareth and her pioneer 
associates had knelt, dedicating themselves to God. 
There the sisterhood of to-day renewed their vows, 
humbly thanking God who had brought to such abundant 
harvest the seeds of piety and consecration planted in 
this hallowed ground. 

In his address of the day, Rev. William Hogarty, a 
former pupil of St. Thomas s Seminary, said : This visit 
has deep significance; I take it to signify that after the 
wonderful growth and glorious achievements of the hun 
dred years just elapsed, you come back to begin the 
new century of your existence where Mother Catherine 
and her Sisters began. You make declaration that the 
hundred years gone, while bringing phenomenal changes 
in the world around, have made no change in the desires 



THE CENTENNIAL YEAR 285 

and the purposes of your hearts; that, rising on the crest 
of a century s upward movement, you are prepared to 
exercise greater heroism if that were possible than they. 
They gave up their all when they took their vows; you 
cannot do more. Yet in itself the sacrifice they made was 
not so great as that you make. Around them stood the 
primeval forest, interrupting the fascinations of the 
world, luring the soul to meditation and aspiration to 
ward the better, the higher things. Hardship was then 
the common lot: there was no shocking transition from 
the comforts of an elegant home to the privations of the 
convent. Many of the homes in those pioneer days were 
conventual in their simplicity and religiousness. But 
around you lies a world, resplendent with attraction, 
promising its votaries more recompense than history has 
any record of. Yet you bend your back to the same yoke, 
as your Sisters of yore. You reconsecrate yourselves to 
poverty, chastity, obedience and charity. It is splendid 
for you in this luxurious lawless age, to wear the garb 
of the poor, to live the life of the poor, to forego the 
ease and intimacies of a happy home, and to obliterate 
yourselves by obedience not that, like Stoics, you may 
be rid of incumb ranees, but that you may be free to fol 
low Christ, your Lord and your Love, and to serve Him 
in the sick, the poor and the orphan, and to expend your 
strength in the education of His little ones. You need 
not look back wistfully on times past, as though oppor 
tunities of heroic self-sacrifice were lacking in the present. 
Mother Catherine and her saintly band, Bishop Flaget 
and Bishop David, give you welcome to this sanctuary as 
worthy heirs of the spirit here enshrined. Our Euchar- 
istic Lord, abiding on the altar there, Who has been 
waiting from day to day through these hundred years 
for the delight of this visit, gives you welcome as faith 
ful exponents of the first vows your community offered 



286 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

Him here one hundred years ago. Be renewed here in 
the spirit of your mind. Strike deeper root into this your 
native soil. The ground on which you tread is Holy 
Ground. This is no other than the House of God and 
the Gate of Heaven. Here Bishop David, fleeing like 
another Jacob from the fury of his God-hating country 
men, found refuge and repose. Here he dreamed his 
dream of the angels ascending and descending; and he 
awoke to erect a memorial. That memorial is your Com 
munity. Your Community is the ladder that standing 
on earth touches Heaven. The Providence of God leans 
on it with pleasure. It is the means by which women are 
transformed into angels, and ascend to hold converse in 
Heaven, and then at the call of needy suffering human 
ity descend and minister on earth." 

After Mass the happy bands of Sisters passed over the 
threshold of their ancestral home, truly the "Cradle of 
Nazareth," and wandered from room to room of the 
humble log cabin, breathing prayers for the sainted ones 
who had immortalized these scenes, marvelling at the 
greatness of their accomplishment, so far transcending 
the lowliness of their habitation. The Sisters partook 
of their luncheon in the largest of the rooms, and never 
was feast more relished than this where Mother Cath 
erine and the early Sisterhood had known such privations. 
After the repast the company strayed over the historic 
scenes, the ruins of the old seminary, the Sisters spring, 
the "hermit s cave" down the slope of the still thickly 
wooded hillside. How dear Mother Rose s cheeks glowed 
like a girl s, her heart so justly filled to overflowing with 
the joy and thanksgiving for this happy day! All the 
scenes sacred to the early community having been ten 
derly revisited, again the bell of St. Thomas s called the 
Sisters to the church. There Father Davis, chaplain of 
the new and stately Nazareth of to-day, gave benediction. 



THE CENTENNIAL YEAR 287 

Then once more with mellow hearts, with spirits re 
joiced and replenished, the happy cortege wended its 
way back to its own Nazareth, the heir of the lowly 
primitive Nazareth left behind in the quiet of its wood 
lands, now more than ever a shrine of memory and piety, 
surely a haunt of blessed spirits. 

Rich in elevated joys as was this day of devout pil 
grimage, the day which followed was particularly char 
acteristic of the Sisters spirit of hospitality and good 
will. This Saturday, October 19, was reserved for the 
"faithful colored servants of Nazareth, their children 
and their grandchildren." At nine o clock these guests 
arrived, clean and well-dressed, eager to do as much 
honor as possible to their hostesses. Nearly every one 
bore in his or her hand the centennial postal card sent as 
invitation. Old men and women with gray hair, their 
children and grandchildren, little pickaninnies and babes 
in arms, the pupils of St. Monica s school for colored 
children in Bardstown, sodality girls and young men, 
all these, two hundred in number, responded to Nazareth s 
cordial invitation. On their arrival they were shown 
the grounds, the Museum a place of special delight, 
and other scenes of particular interest. At noon a ban 
quet was served to them by the Sisters, the spacious 
laundry being converted into a refectory, decorated in 
national and papal colors, flowers and banners in abun 
dance. For their further entertainment the centennial 
pageant was then presented and throughout the week it 
had no more attentive or appreciative audience. At its 
conclusion the guests entered the church where Mgr. 
Teeling gave benediction and Father Davis made a brief 
address, congratulating them on being children of Naz 
areth and exhorting them to prove themselves worthy 
of the Sisters fondness and care. For the entire as 
semblage one of the most exhilarating moments was 



288 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

that when the photographer took their picture. After 
this august ceremony the happy-hearted groups gathered 
again in the banquet hall where, with singing and danc 
ing, they concluded their joyous day. Among them 
were several who remembered Mother Catherine and 
Bishop Flaget. These octogenarians and their com 
panions agreed that their centennial day at Nazareth 
would be forgotten "nevah, nevah, in dis woiT." 

One more festal occasion was to conclude this week of 
joy and thanksgiving. Wednesday, October 23, was 
"Religious Day," the members of other congregations 
having been invited to share in the final hours of thanks 
giving to God for all the blessing, spiritual and temporal 
which had crowned Nazareth s first century. Among the 
guests were the Lorettines, the sister community of Ken 
tucky, who had recently celebrated their own centenary ; 
the white robed Dominicans, another early community, 
the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, Sisters of Mercy, 
Ursulines, Sisters of the Good Shepherd, the Little 
Sisters of the Poor. It was, declares an earlier chron 
icler and participant, a "feast of the Brides of Christ 
united in Charity." Addressing them on this solemn 
occasion of reunion, Father Kuhlnan, S. J., appropriately 
said: "From an area of some hundreds of miles, there 
have been gathered here to-day members of religious con 
gregations to congratulate those who have continued 
the work of Nazareth to the centennial year, and to unite 
with them in giving thanks to God for all favors shown. 
It is, first of all, the triumph of the soul that is bound by 
religious vows and given over entirely to the service 
of God. It is the triumph of this institution that Mother 
Church has within a few years publicly set her seal of 
approbation upon that work done through the spirit 
which reigned within the hearts of the Sisters of Charity 
of Nazareth. We rejoice with you as we tender our con- 



THE CENTENNIAL YEAR 289 

gratulations and give thanks to our good God who has 
united you to that glorious band of soldiers within the 
Church, Christ s fold." 

While these and similar words of felicitation were 
being offered to the order, the venerable community was 
receiving testimonials and congratulations from press 
and pulpit. Such periodicals as America, the New World 
of Chicago, the Catholic Universe of Cleveland, The 
Columbian (Columbus, Ohio), and the ever loyal Record 
of Louisville, in generous paragraphs set the seal of 
sympathy and deep interest upon the growth of the 
century-plant, Nazareth. Marvelling at the work which 
these "trustees of God," as he termed the Sisters, had 
accomplished in circumstances seemingly so unpropitious, 
with materials apparently so meagre, Rev. Thomas J. 
Campbell, then editor-in-chief of America, discovered 
the secrets of the community s success: "They have a 
limitless and unfailing confidence in Him who feeds 
the birds and clothes the lilies and they are never dis 
appointed, never discouraged or even disturbed. . 
These excellent religious who have labored so faithfully 
and achieved so much for the advancement of the Church 
in this country, deserve all the congratulations and hap 
piness they can receive." 

Simultaneously with these days of jubilation at the 
mother house, the various branch institutions also com 
memorated the order s hundredth birthday. In Massa 
chusetts, in eastern Ohio, in Maryland, southward to 
Mississippi and Tennessee, westward to Little Rock, 
Helena and Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and in the various 
Kentucky schools and other homes of the Sisters, 
paeans of gratitude were ringing, Masses of thanks 
giving were being said, pupils and friends were partici 
pating in the feast-day of Nazareth. 

Many were the handsome gifts presented to the ven- 



290 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

erable community during its festival days. The sister 
community of Loretto, also crowned by a hundred years 
of noble labors, sent a number of beautiful sacred ves 
sels and precious vestments of the pioneer days. Another 
neighboring religious order, the Dominicans of St. Cath 
erine s, Springfield, presented handsome gifts, including 
a much prized vestment of Bishop David. The Sisters 
of Charity of Leavenworth, Kansas, sent one hundred 
gold dollars. An especially prized remembrance was 
Bishop Flaget s ring which he had given Archbishop 
Martin John Spalding, who, in turn, had bestowed it 
upon Archbishop McCloskey of New York. This prel 
ate gave it to Archbishop John Lancaster Spalding, of 
Peoria, who, through his sister, Mrs. Kate Spalding, 
presented it to Nazareth. Other gifts were received 
from friends too numerous to mention. 

It was the high privilege of the alumnae to tender to the 
Alma Mater as a centennial gift the new Columba 
Reading Room which has since become one of the most 
admired apartments of the academy. Mrs. Kate Spald 
ing, sister of the Archbishop of Peoria, and Sister Mar 
ietta, two prominent alumnae, initiated the building of 
thfs spacious beautiful room, which is at once an orna 
ment to Nazareth and a creditable expression of her 
children s love. Just beyond the threshold hang two 
bronze tablets commemorating the gift of the Alumnae; 
one memorializes the general contributions and bears the 
inscription : 

Memory Obeys the Heart; 

Where there is Love 
There is no Forgetfulness. 

The other tablet records the names of those whose part 
in the work is represented by sums of $500 : Mrs. Mar 
garet Haydon Queen, Miss Mary Susan Miller, Mrs. 



THE CENTENNIAL YEAR 291 

Mollie Fitzpatrick Galvin, Mrs. Lizzie Graves O Brien, 
Mrs. Florence Burkley Nugent, Mrs. Florence Byrne 
Buschmeyer, Mrs. Jennie Legg Henderson. Other names 
are to be added to this filial memorial. The room is a joy 
and inspiration to the student ; its long broad spaces give 
a deep artistic satisfaction ; the subdued tones of wall and 
furnishings induce that quiet mood propitious for thought 
and study. The shelves contain over five thousand 
volumes, nearly two thousand of which were sent in re 
sponse to a suggestion made to the N/azareth Alumnae 
Association and the branch associations by Miss Columba 
Spalding of St. Louis, daughter of a scholarly alumna, 
Mrs. Julia Sloan Spalding. 

By the happiest coincidence, at the time of receiving 
this gift, the community was fortunate in having a mem 
ber particularly fitted to be the presiding spirit of the 
reading room, Sister Adelaide Pendleton, an ardent lover 
and discriminating judge of books, a former pupil of 
Nazareth. This dearly loved religious now added the 
duties of librarian to those of hospitality which, as guest- 
sister, she has long fulfilled with the efficiency needed in 
a large institution where visitors are constantly arriving, 
and with unfailing kindliness and grace, the flower of 
her native spirituality and gentleness. 

In accepting the gift of the reading room and its treas 
ures, Mother Rose said, on her own behalf and that of 
the community: "Dear daughters of Nazareth, You are 
co-operating with us like faithful children, and we have 
experienced the beneficial results of your devoted interest 
for the welfare of Alma Mater. Nazareth accepts with 
grateful appreciation the loving thought and generous 
efforts which find fruition to-day in the Columba Reading 
Room, with its handsome equipment of books and furn 
ishings. 

"The Alumnae acted wisely in deciding to supply as a 



292 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

Centennial gift, a special Reading Room with the means 
of higher study and research for the advanced students, 
thus enlarging their facilities for independent work. 

"Its dedication to our revered Mother Columba is a 
well-deserved tribute to her who for half a century de 
voted her noble intellect and queenly gifts to the promo 
tion of knowledge and piety and to the formation of true 
Christian character in the young girls confided to Naz 
areth s care and influence. 

"Your sweetest recompense, beloved Daughters of 
Nazareth, will arise from the certainty that you are as 
sisting in the diffusion of learning and piety, and fur 
nishing to young minds a continuous intellectual feast of 
good reading one of the greatest needs of our times, as 
an antidote to evil literature now so widespread. 

"May then, dear daughters, your children and your 
children s children for many a generation, enjoy the fruits 
of your generous devotion to the cause of Education, and 
of your love for Nazareth." 

Thus with old friends and new filling the cup of her 
happiness, Nazareth concluded her first century of in 
dustrious successful existence. Cheered by fervent "God 
speeds" from innumerable loyal hearts, she entered upon 
her second century of piety and usefulness. Now that 
the papal decree of approbation has exalted her commun 
ity to new rank as a religious order, none can foretell 
the range of her future good works; but her most de 
voted well-wishers may hope for her no more glorious 
destiny than a continuation of her devout and edifying 
career, a persevering observance of duties near at hand, 
a prudent extension of her benevolence in God s and 
humanity s service. 



CHAPTER XV. 
NAZARETH S NEW CENTURY. 

WITH spirits replenished by the graces of the Cen 
tennial season, the Sisters entered upon their new 
century of service to God. To Mother Rose and her 
community the work of the day was calling as insistently 
as the needs of the pioneer epoch had clamored to Moth 
er Catherine and her associates. Therefore, emulating 
their predecessors, the bands of Nazareth s second cen 
tury buckled on the armor of charity, sacrifice, piety, 
fortitude. 

They were soon to bear a sharp personal sorrow in 
the death of Mother Alphonsa (March, 1913). One of 
the last labors of this dearly loved and able religious 
was that of teaching the Nazareth choir to sing a Mass 
composed by Father David, the presentation of which 
during Centennial week did honor to her as well as 
to the community s founder. Mother Alphonsa s in 
fluence in the order was justly summarized by her pane 
gyrist, Very Rev. J. P. Cronin: "That part of her life 
which did not die is Nazareth s priceless treasure; it will 
increase and multiply as years go on, transmitting 
through those who knew her and profited by her in 
fluence, to many others who may not have known her, 
untold blessings and encouragement." 

In the autumn following Mother Alphonsa s death, 
several new foundations were made. In August, 1913, 
a home was begun for the teaching Sisters of Newport, 
Kentucky, who had formerly lived at the Immaculata 
Academy ; and during the same months St. Anne s, Port- 

293 



294 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

land Avenue, Louisville, was opened, providing shelter 
for thirty-two Sisters of the parochial schools. In Sep 
tember was started St. Agnes Sanatorium in the suburbs 
of Louisville, a restful place for those mentally ailing. 
Another foundation under St. Agnes s patronage, a 
parochial school, was established at Buechel, Kentucky, 
near Louisville. One of the most important works of 
the same year was the opening of St. Helena s Com 
mercial College in the handsome building north of St. 
Joseph s Infirmary. At one time the Sisters shared this 
home with business women ; a separate portion served 
as convent for religious teaching in parochial schools; 
in course of time the number of the latter left no room 
for externs. Later a new home in Portland (Louisville) 
was arranged for some of the Sisters and the space thus 
left free in St. Helena s was utilized as a commercial 
college where young girls and boys are taught type 
writing, stenography, and bookkeeping. Classes are held 
in the evening as well as during the day; classes in phys 
ical training being also provided for young women who 
are employed through the day, for whom a club has 
been organized. Lectures and other entertainments are 
arranged for the members. 

Composed chiefly of what was originally the Kenton 
Club House, St. Helena s is admirably adapted to the 
needs of its large household and the commercial school. 
The spacious front room, formerly the ball-room of the 
club, has been converted into a beautiful chapel. An 
other large apartment serves as community room. The 
well-lighted third floor is used for the school, among 
whose most important activities are those of the banking 
department, all the more systematically conducted, no 
doubt, because much of its furniture once belonged to the 
German Bank of Louisville. When that institution erected 
a new building, the President, Mr. Harry Angermeier, 



NAZARETH S NEW CENTURY. 295 

presented to St. Helena s several good solid pieces such 
as the cashier s desk, counter, and similar handsome 
and valuable acquisitions. All other departments of St. 
Helena s are suitably arranged. The superior, Sister Con 
stance Davis, who inaugurated the school, spares no 
pains for the comfort and convenience of her pupils. Par 
ticularly to be commended is that airy glass-enclosed 
space, the "roof garden," high above the city s noise and 
smoke, where the pupils have their noonday luncheon 
and recreation. Still another place of interest in this well- 
conducted institution is a grotto in honor of the Blessed 
Virgin, situated across the driveway from the neighboring 
St. Joseph s Infirmary and the scene of many pilgrimages. 
Pedestrians and motorists frequently turn aside from the 
hurrying throng of the street for a few moments vener 
ation of Our Lady, who, as in Old World wayside sta 
tions of piety, stands here surrounded by the flowers and 
ferns for whose successful fostering the Sisters have a 
magical gift. 

The Spring of 1914 brought to the Community a 
poignant grief the death of Sister Marie Menard, for 
half a century one of the order s most gifted members. 
Sister Marie received her early education at St. Vincent s 
Academy, Union County, and at St. Mary s Academy, 
Paducah, whose first graduate she was, in 1859. Later 
she pursued her studies at Nantes, France. On her return 
to America, she entered the Nazareth novitiate, after a 
brief sojourn with her parents, 1863. On April 25, 1914, 
she would have been wearing the habit of a Sister of Char 
ity for fifty years. From the beginning of her religious 
life she was entrusted by her superiors with important 
projects, in the accomplishment of which she proved 
laborious and successful. She possessed a rare combina 
tion of gifts, a skilful hand, penetrating judgment, a 
mind enriched by travel, study and experience. For 



296 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

Nazareth she diligently exercised her various talents, 
serving at different times as teacher of French, painting 
and other subjects at the academy, as instructress and 
directress in the normal school of the mother house. At 
the time of her death she was one of the assistant Mothers 
and secretary general. The grounds, the floral con 
servatory and the museum at Nazareth are testimonies 
to her skill, taste, and knowledge. None of Nazareth s 
many guests, were he chemist, horticulturist, historian, 
geologist, educator, failed to find in this versatile woman 
abundant information and intelligent co-operation, if it 
were desired. Her conversational powers left a stimu 
lating memory. Vigorous in intellect and learned as she 
was, her simplicity was characteristic of the order s best 
traditions ; her honesty of mind was perhaps no respecter 
of persons, yet if it sometimes ruffled the sensitive, her 
generous appreciations were ready to acknowledge merit 
where she could not unreservedly admire. Exact in her 
own observance of "holy poverty," she could plan en 
terprises of great moment for Nazareth; her devotion 
to her sisterhood s welfare knew no bounds save the 
impossible. Her maxims might well have been: Labor 
omnia vincit and Laborare est orare. 

In June, 1914, the hearts of the community were to 
be lightened by an occasion of rejoicing, the golden jubi 
lee of two alumnae, Sister Marietta Murphy and Mrs. 
Mary Finn Phillips of Nashville, Tennessee. The latter 
had been sent to Nazareth as a little girl, remaining till 
her graduation. Also as a young girl, Sister Marietta 
had been entered at Nazareth, whose novitiate she joined 
shortly after graduation. One of the special influences 
of her school life was Mother Columba Carroll, whom she 
succeeded in 1879 as directress of studies. During 
thirty-four years in this office and as teacher of the ad 
vanced classes, her days and a goodly portion of her 



NAZARETH S NEW CENTURY. 297 

lamp-lit hours were an incessant routine of thought and 
activity for the academy. Possessing rare intellectual 
acumen and spirituality she has been one of the most 
valuable members of the community and an endeared 
teacher. The festal day of these two alumnae was made 
still more memorable by an address in honor of their 
former schoolmate, Mrs. Carra Spalding Boldrick, read 
by her young granddaughter, also a pupil of the Sisters, 
Miss Mary Phillips Boldrick, daughter of Judge Samuel 
Boldrick of Louisville. 

In the autumn following this season of commemoration 
a parochial school was opened at old St. Thomas s Farm, 
thus giving educational opportunities to the children of 
the locality where one hundred and two years earlier 
Nazareth s own career had begun. Despite the early 
colonizations in this part of Kentucky, the region still 
remains a rural one. Straying across its fields, glimps 
ing between ancient trees the quiet waters of Beechfork 
River, the visitor feels the spell of an almost virgin wood 
land; his imagination transports him to a time so prim 
itive that he scarcely expects any human presence to dis 
turb the scene, save perhaps some adventurous com 
panion of Daniel Boone or one of the aborigines. With 
its charm of quietness and sequestration from the larger, 
noisier currents of life, the region is a shrine of vener 
able memories. Yet, though thus seemingly isolated, it 
is not an absolute solitude, for descendants of the pioneer 
settlers still make their home in the vicinity, and there 
are also new-comers, whose children profit by the educa 
tional opportunities offered by the Sisters. A gratifying 
enrollment promptly rewarded the community for resum 
ing its good works on this site of its earliest labors. 

While St. Thomas s parochial school has been thus so 
auspiciously opened at Old Nazareth, the Society s other 
recent foundations have been prospering. In the autumn 



298 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

of 1915 a new parochial school was begun in St. Peter s 
parish, Lexington. During the same season a noteworthy 
innovation was made at Sts. Mary and Elizabeth Hos 
pital, Louisville the establishment of a training school 
for nurses. The Sisters are in charge of this work, the 
lectures being given by prominent physicians. 

The other benevolent institutions of Louisville, have 
expanded in a manner fulfilling Mother Catherine s 
most ardent hopes. Modern equipments have super 
seded old furnishings ; new wings and buildings 
have been added, facilitating the Sisters efforts for 
the amelioration of suffering and need. That dearest 
solicitude of Mother Catherine s heart, the care of 
orphans, has gone on apace. The large residence on 
Jefferson and Wenzel Streets, purchased by the Sisters 
from Thomas Kelly in 1836, was used as shelter for 
orphan girls until 1892. For many years the Very Rev. 
Michael Bouchet edited in behalf of these children the 
diocesan paper, The Record; and many are the families 
of Louisville who have handed from generation to gener 
ation the tradition of extending assistance to the self- 
devoting religious in charge. Fairs and annual picnics 
were held; but the main burden of the institution was 
borne by the Sisters themselves, Nazareth often sending 
clothing and food, while the resident Sisters fairly 
drudged for their charges. In July, 1892, the asylum 
was transferred to Preston Park, near Louisville, which, 
since 1870, had been the site of the diocesan seminary, 
formerly St. Thomas s. This offered to Sisters and chil 
dren the advantages of a large country place ; but in 1902 
another rural home was chosen, and here the Sisters 
now have a household of 130 orphan girls. Many are 
the generous and able religious who have directed St. 
Vincent s Orphanage since Mother Catherine and her 
associates began this noble work of mothering the moth- 



NAZARETH S NEW CENTURY. 299 

erless, in their own little dwelling nearly ninety years 
ago. In this self-abnegating but rewarding work have 
toiled Sister Clare Gardiner, Sisters Eulalia Gaynor, 
Alice Drury, Julia Hobbs, Francis Xavier, Madeleine, 
Charlesetta, Geraldine, Mary Martha, Mary John, Mary 
Cyrilla. 

When in 1850 an asylum for boys had been estab 
lished on the farm of St. Thomas s Seminary, Nelson 
County, Mother Catherine visited this scene of early 
Nazareth, where the brick walls of the house she had 
erected were still standing. She directed Father Cham- 
bige to use the brick in building his home for orphan 
boys, with whom Nazareth s maternal care was thus 
from the beginning also shared. This refuge was 
established in connection with the seminary, and Mother 
Catherine, at Father Chambige s request, sent a company 
of Sisters to take care of the household affairs and the 
infirmary. In 1860 the Brothers of Christian Instruc 
tion of the Sacred Heart were brought to the diocese by 
Bishop Spalding and charged with the direction of the 
orphan boys. In 1868 these Brothers were replaced by 
secular priests. Soon afterward, the boys were entrusted 
to the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. On May 22, 1889, 
St. Thomas s Orphanage was destroyed by fire, but not a 
life was lost; however, the disaster necessitated the re 
moval of the boys to Preston Park, Louisville, where 
they remained until their return to Bardstown in 1891. 
In September, 1910, they were again taken to Preston 
Park, their present home, a large house on a spacious 
estate in one of Louisville s most attractive rural sections. 

Since January, 1915, the orphanages have been under 
the direction of trustees who have effectively lightened 
the Sisters burdens. Many improvements have been 
made in both buildings. School is conducted in each 
orphanage with the regularity prevailing in the Sisters 



300 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

other schools, an effort is made to prepare the children 
for self-supporting work in after life, scrupulous atten 
tion is paid to neatness, order and such habits of diligence 
and good behavior as will prove valuable assets for their 
later careers. The boys remain with the Sisters till about 
their fourteenth year, when they are sent to St. Law 
rence s Home for Boys, Louisville, under the care of the 
Xaverian Brothers. Many features of the boys orphan 
age raise it to a high level among institutions of the 
kind. For instance, a certain amount of vocational train 
ing is begun, the lads have their own branch library, to 
which every six months the Louisville Free Public Li 
brary sends out one hundred volumes which are vora 
ciously read and then replaced by one hundred new ones. 
It is a testimony to the value of good books that they 
have proved the most successful means of pacifying un 
ruly spirits; these volumes supplement the Sisters teach 
ing and, place in the hands of these children the keys 
to the world of knowledge and opportunity whose ac 
quisition by less fortunate youths of yore was more a 
matter of chance. With the improvement in buildings 
and equipment the Sisters are able to care for more boys 
than formerly. In 1910 the number was 76, it is now 
152. Untiring in his zeal for the orphans is Rev. Louis 
G. Deppen, who succeeded Father Bouchet as editor of 
The Record, in a sense the orphans paper. 

That other benevolent institution, St. Joseph s Infirm 
ary, begun by Mother Catherine in a few rooms of the 
original St. Vincent s Orphanage and afterward trans 
ferred to its present location on Fourth Avenue, Louis 
ville, has steadily assumed larger proportions till it is now 
one of the most valuable of the Sisters foundations, one 
of the best patronized infirmaries of the city. Devout 
and efficient superiors and laborious nurses have helped 
to win this prestige. Here in earlier days toiled Sister 



m * 




i 



NAZARETH S NEW CENTURY. 301 

Appolonia McGill, Sister Mary Agnes McDermott, Sis 
ter Ann Matilda Flanigan, Sister Martha Drury, all of 
blessed memory. Thiry-one years ago Sister Martha, 
that marvel of piety and capability, was succeeded by 
Sister Aurea O Brien, a native of Cork, Ireland, who in 
1870 made her profession at Nazareth. During her 
administration, a notable expansion of the infirmary and 
its equipment with modern improvements was accom 
plished. A generous factor in this development was Mr. 
Gillespie of Richmond, Kentucky, who with his wife 
had been nursed through long illnesses under the care of 
Sister Aurea and her tender band of nurses. Several 
years after the death of his wife, when Mr. Gillespie real 
ized that his own death was approaching, he left by 
proper legal process a handsome donation for the benefit 
of St. Joseph s, where he had witnessed so much charity 
and kindness, rendered to indigent and wealthy, without 
distinction of creed. Mr. Gillespie was not a Catholic, 
and till after his death the Sisters knew nothing of his 
benevolent intentions toward St. Joseph s Infirmary. As 
not infrequently happens, his will was contested by 
several relatives, but through the influence and interest 
of an able lawyer, Mr. Jerry A. Sullivan, a compromsie 
was effected and the best feelings were established among 
all concerned. The legacy was faithfully applied to the 
purposes designated by the donor, and the result is seen 
in the present spacious structure of the infirmary. St. 
Joseph s is not a charitable institution in the strict sense 
of the term, but its earnings are directed to charitable 
ends. 

In July, 1916, capable, beloved Sister Aurea passed 
to her reward, her death being a source of profound sor 
row throughout the city, where her piety and her faith 
ful labors had forged many bonds of affection. As her 
almost life-long friend, Rev. Louis G. Deppen, described 



302 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

her in the columns of The Record: "She was the joy 
of her associate Sisters, the cheer and consolation of the 
sick, the ready, silent helper of the poor and needy, the 
wise counsellor, the dear friend, the brave woman, the 
accomplished lady, revered, honored appreciated by God 
and man." Louisville s most eminent physicians and 
other professional men served as her pall-bearers and es 
cort to her last, indeed almost her only, resting place, the 
Nazareth cemetery. In reverent procession to the Naz 
areth church, and thence to God s Acre, followed repre 
sentatives of nearly all the religious communities of the 
Louisville diocese ; twenty-five of the clergy sang the 
Requiem Mass, whose celebrant was Very Rev. Vicar- 
General James P. Cronin the whole impressive cere 
monial being one that "would have befitted and honored 
any prelate," yet none too august was it for Sister 
Aurea, the humble, generous soul whose golden virtues 
fulfilled so completely the signification of her name. She 
was succeeded by Sister Basilla who for many years had 
been her associate in the long hours of nursing and the 
manifold other duties required in so large an institution. 
In August, 1916, Nazareth was once more to increase 
her educational activities, when a colony of six Sisters 
went from the mother house to open a new school in 
Roanoke, Virginia, where in the latter part of the nine 
teenth century the Community had entered upon so suc 
cessful a career. For some time it had been evident that 
the growing parish of St. Andrew s, Roanoke, must soon 
be divided; hence in January 1914, the Rt. Rev. Bishop 
sent Rev. James Gilsenan to purchase additional property 
in the city and to lay the foundation for a new parish. 
With wise foresight the geography of the city was 
studied and an advantageous site for school and church 
was bought in March, 1915. Homelike and architectur 
ally pleasing are the Sisters residence and the school with 



NAZARETH S NEW CENTURY. 303 

their lovely surrounding lawns. When the classes as 
sembled, September, 1916, the enrollment of two hun 
dred children immediately necessitated the addition of 
another Sister to the teaching corps. Thus with hap 
piest auguries was begun this new Virginia foundation, 
bearing the name of the mother house, the Nazareth 
School. 

Still another appeal to the missionary spirit of the 
order was made in 1916 when a request for a founda 
tion was made by the Rt. Rev. Charles J. O Reilly, first 
Bishop of Baker City, Oregon. In response to his in 
vitation Mother Rose and a few companions during 
October, 1916, made the long journey to the remote 
Western settlement of magnificent scenery, auspicious 
prospects, but as yet undeveloped conditions. Here 
Nazareth may soon found a pioneer colony for the salva 
tion of souls and the honor of God. As one of the 
order has observed : "A hundred years from now the 
future historian may have a glorious record of our 
Kentucky Nazareth in Oregon." 

In the foregoing pages an attempt has been made to 
gather as many data as possible to make this history 
complete, to do justice to all who have so nobly toiled 
for the honor of God, their community, and humanity s 
welfare. In some instances it has been impossible to 
secure adequate records of many an interesting and sig 
nificant labor ; this is partly because of the humility of the 
rank and file of the Sisters who, when some important ac- 
j complishment is mentioned, are wont to say : "But is 
I that worth recording? Our vocation is to toil, to sacrifice 
I surely we have done no more than we should have 
j done." With this tendency to minimize labors difficult 
j if not impossible to many others, details of deeds and 
I circumstances are occasionally lacking, which might have 
j added luminous pages to this volume. However, if some- 



304 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

times earthly records are absent, the names of those who 
so faithfully strove and are still striving in their Divine 
Master s service, are gloriously inscribed in the Book 
of Life. This is the supreme recompense desired by their 
spirit of consecration and humility. Meanwhile, if their 
daily round of diligence, devotion, and sacrifice fail to be 
chronicled, eloquent testimony thereunto is rendered by 
flourishing schools and benevolent institutions. The chap 
ters immediately following endeavor to define the edu 
cational ideals and the spirit of the order, to which may 
be largely ascribed whatever success the sisterhood has 
attained. 






CHAPTER XVI. 
EDUCATIONAL IDEALS. 

THE educational ideals and curricula of the Sisters 
of Charity of Nazareth bear witness to a respect 
for tested traditions and a disposition toward what the 
English essayist, Walter Bagehot, terms conservative in 
novation." Advantage has been taken of new ideas and 
methods, yet during a century of rapid and manifold 
change, often consisting merely of experimentation so 
far as educational work is concerned, the Sisters have re 
tained certain definite principles and permanent ideals. 
The present chapter aims to recapitulate those principles 
which from the beginning have given a firm thread of 
consistency to the Sisters teaching, and to outline such 
additions and alterations as distinguish the curricula of 
today. 

The Sisters endeavors as educators have been devoted 
mainly to academies and parochial schools, two fields 
requiring respectively somewhat different courses of 
study. However, Nazareth Academy s curriculum, meth 
ods of teaching and characteristic spirit have served as 
model and inspiration for all the community s pedagogic 
activities. The branch academies in particular have 
closely followed the mother house s plan of study, but 
an effort has been made to shape the parochial school 
work in conformity with equally high standards. Nat 
urally the studies vary according to the needs of local 
ities, for instance, the children of certain mining or in 
dustrial districts, where the population is partly foreign, 
demand a program of study somewhat different from that 

305 



306 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

followed in long established foundations whose human 
elements are more homogeneous. Allowing for this 
desirable and almost inevitable elasticity, an attempt is 
made to standardize the schools. That this is often suc- 
cessfuly accomplished is proved by the fact that in com 
petitive examinations the Sisters pupils stand shoulder 
to shoulder with the public school children, sometimes 
surpassing them. In 1913 Nazareth Academy was af 
filiated with the Kentucky State University, and in 1914 
with the Catholic University of America, Washington, 
D. C. St. Vincent s Academy, Union County, Kentucky, 
is also affiliated with the Kentucky State University. 
Similar connections are being made with other higher in 
stitutions of learning. From some of the branch acad 
emies in towns or cities where the Sisters schools have 
been long and creditably established, the pupils have 
passed with ease into neighboring colleges and univer 
sities, sometimes taking the B.A. degree in one year less 
than that usually necessary for the graduate of academy 
and preparatory school. 

From the beginning, the Sisters ideal of education has 
been that classical or general course of study which after 
much argument seems to stand the test, at Nazareth as 
elsewhere, as promising best results for the majority of 
pupils, exerting a liberalizing influence upon mind and 
heart, following a normal line of development and equip 
ping the pupil with most reliable resources for wisely 
shaping his later life. This ideal coincides with the sagest 
contemporary judgment, expressed for example in a re 
cent thoughtful editorial 21 : The best intellectual prep 
aration which schools afford is not a special training 
but general culture. It consists in a thorough ground 
ing of the pupil in those principles of knowledge which 
are fundamental to all professions and occupations and 

" North American Review (February, 1917). 



EDUCATIONAL IDEALS. 307 

mental activities." Meanwhile this ideal harmonizes with 
the principles of historic teaching bodies, of one 21 for in 
stance which has the distinction of several hundred years 
of pedagogical experience : "All through the system the 
field of pedagogical activity is that of a general culture, 
and therefore properly an education. The result aimed 
at is a general one, that of developing in the young mind 
all fundamental qualities, of adjusting it, by the early 
development of all natural fitnesses, to any special work 
of thought and labor in the mature life of the future. 
It would lay a solid substructure in the whole mind 
and character for any superstructure of science, profes 
sional and special; also for the entire upbuilding of 
moral life, civil and religious." 

In some measure Nazareth s curriculum was formed 
to meet the needs of its early patrons, the representative 
families of Kentucky and the South, but primarily it was 
shaped by the wisdom of the academy s first faculty, ad 
vised by its eminent guides in intellectual as well as spirit 
ual matters, the Sulpicians and Jesuits who brought to 
the Kentucky academy and colleges the ripe fruit of Old 
World mental cultivation. In this connection may be 
quoted the words of a historian 23 of Catholic education 
in America: "If the Catholics in even the backwoods 
settlements of the west were able successfully to solve 
the problem of providing trained teachers for their 
schools a quarter of a century before the establishment 
of the first public normal school in the east, it was owing 
to the fact that, even in the west, the Catholics were in 
closer touch with European educational movements than 
were non-Catholic educators throughout the country gen 
erally. The priests who were driven to America by the 
French Revolution must be chiefly given the credit for 

a Rev. Thomas Hughes, "Loyola and The Educational System of the Jesuits"; 
in the Great Educators Series, ed. Nicholas Murray Butler, (New York). 
"Burns, "The Catholic School System in the United States," New York. 



308 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

bringing to American Catholics this important ad 
vantage." 

As preceding chapters have reiterated, daily drills, 
recurrent reviews, examinations, written and oral, 
throughout the intermediate and academic grades helped 
to secure a thorough discipline on such fundamentals as 
reading, spelling, grammar, writing, mathematics, his 
tory. Gradually the courses in history and science were 
strengthened ; charts, maps, apparatus for laboratory work 
in physics and chemistry were acquired. In the higher 
grades intensive work in English was done not only with 
the idea of developing appreciation of literary values, 
but also for the sake of equipping the pupils with 
an instrument for the acquisition of knowledge, pro 
viding a medium for intelligent, enriching and ennobling 
intercourse with their fellow-creatures, and acquainting 
them with the significant thoughts and emotions of the 
race. The teaching of modern languages, especially 
French, likewise subserved more than a single purpose. 
Due place was given in the week s routine to the fine 
arts, and to such practical arts as sewing, which ranged 
from the homely tasks of darning and mending to the 
most skilled needlework. As has been stated, the Cath 
olic girls were well trained in their religion, this being 
accomplished by the study of catechism, Christian doc 
trine, Bible history, by annual retreats, weekly sodality 
meetings, and frequent lectures. While the non-Cath 
olic children had no part in these courses of study, 
they were constantly under the influence of the distinc 
tively moral atmosphere of the academy. 

Continuous and scrupulous as was the attention given 
to the mental and moral training of the pupils, the solici 
tude was equally vigilant for those outer observances 
rooted in virtues self-control, consideration for others, 
gentleness and courtesy of manner and demeanor. B> 



EDUCATIONAL IDEALS. 309 

various means good conduct was maintained, precept 
constantly receiving authority from the example of the 
Sisters, the younger ones deferring to the older, all 
showing respect to superiors, and maintaining a rela 
tion of dignity and courtesy toward one another. The 
prevailing note of simplicity and affection secured con 
fidence, sincerity, loyalty. 

The merits of the Sisters methods and ideals were 
tested as generation after generation of pupils went forth 
from academies and parochial schools, to take their places 
in a life larger and maturer than that of the school-room. 
A particular test was made after the Civil War, when 
many of the former pupils of Nazareth and the com 
munity s other academies received a most exacting chal 
lenge to prove the worth of their mental and moral train 
ing; as a daughter of a convent-bred woman of those 
days has said: "The mothers who presided over fam 
ilies sometimes greatly reduced in finances, often over 
large and elaborate households and plantations with a 
retinue of domestics, were a cultured, dutiful, capable, 
self-sacrificing set of women, unsurpassed by those of 
today." Ujpon many of these women, whose men rela 
tives were dead or hopelessly incapacitated for resuming 
their share of duty, devolved not only the burden of ad 
ministering the business and domestic affairs of their 
families, but also the task of teaching their own children, 
those of the neighborhood, and the negroes ; their hearth 
stones were "social centres" before the sociologists in 
vented the term. It was they who preserved, guarded, 
and transmitted the sacred fires of religion and educa 
tion, and to their glory and to the honor of the Sisters 
who trained them it may be said that they fulfilled their 
exacting and manifold roles with courage, ability, 
grace. 

A glance at the early plan of studies at Nazareth and 



310 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

her branch schools recalls those seven terrestial sciences 
painted upon the wall of the Spanish Chapel in Florence s 
beautiful church, Santa Maria Novella: Grammar, Rhet 
oric, Logic, Music, Astronomy, Geometry, Arithmetic, 
which Ruskin names "the sum of the sciences according 
to the Florentine mind necessary to the secular educa 
tion of man and woman," and signifying, of course a far 
more enriching system of cultivation than the mere 
enumeration suggests. More detailed is the present cur 
riculum of the Sisters schools, although still comprising 
the subjects named in the famous frescoes. The courses 
of study at Nazareth Academy are graded from the 
elementary classes through the high school grades. In 
some subjects, study equivalent to that of college work 
is done. To those desiring it a special commercial course 
is given. There are three distinct departments : the pri 
mary, the intermediate, the academic. The following out 
line illustrates the distribution of studies : In the primary 
grades are taught : Christian doctrine, spelling and read 
ing, writing, language lessons, simple exercises in the 
fundamental rules of arithmetic, oral grammar and 
geography, easy lessons about familiar things, elementary 
studies in natural history taught chiefly in the talks and 
walks through fields and parks, exercises in physical cul 
ture, drawing, letter-writing, memorizing prose and 
poetry. Sight-singing and sewing are commenced in the 
primary classes and continued throughout the course. 

The four intermediate grades follow. In the lowest of 
these the subjects are : Christian Doctrine, Bible history, 
fifth reader or equivalent in Little Classics, spelling, 
writing, elementary grammar, language lessons, element 
ary arithmetic, fundamental rules, fractions and reduc 
tion of compound numbers, with corresponding lessons 
in mental arithmetic, No. 2 geography, Child s United 
States history with the use of globes and charts, sen- 



m 



EDUCATIONAL IDEALS. 311 

tence-building, rules for punctuation, capitalization, etc., 
nature studies. 

The next grade proceeds with: Christian doctrine, 
Bible history, fifth reader or equivalent, spelling, gram 
mar, elementary arithmetic complete, No. 3 geography, 
United States history, with the use of globes and charts, 
sentence-building, punctuation, capitalization continued, 
short stories reproduced, original themes on familiar 
subjects, nature studies. 

In the next grade : Christian Doctrine, Bible history, 
sixth reader or equivalent, spelling, grammar to syn 
tax, practical arithmetic, review of common and decimal 
fractions, percentage to bank discount, with correspond 
ing lessons in mental arithmetic, United States history, 
No. 3 geography, with the use of globes and charts, 
original themes on familiar subjects, short stories, de 
scription, etc., nature studies. 

Finally in the Fourth Preparatory class the subjects 
are: Christian doctrine, Bible history, arithmetic and 
grammar completed, rhetoric and composition continued, 
sixth reader or equivalent, civil government, physiology, 
illustrated by charts and maps. 

The pupil s success in the still higher department of 
the academy depends upon the solid foundation laid in 
the foregoing preparatory course; a strict system of 
promotion prevails, but the pupil is advanced to the senior 
department whenever she is found to be sufficiently pre 
pared. In the academic department three courses of 
study are offered, all embracing four years : the general, 
the literary and the special course. The first prepares 
the student to enter any college or normal school; the 
second does not include Latin or higher mathematics; 
the special course is designed for pupils wishing to de 
vote the greater portion of their time to music or art. 
English and history are obligatory in this course; other 



312 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

branches may be elected to make up the requisite num 
ber of credits. Pupils deficient in grammar, arithmetic, 
reading and spelling are obliged to continue these studies 
until the requirements are satisfied. The study of domes 
tic art, physical training and vocal music is required 
in all the courses. 

The subjects studied in the senior department permit 
the following classification : religion, English, Latin, 
history, mathematics, science, modern language (French, 
German, Spanish). These several subjects are continued 
throughout the four years of the academic department, 
therefore a definite idea of what is accomplished in these 
branches may be obtained by an account of their re 
spective distributions through the four senior grades. 
In the fourth (and lowest) senior, the work in cate 
chism is devoted to a study of the hierarchy, the sacra 
ments, work of sanctification, instructions on prayer and 
private devotions, conduct in church, at Mass and the 
reception of the sacraments; Church history is studied 
with reference to the progress and struggles of the 
early Church, the heresies and schisms, the councils ; im 
portant Scriptural texts are memorized; feasts and cere 
monies, Gospels and Epistles of every Sunday and the 
Acts of the Apostles are explained. 

The third senior class studies the origin and develop 
ment of the Church, the papacy, the early persecutions, 
the earliest religious orders, the expansion of the Church. 
Practical instructions on public devotions, the liturgy 
and ceremonies of the Church are given. The course in 
Church history is devoted to the ten general persecutions, 
the rise and conversion of the barbaric nations, the origin 
of monasticism, the temporal power of the popes, the 
growth of the Church in the New World. The feasts and 
ceremonies of the Church, the Gospels and Epistles for 
Sundays are explained, as are the four evangelists. 



EDUCATIONAL IDEALS. 313 

In the second senior year the program is: The 
Apostles Creed, the Nicene Creed, practical instructions 
on prayer, the sacraments, devotions, blessings. The 
Church history work comprises study of the early Fath 
ers and Doctors, schisms, heresies, the Inquisition, the 
Reformation, the oecumenical councils, the popes of the 
nineteenth and twentieth centuries ; character and writ 
ings of St. John and St. Paul, and of the principal 
Epistles of St. Paul, their purpose, plan, place and date 
of composition. The memorizing of Scriptural texts 
and passages is continued. 

In the first senior year lectures on Christian doctrine 
are given ; the historical development and mystical mean 
ing of the Mass are studied. Some time is devoted to 
the fine arts as fostered by the Church; to the Oriental 
languages of Sacred Scripture; to the history of the 
Latin Vulgate and the English versions, especially the 
Douay; to the authorship and form of some books of 
the Old Testament ; to the poetry of the Bible Job, the 
Psalms; to the Prophetic Books. In connection with 
this study of the Bible, in recent years an effort has been 
made to share the literary and ethical treasures of the 
Scriptures with the non-Catholic pupils. At the sug 
gestion of a former non-Catholic pupil, a course was 
devised wherein the non-Catholic girls may participate: 
they are permitted to use their own versions of the Bible 
and are thus initiated into the historical, literary and 
ethical values of the Scriptures which might otherwise 
during their school days be closed books. As a final 
course in this department, four periods of the last semes 
ter are devoted to ethics, studied under such divisions as 
these: End or destiny of man; morality of human acts; 
conscience ; individual rights and duties to God, ourselves 
and others ; rights of ownership ; social rights and duties ; 
common law of nations; Church and State. The work 



314 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

in catechism and Christian doctrine throughout the 
courses is supplemented by weekly catechetical lectures 
delivered by the chaplain and an annual retreat; as in 
earlier days, frequent instructions are given by visiting 
clergy. Five periods a week in Christian doctrine are 
required throughout the senior department. 

The study of English, always so important at Naza 
reth, is pursued throughout the four years, according to 
the following divisions : rhetoric and composition ; liter 
ature; critical study; required reading. In the fourth 
senior, rhetoric and composition with reference to ele 
mentary principles are begun, the theme work consisting 
largely of narration and description. Special work is 
done in the history and development of American liter 
ature. Critical study and required reading secure ac 
quaintance with masterpieces of American and English 
literature. In the third senior year more advanced work 
in rhetoric and composition is required; the history and 
development of English literature from the age of Milton 
to the Victorian period are followed, in order to equip 
the pupil with general information. Critical study and 
required reading familiarize the students with concrete 
examples of the periods studied Shakespeare, Milton 
("II Penseroso" and "L Allegro"). Scott, Newman, 
Dickens, with additional readings from Father Tabb, 
Imogen Guiney and other contemporaries. Longer 
themes than in the preceding years are demanded from 
the pupils of the second senior class, whose attention is 
focussed upon the development of the English novel, the 
laws of versification and the nature of poetry. The study 
of literature becomes more intensive, dealing with the 
age of Chaucer and Spenser, and the development of the 
drama with particular analysis of Shakespeare, to 
whom much of the critical study is also devoted. The 
poetry of Tennyson and Wordsworth forms part of the 



EDUCATIONAL IDEALS. 315 

critical study and required reading for this class, which 
reads also some Dickens, Hawthorne, Carlyle s "Essay on 
Burns," and several typical examples of English and 
American poetry and essays. The English work of the 
first seniors (the graduates) comprises a review of pre 
ceding years ; emphasis is laid on training in right reason 
ing and critical judgment. Studies of various forms of 
prose composition and of the principles of literary crit 
icism are made. The work in the divisions of literature, 
critical study, and required reading is planned primarily 
with the idea of developing taste for good literature and 
standards of criticism. Masterpieces of English and 
American literature in the field of drama, essay, novel, 
poetry are carefully studied. Throughout the four years 
course, much memorizing of poetry is done and special 
attention is given to the vocal interpretation of literature. 
One of the notable features of the work in the English 
department is the annual presentation of two plays by 
Shakespeare. These are given by members of the Senior 
classes, assisted when necessary by pupils of the other 
grades ; they are presented in the auditorium whose seat 
ing capacity of 1,500 is usually taxed to its utmost by 
the assembly of pupils, faculty, other members of the 
community, and guests. 

Believing that one of the best aids to the cultivation 
of a taste for good literature is a well stocked library of 
wisely chosen books, the faculty give every opportunity 
to the pupils to profit by the volumes of the Reading 
Room ; perhaps no aspect of life at Nazareth is more 
interesting and auspicious than a group of students 
gathered in the beautiful quiet library, with the world s 
best thought around them and a judicious guide to en 
courage and suggest their browsing or more serious 
study. Finally the English work in all the grades is 
supplemented by lectures throughout the year from noted 



316 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

men and women. Every department of the academy has 
its own literary society, whose meetings are devoted to 
discussion of current events of historical and literary 
significance, to readings from and reviews of approved 
authors. Five periods a week are required from all 
students of the Senior grades for their English work, 
whether they are taking the general, the special or the lit 
erary course. 

The four years program of Latin parallels the typical 
high school plan, five periods a week being required in the 
general course. The study of authors is thus distributed : 
in the fourth senior class, Bennett s "First Year Book," 
reading: Nepos, "Lives of Miltiades and Hannibal." The 
third seniors begin Bennett s Grammar and read the 
first four books of Caesar. In the second senior class, 
grammar is continued ; five Orations of Cicero are read ; 
studies are made of Roman life, civil and political. 
Final work in grammar and considerable reviewing are 
accomplished in the first senior year. Four books of 
Virgil s "yEneid," one of the "Georgics," two of the 
"Eclogues" are read; collateral study of geography and 
mythology is pursued. Those equipped for additional 
\vork read some Horace and Livy. 

Elementary algebra and reviews in arithmetic compose 
the schedule for the fourth seniors mathematics. The 
third seniors pass to higher algebra and plane geometry, 
books I, II, III; a review of arithmetic being also re 
quired. The second seniors work embraces higher 
algebra, plane geometry. This four years course of four 
periods a week, is completed by the first seniors, study 
ing books VII and VIII of solid geometry during the 
first semester, and trigonometry in the second semester. 

Four periods a week are allotted also to the four years 
study of history, distributed as follows: ancient history, 
fourth senior class; medieval European history, third 



EDUCATIONAL IDEALS. 317 

senior; modern European history, with special study of 
the history of England, collateral reading, weekly dis 
cussion of research work, compose the program for the 
second seniors. The first seniors have a review of gen 
eral history, with intensive study of England, France, 
other modern European countries and the United States. 

With the development of Nazareth s laboratory, pro 
nounced by authorities one of the best in any private in 
stitution of the State, it has been possible to make the 
work in science more thorough and practical from year 
to year. It is designed to meet requirements for en 
trance into any college. The fourth seniors study is 
devoted to physical geography, to which four periods a 
week are allotted. The work of the third seniors in 
physics consists of recitations, demonstrations and ex 
periments, filling five periods a week ; laboratory work in 
cluding forty experiments and requiring the time of 
thirty double periods is demanded of individual pupils; 
records of work and drawings of apparatus are also re 
quired. This class likewise devotes some time to botany, 
for whose study the Nazareth estate offers abundant op 
portunity. As was stated in a preceding chapter, the col 
lection of flora sent from the academy to the St. Louis 
Purchase Exposition was at the time the largest collec 
tion of the kind made in Kentucky. Pupils and young 
Sisters at the mother house long had the advantage of 
having among them a specialist in botanical lore, the 
late Sister Marie Menard, whose learning elicited re 
spect and admiration at home and abroad. Acknowl 
edged as one of the most scholarly women in Kentucky, 
she won prestige for Nazareth, whose development was 
her constant care. 

Chemistry is the principal subject in the scientific pro 
gram for the second seniors. Five periods a week, forty 
experiments, individual laboratory work demanding at 



318 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

least thirty double periods, are required. In the first 
senior class four periods a week are given to astronomy, 
the study of which is facilitated by a good telescope and 
other apparatus, and the "wide and starry sky" above 
Nazareth s thousand acres. 

The four years course in French and German and a 
three years course in Spanish are designed to give cor 
rect pronunciation, thorough knowledge of grammar, 
skill in translation, familiarity with older and later mas 
terpieces. Conversations, recitations from memory, com 
position and letter writing help to secure facility in speak 
ing and writing the language studied. A preceding chap 
ter has emphasized the importance which the study of 
French has always maintained at Nazareth; an incident 
which older pupils are fond of recalling illustrates the 
good work accomplished in this Branch. A former 
Nazareth girl, Mary Eliza Breckenridge, who became 
the wife of Wiliam Shakespeare Caldwell of New York, 
when travelling in Europe took lessons in French, as 
did her husband, from an eminent master in Paris. Re 
marking Mrs. Caldwell s proficiency in French grammar, 
the teacher asked his pupil where she had attained it : "At 
Nazareth Academy, in the backwoods of Kentucky," 
laughingly interposed Mr. Caldwell, to whom the teach 
er retorted : "It is a pity that you did not learn French 
grammar there, too!" In the present curriculum four 
periods a week are allotted to the modern languages. 

Particularly in the music department of Nazareth 
Academy is an expansion of the former courses of study 
to be noted. Teachers certificates as well as diplomas 
are given ; every student must pass a test outlined by an 
examining committee before being assigned to any special 
division in the instrumental or vocal departments. Study 
of theory, harmony, and the history of music, is obliga 
tory throughout the entire course. Weekly rehearsals of 



EDUCATIONAL IDEALS. 319 

orchestral works broaden the pupils knowledge and ap 
preciation of music; and clubs, such as the Beethoven, 
the Macdowell, the St. Cecilia, and recitals by pupils and 
visiting artists sustain a lively interest in the melodious 
art. An endeavor is made to keep skilled and gifted 
teachers in the departments of drawing, painting and 
allied arts teachers certificates being given in this de 
partment. Nor has the academy forfeited its time- 
honored traditions for fine needle-work. One more tra 
dition of the earliest times is faithfully followed, the 
training of voices that may be clear and agreeable in 
conversation and equal to the interpretation of good liter 
ature. That important feature of a rounded education, 
physical training, is not neglected; twice a week an in 
structor goes from Louisville to lead the pupils in grace 
ful and health-giving exercises. All other courses in the 
academy, as is true of the community s other schools, 
are taught by the Sisters themselves. 

The curricula of some of the branch academies include 
less advanced work in Latin, mathematics, science than 
is required by Nazareth s program of studies : otherwise 
the mother academy and the branches prescribe almost 
identical courses of study. Those which are successful 
in keeping their pupils long enough give diplomas as 
branch academies of Nazareth and have formal or in 
formal affiliation with normal schools and universities. 
Exertions as zealous as those devoted to bringing the 
work of the academies up to a high standard are ex 
pended upon the Sisters parochial schools, flourishing in 
several dioceses. A sketch of the activities in some of 
these institutions will indicate the range and character 
of the Sisters work in this important field of education. 
In Louisville, Kentucky, the Sisters have been teaching 
in the parochial schools for over eighty years, the first 
having been taught in the basement of old St. Louis 



320 



SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 



Church in 1828 ; below is a list of their parochial schools 
in the city, with their dates of foundation and enrollments : 



SCHOOL 


DATE OF FOUNDATION 


PUPILS ENROLLED 


St. John 
St. Michael 


1859 

1866 


253 
110 


St. Augustine (Col.) 
St. Cecilia 


1871 

1877 


140 
501 


Sacred Heart 


1877 


402 


St. Brigid 
St. Frances of Rome 


1887 
1887 


165 
142 


St. Philip Neri 
Holy Name 
St. Patrick 


1889 
1891 
1911 


186 
428 
338 


St. Agnes 


1914 


85 



For the 2,750 children annually registered in these 
schools, a uniform curriculum has been adopted, that 
devised for the primary and grammar grades of the 
parish schools in the archdiocese of Philadelphia. In 
these Louisville schools an attempt is made to take the 
children as far in the grammar grades as possible. Three 
times a week, according to the custom in the parochial 
schools elsewhere, the assistant pastor is required to 
address the pupils on Christian doctrine. In nearly all 
instances there are two sessions a day, beginning at 8 in 
the morning and continuing till 12 m., with a short 
recreation period in the morning, and a half hour or an 
hour for luncheon and recreation at noon. 

Everything possible is done to develop the standards of 
these schools, to give to the pupils a course of study 
that parallels what is done in the public schools, mean 
time supplementing the program in the latter by in 
structions in religion. An earnest effort is made to se 
cure the highest efficiency among the teaching bands. 



EDUCATIONAL IDEALS. 321 

They are comfortably housed at St. Helena s, St. Anne s 
or some other home reasonably convenient to their re 
spective schools. Several times a year teachers meetings 
are held for the faculties of the eleven parochial schools 
of the city : these occasions prove an admirable means for 
obtaining a profitable interchange of ideas and mutual 
encouragement. Those teachers who reside at St. 
Helena s are permitted to attend the lectures given by 
Louisville s chief physicians in St. Joseph s Infirmary, 
next door. 

The parochial schools of Memphis, Tennessee, may be 
cited as typical of successful work in this field, one 
school being chosen for illustration. It was graded for 
a twelve year course, thus divided : Three years for the 
primary department, five for the grammar grades, four 
for a high school course. From the very beginning 
thorough work was demanded, with the result that the 
entire course was completed by the pupils at an early 
age, yet with a mental development so satisfactory that 
university work could be undertaken by those who had 
passed through the curriculum. It was from this school 
that a student won a B.A. degree in three years. 

The parish schools of the Ohio diocese have made 
a gratifying record, signally witnessed to by a remark 
made by Rt. Rev. Bishop Hartley of Columbus several 
years ago, to the effect that if the Nazareth community 
had to its credit no work save that done in the Ohio 
diocese, it would have generously merited Heaven s best 
blessings. In the early eighties Bishop Watterson es 
tablished a curriculum which did good service. Bishop 
Hartley has been most zealous in all that appertains to 
the schools, presiding at the regular meeting of the 
diocesan school board. The standardization of the grad 
ed curriculum in use throughout the diocese and the uni 
formity of text-books facilitate the Sisters and pupils 



322 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

efforts. When children move from parish to parish, 
from town to town, as often happens, there is no difficulty 
in promptly grading them, in maintaining a logical se 
quence of study. Stimulating and suggestive are the 
annual conferences of teachers and pastors of the dio 
cese, the bishop presiding. These meetings establish a 
spirit of unity and co-operation productive of many ex 
cellent results. 

To the success of the parochial schools in the diocese 
of Richmond, space has elsewhere been devoted in par 
agraphs about the Cathedral school, Richmond Virginia, 
for girls and boys, the Ryan School, St. Anthony s 
School, and the Nazareth School, Roanoke, Virginia. A 
foremost educator of today has sounded the slogan which 
spurs onward the faculties of these Virginia schools and 
sets a standard for their conscientious and zealous 
labors: "A teacher may be a professional worker; but 
he who puts himself in the professional class must know 
accurately what he is to do, have the requisite skill for 
doing it, and do his work under the guidance of high 
ethical principles. The teacher who is ignorant of his 
subject is a quack; the teacher who lacks professional 
skill is a bungler; the teacher who is not inspired by 
high ideals is a charlatan." 

Perhaps nowhere have the teachers in the Catholic 
parochial schools been challenged to a higher degree 
of efficiency than in the archdiocese of Boston. The de 
velopment of these schools began shortly after the Third 
Plenary Council of Baltimore; in appearance and equip 
ment of school buildings, in quality of the teaching staffs, 
many are now equal to, and sometimes superior to, the 
public schools, a creditable record considering the dis 
tinction which Massachusetts has long held in literary 
and educational work. 

Shortly after the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth 



EDUCATIONAL IDEALS. 323 

opened their schools in what was then the diocese of 
Boston, the A. P. A. Society became a disturbing factor. 
From 1888 to 1892 a committee of one hundred of this 
secret organization flooded the press and Legislature with 
invectives against "Romanists" in general and parochial 
schools in particular. The schools of the Sisters from 
Nazareth safely passed through this crisis, soon, indeed, 
gaining signal recognition for their good practical teach 
ing. When the A. P. A. attack subsided, teachers, prin 
cipals and supervisors from the public schools began 
making visits of study and investigation to the Sisters 
schools. Such visitors appeared not only from Massa 
chusetts but also from Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maine, 
New Hampshire and even New York. The visitors 
registers of those days contain such remarks as the 
following: "Best work in reading, I have ever seen; 
"Results, excellent;" "Spelling and reading excellent;" 
"Deportment excellent, too;" "Results surprising." That 
other work achieved an equally high standard is indicated 
by the fact that when the first competitive examinations 
of the graduates of all the parish schools of the diocese 
were held, the pupils of the Sisters of Charity of Naz 
areth were notably successful, winning three scholarships 
out of eight. A similar high standard was manifested 
while these examinations continued. In contests with 
public school children, for scholarships, medals, or other 
rewards, a similar record has been made, for example, 
when in 1915 the children of the Sisters schools were 
invited by the superintendent of public schools to take 
the examination with the public school pupils for certain 
scholarships, the Sisters pupils won ten of the eighteen 
offered, the highest average of all being won by a boy 
trained by the Sisters. These data are set down in no 
spirit of invidiousness, but as concretely illustrating the 
ideals and accomplishment of the Sisters in a region 



324 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

where the standards of popular education are particularly 
high. Throughout these schools, stress is laid on funda 
mentals; this is exemplified by the fact that when some 
of the Sisters schools (Hyde Park and Newburyport, 
Mass.), became so crowded that it was difficult to do 
justice to all the pupils, the high school grades were 
dropped and the energy and interest of the teachers con 
centrated upon the elementary and grammar grades, lest 
the children of these departments might be deprived of 
the opportunity for Christian education. 

A special advantage accrues to these schools from the 
assistance and encouragement provided by a good sys 
tem of supervisors. In addition to the archdiocesan sup 
ervisor, there is a Sister supervisor for every commun 
ity, whose function it is to give the institutions under her 
care the benefits of her knowledge and experience, sug 
gesting improvements and changes where wisdom dic 
tates. Under her direction, tests are made which result 
in the raising of standards when deemed advisable. At 
a notice from the diocesan supervisor, these Sister sup 
ervisors meet for council, interchange of ideas, mutual 
encouragement. The climax to this method of supervision 
and co-operation occurs during vacation, when the an 
nual Teachers Institute is held in Boston College Hall, 
the meetings of which are attended by the Sisters from 
the parochial schools, the lectures being given by dis 
tinguished educators, experts in modern pedagogy, psy 
chology, and similar sciences which are constantly throw 
ing new light on methods and principles of education. 
The test of the work done by the Sisters in the schools of 
the archdiocese of Boston is the success of their pupils 
when they pass to public higher institutions of learn 
ing whence so often comes a cry against the inadequate 
preparation done in elementary and secondary schools, 
conducted less strictly than are those of the Sisters. 



EDUCATIONAL IDEALS. 325 

Needless to say, the moral standard of these parochial 
schools, north and south, is as vigilantly sustained as is 
the intellectual discipline. Supererogatory may seem any 
further emphasis of moral training as corner-stone of the 
Sisters educational work; yet omission of such reference 
from a summary like the present were singular in a day 
when, on one hand, forces are in play to make education 
materialistic and utilitarian in the less admirable sense of 
the latter term; and when, on the other hand, leading 
secular educators are emphasizing the necessity for 
counteracting this tendency. One of them" has saga 
ciously remarked : "The one thing needful is to recognize 
that moral principles are real in the same sense in which 
other forces are real; that they are inherent in the com 
munity life and in the running machinery of the individ 
ual. If we can secure a genuine faith in this fact, we 
shall have secured the only condition which is finally 
necessary to get from our educational system all the ef 
fectiveness there is in it. ... The common sepa 
ration between the intellectual and moral training is one 
expression of the failure of the school as a social in 
stitution. . . . What we need in education more 
than anything else is a genuine, not merely nominal faith 
in the existence of moral principles, capable of effective 
application." Observing the growth of such a conviction, 
a noted Catholic educator 25 has said : "The value set on 
character, even if the appreciation goes no further than 
words, has increased very markedly within the last few 
years; and in reaction against an exclusively mental 
training, we hear louder and louder the plea for the 
formation and training of character." Thus holding that 
pupils are candidates for spiritual as well as mental de 
velopment, with judgments to be formed, wills to be 

24 John Dewey, "Ethical Principles Underlying Education," The Chicago Uni 
versity Press. 

28 Janet Erskine Stuart, "The Education of Catholic Girls," (London and 
New York). 



326 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

strengthened, hearts to be made responsive to noble im 
pulses, generous emotions, the Sisters of Charity of 
Nazareth are in agreement with the most eminent secu 
lar guides of youth, while at the same time bearing for 
ward the time-honored traditions of Catholic education. 
However lofty the aims and aspirations of the order s 
teaching bands, doubtless it would be far from their 
wish to proclaim that perfect success always and in every 
place crowns their efforts; but at least they may freely 
claim that their schools offer particularly propitious con 
ditions for the training of character and that higher of 
fice, the development of spiritual powers. Granting to 
teachers in the world, as the phrase goes, a liberal equip 
ment of lofty idealism and abundant opportunity for that 
\vide experience so salutary for educators, certain ad 
vantages may meanwhile be ascribed to a society of 
teaching religious whose attention and enthusiasm are 
focussed upon the life of the spirit, upon moral im 
peratives, their lives consecrated to the things of good 
report, their minds free from the distractions that beset 
secular teachers, their tenure of office less dependent on 
the will or caprice of various influences, political or other 
wise. Among the numerous teaching groups of the 
day, the Sisters have another advantage in a certain field 
of much importance and interest in the work of de 
veloping among children the "community spirit," so 
much emphasized in pedagogical and sociological discus 
sion. The life of such a teaching society as that of Naz 
areth, its members working together, successfully pre 
serving respect for authority and for one another, offers 
to pupils an example more precious than many precepts. 
One of the interesting and admirable phases of life at 
Nazareth Academy and similar foundations has been the 
development of a true community spirit among the pupils 
brought together from such different sections of the 



EDUCATIONAL IDEALS. 327 

country, their association rubbing down the angles of 
prejudices and provincialism, demanding manifold offices 
of courtesy and fellowship, throwing into relief the rights 
and needs of many others besides themselves, counter 
acting the pettinesses and selfishnesses that are so likely 
to crop out in smaller groups of children. Despite all 
the natural divisions according to age and class, even the 
smallest child soon feels herself part of a larger group. 
Constant are the occasions for keeping alive the pupils 
sense of being in a large family, with common interests, 
traditions, ideals a corporate body, as it were, demand 
ing from its members loyalty and individual effort. Thus 
many opportunities are offered for learning the fine art 
of being a satisfactory unit in that still larger family, 
human society, a considerate, useful, self -controlled mem 
ber, disciplined in the observance of order and system ; 
therefore the teaching Sisters of Charity of Nazareth are 
at one with other contemporary educators who realize 
that education in the strict sense signifies far more than 
any formal outline of studies indicates, and that, as a 
thoughtful American essayist has said: "The most pre 
cious gift of education is not the mastery of sciences but 
noble living, generous character which springs from a 
familiarity with the loftiest ideals of the human mind, 
the spiritual power which saves every generation from 
the intoxication of its own success." 

In the last analysis the Sisters success in holding a 
lamp to the feet of youth depends largely upon their own 
preparatory work in the normal department of the mother 
house, where a routine of conscientious study is steadily 
pursued. During vacation, summer schools are held at 
Nazareth and distant branch houses those for instance 
in the archdiocese of Boston, where competent professors 
from universities and colleges give lectures and courses 
of study in the sciences, the arts, and subjects of gen- 



328 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

eral pedagogic interest. These summer schools are at 
tended by hundreds from the older as well as the younger 
ranks of teaching religious, all eager to refresh their 
minds and acquire whatever may advance the reputation 
of the order in the educational field. For the most part 
such study is pursued in their own convents ; though from 
time to time Sisters are sent elsewhere for special courses 
of study. Thus the order is endeavoring to preserve the 
ideals of the early faculties for self-improvement and 
for the maintenance of Nazareth s prestige. Far greater 
in a certain sense is the task of the present community 
than that of preceding days ; the Sisterhood s early work 
bears somewhat the same relation to that of the present 
as the care of a small garden bears to the tillage of a vast 
field. As never before, all educational systems and in 
stitutions are on trial, relentless trial ; none, however re 
spected of yore, may survive upon past glories ; the strik 
ing hour sounds its own stern and distinctive challenge. 
Alert attention to inevitable changes in the world, rigor 
ous avoidance of fads yet plastic response to the best new 
methods, strict fidelity to bed-rock principles these are 
among the demands made of all instructors of the pres 
ent, whether religious or secular. The teaching bands of 
Nazareth and its branch houses have heard the summons 
of the new crusade against ignorance. Watching and 
praying, they are striving to take places in the vanguard, 
their energies for their high cause ever renewed by the 
prophet Daniel s words, which should be the inspiration 
of Christian teachers of today, as to those of yore : They 
that are learned shall shine as the brightness of the firma 
ment: and they that instruct many to justice, as stars for 
all eternity." 



CHAPTER XVII. 
THE SPIRIT OF THE ORDER. 

IN an earlier epoch, perhaps more than at present, it 
sufficed to say of individuals and organizations: "By 
their fruits you shall know them." To-day the analytical 
mood of modern psychology presses beyond the deed to 
the motive, to the informing spirit responsible for con 
duct; hence the pages of historian and philosopher, as 
well as psychologist, abound in such terms as "racial 
spirit," "national characteristics," and similar phrases 
employed even to extremes as interpretation of the past 
and as prophecy of the future. Partly because of this 
tendency, the histories of religious orders are more and 
more inspiring a quest for principles which give such 
societies their identity and their points of differentiation 
from others. Such analysis has its special interest for 
Catholic students, but non-Catholic students have also 
been diligent in seeking the spirit of the Franciscans, the 
Benedictines, the Jesuits and others whose societies offer 
many points of suggestion and emulation for the large 
organizations, benevolent and educational, so typical of 
the epoch. Therefore, such a volume as the present, 
chronicling incident and development, sketching note 
worthy figures, calling attention to this or that virtue 
illumining some chapter of the community s story, would 
be inadequate did it fail to indicate more comprehensively 
the order s distinguishing traits, those features which es 
tablish a family likeness among the members. 

Doubtless the simplest, most direct, clue to the spirit of 
a religious body is offered by its rule, its written law. 

329 



330 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

The rules and constitutions of the Sisterhood of Nazar 
eth are in substance identical with those adopted through 
out the world for the government of the Sisters of 
Charity since they were founded by St. Vincent de Paul. 
Only such alterations have been made as were required 
by the special demands of the age or country wherein 
the Society s offices have been exercised; "the spirit 
of all who are daughters of St. Vincent is one and the 
same." It has been interpreted as charity and perfect 
service ; the constitutions pronounce it humility, charity, 
simplicity: "The members shall perform all their ex 
ercises, both spiritual and temporal in a spirit of humil 
ity, simplicity, charity, and in union with those which 
our Lord Jesus performed on earth, remembering that 
these three virtues must, like the three faculties of the 
soul, animate the whole body, and that they constitute 
the proper spirit of the whole body. . . . The 
principal end for which God has called and assembled 
the Sisters of Charity is to honor Jesus Christ our Lord, 
the source and model of all charity, by rendering Him 
every temporal and spiritual service in their power, in 
the persons of the poor either sick, invalid, prisoners, 
insane, or those who, through shame, would conceal their 
necessity. . . A secondary but not less important 

end is to honor the sacred childhood of Jesus Christ in 
the persons of their own sex, whose hearts they are 
called to form to virtue and the knowledge of religion, 
while they sow in their tender minds the seeds of useful 
knowledge." 

This quotation from the constitutions gives a keynote 
to the spirit which inspired the first Sisters of Charity 
of Nazareth, infusing into their hearts lofty idealism, 
generous sympathies. With the old English philosopher, 
they might claim to hold "not so narrow a conceit of this 
virtue as to conceive that to give alms is only to be 



THE SPIRIT OF THE ORDER 331 

charitable. . . . There are infirmities not only of 
body but of soul and fortunes which do require the 
merciful hand of our abilities ;" hence when Bishop Flaget 
and Father David made the first appeal for their good 
offices, for the instruction of the young and the servants 
in their neighborhood, they responded with the zealous 
alacrity which has marked their later ministrations to 
the sick, the needy, the afflicted. In no sense a cloistered 
order, but organized to work in and for the world, the 
Sisterhood begun in the Kentucky countryside has fol 
lowed St. Vincent s counsel to have "no grate but fear of 
God, no enclosure but obedience, no veil but that of 
holy modesty;" its monasteries have been the homes of 
the sick and the indigent, the wards of hospitals, and in 
firmaries, the class-rooms where with perseverance and 
consecration the members have striven to fulfill Heaven s 

will. 

To recapitulate the system of administration: The 
society was under the guidance of an ecclesiastical 
superior until the papal approbation was obtained ; since 
gaining that sanction, it is directly subject to papal juris 
diction, with a cardinal protector. The governing body 
within the community consists of a mother-general and 
five assistants, one of whom, is treasurer general, another 
being secretary general. Elections occur every six years ; 
they are conducted by ballot, votes being cast by delegates 
sent from branch houses and by those at the mother 
house, where the election takes place. 

There are three dates of entrance for postulants : Jan 
uary, June, and September. Six months postulantship 
is required, followed by one year in the novitiate. At 
the end of this term, annual vows are made for three 
successive years; these vows are followed by triennial 
vows ; if the candidate is accepted and she so desires, she 
is then permitted to make perpetual vows. In the recep- 



SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

tion of candidates for postulantship due care is exer 
cised; among the special requirements being a "sound 
mind in a sound body," aptitude for the works of the 
community, and a note of recommendation from the can 
didate s parish priest or any other clergyman in a position 
to give such a note. Perhaps the training is not so severe 
as that of other orders, but it is careful; its effects have 
been pronounced "nothing less than a miracle." The 
day s routine for all the community begins with early 
rising, followed by prayer, meditation, and Mass. Var 
ious other spiritual exercises alternate with the day s 
tasks. No regular office is said, though constantly in 
mind is St. Vincent s motto: "Charity is your office." 
Another motto of the community is that immortal phrase : 
Laborare est orarc. With their vocation to manifold 
good works, the Sisters have "diversities of ministries," 
even as "diversities of grace;" but there is no distinction 
among them corresponding for instance to the choir and 
lay Sisters of other congregations. They represent, so 
to speak, a democracy of aspiration and dedicated ser 



vice. 



The above paragraphs summarize the main points of 
the rule which with surprisingly few changes has been 
followed through a century, linking thousands of de 
vout women in an alliance of piety and benevolence. But 
though so effective and enduring a bond of union, the 
rule thus quoted does not render a complete account of 
the spirit and characteristics of the order, which perhaps 
even more clearly than in written principles are to be 
discerned in certain traditions transmitted from genera 
tion to generation, forming the very breath of the com 
munity s being. Other religious organizations, one is 
tempted to say all, offer an analogy. The case is stated 
exactly in that excellent little book, "The Society of the 
Sacred Heart," by Rev. Mother Janet Erskine Stuart : 




ST. VINCENT DE PAUL. 



THE SPIRIT OF THE ORDER 333 

"The Constitutions are to us as Scripture is to Doctrine ; 
we have beside them the living tradition which makes 
the rule of life." The author adds that sometimes the 
constitutions were asked for, to furnish a basis for some 
other religious rule, but "nothing came of it." The mere 
rule was not sufficient: "Some vital spirit quickening the 
Rule, had been infused from the beginning, and had 
been in its first flower before the Rule was written. 
There is a letter and a spirit, and the spirit takes pre 
cedence. . . . By the living tradition and the 
written law the Institute has come to its full growth with 
a marked personality of its own which belongs chiefly 
to the tradition, and some essential principles of con 
struction which are found in the written Rule." So the 
written letter of the constitutions of the Sisters of Charity 
"teaches the virtues that should be the distinctive guiding 
principles of all the daughters of St. Vincent de Paul; 
the unwritten word, the traditions and customs of each 
separate society, and the living example of those mem 
bers who, carying out in their lives both the letter and 
the spirit of the written Rule and unwritten tradition, are 
worthy to be called types or models, teach them the dis 
tinctive manner in which they are to fulfill the designs of 
their holy patron and their respective founders." 

So interwoven with the life of the community are many 
of these traditions, they have become to the Sisterhood 
what instinct or habit is to the individual. The impera 
tives of this unwritten code prescribe such admirable 
virtues as "Faith, simplicity, loyalty which should char 
acterize every Sister of Charity and the element of rev 
erence for authority which is at the base of countless little 
courtesies that receive so much attention in the Acad 
emies." Into the fibre of the community are knit earn 
estness of purpose, fidelity to duty, love of hard work, 
self-sacrifice. These are the ideals whose compelling 



334 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

potency has sustained the Sisters through the daily 
routine of teaching, often in localities where the scarcity 
of resources and conveniences has demanded vigorous 
physical as well as mental exertions, through the harrow 
ing experiences of war and plagues, through occasional 
persecutions by the bigoted and prejudiced, through of 
fices to the needy and afflicted which placed on the rack 
their own delicate sensibilities and sympathies. One of 
the order traces this heritage of ideals to the early 
group, who "bequeathed a beautiful spirit to those who 
came after them. Theirs was a joyous eager service, 
done purely for love of God in imitation of Jesus Christ. 
Their holy protector, St. Vincent, had taught them 
through his conferences : You are daughters of Charity, 
which means the daughters of God, for God is charity; 
it is He who has begotten you, in communicating His 
spirit to you; for whosoever will consider the life of 
Jesus Christ on earth will see that He did what a good 
daughter of Charity does. The spirit of the Sisters of 
Charity of Nazareth is then the spirit of love of our 
Lord; they must, if they would be good types of the 
order have both an affective and effective love. They 
should love our Lord tenderly and affectionately, not 
bearing to be separated from Him, and keeping them 
selves as closely united to Him as possible. This af 
fectionate love of our Lord shines forth in works of 
charity, by serving God in serving others, with courage, 
joy, constancy and love. These two loves namely, af 
fective and effective form as it were the life of the Sister 
of Charity ; and though she must, like Martha, be busied 
about many things in God s service, she is also like Mary 
formed to the spirit of recollection and to the imitation 
of Jesus Christ. Her Rules and Constitutions safeguard 
her so that she may comport herself in all her inter 
course with the world, with as much recollection, purity 



THE SPIRIT OF THE ORDER 335 

of heart and body, and detachment from creatures as a 
cloistered nun in the retirement of her monastery. The 
true Sister of Charity of Nazareth should practice the 
virtues of all the other religious orders. She will have 
the recollection of the Carmelite, the humility and joyous 
springtime spirit of the Franciscan, the zeal and obedience 
of the Jesuit, the self-abnegation of the Little Sister of 
the Poor, with the charity of Jesus Christ as her constant 
and transcendent model." 

The last sentence casts a light on one distinctive trait 
of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth their aspiration 
toward several virtues, respectively accorded what may 
be termed .intensive cultivation among other congre 
gations. Assuredly with no hint of derogation from the 
quality of their Sister religious is such statement made; 
it is merely as though others endeavored to keep alight 
one clear flame, while they strive to keep several tapers 
aglow the lamp of sacrifice, the lamp of faith, of com 
passion, of hope, of humility and obedience. 

Particular emphasis may be laid on the community s 
kinship with the missionary orders, for apostolic has its 
career been since the days when the first fervent coura 
geous group set forth through the forest to open schools 
in Kentucky and Indiana, later bands making long and 
tedious journeys southward, still later companies ex 
tending benevolence to humble rural districts, unde 
veloped mining towns, large and bustling cities of the 
Middle West and the East. Now once more, with no 
diminution of their primitive ardor, they are about to 
cross the continent, miles away from their mother house, 
to labor in the promising but still undeveloped mission of 
Oregon. In their zealous bearing forth of the seeds of 
piety and education, they have at once made a creditable 
record of their own and have followed in the footsteps of 
their early guides, the Sulpicians and the Jesuits; even 



336 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

as those noble missionaries to America, they have been 
fellow-laborers for the kingdom of Jesus Christ. 

Perhaps none of the characteristics of the Sisters of 
Charity of Nazareth makes a more persistent impression 
than does their simplicity, a quality entirely different 
from mere ingenuousness. Like the Society s great com 
mon denominator, charity, it "is not ambitious, seeketh 
not its own." Among the outward signs of this sim 
plicity are unpretentiousness and concentration upon the 
vocation. Thomas a Kempis has given a formula for 
the simplicity of the religious: "Simplicity aims at God." 
This is the key to the virtue as found among many of the 
Sisters of Charity; it bears a close resemblance to a 
similar quality noted in intellectual geniuses of high 
order whose attention is concentrated on some engrossing 
subject. This characteristic of the Sisters of Charity of 
Nazareth is not incompatible with an acute judgment, a 
mellow wisdom about people and affairs, of course not 
manifest in all the members, yet patently distinguishing 
those who may be termed typical. Among the effects of 
this simplicity are spiritual and mental poise, repose of 
manner, steadfastness in the accomplishment of purpose. 
In the early days of the Society, the distinctively spirit 
ual elements in this trait were reinforced by the native 
temperaments of such women as Mother Catherine, so 
notable for straightforwardness, integrity, clarity of 
vision, singleness of aim. Another influence was the 
dignified simplicity of such directors as Bishop Flaget 
and Bishop David, in whose own order this virtue was a 
principle and a venerated tradition. It bore fruit in an 
other characteristic of the Sisterhood of Nazareth, a 
certain sturdy practicality in handling problems, in mak 
ing the best of conditions, in not being dismayed by 
temporary failure, in avoiding fretfulness and futile 
temporizing. A case in point is Mother Helena s prompt 



THE SPIRIT OF THE ORDER 337 

departure from Nazareth for Lexington one day with 
five thousand dollars tied up in a napkin, to settle definite 
ly some legal quibble over property. 

A guest at the mother house once said to one of the 
religious : "I like three things about your Society ; I like 
your simplicity, your cheerfulness, and your cap." To 
the first some justice has been done; the second has been 
recorded in preceding chapters as a special and valuable 
possession of the Sisterhood. It has sustained the mem 
bers in their trials and has stamped them as zealous for 
that quickening virtue hope which with faith and 
charity forms the trinity of supreme Christian virtues. 
Hope may be said to spring from faith, to be nourished 
by charity, by a love for God and humanity so great as 
to keep alive trust in Providence and a confidence in 
the triumph of all things excellent and of good report. 
Like their simplicity, the Sisters cheerfulness has the 
quality of tempered metal; its source lies deeper than 
mere childish ingenuous mood, often shining at its bright 
est among those who have had most to endure, endear 
ing its possessors and inspiring those associated with 
them. It detracts not in the slightest from the spirit of 
recollection and proper religious detachment, on the con 
trary supplementing these austere virtues with a finer 
grace, casting into high relief all that is winning in the 
Christian ideal. How beneficial is its influence may be 
judged from the words of a clergyman at the death of 
a member blessed with a happy heart, Sister Emily Elder : 
"Do not let her spirit of cheerfulness die out of the Com 
munity." The noted Jesuit missionary, Father Smarius, 
said of that cheerfulness: "Such a disposition is a God 
send in a religious Community." Thus the Sisters, while 
holding St. Vincent as their model, have also imitated 
the sunny spirit of "Everybody s St. Francis." Many 
indeed are the members of the community who by their 



SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

own experience or their sympathy with the sufferings 
of others, have realized to the utmost the sombre signifi 
cance of the DC Profundis, but the majority keep in their 
hearts those other words of the Psalmist: "Be glad in 
the Lord." The result is that, for their general minis 
trations to humanity, they have an asset greater than any 
possessed by communities more austere in mood and 
countenance. Assuredly for such works as teaching the 
young, consoling the sick and the needy, it is a prime ad 
vantage "to rejoice in the Lord." 

A tribute to simplicity is the tribute to their cap, a 
simple and neat head-gear. For a while, in the early 
days of the society, a black cap was worn, but this was 
soon permanently changed for a white one; over this a 
shapely black bonnet of nuns veiling is worn on the 
street. The habit of black serge consists of a plaited 
skirt and cape worn over black waist and sleeves; a neat 
white collar completes the habit. 

This characterization of the Sisterhood has thus far 
been based largely on their external life, on such traits 
and features as the observer may note. What is ad 
mirable in that life is still further illustrated within the 
community, its home sphere, so to speak. This was a 
matter of prime importance to Mother Catherine, recog 
nizing as she did that the strength of the organization 
depends so much on the inner harmony. To the mem 
bers spirit of loyalty, constant evidence is borne by count 
less kindly offices, by a wide range of courtesies, words 
and acts of consideration, encouragement and sympathy, 
offering a rare example of Christian fellowship. Such 
offices may be noted among the teachers co-operating in 
large academies and in humble parochial schools; among 
the beneficent bands of hospital and infirmary. Typical 
are the affectionate relations existing between those en 
gaged chiefly in manual work and those busy in the more 



THE SPIRIT OF THE ORDER 339 

intellectual pursuits of teaching; and between the older 
members and the younger ones the former maternally 
solicitous for the welfare of the latter who, on their part, 
entertain a filial regard for their seniors. A distinguish 
ing feature of the community is the personal attendance 
given to the sick and aged. It is the custom to call 
"home" to the mother house those whose years and 
energies are at ebb-tide, that their latter days may be 
spent in the peaceful and religious atmosphere where 
their lives as religious began. Well has some one said : 
"It may be that there are other places than Nazareth 
where it is desirable to live ; but there is no place where 
it seems more blessed to die." Thus Nazareth, with its 
wise and tender regard for the individual, whether young 
or venerable, its wholesome, productive, community spirit, 
fulfills its hallowed name and offers to the world the 
example of an ideal family. 

To those already initiated into the Catholic tradition 
of conventual life, much of the foregoing may seem 
platitudinous ; yet there may be justification for such re- 
affirmations in a day when non-Catholic circles and often 
those non-religious are recognizing the values of the 
community spirit and ideal. Neighborhood houses, set 
tlement houses, community works of various kinds, illus 
trate this tendency. The co-operative and manifold ac 
tivities of the Sisters, the extension of their offices for 
the spiritual, mental, temporal welfare of others, repre 
sent a system which might and indeed does serve as 
model for secular groups benevolent in purpose. To con 
sider a moment such institutions as Nazareth and several 
large branch houses, particularly those in rural districts : 
these have been centres of culture spiritual, intellectual, 
social radiating beneficent influences over a wide ter 
ritory. This was notably the case in an earlier day when, 
because of limited facilities of transportation, all educa- 



340 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

tional and cultural opportunities were less accessible than 
at present : but likewise to-day guests from the neighbor 
hoods of the convent, and even from the cities, seldom 
visit such places as Nazareth without bearing away a 
fruitful memory of the Sisters spiritual quality, their 
gentleness and efficiency, their order, neatness, faithful 
industry. Likewise fruitful beyond the threshold of the 
school room are the influences of the academies and 
parochial schools in cities, industrial towns and villages 
whose population needs far more education than that 
purveyed from a teacher s chair. The very presence of 
the Sisters in some of these localities is an inestimable 
factor not only of Christian education but actually of 
civilization. Hence the sociologists cannot too highly 
value their beneficent endeavors. 

In relation to one more field of contemporary activity 
and discussion, the Nazareth society may for a moment 
be considered. As an organization of women, nine hun 
dred members strong, the Sisterhood may be studied in 
connection with the much emphasized role women in 
general are playing in world where, after all, feminine 
industry has not been lacking since the first sisters, wives, 
mothers of the Aryan race labored on the Asiatic plains. 
Granting, however, due credit to the increasing activity 
of women in numerous departments of busy modern life, 
it is perhaps not supererogatory in a volume of this kind 
to comment upon the notable part societies of religious 
women are taking in this activity. The point is all the 
more eagerly made because in some quarters, for instance 
occasionally in magazine articles and lectures, the con 
vent as a productive and otherwise significant centre of 
energy is treated as a thing of the past, or is esteemed 
negligible. Such an attitude is singular in a day, when 
men of science and men of letters alike are so profoundly 
interested in "group activities" manifested elsewhere, in 



THE SPIRIT OF THE ORDER 341 

the life of bees, ants and other small toilers, as well as 
in the largest and most important organizations of hu 
man creatures. It is true that some writers and speakers 
make much of the great historic convents of yore, often 
finding, however, their impressive personalities the fore 
runners, not of the noble and efficient religious of to-day, 
but of secular workers in sociological and similar fields. 
Thus the direct line of descent is not strictly followed; 
all too often it is ignored. To those familiar with the 
multifarious and progressive occupations now followed 
within convent walls and significantly radiating there 
from, it is somewhat surprising (to put it gently) to hear 
that the great works formerly done by the nuns, especi 
ally benevolent offices of various kinds, are now per 
formed by women other than Sisters, zealous for right 
eousness and justice, by workers in settlement houses, 
community centres and similar worthy institutions. The 
Sisters labors are not denied, but they are not sufficiently 
recognized. Not for a moment should be minimized the 
endeavors, often self-sacrificing endeavors, of secular 
idealists ; but among thinkers of broad vision their 
achievement should not obscure the accomplishment of 
contemporary Catholic sisterhoods, whose members by 
their zeal, diligence, skill, efficiency and, above all, spirit 
uality are the direct descendants of the Teresas and 
Catherines, the good and great abbesses and their as 
sociates of an earlier epoch. Fortunate indeed are the 
secular organizations so harmoniously and steadfastly de 
voted to occupations as significant and as efficiently ful 
filled as are those of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. 
To summarize their activities : here are nine hundred and 
thirty women, divided into bands, according to their 
talents, annually teaching 20,000 children, nursing every 
year about 10,000 patients, in many other ways expend 
ing benevolent energies, and conducting the business and 



342 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

domestic affairs of large households that of Nazareth, 
for instance, where the Sisters manage an estate of a 
thousand acres, farming it successfully, directing a corps 
of men who perform the heavier manual tasks of field, 
garden, orchard, dairy and similar departments. In the 
administrative offices of the mother house, the duties and 
the welfare of the nine hundred and thirty members of 
the community, and some affairs of the branch houses, 
receive attention, an executive work accomplished with 
a high degree of efficiency. Similarly the superiors of the 
branch houses prove equal to directing their often large 
households. Thus, as other capable women of to-day, 
the members of the order are ably handling problems of 
finance, economics, domestic efficiency, while not for 
feiting their reputation for educational and benevolent 
activities. 

In the judgments of secular minds, religious sister 
hoods and the individual members thereof are at a dis 
advantage in educational and benevolent work because of 
their aloofness from the life of affairs. The contention 
has its logic, but it is scarcely applicable to an order 
so active in and for the world as the Sisters of Charity 
of Nazareth. Paradoxical as the statement may seem, 
their particular form of detachment leaves them all the 
freer to give whole-hearted attention and energy to the 
task which calls, nor does it necessarily blind their eyes to 
currents of progress. On the contrary, their partial with 
drawal from the distracting and complicating turmoil 
of existence often gives them a clearer perspective than 
may be achieved by those in the whirl of circumstance. 
Their systematized periods of meditation and prayer 
give them opportunities for replenishing their spiritual 
strength and inspiration opportunities prized by philos 
ophers of all time, and well to be envied by secular ideal 
ists harried from one occupation to another. Whatever 



THE SPIRIT OF THE ORDER 343 

their restrictions or limitations, the Sisters may claim 
an immense advantage in having a mode of life propi 
tious for the cultivation and preservation of what Tenny 
son so happily terms "a quiet mind in a noisy world." 
Certain other advantages, patent to the psychologist, do 
they possess for instance that confidence which springs 
from their sense of their Society s solidarity and perman 
ence. Such union as theirs guarantees strength and en 
courages large undertakings, perhaps not to be accom 
plished by the individual who initiates them but who 
knows that they may be safely entrusted to her succes 
sors. In a world of much superficial and temporary 
building, such women as Mother Catherine, blessed with 
large vision and constructive force, may carefully lay 
stone upon stone, and trust "the long results of time" to 
complete the noble structure. Still another advantage 
accrues to the society from its already emphasized tradi 
tions, similar to those so readily claimed by worthy old 
families wherein individual idealism is nourished and 
reinforced by the spirit of the clan, the younger mem 
bers coming into a heritage of good principles, exemplary 
conduct, challenging their emulation. Thus after spend 
ing years of probation in the mother house s hallowed at 
mosphere of piety, industry, peace, beauty, wherein 
generations of capable and devout women have begun 
careers now historic in the community, the companies of 
young religious go forth with a keen sense of noblesse 
oblige, zealous to do all in their power to prove worthy 
of the spiritual family to which it is their privilege to 
belong, eager to bear afar its spirit of charity, humility, 
simplicity. All discussions of the order must ultimately 
return to these virtues, the three unquenched lamps by 
whose light for a century the members have climbed the 
upward path, to lay at Heaven s door the fruits of their 
dedicated service: 



344 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

"All Thou hast given, we give again to Thee ; 
Strength, Lord, to labor ; light, Lord, to see ; 
Love, Lord, abiding all through the years, 
Love ever patient, stilling our fears. 
Take and receive, we give it all to Thee, 
Let, Lord, Thy grace forever with us be." w 

M Written for the Centennial Pageant by Sister Mary Eunice. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 
NOTABLE SCENES AND SHRINES AT NAZARETH. 

Let there be prayer and praise 

On these worn stones and on these trodden ways; 

For all around is holy ground 

Ground that departed years 
Have hallowed with high dreams. 

TRULY do the poet s lines describe Nazareth, where 
to pass from one scene to another is to make a gen 
uine pilgrimage of the heart and spirit. Even upon the 
stranger, bound by no ties of memory or affection, the 
beauty of the convent and its surroundings seldom fails 
to exert a spell. Moreover, added to the charm of ex 
terior loveliness, ever active seems the influence of what 
Alice Meynell felicitously terms "the spirit of place," that 
subtle essence, so eloquent of the noble presence forever 
associated with the scenes of their lives. Of the academy 
may be said what was observed of a great college it is 
"a visible embodiment of certain invisible influences, 
which are as much a part of its educational equipment as 
its libraries, laboratories, teachers and courses of study." 
Even as Oxford, so Nazareth, because of its beauty, 
"searches, inspires, often re-creates the spirit of the 
sensitive student." 

As the arriving guest passes up the main avenue, his 
attention is arrested by a handsome statue of Carrara 
marble depicting the Seat of Wisdom, the Infant Jesus 
in His Mother s arms. The statue is placed upon a pedes 
tal twenty feet high, made of cobble-stones and Portland 

345 



346 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

cement. Erected to the memory of Mother Catherine, it 
fittingly symbolizes reverence for Divine Wisdom, goal 
of the Sisters intellectual and spiritual quests. 

If by the happiest chance a first visit to Nazareth is 
made in mid-June, an enchanting picture will allure the 
gaze to the left where the rose-arbor extends long arches 
of profuse blossoming, leading to the shrine of St. Ann. 
Here stands a beautiful group of the Blessed Virgin and 
St. Ann, bearing the inscription "Thy law in my heart." 
At the other end of the arbor is "Lourdes," an embowered 
grotto, arranged April, 1902, at the wish of Mother 
Cleophas Mills; at the base of this shrine of new Naz 
areth rests an old stone, the threshold of ancient Nazareth 
on St. Thomas s Farm. 

A group of the Holy Family marks the entrance to the 
home of religion which bears the name of the Divine hab 
itation. Elsewhere over the grounds, groups or single 
figures of attractive statuary represent the gift of friends 
or the piety of the community. The first of these given 
to Nazareth was the beautiful figure of the Sacred Heart. 
In 1895 Mrs. Margaret Whitehead Robertson presented 
this "token of gratitude to her teachers, the Sisters of 
Nazareth." 

On either side of the main walk marble representations 
of the founders, Bishop David and Mother Catherine, 
welcome the approaching visitor. Effectively placed on 
the lawn among the ancient trees, themselves among the 
most beautiful objects at Nazareth, are statues of St. 
Vincent, St. Anthony, and the Guardian Angel. Above 
the colonial porch, St. Vincent de Paul in Carrara marble 
blesses all who with friendly spirit cross Nazareth s 
threshold. 

From the spacious colonial hall wide corridors lead 
to the large airy class rooms. Ever a delight to transient 
guest and ambitious student is the Reading Room, with 



NOTABLE SCENES AND SHRINES AT NAZARETH. 347 

its well-filled shelves, its windows opening upon one of 
Nazareth s most serene and lovely landscapes, sloping 
hillsides and wide fields, refreshing to the reader s eyes 
as they are lifted from the printed page. Besides the 
valuable collection of what Charles Lamb termed the 
"fair and pleasant pasturage" of books, two of the most 
admired objects in the room are the busts of Mother 
Columba and Jeanne d Arc. The latter, presented by 
the class of 1914, is a beautiful piece of workmanship. 
The noble countenance of Mother Columba is a perennial 
influence to the young readers in the room dedicated to 
her revered memory. 

To many visitors, one of Nazareth s most interesting 
scenes is the Museum. This repository of valuable 
treasures occupies the first floor of the auditorium, built 
by Mother Columba in 1871. It is well furnished with 
book-shelves, revolving charts, and cases for specimens. 
Examination of the numerous collections might well 
prove a good course of object lessons in the sciences. 
Several years ago Sister Marie Menard and Sister Ade 
laide Pendleton visited Washington, D. C, and studied 
the exhibits in the Smithsonian Institution and other 
museums, with a view to making the most effective ar 
rangement of Nazareth s treasures. This is now achieved 
in the cabinets containing hundreds of botanical, zoolog 
ical, mineralogical and geological specimens. Among 
these are corals, shells, and other rare things from 
Florida, Jamaica, and the Indian Ocean, curios from the 
Samoan Isles, Indian relics, and memorials of the 
pioneer clays. Rare coins, mounted birds and animals, 
objects of beauty and singular interest, beguile the visitor 
form one collection to another. These represent sou 
venirs from friends who in far away lands have remem 
bered Nazareth, and those near-by who have generously 
shared their treasures. Of special attraction is the care- 



348 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

fully classified collection of over a hundred varieties of 
wood growing in the vicinity of Nazareth, showing the 
graining and capability of polish, the contribution of the 
revered Father David Russell. Those who prize objects 
quaint and hallowed by association will linger before 
primitive vestments worn by Bishops Flaget and David, 
sacred vessels used by other sainted hands, or perhaps 
some antique volume brought to America by early 
scholars. Subject of much interest are the paintings in 
the art gallery section of the museum, some of which are 
supposed to have come to this country during the days 
of the French missionaries. One canvas has been at 
tributed to Rubens; it is at least of his school. Another 
noteworthy painting is a large and excellent copy of 
Raphael s "Transfiguration," made by Siirget, and origin 
ally purchased by Mr. J. T. Moore of New Orleans for 
his home in that city. His granddaughter, Mrs. Anna 
Moore Roger, sent it to Nazareth in 1915 on the death of 
her grandmother. Among other recent gifts are a few 
souvenirs of papal R ome, presented by a former pupil of 
Nazareth Academy, Countess Spottiswood-Mackin. 

The variety of the collections in the Museum is at once 
an evidence of the generosity of friends and also a proof 
of the academy s traditional interest in all that pertains to 
a broad deep culture. Nearly every country of the globe 
is represented ; hence an attentive pilgrimage from case 
to case amounts almost to an excursion in the realms of 
universal knowledge. Here are precious souvenirs from 
the Holy Land and the Catacombs ; and, in contrast with 
these memorials of the Christian Faith, is a cunningly 
carved statuette of the goddess of mercy from a Bud 
dhist temple of northern China. Another case holds a 
letter on rice paper from a Japanese nun ; elsewhere are 
mementoes of those ancient people, the Ainos ; nearby is a 
string of Mohammedan beads. Across the room is a 



NOTABLE SCENES AND SHRINES AT NAZARETH. 349 

beautiful rosary presented by Leo XIII to the actor, Sal- 
vini, who in turn gave them to Paul Kester; this author 
and dramatist presented them to Nazareth. Those to 
whom the personal has special value will note Benjamin 
Franklin s snuff-box, very different in associations, if 
not for practical purposes, from another snuff-box which 
once belonged to a Zulu maiden, whose earrings and 
necklace further exemplify her people s ideas of feminine 
adornment. Of somewhat similar interest is a pair of 
richly embroidered slippers which one of Nazareth s 
friends received from a physician to the King of Sardinia. 
An ostrich egg and a monkey fish from South Africa, 
shells and coral from remote Pacific Isles, South America 
and other distant shores, introduce an exotic note here 
and there. Pompeii and the Colosseum give a classic 
touch to certain cases; while variously illustrated else 
where are the arts and crafts of ancient and modern peo 
ples. Japan is represented by a cross of rare cloisonne, a 
dainty rice dish, skilfully done lacquer and beautiful em 
broideries. Carved bamboo and an artistically wrought 
silver dragon cup were brought from China, and from 
Honduras a well carved piece of ivory and a deftly em 
broidered book mark. The native art of the Mexicans, 
the Filipinos, the Samoans may be studied in such typ 
ical articles as baskets, tapa cloths, carved wooden bowls 
and potteries. Of singular interest and unique design is 
a firebag of the American Indians. Visitors \vith a taste 
for history will linger over several memorials of import 
ant events or periods such as the Revolutionary War, the 
Civil War and the Spanish-American conflict. 

Days of genuine pleasure and profit might be spent by 
the bibliophile in examining the shelves of precious books, 
volumes of quaint and profoundly interesting lore, which 
form one of the most valuable of the Museum s collec 
tions. Here are rows upon rows of learned tomes, edi- 



350 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH. 

tions rare and excellent. To open some of these is to 
find the imprint of eighteenth century European presses, 
of Paris, London, Venice and other Italian cities. Erudite 
dissertations on philosophical and theological themes, 
doubtless brought to this country by distinguished exiles 
from France, offer a feast to scholarly intellects. Those 
interested in Americana may well envy Nazareth its 
volumes of early State papers ; while other students and 
guests, according to their predilections, will find among 
these books material for many gratifying hours. 

A walk through these treasure rooms of the institution, 
be the pilgrim a casual guest or a familiar friend of the 
community, must increase an appreciation for the vig 
orous and versatile mind, the admirable taste of her who 
expended so much thought and work in enriching and 
arranging the Museum Sister Marie Menarcl. To her 
scholarly intellect, her zeal for Mother Nazareth and her 
order, the place is a memorial. So noteworthy a part of 
Nazareth of to-day, it is an eloquent challenge to her 
successors still further to develop this repository of things 
interesting, instructive and otherwise valuable. 

Above the museum is the auditorium, with a seating 
capacity of fifteen hundred and an excellent stage. This 
hall is used throughout the year for pupil recitals, plays, 
lectures, and other entertainments. All these move to a 
climax at the close of the school term, the commence 
ment exercises. The supreme moment of this occasion 
is that impressive one when the graduates receive the 
white crowns immemorially bestowed by Alma Mater; 
from this idyllic and beautiful ceremony, a happy legion 
has passed to the larger life of the world. Since the first 
formal commencement in 1825, augustly termed the Ex 
amination, this entertainment has been a cultural influence 
of the highest importance to the surrounding country. 
In the old days, and it is still true of the present, Naz- 



NOTABLE SCENES AND SHRINES AT NAZARETH. 351 

areth s closing exercises have been witnessed by a con 
course of guests from Kentucky, neighboring States and 
the far South. During many years a notable feature 
was the "Operetta." Founded on themes of religious or 
classical significance, this form of entertainment and in 
struction always had a high spiritual and literary tone. 
It summarized the pupils work of the year and illus 
trated their proficiency in composition, music, recitation. 
Dignified and graceful in demeanor, the young ladies of 
Nazareth Academy offered genuine pleasure to the audi 
ence assembled from such distances. The esteem in which 
these entertainments were held may be judged from a 
report in the Louisville Courier- Journal of 1876. The 
writer first complimented "the grandeur of these classic 
precincts of science and letters," and then described the 
eager arrival of the audience : 

"Well-to-do farmer, village merchant, lawyer, doctor, 
student, lovely misses and gallant gentlemen, at five 
o clock in the morning were driving in from all direc 
tions." For this particular occasion the theme of the 
"Festival Opera," as the reporter termed it, was "The 
Genii of the Water." As its predecessors and successors 
among Nazareth s operettas, this program was in some 
measure a forerunner of the pageants now so much in 
vogue, if perhaps a little more literary in character than 
those consisting chiefly of scenes without words. Such 
learned and interested friends as Archbishop Spalding 
often suggested the themes for Nazareth s operettas; but 
as the modern age, with its less leisurely spirit, gradually 
demanded a less elaborate form of closing exercises, the 
operettas were superseded by a program of music and 
salutatory and valedictory essays. But though the form 
of the Nazareth commencement has changed, the spirit 
remains that of womanly dignity and Christian ideal 
ism, year after year exemplified as the white-crowned 



352 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH 

graduates go forth from their Alma Mater, cheered by 
the time-honored song: "Return, fair girls, to friends and 
homes." The words of this dear familiar strain were 
composed by Father McGill, late Bishop of Richmond, 
and the music was written by Mr. W. C. Peters of Louis 
ville for the class of 1842, the song being rendered on 
that first occasion with an accompaniment of the piano, 
harp and guitar, to-day being supported by a richer or 
chestral accompaniment as the hundreds of school girls 
and alumnae sing it at the close of the annual commence 
ment exercises. 

Since the erection of the Gothic church, St. Vincent s, 
in 1854, this beautiful building constructed of light brick 
in pleasing proportions, has been much admired. Over 
the main altar glows the memorial window of richly 
toned glass, presented by the Alumnae in Nazareth s 
diamond jubilee year, 1897. On each side of the main 
altar rest teak-wood statues, brought from Belgium, 
representing the order s cherished patrons: the Blessed 
Virgin, St. Joseph, St. Vincent, St. Teresa, St Francis 
de Sales, St. Rose of Lima. The windows of the right 
transept, depicting the Annunciation and the Nativity, are 
the gift of the community s faithful friend, Rev. Michael 
Ronan of Lowell, Mass. 

Few are the vestiges of the Nazareth first built upon 
the present site ; among the chief survivals of the earlier 
times are the old spring-house and the beautiful trees. 
Mother Frances planted the avenue of cherry trees lead 
ing to the cemetery ; throughout the ground are other 
memorials of her industrious planting and that of the 
other early Sisters. The graceful feathery tamarisks 
which stand sentinel on each side of the main walk, the 
luxurious Chinese Koelreuteria which unfurls its green 
foliage and unusual flowers outside the chaplain s resi 
dence, the ancient oaks and sycamores, the arbor vitae 




OUR LADY SEAT OF WISDOM 



NOTABLE SCENES AND SHRINES AT NAZARETH. 353 

and other evergreens, the thriving orchard trees, all en 
hance Nazareth s beauty. The well-kept lawns charm 
the eye ; here and there some especially lovely indigenous 
or exotic plant engages attention. Nazareth s green 
house allures numerous guests, delighting them with a 
vision of carefully fostered familiar flowers or some 
blossom from far away, which Sister Marie s or Sister 
Marguerite s skilful gardening has made at home in 
Kentucky soil. 

It is fitting that the last scene visited in the pilgrimages 
of the spirit made throughout this chapter should be that 
final resting-place of the community, Nazareth s little 
cemetery. In this hallowed spot, so truly God s acre, an 
atmosphere of peace and sanctity is all pervasive ; but no 
funeral spirit here hangs a pall upon the heart; no sad 
willows droop above the tomb of these truly happy dead ; 
no mournful cypress shadows these holy sepulchres. On 
the contrary, even in autumnal hours and bleak winter, 
there is a fresh, open-air quality about this little plot of 
serene sleep. Truly blessed seem to rest these dead, 
who died as they had lived, in the Lord. In the hearts 
of many, a responsive chord is struck by the tribute of a 
former pupil, now a valued religious (Sister Adelaide 
Pendleton) : "One of the most beautiful spots at Naz 
areth ... the silent city where sleep the pure 
and holy souls who, after life s warfare, have laid down 
their arms. When treading the well-kept walks that lead 
through this lovely home of the dead, a feeling of peace 
such as comes nowhere else, steals over one." At the 
end of the central walk has recently been erected the 
beautiful statuary group, "Calvary," presented in 1910 
by Rev. Dominic Crane, a devoted friend of the com 
munity. Hither day by day pilgrimages of the living are 
made. In the sanctifying presence of this memorial rest 
the mortal remains of those members and friends of the 



354 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH 

Nazareth Society, whose earthly footsteps followed "the 
Way of the Cross, which leads unto the Truth and the 
Life." Here reposes the saintly dust of Bishop David; 
upon his tombstone is carved a Latin inscription express 
ing the affection of his mourning daughters. Here 
among her children and at the feet of her preceptor, 
Mother Catherine s mortal vesture mingles with the earth 
of her beloved Nazareth. Thus interred in the soil of the 
noble estate whose prosperity is due primarily to them, 
"Father" David and Mother Catherine seem ever near 
their children. 

Brought hither by their own request, here lie Father 
Hazeltine, Father Chambige, Father Bouchet, Father 
Coghlan, ecclesiastical superiors of Nazareth, Bishop 
William McCloskey and his brother, Rev. George Mc- 
Closkey, Rev. G. Elder, Rev. Wiliam Clark, Father Dis 
ney and Father Hugh Brady. Many are the other clergy 
who loved Nazareth so well that they were fain to have 
their dust here consigned ; among these are several 
Jesuits who in the early days taught in St. Joseph s or St. 
Mary s College. The following is a list of their names 
with the dates of their burial: Rev. Francis Hoop, 
(1835) ; Mr. Henry Gossens, (1856) ; Brother Edmund 
Barry, (1857) ; Mr. Nicholas Meyer, (1858) ; Mr. Chris 
tian Zealand, (1859); Brother James Morris, (1859); 
Brother Samuel O Connel, (1851) ; Rev. Francis 
O Loughlin, (1862). 

But generous as Nazareth has been in thus sharing her 
quiet plot with devoted friends, after all this garden of 
sleep and hallowed peace is particularly sacred to those 
members of the order now resting with folded hands a 
little apart from their Sister religious who are still toiling 
upward while it is yet day. Young religious called in 
the first fervor of their consecrated lives ; mature women 
summoned in the moment of richly fruitful endeavors; 



NOTABLE SCENES AND SHRINES AT NAZARETH. 355 

venerable sisters sanctified by long dedication to God and 
humanity s welfare, here in the blessed fellowship of 
religion their dust reposes. Surely to their spirits apply 
the words of the Book of Wisdom : "Behold how they are 
numbered among the children of God, and their lot is 
among the saints." 



CHAPTER XIX. 
ECCLESIASTICAL FRIENDS AND SUPERIORS. 

NO blessing of Nazareth s hundred years surpasses 
the benefits received from those first guides and 
friends, the distinguished ecclesiastics trained in European 
colleges and universities, those Old World scholars whose 
wont it was to salute one another with Latin odes, to 
indite Latin epistles to one another from their respective 
stations in the American colonies of the early nineteenth 
century. Such was the mental calibre and training of 
those prized friends, eminent also for their native and 
cultivated spirituality. 

To two of the "pilgrim fathers of the Kentucky wil 
derness," Bishops Flaget and David, a final tribute may 
now be paid. They brought to their adopted country the 
influence of their individual piety and intellect, and the 
century and a half old traditions of their own Society of 
teachers, "learned and unpretentious gentlemen," of 
whom it has so excellently been said:" "They went 
forth to preach the Gospel not among savages where the 
missionary must combine self-denial and enthusiasm with 
something of the spirit of adventure, but among people 
whose civilization differed but little from their own. 
. It was a great advantage to the budding 
Church of the United States that Dubourg, Dubois, 
Marechal, Flaget, Brute and David were men . . . 
who in learning, scholarship and culture were vastly 
superior to the average American minister of the Gospel. 
They were well equipped to mingle in the foremost ranks 

" Herbermann, "History of the Sulpicians in the United States," Encyclo 
pedia Press, New York." 

356 



ECCLESIASTICAL FRIENDS AND SUPERIORS. 357 

of society, as we may see from the impression produced 
by the Abbe Dubois on the best men of Virginia. They 
combined fervent zeal for the Catholic faith with polished 
and agreeable manners, great tact and the absence of all 
aggressiveness." Thus we find Henry Clay pronoun 
cing Bishop Flaget "the best representative of royalty off 
a throne," doubtless a better representative of true royalty 
than was many a potentate. The Kentucky historian, Col 
onel Stoddard Johnston, refers to him as "the princely 
prelate, whose name is still honored in Kentucky, whose 
memory is a benediction." This "man of God, filled with 
the spirit of prayer," was tall and majestic in appear 
ance; dignity and mildness marked his demeanor. No 
necessity of his diocese appealed to him in vain ; a strik 
ing proof was given during the cholera epidemic in 
Bardstown (1833) when he bestowed upon the stricken 
the same compassion with which he had ministered to the 
small-pox victims of Philadelphia during his early sojourn 
in America. Hearing of their desertion by others he 
hastened from house to house, rendering all possible aid 
until the Sisters from Nazareth arrived as nurses. Fi 
nally he himself fell a victim to the pestilence, going to 
France ofter his recovery to regain his strength. He 
was then in his seventy-fifth year, yet he undertook the 
valiant task of journeying through his native country in 
behalf of the Propagation of the Faith, winning thou 
sands to the cause. On this visit occurred the incident 
which quaint Mgr. Bouchet of Louisville, was wont to 
describe as the occasion when Bishop Flaget "blessed the 
Pope." Far in advance of the Kentucky missionary 
bishop had gone the tidings of his good works; hence, 
when he arrived in the presence of the Pontiff and had 
made the customary obeisance, the Holy Father bent and 
embraced his guest t\vice, assuring him that he was a 
worthy successor of the Apostles. 



358 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH 

Though less closely associated than Father David with 
the Nazareth community, Bishop Flaget always held 
dear the dedicated women who so early in his episcopate 
had ably seconded his endeavors. Typical of his paternal 
affection is this epistle to Mother Catherine following 
his illness at the orphan asylum in Louisville, where he 
had recovered : "Thanks to the care and prayers of your 
daughters who are also mine. Toward the end of the 
week I shall go to my new Episcopal lodgings. There 
I shall have nothing else to do but to pray for my dear 
Kentuckians, Catholics and Protestants. I bear them 
all in my heart ; and in the thirty years that have elapsed 
since I came to Kentucky, I have never offered the Holy 
Sacrifice of the Mass without thinking of them. My 
very dear Catherine, may God pour upon you continually 
and in abundance the spirit of St. Vincent." 

Only a few years after this did the august prelate sur 
vive. His biographer reverently observes, "he died as he 
had lived a saint;" he had been termed "the saintly 
Flaget." Beneath the main altar of the cathedral of the 
Assumption, Louisville, which his successor, Archbishop 
Spalding, erected as his memorial, rest the mortal re 
mains of this son of France, "one of the most remark 
able of the apostolic men who were heaven-directed to 
plant the Church in the United States." 

When in 1817 Fathere David was appointed coadjutor 
to Bishop Flaget, the honor but added fresh labors to the 
innumerable burdens which the appointee had borne from 
the moment of Bishop Flaget s own consecration. It is 
difficult to summarize the encouragement, spiritual co 
operation and practical aid which Bishop Flaget received 
from Father David. Each shared the burden of the epis 
copate, the seminary, the spiritual welfare of the vast 
diocese. Father David was the first to organize in 
America the lay retreats now so widespread. He visited 



ECCLESIASTICAL FRIENDS AND SUPERIORS. 359 

the sick, gave spiritual instruction, rode to distant mis 
sions, took part in controversies, led choirs, played the 
organ in Bardstown, directed St. Thomas s seminary and 
acted as spiritual superior of Nazareth. Admirably fitted 
for this office, which he held for twenty-two years, was 
this past master of piety, learning, spiritual discipline. 
Before coming to Kentucky he had occupied other posi 
tions which equipped him with experience, later profit 
able to Nazareth ; notably he had been vice-president and 
professor at Georgetown College, and ecclesiastical 
superior of the Sisters of Charity at Emmitsburg, Mary 
land. Possessing a rare combination of inspired vision 
and patience for details, he industriously strove to keep 
in mind the general welfare of the community and every 
individual member s growth in grace. Almost the only 
complaining note in his correspondence is occasional 
regret over the lack of opportunity to do all he was fain 
to do for the interior life of his many spiritual children. 

Several letters from his revered hand are Nazareth s 
most precious tangible legacy from its holy founder. 
Counsels of perfection, memorials of paternal affection, 
mirrors of the writer s own piety, are these documents 
which time has yellowed, but whose worth is unimpaired. 
His words, which quickened the community of yore, to 
day enrich and sustain the spiritual life of the daughters. 
Characteristic is the sturdy spiritual discipline advocated 
in these letters, combined with delicate sympathy for the 
heart alternately swayed by hope and trepidation. For 
instance these words: The interior consolation that at 
some time overflows your heart, my beloved daughter, 
is a great favor from God, for which you ought to be 
very grateful. But it is well to think ourselves un 
worthy and improve it as sailors do a favorable gale, to 
advance in the way of perfection." 

Stern fortitude was a recurrent note in his counsels : "A 



360 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH 

Christian, and much more a religious, ought never to 
get out of heart . . . but as a brave follower of 
Jesus Christ, he should generously take up His Cross 
and daily follow Him in the way of His poverty, humil 
ity, meekness, patience and charity." And again, "All 
the difficulties and troubles which accompany your em 
ployments are ordained by the will of God. They are in 
tended by Him for your sanctification and are for you 
the best way to perfection and happiness. Let these suf 
ferings, contradictions, disappointments crowd upon you 
only saying: Of myself I can do nothing, but I can do 
all things in Him Who strengthens me. A skilful pilot 
turns the very storms to advantage to hasten his way to 
port. The continual round of distracting employments, 
solicitudes, anxieties, etc., in which you are inevitably 
engaged, can no doubt be an acceptable penance and a 
fruitful source of merit instead of being a hindrance 
to its progress provided, however, that you accept them 
in that vein, make a careful offering of them to God in 
that intention and go through them with courage, con 
fidence, patience, with humility, and above all with love 
for your Blessed Spouse, who by all these things wishes to 
perfect His image in you, and effect a union of His will 
with Himself. After all, my dear daughter, all the saints 
have gone that way ; and St. Paul, in his Epistle to the 
Thessalonians, after commemorating their sufferings, ex 
horts them that none shall be moved in tribulations. You 
know that we are appointed thereunto. Do thou perse 
vere ; courage, my dear child ; often raise your mind to 
God, and make an offering of what you suffer." 

The learned director was fond of supplementing his 
own instruction with counsels drawn from others dis 
ciplined in the spiritual life. He delighted to share with 
his daughters of Nazareth such words as St. Basil s : "It is 
not sufficient to show courage at first ; the reward is given 



ECCLESIASTICAL FRIENDS AND SUPERIORS. 361 

at the end of the race. ... Be meek and peaceful ; 
speak not inconsiderately; do not contend; suffer not 
yourself to be possessed by vain glory. Love candor and 
sincerity. Be much addicted to spiritual reading, espe 
cially of the New Testament. Manage gently and with 
regard to the minds of those with whom you are obliged 
to live; and take care not to scandalize them." Even 
more touching are such personal messages as these sent 
to Sister Appolonia McGill, who toiled so successfully 
and so long at the infirmary and the orphan asylum in 
Louisville : "Give her my love and assure her that I will 
earnestly pray for her. Tell her that her old father says 
that she must be resigned ; that God has so ordained for 
her own good that she may be entirely disengaged from 
the love of creatures and learn by degrees to be content 
with Jesus alone." 

When in 1832 Bishop Flaget, worn by his faithful 
labors, offered his resignation the second time, it was 
accepted and Bishop David was named his successor. 
This appointment Bishop David in turn declined; a note 
then written reveals at once his affection for Nazareth 
and his reluctance to assume in his seventy-second year 
any additional burden : "I shall remain Bishop of Mauris- 
cast ro, with no other title than that of Superior of Naz 
areth ; this is too dear to my heart to lay aside. I shall 
remain with my daughters and live among them and take 
care of them and be taken care of by them as long as I 
live." This missive assumes a pathetic interest when it 
is realized that, some months later, its writer ceased to 
be ecclesiastical superior of the Nazareth community. 
At the time, Providence had permitted one of the seasons 
of disquietude described in an early chapter. Whatever 
the cause of the misunderstandings, they evidently preyed 
upon Bishop David s heart till he deemed it best to resign 
from his office. February, 1833, is the date of the last 



362 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH 

council over which he presided. September of the same 
year is the first date recording the incumbency of his 
successor, Father Ignatius A. Reynolds. Neither Bishop 
Flaget nor Bishop David seems to have desired this change 
of superiors. From Bishop David s letters of this period, 
it is evident that his heart was sore and his own spirit 
afflicted. To one of the Sisters he wrote: "Assure my 
dear daughters that I cherish them as much as ever in our 
Lord. I wish them to be bright models of a religious 
life. Join with them and walk before them in that glo 
rious career." And later in the same vein : "Tell the Sis 
ters, that I have ceased to be their Superior and to have 
the awful responsibility of their souls. I have not ceased 
to be their Father and to entertain for them that love 
which will unite me to them in the Eternal Kingdom of 
God." Again, "I may truly say with St. John: I have 
no greater grace, no greater satisfaction, than to hear 
that my children walk in truth. Let them remember that 
their Father is old and infirm and, of course, approaching 
the end of his career. Let them redouble their prayers 
for him, that he may be ready to go to the place prepared 
for him by our Divine Lord, that he may there pray also 
for his dear children to come and join in perfect bliss 
never to part again." 

But despite the heart-ache in these notes, it must not 
be assumed that this master of the spiritual life was 
spending his days in repining and regret. On the con 
trary, in his retirement he devoted himself to writing and 
translating. Among other activities of his three score 
and more years was his translation of Bellarmine on the 
"Felicity of the Saints." Other works from his pen are 
St. Alphonsus Liguori s "Treatise on Devotion to the 
Blessed Virgin," a "Book of Retreats," and a "Manual 
of True Piety," an excellent volume of devotion. He 
himself was gifted in an eminent degree with the spin* 



ECCLESIASTICAL FRIENDS AND SUPERIORS. 363 

of prayer. This is evidenced by his "Treatise on the Re 
ligious Life," addressed to his dear daughters, the Naz 
areth community. Of this work only the first part has 
been found; it was put into print by the Rt. Rev. M. J. 
Spalding. 

Contemporary activity, accustomed to a narrower spe 
cializing of labor, may well reflect with wonder upon the 
variety and excellence of Bishop David s work. The 
secret of it was methodical living. The discipline of his 
youth availed to make his mature years richly profitable 
to his own growth in learning and holiness, and made 
him able to share that enrichment with his spiritual chil 
dren, the seminarians of St. Thomas s and the Sisters of 
Charity of Nazareth. 

No better testimony to the love he bore the latter may 
be found than the fact that, when age and infirmities 
began to lessen his tenure upon life, he wished to be taken 
to Nazareth to end his days. Sadly enough, the request 
of his failing years could not immediately be granted. 
Mother Catherine was away at the time, as was Father 
Hazeltine, then ecclesiastical superior. The Sisters did 
not know what to do. But as soon as Mother Catherine 
returned and heard of "Father" David s longing to be at 
Nazareth, she herself went immediately to his bedside to 
have preparations made for fulfilling his wishes. At 
once a litter was made and covered with a good canopy. 
Ten negro men neatly dressed in uniform, black coats and 
white trousers, went from Nazareth the following day 
and, with fitting reverence and dignity, conveyed "the 
dying saint" to his chosen resting-place, the home of his 
beloved daughters in Christ. As he was borne along 
the road from Bardstown to Nazareth, two Sisters who 
had been his nurses walked beside him, followed by a 
throng of faithful friends in reverent mournful proces 
sion. As the beloved prelate and his escort arrived within 



364 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH 

sight of Nazareth, Mother Catherine at the head of the 
whole community, went forth to meet their cherished 
father. Bishop David s trembling hands extended in 
blessing as his children knelt on the ground around him. 
Profound gratification illumined his venerable counte 
nance, as he clasped his hands and said : Thank God, I 
have come to die among my daughters !" 

From that time forward, his devoted children emulated 
one another in every tender office of affection and care. 
Two by two the whole community shared the privilege of 
keeping faithful guard at his bedside. In his last 
moments Mother Catherine sent for all the Sisters. Their 
presence rejoiced his heart. He had asked for Bishop 
Flaget ; but so depressed was that venerable friend by the 
imminent passing of his faithful co-laborer, that it was 
only after the third appeal that he could persuade him 
self to appear. The measure of his loss is indicated by 
his oft-repeated words: "I had hoped to go first!" In 
the little Nazareth cemetery this great ecclesiastic and 
tenclerest of spiritual fathers, truly "Father" David, 
sleeps, according to the desire of his heart, surrounded 
by his loving and beloved daughters. 

Father Ignatius Aloysius Reynolds, afterward Bishop 
of Charlestown, S. C, who, in 1833, succeeded "Father" 
David as ecclesiastical superior of Nazareth, did not re 
main long in office. He was Kentuckian by birth and 
was at various times pastor in Bardstown, professor in 
St. Joseph s College, vicar general of the diocese of 
Louisville. Of his incumbency at Nazareth, there are 
but scanty memorials. One of his first acts was to re 
move St. Catherine s Academy from Scott County to 
Lexington, a wise move, though at first the Sisters tribu 
lations there were manifold. In 1835 Father Reynolds 
was sent to Louisville as pastor of St. Louis Church; in 
1844 he was appointed Bishop of Charlestown. 



ECCLESIASTICAL FRIENDS AND SUPERIORS. 365 

His successor, at Nazareth, Father Joseph Hazeltine, 
occupies foremost rank among the guides and friends of 
the community. This devout priest was born in Concord, 
New Hampshire, in 1788. He belonged to a non-Catholic 
family of Puritan stock. At twenty- five he crossed the 
United States border to seek his fortunes in Canada. 
For some time he made his home in Montreal, and it was 
in this city of Catholic Canada that he began to lose his 
original antipathy toward Catholics. His life among the 
pious, charitable people gradually disarmed him of all 
prejudices. One by one his antagonisms were replaced 
by new sympathies. Finally in 1818, on Christmas Day, 
this descendant of the Puritans was received into the 
Church. Shortly afterward his piety was to bind him 
still more closely to the Church of his former prejudices ; 
he became eager to be a priest. Before this desire was 
accomplished, Bishop Flaget had made a visit to Mon 
treal and had besought the Sulpicians with whom Mr. 
Hazeltine was associated to send missionaries to the far 
away Kentucky. Though still but a neophyte, Mr. Hazel- 
tine offered himself and was cordially accepted. His 
ordination did not occur until sixteen years later. Mean 
while his time was most profitably employed in study, 
in equipping himself with a knowledge of commercial 
matters which was to prove advantageous in promoting 
spiritual progress in the new distant mission. Shortly 
after his arrival in Bardstown, he devoted his energies 
to the foundation of St. Joseph s College, whose agent 
and disciplinarian he was for twelve or fifteen years. 

Finally, after his long probation, he was ordained 
priest in the Bardstown cathedral, being the last recipient 
of sacerdotal orders from the saintly hand of Bishop 
David. A biographical sketch states: "He was a man 
after the Bishop s own heart." Exactness and regularity 
were the golden virtues of each ; this was doubtless one 



366 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH 

of the chief reasons for the appointment of Father Hazel- 
tine to the office which "Father" David had so long held, 
ecclesiastical superior of Nazareth. The appointment was 
made shortly after Father Hazeltine s ordination; he 
held the office till his death a quarter of a century later. 

It has been said that this much valued superior gave 
almost his whole time to the welfare, temporal and 
spiritual, of the community. His own life was a model 
for religious. He rose at four, meditated and prayed 
until six o clock, when he offered the community Mass. 
His day was devoted to thought and work for his Master 
and his spiritual children of Nazareth. He taught the 
Sisters, he counseled and encouraged them. Many are 
the traditions of his dignity, his systematic life, his piety. 
Further testimony to his integrity of character and 
trained intellect is contributed by the many letters to 
friends of his non-Catholic days. These letters give com 
fort or advice ; at times they chide with the firm though 
gentle kindness of a parent, and with the courtly polite 
ness of a true gentleman. The interests of the com 
munity were ever his interests. He sustained and con 
soled Mother Catherine and Mother Frances in every 
trial during nearly thirty years. As an illustration of 
his intimate interest in the community may be mentioned 
his early endeavor to tabulate the names of all the Sis 
ters, the dates of their entrance into the order, their re 
ception of the habit, their making of vows. A similar 
systematic account was kept of the pupils, whose careers 
were ever a source of lively interest to this amiable and 
distinguished superior. His administrative abilities were 
invaluable to the sisterhood. Truly providential seems his 
appointment as superior at a time (1835) when the con 
tinued existence of Nazareth as a separate community 
was precarious. In 1837 he took up his residence at 
Nazareth as chaplain. There he remained until his death 



ECCLESIASTICAL FRIENDS AND SUPERIORS. 367 

in his seventy-fourth year (1862). A touching instance 
of the affection he inspired is offered by the effect which 
the news of his demise had upon his dear friend and 
comrade in Christ, Father Chambige, his successor as 
Nazareth s ecclesiastical superior. On hearing of Father 
Hazeltine s death, Father Chambige "was so overcome 
by emotion, he could not speak." 

Father Hazeltine s ashes rest in Nazareth s cemetery, 
where his tomb is a shrine of faithful piety. All the 
written memories, all the traditions of this beloved 
ecclesiastic, testify to his dignity, his zeal, his clear judg 
ment, his firmness of character blended with suavity. He 
had a genius for order, method, discipline. It was typ 
ical of his active systematic life that, on the morning 
of his death, he had arisen as usual to the day s duties, 
and that his death occurred while he was in a kneeling 
posture. His fervent interest in the community is elo 
quently witnessed by a testimony from Father Chambige 
that he "had the heart of a father for every member 
of the Community." He was evidently blessed in an 
eminent degree by that grace of nature, which endears 
others to its possessor ; this trait won for him the esteem 
of his intellectual and social peers ; it likewise engaged the 
filial affection of the Nazareth pupils as \vell as that of the 
Sisters. As a final, not entirely negligible tribute, it 
may be said that he discredited the proverb, "No man 
is a hero to his valet." Father Hazeltine s devoted negro 
servitor, Henry Hazeltine as he was always called 
added the office of acolyte to that of valet ; and his loyalty 
may justly be cited as proof of the respect and love which 
his master inspired. 

Father Chambige, who succeeded Father Hazeltine as 
ecclesiastical superior was a relative of Bishop Flaget 
and, like that prelate, a native of France. His missionary 
labors in Kentucky were similar to those of his revered 



368 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH 

kinsman. He fulfilled to the letter the difficult role of 
pioneer priest. Like Father Badin, Father Nerinckx, 
and the early bishops of Bardstown, he knew what it was 
to ride forth at midnight and travel miles to make a 
sick call, to journey over rough roads to celebrate Mass, 
administer the Sacraments, or give instruction. A famil 
iar routine was his setting forth at morn to some dis 
tant station, arriving in time to confer baptism, and hear 
confessions before Mass, then to preach and give private 
instructions, to baptize or perhaps bless new made graves 
before riding back to his lodgings. 

Besides these laborious offices of a pioneer priest, 
Father Chambige was at one time a member of the fac 
ulty of St. Joseph s College. At another period, he had 
charge of the seminary at St. Thomas and again of the 
orphans. He had been confessor extraordinary at Naz 
areth. Hence his appointment as superior merely in 
creased his duties in a place where he was already known 
and loved and where his own esteem and affection were 
genuinely engaged. Most impressive was the occasion 
of his presentation to the Sisters as Father Hazeltine s 
successor. The Rt. Rev. M. J. Spalding, standing with 
him in the community room, introduced him with these 
words : "This nomination is the result of a mature 
thought on my part and earnest prayer on the part of us 
all. I hope it is guided by the spirit of God." Sister 
Mary Louis and others to-day recall his earnest paternal 
presence, and his saying that he had asked God to give 
him a father s heart for every Sister. That Providence 
granted his prayer was proved by his persevering affec 
tion, especially during a time when trials beset the com 
munity ; he was then a father in thought and deed. Some 
of these trials had been precipitated by certain diocesan 
difficulties. While they were pending (in 1876) Father 
Chambige went to Rome ; his letters from the papal city 




Rx. REV. MGR. MICHAEL BOUCHET, V.G. 



ECCLESIASTICAL FRIENDS AND SUPERIORS. 369 

are fraught with solicitude for the community. The fol 
lowing year he returned, dying several months later at 
Nazareth, surrounded by the Sisters who held him in 
reverential affection. To-day his mortal remains rest 
in Nazareth s cemetery, near those of Bishop David and 
Father Hazeltine. 

During Father Chambige s absence in Rome, Father 
Coghlan acted as ecclesiastical superior of Nazareth, al 
though he was never thus formally presented to the coun 
cil. But in 1877 the office was definitely assigned to one 
who, until his death twenty-six years later, was ever 
among Nazareth s loyal friends and advisers Mgr. 
Michael Bouchet. This gifted ecclesiastic who, because 
of his powers and his saintliness, may well be called great, 
was born in France in the same town which was Bishop 
Flaget s birthplace, a fact of which Father Bouchet was 
very proud, though he and his revered fellow-towns 
man never met. Simple as a child, quaint to a degree 
sometimes almost amusing and not the least to his 
own sense of humor, this much loved clergyman con 
tinued the traditions of scholarship which had stamped 
so many of Nazareth s other superiors. He was a re 
markable scientist, a linguist proficient in six languages, 
a skilful inventor a planetarium which he made is still 
used at Nazareth. Father Bouchet crowned his intel 
lectual gifts with a perfect charity and unusual piety. 
His devotion to the Blessed Virgin was that of a trusting 
child. His fondness for the orphans almost rivalled that 
of Mother Catherine. In their behalf he started the of 
ficial organ of the diocese of Louisville, The Record. 
Father Bouchet bought his own type, hired a printer 
and himself learned the art of typesetting. To make a 
success of this paper, he spared himself no labors. At 
first he was editor-in-chief, news-gatherer, foreman, 
galley-boy, mailing clerk and business manager. When 



370 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH 

news was scarce, Father Bouchet followed the usual 
reportorial custom he made news, in a more creditable 
manner, however, than is sometimes the case. Among 
his contributions of this order was a highly fanciful, yet 
somewhat scientific, serial story entitled : "The Story of 
a Trip to the Moon." This was translated into French, 
and it is said to have given Jules Verne a fillip of in 
spiration. When Father Bouchet was asked to verify 
this statement, he laughed and characteristically ans 
wered : "O surely, I do not know ! If he has got his 
idea from me it is well. He had more time to write than 
I had. He certainly improved on what little I had writ 
ten. He has made money. I hope he remembers the 
orphans, God s children." 

Visiting Nazareth whenever possible, Father Bouchet 
was always a welcome guest. Fitting it was that his 
final resting place should be the little cemetery of that 
Nazareth which he had loved so well. 

After Father Bouchet s death, the Very Rev. James 
Cronin of Louisville, became the ecclesiastical superior 
of Nazareth, retaining this office until 1910. Roman 
approbation having been granted, making the Order sub 
ject to Rome, and according it a cardinal protector, 
Father Cronin is at present the moderator of the board 
an office in which he has proved efficient and kind. He 
is a true friend whose interest and fidelity have been 
tested and proved. Through seasons of difficulty, he has 
genuinely befriended the Sisters, always showing cordial 
pleasure in their success. 

The society s records include the names of many other 
distinguished clerics who from time to time have found 
Nazareth a retreat of peace and refreshment and who, on 
their part, have given encouraging and enriching friend 
ship to the community. Especially was this true in the 
early days when the members of the learned faculty of 



ECCLESIASTICAL FRIENDS AND SUPERIORS. 371 

St. Joseph s and St. Mary s College were frequent guests 
at Nazareth, lecturing often at the academy, sharing with 
the community the fruits of their own study and spiritual 
discipline. Among those was the Rev. G. A. M. Elder, a 
scholarly and saintly man, first president of St. Mary s 
college, Marion County, Kentucky. Another prized friend 
was Rev. William Clark, a kinsman of Mother Catherine 
Spalding, a gifted and amiable priest; the "most lovable 
character among the Kentucky clerics of his day." An 
other eulogy applied to him is ; "The most accomplished 
scholar of his day in all Kentucky." During seven years 
Father Clark was spiritual director of the Sisters. His 
counsels were supplemented with frequent mental exer 
cises. He was as skilful in imparting knowledge as in 
acquiring it; he gave the teaching corps of Nazareth 
valuable assistance in their class work and discipline. 
He was one of the learned professors in St. Joseph s 
College and St. Mary s College, Kentucky. 

In 1820, fearing that Bishop David was overburdened 
by his many charges, Bishop Flaget wrote to the prefect 
of the Propaganda College in Rome, asking for a priest 
capable of filling the chairs of theology and sacred 
history at St. Thomas s Seminary. In response to this 
request appeared a young cleric who was to figure prom 
inently in the history of the American Church and to be 
revered among Nazareth s most esteemed friends and 
spiritual advisers. This young ecclesiastic, Dr. Francis 
P. Kenrick, subsequently became coadjutor and bishop 
of Philadelphia and, later, archbishop of Baltimore. 
During his career, at St. Thomas s Seminary he was also 
confessor extraordinary at Nazareth. Dr. Kenrick was 
a preacher of note, being one of the chief orators of the 
Jubilee of 1826-27. His counsels were long cherished 
at Nazareth; among those which have been transmitted 
down the generations are these particularly edifying 



372 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH 

words, addressed to the Sisters during one of his special 
visits: "Meditation is the soul of the religious life. 
Never lay it aside nor neglect it; for then you would 
become in the supernatural order what in the natural 
order is a body deprived of the spirit that animates it. 
Archbishop ICenrick ever held the Nazareth community 
in paternal regard ; after a long absence he wrote : "The 
souls once entrusted to my charge will challenge my af 
fection." 

Since the days of Mother Catherine, many bearers 
of her excellent Kentucky name, Spalding, have been as 
sociated with the Nazareth community as sisters, pupils, 
friends, and patrons. One of the most distinguished of 
the name was Rt. Rev. Martin John Spalding author, 
teacher, president of St. John s College, distinguished 
prelate. A Kentuckian by birth and early education, he 
completed his studies in the famous Roman College of 
the Propaganda. After his ordination in the papal city, 
1834, he returned to his native State. During his thirty 
years residence in Kentucky, previous to his appointment 
to the archbishopric of Baltimore (1864), he was a 
frequent visitor at Nazareth. How intimate and profit 
able was his association with the academy may be de 
duced from the fact that every spring he paid a special 
visit to the senior classes and gave them their themes 
for commencement. After his elevation to the arch 
bishopric, he wrote whenever possible to his many friends 
among the Sisters. Typical of his paternal feeling for the 
community is a letter written to Mother Frances in his 
declining years, thanking her for her prayers and those 
of the Sisters: 

"I am so much obliged to you for your kind and sis 
terly letter. My children in Baltimore and Kentucky 
will not, it seems, let me die at all ; and if I wish to enjoy 
that luxury and go to Heaven, I must go elsewhere and 



ECCLESIASTICAL FRIENDS AND SUPERIORS. 373 

depart unknown to my children. . . . My love 
for my children of Nazareth increases with distance of 
space and time. I pray for you and for you all every day. 
My most abundant blessing to Mother Columba and all 
the Sisters. I give no names, else I should have to write 
a litany." 

Archbishop Spalding often said that the first place he 
would fix in Heaven would be one for Mother Frances. 
He was a true prince of the Church, learned and amiable, 
the peer of contemporary intellectual, social and spiritual 
lights. His nephew, the late gifted Rt. Rev. John Lan 
caster Spalding of Peoria, Illinois, was ever zealous for 
Nazareth, the Alma Mater of his sisters. 

Particularly near and dear as were many of these Ken 
tucky or Maryland priests to Nazareth, many have been 
the friends and advisers who, like the first bishops, came 
to Kentucky from foreign shores. Among those was 
Father De Fraine of Belgium. Preparatory to his Ken 
tucky apostolate, this venerated clergyman learned his 
English in the American College of Louvain. He was 
chaplain at Nazareth for several years. Though some 
what austere and rigid, he was much beloved. One of 
his special services to Nazareth was the introduction of 
High Mass, the singing of Vespers, and the more elab 
orate celebration of the Holy Week. 

Another alien yet genuinely adopted son of the Ken 
tucky Church was one whose name has a particularly 
foreign flavor, Rev. Charles Hippolyte De Luynes. 
Though bearing a Gallic name and born in France, 
Father De Luynes was of Irish parentage. His father 
was one of the United Irishmen of 1798, exiled to France. 
His clerical son was educated in the famous seminary of 
St. Sulpice, where he had as classmate the renowned 
Lacordaire. At Bishop Flaget s request, Father De 
Luynes came to Bardstown, where he held a professor- 



374 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH 

ship in St. Joseph s College, until his affiliation with the 
Jesuit order. He was pronounced the most noteworthy 
accession to that society from the Kentucky clergy. 
Holding a professorship for a while in St. Mary s Col 
lege, he afterward went to New York. Later he traveled 
extensively, making pilgrimages as far as Mexico and 
Chile in the interest of his order. A devoted friend to 
the community during his residence in Kentucky, he 
maintained a life-long loyalty to its interests. Wher 
ever he went after his departure he never failed in 
epistolary fidelity to Nazareth. 

Reference has already been made to the friendship 
which Nazareth has enjoyed with other learned Jesuits, 
especially during their sojourns at St. Joseph s College, 
Bardstown, (1832-46), and at St. Mary s College, 
Marion County, Kentucky (1848-68.) During these 
years the Jesuits were confessors ordinary and extraor 
dinary at Nazareth. For forty years they gave the 
Sisters annual retreats. Every Sunday while they were 
stationed at the colleges, one or more went out to the 
academy to give lectures and counsel, both spiritual and 
intellectual. They often conducted the examinations; 
their influence especially in the teaching of science was 
invaluable during Nazareth s first half century. Their 
"Book of Meditations for the Religious Life" is in con 
stant use. A serious loss to the Sisterhood of Nazareth 
was their removal from Kentucky a few years after 
the ending of the Civil War. 

Among the numerous French clerics, whose loyalty to 
Nazareth was immutable, was Rev. Father Montariol. 
These words written from Europe are characteristic : 
"If I forgot thee, O Nazareth, let my right hand forget 
its cunning." Numerous are the letters written during 
his absence to the superiors and the Sisters. Among 
them is this generous avowal : "I am quite unable to 



ECCLESIASTICAL FRIENDS AND SUPERIORS. 375 

acquit myself of the debt of gratitude I have contracted 
toward you and your kind daughters, I shall all the days 
of my life beseech our merciful Saviour to pour out his 
choicest blessing on a house so worthy of His protec 
tion." Referring to a season of trial through which the 
community was passing he wrote : "Allow me to ex 
press to you the warm sympathy with which I and all 
pious souls have felt the recent trials with which Prov 
idence has visited your community. O very 
Reverend dear Mother, soon after the storm the sky 
will become bright and serene, for the voices of all 
the orphans, the poor, the sick, and the ignorant, of 
whom you and your daughters are the devoted mothers, 
will speak better than unsympathetic spirits ; and, like the 
immortal virtue from which they derive their name, the 
Sisters of Charity will never fail, never, never!" 

Ireland as well as France has contributed to Kentucky 
some of its zealous missionaries. Among these none 
was more saintly, more laborious, than Nazareth s good 
friend, Father Eugene O Callaghan. Coming to this coun 
try from County Cork in 1821, Father O Callaghan toiled 
in many of the Kentucky missions where the Sisters had 
foundations, beginning his acquaintance with the So 
ciety s work at St. Frances Academy, Owensboro. He 
was ever the community s devoted friend, delighting to 
visit Nazareth, where a much prized memorial of his 
friendship is the Sisters new infirmary, built by a gift 
from him. A severe loss to the order was his death in 
1897 at Loretto, where for several years he had been 
ecclesiastical superior. As a true friend and a reverend 
benefactor, he is ever remembered in the Nazareth com 
munity s prayers. 

Of all these learned and loyal ecclesiastical friends 
none, with the exception of Bishop David, was more 
endeared to the community than Father David Russell, 



376 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH 

from 1871 to 1900, spiritual director and chaplain. This 
good and revered priest was born in Marion County, 
Kentucky, in 1830. From his parents he received a 
heritage of true piety. Obediently laboring for them 
during his early years, he began in his boyhood his long 
emulation of his Divine Lord. He entered St. Mary s 
College as a youth and his industry soon won distinction. 
Bishop Martin John Spalding, recognizing his piety and 
talents, sent him to Europe for his theological studies, 
which were pursued at the famous University of Lou- 
vain. In this renowned Belgian city he was consecrated 
a priest by Bishop Laurent, titular bishop of Chersonesus 
and vicar apostolic of Luxemburg. He came back as 
missionary to the land of his birth, but after a few years 
he returned to Europe and became vice-rector of the 
American College of Louvain. His zealous labors there 
endeared him to clerics and students; but so diligently 
did he toil, that his health failed and again he sought 
his Kentucky home. He taught in St. Thomas s sem 
inary until he was called to Louisville as vicar-general of 
the diocese. Again his heroic labors proved too much 
for him, and by his own ardent w r ish he was appointed 
director and chaplain of the Sisters of Charity at Naza 
reth. At the time of his death one of his most intimate 
friends, the Very Rev. C. J. O Connell, dean of St. 
Joseph s Church, Bardstown, paid him the following 
tribute : 

"Here for nearly nine and twenty years, he directed 
and guided by words and example those noble generous 
self-sacrificing souls, who gathered beneath Nazareth s 
hallowed roof to consecrate themselves to God in the 
ways of faith, hope, and charity, patience and Christian 
perfection. How well he succeeded hundreds of holy 
women, who were trained in the ways of God by his wise 
direction and who now realize the benefit of his whole- 



ECCLESIASTICAL FRIENDS AND SUPERIORS. 377 

some counsel, can bear ample testimony. Hundreds of 
others have been eternally blessed because of having been 
faithful to his words and advice. At Nazareth was the 
crowning work of his life. He was devoted to the place 
and cherished his spiritual children there. He knew he 
was forming characters, training hearts, and guiding 
souls who were to work in the vast and fruitful field of 
Christian charity, bestowing blessings wherever they 
went, spreading the Kingdom of God among men. How 
gentle, how kind, how affable, how considerate was he 
at all times, to the mature who sought his guidance and 
the young who claimed his care. ... To Father 
Russell under God may be very largely attributed the 
steady growth, solid devotion and spirit of charity at 
Nazareth, where his efforts met the responsive zeal of 
those for whom he lived and labored." 

A typical instance of his ability as a spiritual guide 
and father, his kindness, patience and wisdom was his 
part in the spiritual life of one of Nazareth s most en 
deared religious, Sister Honora Young. Born near 
Hopkinsville, this future devout Sister was originally a 
Protestant. She had never seen a Catholic Church until 
she was a grown young woman. During a short illness 
at St. Joseph s Infirmary, Louisville, she made her first 
acquaintance with the Sisters. Some time afterward 
she appeared at Nazareth, announcing that she wished to 
be a nun. 

"Do you bring a letter from any priest?" she was 
asked. 

"A priest?" she replied, "I never saw a priest in my 
life!" 

"Then you are not a Catholic?" 

"No, but I wish to be a Sister," was the unique an 
swer. She was introduced to Father Russell, who spared 
himself no pains in instructing and advising her. She 



378 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH 

remained at Nazareth for some time, finally receiving 
baptism and making her First Communion. She then 
repeated her request to be received into the community, 
but she was persuaded to wait a year. Finally she re 
turned to Nazareth where she gave faithful and zealous 
co-operation as a pious religious till her death in 1892. 
The patience, the live interest, and kindness with which 
Father Russell led Sister Honora s steps into the fold, 
were typical of his goodness toward all who sought his 
advice and assistance. Simplicity, sincerity, sympathy, 
were among his characteristic qualities; and these 
straighway inspired confidence and esteem. 

As Father O Connell continues: 

"Not only the religious but the pupils educated by the 
pious and learned Sisters profited by his wide informa 
tion and sacerdotal zeal. So identified with the welfare 
of illustrious Nazareth was he, that her interests were 
his interests; all the faculties of his mind, the affection 
of his heart, all the energies of his being were centered 
there. I am reminded here of what he spoke in response 
to an address made to him upon the occasion of his silver 
jubilee as chaplain of Nazareth. If, when it shall please 
our Heavenly Father to call me, He finds me worthy of 
his Kingdom, as I fondly hope He will ; and, if it be per 
mitted the inmates of Heaven to return to the place 
they loved while sojourning here below, I shall often 
revisit Nazareth and say : "This is the spot I loved and 
cherished on earth;" and when I sleep in years to come 
if you children chance to return to Nazareth, visit my 
grave among Nazareth s sainted dead and say a prayer 
for Father Russell/ " 

Many indeed are the pious pilgrimages made to his last 
resting place. When news of his death arrived in Louis 
ville, Mrs. Snowden, faithful friend and former pupil of 
the Academy wrote to Sister Marie: "You and dear 



ECCLESIASTICAL FRIENDS AND SUPERIORS. 379 

Nazareth have lost one of the most devoted friends in 
the world ; and the world has lost one of the purest priests 
it contained." 

After Father Russell s death, a few other chaplains 
were successively assigned to Nazareth. The present 
incumbent, Rev. Richard Davis, a brother of Bishop 
Davis of Davenport, Iowa, is a learned and pious priest. 

The interest and loyalty of numerous other clerics have 
been a comfort and an encouragement to the order. On 
the whole the friendliest of relations have existed be 
tween the community and the clergy of the diocese of 
Louisville. Bishop William George McCloskey was a 
frequent visitor at Nazareth. Though sometimes at vari 
ance with the Sisters in regard to the wisdom of certain 
undertakings, he could give no better proof of his rooted 
attachment to Nazareth than by desiring to be buried 
in its hallowed cemetery. There, beside him, rests his 
brother, Father George McCloskey. Many fond prayers 
mount to Heaven for their eternal repose. 

Cordial interest has been manifested toward the Sisters 
by the present episcopal head of the diocese of Louisville, 
the Rt. Rev. Denis O Donaghue, appointed Bishop 
MfcCloskey s successor in 1910. Diean O Connell of 
Bardstown throughout his long incumbency has been 
zealous for Nazareth s welfare. Greatly prized by the 
community have been the Rev. William Hogarty of New 
Haven and his brother, Rev. Joseph Hogarty of Lebanon, 
both of whom have ever bestowed upon Nazareth their 
faithful friendship, their counsel, their encouragement. 

One more member of the Kentucky priesthood de 
serves honored place in the community s history, Rev. 
Louis G. Deppen. Succeeding Mgr. Bouchet as editor 
of The Record, Father Deppen has been unstinting in 
his editorial courtesies to Nazareth and its various branch 
houses. During many years he has made his home at 



380 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH 

St. Joseph s Infirmary. A scholar and an able editor, 
Father Deppen is all the more prized by the Sisters be 
cause of his fervent piety. 

Nazareth has been fortunate in other loyal friends 
among the clergy of Kentucky, especially in localities 
where branch houses are established. To name these 
friends were to emulate the length of the Litany of the 
Saints, an allusion not unapt, considering their goodness 
and piety. The same may be said of the community s 
friends in several other dioceses. Attempt at enumera 
tion might lead to inadvertent omission of many valued 
friends. Especially esteemed, however, are those who 
long ago requested the Sisters aid in their labors, such 
as Rev. Michael Ronan of Lowell, Massachusetts, and 
Mgr. Teeling of Lynn, Massachusetts, Mgr. Chittick of 
Hyde Park, Massachusetts, Rt. Rev. James Hartley of 
Columbus, Ohio, and many other clergy of the latter 
State. Rev. Elder Mullan, S.J., has particularly won the 
gratitude of the society, being ranked among its bene 
factors for his zealous efforts in obtaining papal approba 
tion for the sisterhood. Among the Southern clergy held 
in especially revered memory are Archbishop Elder, 
Mgr. Wise of Yazoo City, Mississippi, and Mgr. Lucey 
of Pine Bluff, Arkansas. 

One word more may be devoted to the ideal spirit of 
true Christian harmony and friendship prevailing be 
tween the Nazareth community and other religious 
bodies, especially those of Kentucky. A most cordial 
relation with the twin sister of the Kentucky woods, 
Loretto (founded 1811), has existed since the early days. 
With the Dominicans of St. Catherine s Academy, 
Springfield, Kentucky, with the Sisters of Mercy, the 
abbots and monks of the famous neighboring monastery, 
Gethsemane, an ideal "fellowship in Christ" has been 
maintained. With the famous old St. Joseph s College 





REVEREND DAVID RUSSELL. 



ECCLESIASTICAL FRIENDS AND SUPERIORS. 381 

and St. Mary s College, Kentucky, Nazareth and the 
other academies for girls Loretto and St. Catherine s 
formed the nucleus for education in the Middle West ; 
it was rapidly to expand, and this partly because of the 
early Kentuckians zeal for education; "they needed no 
arguments or urging to be convinced of the importance 
of a sound Christian education for their children. The 
leaven of the old Jesuit teaching in Maryland was 
still strong in them. They gave with a generous hand 
all they had to give whether in money, provisions, or 
service, for the support of Catholic schools wherever 
these were started." The first school of any kind in 
Kentucky is said to have been started by a Catholic from 
Maryland, Mrs. William Coomes, who came to Ken 
tucky in 1775, settling near Harrod s Town. Rev. J. A. 
Burns, the historian quoted above, remarks that with 
respect to Catholic educational development, Kentucky 
soon became to the Middle West what Maryland and 
Pennsylvania had been to the East ; moreover, that "the 
West became the theatre of Catholic educational move 
ments which were not only interesting in themselves, 
but which, owing to their reacting influence upon the 
movement in the East, greatly contributed to the estab 
lishment of a uniform Catholic educational ideal the 
whole country over." Thus, aside from the pleasure 
and encouragement which the Sisters of Charity of 
Nazareth have derived from their friendship with their 
neighbors, scholarly ecclesiastics, devout and industrious 
sister-religious, they may take some gratification from 
the fact that their harmonious co-operation in the early 
days has borne excellent fruit, that it has become recog 
nized as creditable part of the system of Christian edu 
cation in the United States. Meanwhile that friendly 
toiling together has left a justification, all too rare, for 
the phrase: "See how these Christians love one another." 



CHAPTER XX 
CONCLUSION 

"Blessed are they that dwell in thy house, O Lord: 
they shall praise Thee for ever and ever." 

"IX 7"ITH his gift for significant phrases, St. Vincent 
* * once referred to his first Sisterhood as the little 
snow-ball which gradually assumed large proportions. 
Appropriate is the metaphor for the Nazareth commun 
ity of 1812 compared with that of 1917. What a study 
in contrasts! The log cabin of 1814 and its nine pupils; 
now r throughout the country twenty thousand names 
annually upon the Sisters school registers. Three little 
children, one afternoon eighty-four years ago, received 
into Mother Catherine s arms; today numerous mother 
less little ones under the order s protection. The com 
munity s other beneficences bear similar witness to an 
ever-widening range of usefulness. Hence wherever the 
society has a foundation, the angels who transport acts 
of thanksgiving to the Divine throne are daily mounting 
upward with the orisons of grateful hearts. Among the 
favors acknowledged with particular gratitude is the 
preservation of Nazareth from fire; to the Blessed Vir 
gin is ascribed this special care of her children, in thanks 
giving for which the Sub Tuum is said several times a 
day during the spiritual exercises. 

Manifold as having been the Sisters activities since 
they began their career, the work of teaching has ever 
been among their chief occupations. For this purpose 
Bishop Flaget and Father David first called the society 

382 



CONCLUSION. 383 

into being; hence, in the words of the great modern 
apostle of charity, Frederick Ozanam, the Sisters have 
always deemed themselves pledged "to serve God by 
serving good learning." But though thus faithful to the 
purpose for which they were organized, their rule speci 
fies that "whatever remains in their hands, after their 
necessities have been supplied, is to extend their estab 
lishment for the public good, or to be applied to the 
relief of the poor/ The records of this volume abun 
dantly testify to the fact that whenever the challenge of 
suffering or need has sounded, the response has been im 
mediate. As St. Vincent s daughters 28 of yore went 
forth to give their compassionate services during times 
of bloodshed and plague, so his daughters of Nazareth 
have ever generously given their labors when war and 
pestilence have devastated the land. 

Fortunately the Sisterhood s traditions of teaching and 
benevolence permit the exercise of a variety of talents, 
and offer opportunity for many kinds of dedicated ser 
vice. Teachers, nurses, tender hearts eager to mother 
the motherless, to comfort the friendless; strong meek 
spirits aspiring to sanctify their souls by consecrated 
domestic labors, such as the Child Jesus and His holy 
Mother forever ennobiled in their lowly dwelling on 
earth; for all these Nazareth s great scope and zeal have 
place. Some of the most edifying work is that of the 
ready capable hands, the pious willing spirits, whose 
energy and industry help to keep in motion, so to speak, 
the large machinery of the numerous foundations. 

Notwithstanding all this opportunity for manifold 
energies and the general prosperity which has resulted 
therefrom, no attempt may justifiably be made to mini 
mize or ignore the trials which often afflict the hearts of 

88 It has been said that in these present disastrous days of the European 
conflict, over three thousand Sisters of Charity have been performing minis 
tries of mercy on the battlefields of Europe. 



384 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH 

superiors and Sisters. If their yoke is sweet, by no 
means is their burden always light. Serious problems 
have frequently to be met. The widely extended mis 
sionary life of the community involves difficulties in 
numerable. On the part of the superiors and Sisters the 
utmost prudence is demanded in order to preserve har 
monious relations with those associated in their work, 
priests, pupils, parents, guardians and others. The re 
sponsibility for the society s several hundred members, 
however docile these are and otherwise admirable, is a 
most exacting obligation for the mother-general and her 
council. However, in seasons of trial, never do the chief 
executives and their faithful battalions resign themselves 
to despondency. Nor in that other dangerous mood, 
complacence, do they rest satisfied through prosperous 
clays. Their vocation guards them from merely self- 
aggrandising or pedantic ambitions, yet their duty 
toward their young charges and toward the sick and 
needy pledges them to watch steadfastly the ever-widen 
ing horizons of opportunity for dedicated activity, the 
improvements in educational methods and facilities, the 
increasing means for the amelioration of sickness and 
suffering. Persistently do they strive to grow in spirit 
ual grace, thereby adding to the heavenly merits which, 
for over a hundred years have been accruing to the suc 
cessors of Mother Catherine and her associates "labor 
ers together with God," who have helped to make Naza 
reth s century of consecrated toil "God s husbandry 
. . . God s building." 

Yet, thus bringing to a close the record of the society s 
noble past and summarizing its present state of pros 
perity, the historian may not rest content. In the physi 
cal world, when a body is seen to be in motion, the vision 
keenly follows its progress, speculating upon its utmost 
possible flight ; and similarly, in the spiritual plane, when 



CONCLUSION. 885 

a benignant influence goes forth, grows in power, attains 
a notable height of achievement, the mind irresistibly 
anticipates the further exercise of its blessed agencies. 
Such a speculation upon the future of the Sisters of 
Charity of Nazareth is inevitable to those who have 
found their past heroic and who deem their present so 
auspicious. Surely their good works will continue to 
increase and multiply; upon such foundations as they 
have built, still nobler structures will arise. 

Irresistible becomes this persuasion to one who today 
contemplates Nazareth s spacious grounds and stately 
edifices. Thus beholding a scene so fair, so eloquent of 
well-ordered living and prosperity, the spectator recalls 
that long ago this vicinity was chosen as site for one of 
those ideal habitations ever haunting the imagination of 
man, challenging his constructive spirit making a 
Plato dream of a flawless Republic, a Sir Thomas More 
plan a Utopia, and other philosophers and visionaries 
dream of perfect homes for man. In the latter part of 
the eighteenth century a group of English speculators 
wished to build in Nelson County, Kentucky, "the most 
beautiful city in the world." Lystra was to have been 
its name. Fifteen thousand acres were to have been 
purchased and laid out in artistic manner. The architec 
tural specifications might well bring a blush to contem 
porary builders of cities ; but alas, the scheme went agley ! 
And yet, as that loyal friend of Nazareth, Father Deppen, 
has suggested perhaps in a higher sense than the Eng 
lish speculators ever dreamed, their chosen territory has 
become a domain where ideal living is an accomplished 
fact. Within the region where their marvellous city was 
to have stood, now climb skyward the hallowed walls 
of Nazareth, St. Vincent s School, New Hope, and 
Gethsemane Abbey. From early morn till night s 
shades enfold their convent homes, the Sisters of Naza- 



380 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH 

reth are offering to God the homage of reverent prayers 
and consecrated labors; day and night the monks of 
the renowned Trappist monastery, Gethsemane, are send 
ing heavenward solemn chants of worship. Nazareth 
Academy and Gethsemane Abbey have become places of 
pilgrimage, partly because of their beauty and pictur- 
esqueness, but still more because of the holy lives passed 
within their precincts lives conforming to high stand 
ards of human association and dedicated to Heaven s 
designs. Thus where Lystra, an earthly Eden, was to 
to have been planted, now thrives a commonwealth of 
piety, devout labor, soaring aspiration, a spiritual federa 
tion whose members are striving to be " fellow-citizens 
with the saints, and the domestics of God." The colonies 
founded on merely mundane principles have proved 
ephemeral ; the communities "whose builder and maker 
is God" have achieved permanence. 

Thus, having passed her century mark, Nazareth now 
rejoices in the blessings which Shakespeare enumerated 
as befitting ripe years: "honor, love, obedience, troops 
of friends." Truly does a friendly historian w salute 
her: "Stately Nazareth, moving on with queenly grace 
and splendor, the crown and joy of the Venerable Patri 
arch of the West [Bishop Flaget], her former pupils, 
ornaments of Society in almost every State in the Union, 
rising up to call her blessed." 

Gladdened and sustained by these diligently merited 
rewards, yet preserving a characteristic meekness and 
reliance upon God, the order faces the future. With the 
older members holding fast the traditions which have 
ever been the community s strength, with the fresh zeal 
of new members replenishing the ranks, what significant 
part may not be played hereafter by the Sisters of Char 
ity of Nazareth in the religious and educational work of 

"Col. Stoddard Johnson, "Hiitory of Louisville," Vol. I. 



CONCLUSION. 387 

the country, what victories on the side of the angels may 
they not contribute to the ceaseless warfare against evil, 
ignorance, suffering! Surely, with confidence securely 
based, friends and other well-wishers may anticipate a 
glorious subsequent history for the order, may indulge 
in a vision of battalion after battalion of gentle black- 
robed figures advancing to a high and holy destiny, ful 
filling St. Vincent s prophecy when, in France of the 
seventeenth century, he sent forth the first Sisters of 
Charity upon their beneficent careers : 

"What rejoicing will there be in Heaven in witnessing 
the devoted charity of these good Sisters ! With what 
confidence will they appear at the Tribunal of the Sov 
ereign Judge, after having performed so many glorious 
deeds!" 



APPENDIX 

PAGE 

Mile Le Gras : A Sketch 391 

Chronological List of Important Events .... 396 

Ecclesiastical Superiors 404 

Mothers Superior 405 

Centennial Ode . . . 40G 

Jubilarians 411 

Summary 415 

Centennial of the Bardstown Cathedral 416 



MLLE LE GRAS, THE FIRST SISTER OF 
CHARITY 80 

Mademoiselle Louise Le Gras, nee de Marillac, the 
foundress of the Sisters of Charity, was born August the 
twelfth, 1591, in Paris, France. Her father, Louis de 
Marillac, a nobleman by birth, was a shining model of 
faith and virtue. His wife, Marguerite Le Camus, died 
when Louise was only a few days old. Referring to this 
early loss, Louise wrote in after years: "God taught me 
early to find Him by the Cross. From my birth, at every 
stage of my life, I have never been without occasions of 
suffering." 

Louise, being frail, was entrusted to the care of an 
aunt a religious in the convent of St. Louis, near Paris. 
At the age of sixteen, the child was already well-schooled 
in the practice of prayer. She held the world in contempt 
and desired to consecrate herself to God ; but she could 
not determine to what order she was called. She re 
turned therefore to her father s house, where a learned 
Christian lady was charged with the care of completing 
her education. Her father wished that nothing which 
could contribute to her mental or physical development 
should be neglected. She applied herself to the arts, es 
pecially painting, for which she had a decided taste, and 
which she never wholly abandoned. She studied philos 
ophy and the highest branches of science ; she was a good 
Latin scholar. Her conversational powers were so 
charming that her father knew no greater pleasure than 
to converse with her or to read the result of her reflec 
tions. In his will he declared that his daughter had been 
his greatest consolation in this world, and a sweet rest 
which God had given him in the afflictions of this life. 

When she was twenty-one years of age, Louise lost 
her devoted father. Urged by circumstances, and guided 

89 This account consists chiefly of a sketch prepared by Sister Marie Menard. 
An interesting brief biography of Mile Le Gras is contained in the Catholic 
Encyclopedia. 

391 



SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH 

by her confessor, she married Anthony Le Gras, a young 
secretary of State under Marie de Medici. The charity 
of the Le Gras family was traditional ; and in this quality 
of her new kindred Louise saw a pledge of the benevo 
lence which she herself would be able to exercise. Ac 
cording to the custom of the time, the position of her 
husband permitted her to retain her title of Mademoiselle ; 
this usage was changed in the eighteenth century, but it 
continues in the family of St. Vincent de Paul. The Sis 
ters of Charity everywhere still say Mademoiselle when 
speaking of their foundress. 

M. Le Gras was a God-fearing man, of irreproachable 
life. He acquiesced in Louise s wish to live secluded 
from worldly society, to devote herself to her infant son, 
Anthony, and to works of mercy in behalf of the poor. 
But soon her husband s health became undermined, and 
the future foundress of the Sisters of Charity was called 
upon to act as a nurse. Intelligently and devotedly she 
watched by his bedside praying that, if she were to be 
bereaved, she might bear her cross as a child of the Cross. 
M. Le Gras died in 1625, fortified by the sacraments of 
the Church. Louise wrote of this event : "I was alone to 
assist him in that important journey It was night; all he 
said to me was : Tray to God for me ; I can do so no 
longer words that shall ever remain engraved upon my 
heart." 

After her husband s death, Mile Le Gras was led by 
Providence to St. Vincent de Paul, who became her 
spiritual director, in turn receiving from her an enlight 
ened and faithful co-operation in all his works of char 
ity. It was her delight to spend herself in the service of 
the poor. Ignorant of the future, she sought only to 
honor the hidden life of Jesus of Nazareth. That Life 
had always been the object of her special devotion. Her 
prudent director permitted her to consecrate herself 
wholly to our Lord Jesus Christ in the service of His poor. 
Her act of consecration, written by herself, has been pre 
served. It ends with the following invocation : "Be 
pleased, O my God, to confirm these resolutions and con 
secrations, and accept them in the odor of sweetness. As 
Thou hast inspired me to make them, give me the grace 



APPENDIX. 393 

to accomplish them. O my God, Thou art my God and 
my all! Thus I acknowledge and adore Thee, one God 
in three Persons now and forever. May Thy Love and 
the Love of Jesus Crucified live forever." 

St. Vincent wrote to her : "I shall keep in my heart the 
generous resolutions you have written, to honor the ador 
able hidden life of Our Lord, as He has given you this 
desire since your childhood. O my dear daughter, that 
thought savors of the inspiration of God! How far it 
is from flesh and blood ! It is the state of soul necessary 
for a child of God." Still he urged her to await in pa 
tience the evidence of God s holy Will. He said to her: 
"One diamond is worth more than a mountain of stones, 
and one act of submission is more valuable than any 
number of good works." 

This patient waiting was for Mile Le Gras a kind of 
novitiate which served to strengthen her courage. Yet 
her pious activities were not in abeyance. Among her 
commendable deeds during 1628 was the finding of places 
for poor girls whom St. Vincent had sent to her from the 
country. 

Every biographer of St. Vincent has recounted the in 
cident which prompted the formation of a confraternity 
of Ladies of Charity. When on parish duty at Chatillon, 
he recommended a family in extreme distress to the be 
nevolence of his congregation. Later he himself went 
to see the family, and found that crowds of his parish 
ioners had given assistance. "This," said St. Vincent, 
"is great charity, but it is not well-ordered. These good 
people have too many provisions at once. Part will spoil 
or be wasted, and the family will then be left as badly 
provided for as before." 

In order to prevent such ill-regulated benevolence, St. 
Vincent began to devise a better organization of char 
itable activities. He formed a Confraternity of Ladies 
of Charity, and this served as a model for others. Asso 
ciations multiplied. In May, 1629, St. Vincent commis 
sioned Mademoiselle to visit them. He wrote to her : "Go 
in the name of Our Lord. I pray His Divine Goodness to 
accompany you, to be your counsellor on the road, your 
shade in the heat, your shelter in rain and cold, your bed 



394 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH 

of rest when weary, your strength in toil. May he bring 
you back in perfect health and full of good works." 
Obeying with joy, Mile Le Gras received Holy Com 
munion the morning of her departure in honor of the 
Charity of Our Lord in His journeys, so full of pain, 
labor, and fatigue. She prayed for grace to act in the 
same spirit in which He had acted. Then she set out at 
her own expense, bearing a supply of linen and remedies. 
She took with her letters of introduction and written 
directions from St. Vincent. She wrote to him from time 
to time, giving him an account of her work; she under 
took nothing of importance without his advice. She 
was always accompanied by another lady or by a faithful 
maid. During the winter, she visited the confraternities 
in and about Paris; during the rest of the year, she went 
to the country towns and villages. She visited the schools 
in these places, and gave useful counsels to the teachers 
whom she sometimes replaced. She established schools 
where there were none, often undertaking the task of 
teaching until a suitable person was found to carry on the 
good work. 

During one of these visits, Mile Le Gras found a young 
girl, a poor shepherdess, Margaret Nasseau, whose con 
stant dream had been to teach little children. The first 
pennies she earned were spent in procuring a primer. 
She studied while watching her cows and when any one 
who could read passed by, she would try to learn a few 
letters or words. With such aid, and her own studious- 
ness, she was soon able to read her primer and more 
difficult books. Then she gathered children around her 
and taught them what she knew. Two or three of her 
pupils went to other places to teach. One day this good 
girl met St. Vincent, who recognized her vocation. 
Others having followed her example, Mile Le Gras 
began instructing and training the new recruits. Their 
number grew fast. Mademoiselle was to them a teacher 
and a model in all things. 

Markedly humble and charitable, she consecrated her 
self forever by a vow to this work on March 25th, 1634. 
Eight years later (March 25th, 1642) the first members 
of her Sisterhood made the simple yearly vows of the 



APPENDIX. 395 

society. On that occasion she, too, renewed her vows 
being unwilling to separate herself from her daughters 
in anything. 

Mile Le Gras was never strong in health. St. Vincent 
declared that, during many years, her life was preserved 
by a miracle. Yet she incessantly watched over the works 
of the community and found time to give retreats to 
ladies, who came now and then to the house for eight 
days to receive the benefit of her edifying instructions. 

Thus her good works increased. The Sisters of Char 
ity had imbibed the spirit of St. Vincent and that of their 
beloved first Mother. When the society was permanently 
established, God called the founders to Himself. On 
March 15th, 1660, Mile Le Gras died. St. Vincent was 
too ill to visit her in her last moments, his own death 
occurring in the following September ; but he sent one of 
his priests to her. Her beautiful soul was prepared to 
meet the God for whom she had labored all her life. Her 
last words to her daughters were : "I pray Our Lord to 
give you the grace to live as true daughters of Charity, 
in union and charity with one another as God requires 
of you." 

According to her will, Mile Le Gras funeral was very 
modest. She had said: "If anything were done for me 
different from what has been accorded to the other Sis 
ters, it would signify that in death I was not worthy to be 
a true Sister of Charity and servant of the poor members 
of Jesus Christ." 

The anniversary of this noble woman s death is marked 
by a Communion for the deceased members of the Com 
munity. The good works of her sisterhood, which began 
in Paris, have extended through Europe, parts of Asia, 
Africa, North and South America. In Rome, at present, 
an endeavor is being made for Mile Le Gras beatifica 
tion. 



CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF IMPORTANT EVENTS 

IN 
THE SOCIETY S HISTORY 

1808 Episcopal see established in Bardstown. 

1810 Rt. Rev. Benedict Joseph Flaget consecrated 

Bishop of Bardstown. 

1811 Arrival of Bishop Flaget and Father David in 

Louisville. 

1812 Foundation of Nazareth on St. Thomas s Farm. 

1813 First Election; Mother Catherine Superior; pro 

visional rule given by Father David. 

1814 School begun. First pupil, Cecilia O Brien, who 

later became Sister Cecily. 

1815 Rule of St. Vincent de Paul adopted. 

1816 Vows pronounced for the first time. 

1817 Community and school considerably increased. 

1818 Brick house built. First death that of Sister 

Mary Gwynn. 

1819 Rt. Rev. John Baptist David consecrated coadju 

tor to Bishop Flaget. Bethlehem Academy, 
Bardstown, started. Mother Catherine s sec 
ond term expires. Mother Agnes Higdon 
elected. 

1820 School opened at Long Lick, Breckenridge Coun 

ty, Kentucky. Establishment of St. Vincent s 
Academy, Union County. 

1821 Sisters take charge of wardrobe and infirmary at 

St. Joseph s College, Bardstown. 

1822 Purchase of present site of Nazareth and removal 

thither. Re-election of Mother Agnes Higdon. 

1823 St. Catherine s Academy founded in Scott County, 

near Lexington, Kentucky. 

1824 School begun at Vincennes, Indiana. New build 

ings started at Nazareth. Sudden death of 
Mother Agnes Higdon. Mother Catherine re 
turns to office of superior. 
396 



APPENDIX. 397 

1825 First public Examination at Nazareth Academy; 

Henry Clay gives diplomas. New academy 
completed. First graduate, Margaret Carroll, 
afterward Mother Columba. From Bishop 
Flaget s report of this year: Sisterhood of 
Nazareth, sixty Sisters. Sixty boarders in 
Nazareth Academy. Three other schools in 
Kentucky and one in Vincennes in charge of 
the Sisters. School at Nazareth becoming pop 
ular, and patronized throughout the whole 
Western country." 

1826 Jubilee in honor of the accession of Leo XII to the 

Papal Chair. Great revival of religious fervor 
throughout Kentucky. 

1828 Re-election of Mother Catherine Spalding. 

1829 Charter obtained from the Kentucky Legislature 

for "the Nazareth Literary and Benevolent In 
stitution." 

1831 Presentation Academy, Louisville, established. 

Mother Angela Spink elected; after a few 
months she resigns. 

1832 Mother Frances Gardiner elected. Sisters hero 

ically nurse cholera patients in Bardstown and 
elsewhere. First orphan asylum of the com 
munity, St. Vincent s, begun in Louisville. 
183f Cholera still raging. Sisters prove themselves as 
nurses and martyrs. Bishop David resigns 
his office as ecclesiastical superior of Nazareth. 
He is replaced by Rev. I. A. Reynolds. 

1834 Bishop Chabrat made coadjutor to Bishop Flaget. 

1835 Some innovations in the mode of electing offi 

cers, etc. introduced by the Rt. Rev. Bishop 
Chabrat. These innovations afterwards abol 
ished. Father Hazeltine becomes ecclesiastical 
superior of Nazareth. 

1836-40 No records of special importance; the com 
munity meanwhile working steadily. 

1841 Bishop David s death at Nazareth. 

1842 St. Mary s Academy and St. John s Hospital be 

gun in Nashville, Tenn. 

1843-47 Chronicles chiefly record postulants received, 
habits conferred, vows made. 



398 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH 

1848 Reappearance of cholera. Sisters nurse the 

plague-stricken in Nashville and elsewhere. 

1849 Establishment of St. Frances Academy, Owens- 

boro, Kentucky. 

1850 Rt. Rev. B. J. Flaget dies. St. Thomas s Orphan 

Asylum, Nelson County, established. 

1851 Separation of the Nashville colony; five or six 

of the Sisters form the nucleus of a diocesan 
community, now the Sisters of Charity of 
Leavenworth, Kansas. 

1852 St. Joseph s Infirmary, Louisville, opened on 

present site, Fourth Avenue. 

1854 Present Gothic chapel, Nazareth, consecrated. 

1855 New Academy at Nazareth completed. 

1856 La Salette Academy and St. Mary s parochial 

school opened in Covington, Kentucky. 

1857 Immaculata Academy, Newport, Kentucky, 

started. 

1858 St. Mary s Academy, Paducah, opened. Mother 

Catherine s death. 

1859 St. John s parochial school, Louisville, begun. 

1860 St. Joseph s Academy, Frankfort, opened. 

1861 Brave nursing done by the Sisters in the military 

hospitals of the Civil War. 

1862 Mother Columba elected Superior. Father Hazel- 

tine s death ; Father Chambige becomes his 
successor. St. Columba s Academy, Bowling 
Green, opened. 

1863-65 Noble work of the Sisters as nurses for 
soldiers of the Blue and Gray; their services 
under the Flag of Humanity. 

1866 Notable increase of pupils at Nazareth. Sister 

Elizabeth Suttle s golden jubilee, the first in the 
Society. 

1867 St. Michael s School, Louisville, begun. 

1868 Mother Frances re-elected. Bethlehem Academy, 

Holly Springs, Mississippi, founded. 

1869 Chaplain s new residence at Nazareth built. St. 

Teresa s School at Concordia, Kentucky, 
started. 

1870 Rev. David Russell becomes chaplain at Nazareth. 



APPENDIX. 399 

St. Joseph s Academy, Frankfort, reopened. 
Golden jubilee of Mother Frances and Sister 
Clare Gardiner. 

1871 New auditorium at Nazareth completed in time 

for commencement exercises in June. New 
foundations : St. Clara s Academy, Yazoo City. 
Mississippi, St. Monica s School for colored 
Children, Bardstown; St. Augustine s School 
for Colored Children, Louisville. 

1872 Twenty-four graduates at Nazareth. New 

Foundations : St. Rose s School, Uniontown, 
Kentucky; Holy Name School, Henderson, 
Kentucky; Sisters in charge of domestic de 
partment, St. Joseph s College, Bardstown, 
Kentucky ; Sisters in charge of St. John s Erup 
tive Hospital, Louisville, during smallpox epi 
demic from January to July. 

1873 St. Bridget s School, Louisville, Kentucky, St. 

Mary s parochial school Paducah, Kentucky, 
begun. 

1874 Sts. Mary and Elizabeth Hospital, Louisville, 

opened. 

1875 Bethlehem Parish School, Holly Springs, Missis 

sippi, Holy Redeemer School, Portsmouth, 
Ohio, established. 

1876 St. Cecilia s Parochial School, Louisville; St. 

Romould s School, Hardinsburg, Kentucky; 
St. Aloysius School, Clarksville, Tennessee, 
founded. Sisters in charge of domestic depart 
ment, Mt. St. Mary s College, Emmitsburg, 
Maryland. 

1877 Rev. Michael Bouchet becomes ecclesiastical su 

perior of the community. St. Joseph s Hos 
pital, Lexington, Kentucky, established. Bles 
sed Sacrament parochial school and Sacred 
Heart parochial school, Louisville, begun. 
Mother Columba s golden jubilee. 

1878 Yellow fever epidemic in the South ; Sisters prove 

heroic nurses. Mother Frances death in No 
vember, followed by that of Mother Columba 
in December. St. Vincent s parochial school, 
Louisville, opened. 



400 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH 

1879 Mother Helena Tormey elected superior. New 

foundations : St. John s School, Bellaire, Ohio ; 
Sacred Heart Academy, Helena, Arkansas; 
Parochial schools for boys in Owensboro and 
Newport, Kentucky. 

1880 Annunciation Academy, Pine Bluff, Arkansas, 

and Boys Parochial School, Frankfort, Ken 
tucky, begun. 

188*? St. Brigid s School, Memphis, Tennessee, Im 
maculate Conception School, Newburyport, 
Massachusetts, founded. 

1884 Establishment of St. Patrick s School, Memphis, 

Tennessee; St. Vincent de Paul s School, Mt. 
Vernon, Ohio. 

1885 Mother Cleophas Mills elected. Opening of St. 

Mary s Academy, Leonardtown, Maryland. 

1886 New foundations: St. Joseph s School, Circleville, 

Ohio; St. Peter s Orphanage, Memphis, Ten 
nessee; St. Raphael s School, West Louisville, 
Kentucky. 

1887 Opening of St. Patrick s School, Brockton, Mass 

achusetts ; St. Peter s Orphanage, Lowell, Mass 
achusetts ; St. Mary s Parochial School, Knox- 
ville, Tennessee ; St. Paul s Parochial School, 
Lexington, Kentucky; St. Frances of Rome 
and St. Brigid s Schools, Louisville. 

1888 St. Mary s Parochial School, Paris, Kentucky; 

St. Bernard s School, Corning, Ohio; St. Ra 
phael s School, Hyde Park, Massachusetts ; St. 
Peter Claver s Colored School, Lexington, Ken 
tucky; St. Vincent s Infirmary, Little Rock, 
Arkansas, begun. 

1889 St. Philip Neri s School, Louisville; Industrial 

School for Colored Children, Pine Bluff, Ar 
kansas ; St. Mary s School, Martin s Ferry, 
Ohio. 

1890 St. Bernard s School, Earlington, Kentucky; 

Sisters return to a five years charge in St. 
John s Eruptive Hospital, Louisville, St. Mar 
garet s Retreat, Louisville; St. Vincent s Infirm 
ary, East Lake, Chattanooga, Tennessee ; St. 



APPENDIX. 401 

Joseph s School, Memphis, Tennessee; St. 
Mary s Infant Asylum, Dorchester, Massa 
chusetts. 

1891 Mother Helena re-elected. Holy Name School, 
Louisville ; Immaculate Conception School, 
Dennison, Ohio; St. Mary s School, Shawnee, 
Ohio; and St. Patrick s School, Covington, 
Kentucky; St. Genevieve s School, Dayton, 
Tennessee. 

1892- St. Jerome s School, Fancy Farm, Kentucky; 
St. Anthony s, Bridgeport, Ohio; Home for 
Destitute Children, Newburyport, Massachu 
setts, established. 

1893 Completion of new Presentation Academy, Louis 
ville, Kentucky. New foundations : St. Vincent s 
Orphanage, Ryan School ; St. Andrew s School, 
Roanoke, Virginia; St. Boniface s School, Lud- 
low, Kentucky ; St. Anthony s School, Bellevue, 
Kentucky ; St. Augustine s School, New Straits- 
ville, Ohio. 

1895 Nazareth Alumnae Society formed. 

1896 First formal meeting of the Nazareth Alumnae 

Society. Mother Helena s golden jubilee. St. 
Aloysius parochial school, East Liverpool, 
Ohio, at present site of Nazareth. 

1897 Diamond jubilee of the community. Death of 

Sister Adelaide Bickett. St. Helena s Home, 
Louisville, begun. 

1898 St. Stanislaus School, Maynard, Ohio, opened. 

Sisters nurse soldiers of the Spanish American 
War, in East Lake Hospital, Chattanooga. 
Tennessee. 

1899 The Sisters New Infirmary Building at Nazareth. 

Foundation of Mt. St. Agnes parochial school, 
Mingo Junction, Ohio. Cardinal Martinelli, 
Apostolic Delegate visits Nazareth, June 8th. 

1900 Foundations : O Leary Home, Louisville ; St. 

Vincent s School, New Hope ; St. John s School, 
Adrian, Kentucky; Sacred Heart School, Mem 
phis, Tennessee. Deaths of Father Russell and 
Mother Helena. 



402 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH 

1901 Establishment of St. Mary s of the Woods, 

Whitesville, Ky ; Sacred Heart Academy, Rich 
mond, Virginia. 

1902 Mother Cleophas golden jubilee. 

1903 Mother Alphonsa Kerr elected superior. Estab 

lishment of St. Vincent de Paul s School at 
Newport News, Virginia. New convent at 
Nazareth begun. Death of Mgr. Bouchet. 
Very Rev. J. P. Cronin becomes ecclesiastical 
superior, retaining this office until 1910, when 
the sisterhood received the decree of papal ap 
probation. 

1904 Opening of St. Xavier s School, Raywick, Ken 

tucky, and School of Holy Angels, Barton, 
Ohio. Nazareth and branch houses send ex 
hibits to Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. 
Louis. Alumnae meeting held in St. Louis, in 
Kentucky Building. 

1905 Death of Mother Cleophas Mills. 

1906 New convent completed; many other improve 

ments at Nazareth. 

1908 Training School for Nurses opened in Little Rock 

Infirmary. 

1909 Mother Eutropia McMahon elected superior. 

Opening of St. Mildred s School, Somerset, 
Kentucky. Erection of St. Stanislaus Convent, 
Maynard, Ohio. 

1910 Decree of papal approbation received, elevating 

the community to the rank of a religious order. 

1911 Mother Eutropia becomes mother-general. Sis 

ters resume teaching at St. Patrick s parish 
school, Louisville. Cardinal Falconio, Apos 
tolic Delegate, guest of Nazareth, Sept 13th. 

1912 Death of Mother Eutropia. Second general 

chapter elects Mother Rose Meagher and offi 
cers. Centennial celebration. Completion of 
the Columba Reading Room, Nazareth. St. 
Joseph s parochial school, Bowling Green, 
Kentucky, and the Nazareth School, South 
Boston, Massachusetts, and St. Ann s School, 
Morganfield, founded. 



APPENDIX. 403 

1913 Death of Mother Alphonsa. Home built for Sis 

ters of St. Anthony s School, Bellevue, Ken 
tucky. Opening of St. Ann s Convent, Port 
land, Louisville ; St. Agnes Sanatorium, Louis 
ville ; St. Agnes parochial school, Buechel, Ken 
tucky. St. Helena s Commercial College, 
Louisville. Nazareth Academy affiliated with 
the Kentucky State University. 

1914 Death of Sister Marie Menard. Foundation of 

St. Dominic s School, Columbus, Ohio. Re 
opening of St. Thomas s parochial school on 
the site of Old Nazareth. Jubilee in honor of 
the golden anniversary of Sister Marietta s 
graduation. Nazareth affiliated with the Cath 
olic University of America. 

1915 Training school for nurses begun at Sts. Mary 

and Elizabeth Hospital, Louisville. New pa 
rochial school, St. Peter s parish, Lexington, 
Kentucky. Cold storage and ice plant erected 
at Nazareth. 

1916 Death of Sister Aurea O Brien, at St. Joseph s 

Infirmary, Louisville. Opening of the Nazar 
eth School, Roanoke, Virginia. 



ECCLESIASTICAL SUPERIORS 

Rt. Rev. John B. David, Founder and First Superior. 
Rev. Ignatius A. Reynolds. 
Rev. Joseph Hazeltine. 
Rev. Francis Chambige. 

Rev. Michael Coghlan (during absence of Rev. F. Cham 
bige. ) 

Very Rev. Michael Bouchet, V.G. 
Very Rev. James P. Cronin, V.G. 



CARDINAL PROTECTOR 
His Eminence, Sebastian Cardinal Martinelli. 

VISITS OF APOSTOLIC DELEGATES 

Cardinal Martinelli, June 8th, 1899. 
Cardinal Falconio, Sept. 13th, 1911. 



MOTHERS SUPERIOR 

Mother Catherine Spalding 
Agnes Higdon 
Frances Gardiner 
Columba Carroll 

" Helena Tormey 
Cleophas Mills 

" Alphonsa Kerr 

Eutropia McMahon 

" Rose Meagher 



THE PRESENT GENERAL COUNCIL (1917) 

Reverend Mother-General, Mother Rose Meagher. 
Vicar or First Assistant General, Sister Dula Hogan. 
Second Assistant General, Sister Mary Ignatius Fox. 
Third Assistant General, Sister Mary Stephen Durbin. 
"Fourth Assistant and Secretary General, Sister Marie 

Michelle Le Bray. 
Treasurer General, Sister Evangelista Malone. 

"The members of the present General Council, with the exception of Sister 
Marie Michelle, were elected in July 1912. At that election Sister Marie Menard 
became Secretary General and Assistant General. After her death, 1914, bister 
Marie Michelle succeeded to this office. 



CENTENNIAL ODE 

Ye encircling hills and flower-enameled vales! 
And shimmering lakes that there embosomed lie, 

In crystal deeps reflecting changeful sky 
Bright sun-kissed rills that sparkle through the dales 

Soft murmuring! 
Ye stately trees that courtier-like stand reverently by, 

As worshipping 

The hidden King! 

Come, lend your beauty s spell 

The anthem grand to swell 

That rises to the throne of God on High! 

Sweet birds, whose tuneful throats 

Pour forth melodious notes, 

In joyous lays! 

Ye voices all of Nature s choir, 

Attuned to myriad-stringed lyre! 

Come add your meed of praise 

To the homage deep we offer at the shrine 

Of Nazareth fair these festal days, 

When holiest joy prevails 
And souls are thrilled with purest love divine. 

Hail! Nazareth, all hail! this golden day, 

Our tribute of love we grateful pay, 
And greet thee Queen. Enthroned in our hearts, 

Thou holdest sovereign sway, 

And thy dominion sweetest peace imparts. 

Crowned with the glory of thy hundred years, 

Adorned with jewels rare of priceless worth, 

Gems ne er found in sordid mines of earth 
But delved from hardships, labors, prayers and tears, 

Thou reignest supreme, 
And to our partial eyes, dost seem 

As radiant as a poet s dream. 

The golden scepter thou dost wield, 

Mankind from sin and strife to shield 

406 



APPENDIX. 407 

Is charity benign. 

Her power is greater than the sword, 

She conquereth but for the Lord, 

And neath His saving Sign. 

As the eagle, thou dost thy youth renew 

In heights sublime, 
Soaring afar mid heaven s blue, 

Above the grime. 

Despite thy hundred years, 

On thy calm brow no trace of age appears, 

For like old Ocean thou art ever new; 

Yea, fresher, lovelier now than in thy prime, 

Strong in the strength of youth, and beautiful 

With that rare charm bestowed alone by time. 

The rainbow hues of other years, 

Created by thy smiles and tears, 

Thy face illume. 

Through hardships, thou hast fairer, stronger grown, 
As winter snows make richer summer s bloom, 
And oaks strike deeper root when tempest-blown. 

A century on rapid wings has flown, 

Since God first called thee out of nothingness 

And gave thee life, and being, and a name 

Which men and angels shall forever bless 

With glad acclaim; 
The name of that dear home in Galilee, 

Which sheltered by divine decree, 
The holiest Beings earth has ever known. 

As exiled Trojans built a lesser Troy 
And called the seats for those their country knew, 

So Christ s disciples, to their Master true, 

And cherishing the fields His Feet oft pressed, 

Soon made the western wild a second Palestine, 

A Holy Land where souls find rest 

In many a favored shrine, 
From Bethlehem s Cave to Calvary s summit blest. 

Thou hast thriven, Nazareth, in this sacred soil 

And spread thy sheltering branches far and wide, 

Beneath whose grateful shade in peace abide 



408 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH 

The Brides of Christ, who, bound by Holy Vows, 

Have consecrated to their Heavenly Spouse 

Their lives of prayer, and sacrifice and toil 

We read on thy enduring scroll, 

The story of many a chosen soul, 

From land of snow or land of sun, 

Enamored of the Peerless One, 

With one desire, Him to please, 

Who spurns the sweets around her spread, 

To drink the bitter draught instead 

And leaves the flowery fields of ease 

The thorny way to tread, 

The path the Blessed Master trod, 

That leads unto the Mount of God. 

Onward and upward toward the shining goal 

Their spirits tend, 
God s will to do with strength of soul, 

Their aim and end. 

Oft as they press the thorn, they find the rose, 
Its fragrance doth its hiding place disclose, 

The promised hundred-fold, 

A foretaste of the bliss that shall be theirs 

When they have left this darksome vale of tears, 

For joys untold. 

Nazareth triumphant, in sweet accord 

With Nazareth militant, doth rejoice 

And blend in one harmonious voice 

In psalms of praise and glory to the Lord. 

Among the blessed throng so fair, 

Clothed in celestial light, 
Our spirit eyes with vision rare, 

See aureoled faces bright- 
Faces of those we ve loved and lost, 

Lost for a while, 
Smiling amid that glorious host 

With love s own smile; 

And holy founders great and wise 

Who laid the broad foundation stones, 

On which thou, Nazareth, wast to rise. 

And as we gaze, in dulcet tones 
From starry heights, we seem to hear 



APPENDIX. 409 

Precious words of hope and cheer, 

From lips of those long passed away. 

Hearken and thou wilt hear them say : 

Be true, dear Nazareth, to thy glorious past, 

To its traditions true, 
Then will thy spirit strong and vigorous last 

Whatever may ensue; 

Then will the Master s work go on apace, 

And with the aid of Heaven s grace 

So freely given, 

Thou lt heal and cheer, enlighten as of yore, 

Console the sufferer on his bed of pain, 

And soothe the dying with the hope of gain 

Of life eternal on celestial shore, 

And thus with joy as oft before 

Lead souls to Heaven. 

Thou lt guide the young in Wisdom s healthful ways, 
And train their guileless hearts 

Unschooled in worldly arts, 

Their thoughts to God to raise, 

And make their lives one ceaseless song of praise, 

Thou lt send into a threatened world, 

Where Satan s host with flag unfurled, 

Would win the day, 

Warriors brave, who strive with might 

To curb the wrong, defend the right 

Armed for the fray, 

To drive the clouds of error from the land, 

And spread the light of truth on every hand, 

Till it shine afar 

As a guiding star, 

To all who wander on life s dark strand. 

Valiant women to do and dare, 
To claim their rights and never yield, 
Though mighty foes are in the field ; 
I The right to guard the home with care, 

And be the minist ring angel there, 
To aid and comfort, soothe and bless, 

With all a mother s tenderness; 

To lure men s minds from greed and gain, 

And lift them to a higher plane ; 



410 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH 

Protect the helpless and the poor 
Gainst those who gods of gold adore ; 

Fashion s galling chain to rend, 

And thus her ruthless reign to end ; 

To save the young from the poisoned draught 

That oft from printed page is quaffed, 

And guide their footsteps in the way 

That leads unto eternal day; 
The right to be noble, good and true, 
And do what comes to the hand to do, 

The right to love and sacrifice, 
And make this world a Paradise. 

This thou hast done in the century gone, 

And if the zealous work go on, 

With undimmed luster thou shalt shine 

Through all thy future years, 

In all the beauty that is thine, 

The grace that now appears. 

Yea, thou shalt never die. 
Though cycle after cycle course along, 

And generations pass away, 

Vast empires crumble to decay, 

And e en the world grow old and gray, 

Thou still shalt live, 

And courage give 

To all who struggle gainst the wrong, 

With Truth" their battle cry. 

When Earth, a void from pole to pole, 

And dark through darker space shall roll, 

Lifeless round a lifeless sun, 

When stars refuse their cheering light, 

And aimless roam through endless night. 

Aye, even when their course is run 

To Chaos where they first begun, 

Thou still shalt live in realms above, 

Perfect made by perfect love, 

Laurel-crowned, O Nazareth! 

A conqueror o er time and death, 

And there for all Eternity, 

Enjoy the spoils of victory. 

SISTER MARY DE LOURDES, 

Nazareth, 1912 



GOLDEN JUBILEES IN THE SOCIETY 



Name 


Professed 


Fiftieth 
Annivers y 


Death 


Sister Elizabeth Suttle 


1816 


1866 


1873 


" Clare Gardiner 


1820 


1870 


1878 


Mother Frances Gardiner 


1820 


1870 


1878 


Sister Cecily O Brien 


1820 


1870 


1877 


" Martha Drury 


1823 


1873 


1890 


" Anastasia Lucket 


1824 


1874 


1879 


" Eugenia Harkins 


1825 


1875 


1876 


" Seraphine Buckman 


1825 


1875 


1891 


" Rosalie Huff 


1826 


1876 


1886 


Mother Columba Carroll 


1827 


1877 


1878 


Sister Claudia Elliott 


1827 


1877 


1893 


" Clementia Paine 


1828 


1878 


1892 


" Emily Elder 


1834 


1884 


1886 


" M. Agnes McDermott 


1839 


1889 


1892 


" Generose O Mealy 


1843 


1893 


1894 


" Lucena Gaudy 


1845 


1895 


1913 


" Gabriella Todd 


1845 


1895 


1899 


" Alexia McKay 


1846 


1896 


1902 


Mother Helena Tormey 


1846 


1896 


1900 


Sister Genevieve McGinnis 


1847 


1897 


1899 


" Regina Drumm 


1847 


1897 


1904 


" Benedicta Drury 


1849 


1899 


1899 


" Blandina Drury 


1849 


1899 


1908 


Mother M. Cleophas Mills 


1852 


1902 


1905 


Sister Euphemia Morrisey 


1852 


1902 


1905 


" Joanna Lynch 


1852 


1902 


1912 


" M. Vincent Hardie 


1853 


1902 


1915 


" M. Paul Brennan 


1855 


1905 


1912 


" Celeste Halinan 


1855 


1905 


1906 


" Agnes Kennedy 


1855 


1905 


1912 


" Augustine Callen 


1855 


1905 


1908 


" Mildred Travers 


1855 


1905 




" M. Magdalen McMahon 


1856 


1906 




" Justine Lennehen 


1857 


1907 


1912 


411 



412 



SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH 



Name 


Professed 


Fiftieth 
Annivers y 


Death 


Sister 


M. David Wagner 


1857 


1907 


1907 


it 


Erminilda Kelly 


1857 


1907 


1914 





M. Louis Hines 


1858 


1908 




u 


M. Jerome Fitzpatrick 


1859 


1909 


1909 


fl 


Guidonia Flaherty 


1859 


1909 







Isadore Nevin 


1860 


1910 


1913 


(( 


Patricia Grimes 


1860 


1910 


1915 


u 


De Chantal Kenney 


1861 


1911 







Blanche Traynor 


1861 


1911 




(I 


Lauretta Meagher 


1862 


1912 




( 


Berlindes Sheedy 


1863 


1913 







Catharine Hanly 


1863 


1913 







Lucilla Dvvyer 


1863 


1913 




(( 


Thomasine Malony 


1863 


1913 


1915 


(( 


Benita Tollman 


1863 


1913 




(I 


Kostka Stafford 


1864 


1914 







Euphrasia Stafford 


1864 


1914 







Josephine Smith 


1865 


1915 







Alberta Dunn 


1865 


1915 




it 


Aurelia Brown 


1865 


1915 







Salesia Elgin 


1865 


1915 




( 


Celestine Morrissey 


1866 


1916 







Rosaline McLaughlin 


1866 


1916 




11 


Verina Grief 


1866 


1916 




n 


Estelle Hasson 


1866 


1916 





THE Community prizes several verses commemorating 
these Jubilee occasions. Less because of their literary 
merit, than as expressing the thoughts of cherished Sis 
ter Martha Drury, these lines to Mother Columba have 
been preserved : 

THERE are many to-day, dear Mother, 

Who are crowning your head with gold, 
And writing fine things of the record 

Your fifty long years have told. 
And I too should come, with the others, 

My offering before you to cast ; 
But I am old, and my thoughts, dear Mother, 

Somehow will fain run on the past ; 



APPENDIX. 413 

On the days when our Naz reth, dear Naz reth, 

Was not like what Naz reth is now; 
When we lived like the ravens and sparrows, 

Our dear Lord only knew how. 
Then we spun, and we wove, and we labored 

Like men in the fields; and our fare 
Was scanty enough, and our garments 

Were coarse, and our feet often bare. 

We had then no fine, stately convent ; 

No church-towers reaching the skies; 
Our home was a low-roofed log-cabin, 

Which a servant now would despise; 
But we had, in that humblest shelter, 

What the costliest palace might grace, 
And fill with glory and honor 

Mother Catherine s angelic face. 

She told how the path we had chosen 

Christ honored by choosing the same, 
And taught us how we should be sisters 

In heart and in deed as in name. 
And there was our dear Mother Frances; 

God had blessed her and spared her to see 
The mustard-seed sown in the forest 

Grow up to the wide-spreading tree. 

And you were among our first pupils ; 

Tis true God has wonderful ways: 
How little we thought what the future 

Would bring in those first early days! 
I remember how gladly we hailed you 

(God s wise plans always fit in and suit), 
And tis fitting that He should have placed you 

To gather the blossoms and fruit ! 

Forgive if too long I have prated 

Of bygones on this your own day; 
But we re going so fast, we old sisters, 

And with us are passing away 
So many traditions and memories 

That precious and sacred we hold, 
I feel that their beauty and radiance 

Would make all the brighter your gold. 



414: SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH 

The following lines for the same occasion were writ 
ten by one of the first children whom Mother Catherine 
took into her maternal care in 1832, a Mrs. M. E. Jen 
kins McGill", a graduate of Nazareth, a gifted woman 
who made her home in Texas : 

To MOTHER COLUMBA. 

Mother, while great and small their tribute bring 

To greet this hallowed day; 
Among the least this simple offering 
From one whose brightest memories cling 

To scenes now far away. 

Beautiful Nazareth, thy shadow falls 

Above thy sainted band; 
And from the emerald soil, thy stately halls 
Arise, sheltering alike, within their walls, 

Children of every land. 

The present vanishes I see thy past 

Pictured as in a dream; 
A stately bark upon the ocean s breast; 
Guiding its many fleets and hardly pressed 
By storms, yet safely piloting to rest 

In port of bliss supreme. 

Now little children in their robes of white 

With angel guards around, 
Make vocal all thy haunts and with the light 
Of innocence brightening where all was bright, 
While peaceful day succeeds to peaceful night, 

Blessing thy hallowed ground. 

Ah thou ! devoted guardian of their youth and mine, 

Evangel of the West! 
The heat and labor of the day are past. 
Thy heaven-bound bark, with colors at the mast, 
And wafted by thy children s prayers, at last 
Will anchor in that port wherein the Lord Divine 

Gives to His beloved rest! 

"The present author may not claim kinship, nor with Sister Apollonia and 
Bishop McGill. 



SUMMARY 

The Society numbers 930 members. 

Novices , 47 

Postulants 41 

Branch Houses 60 

Academies 15 

Parochial Schools 34 

Orphanages and Homes 6 

Hospitals and Infirmaries 5 

Yearly Attendance of Pupils in Sisters 

Schools 20,000 

Annual Number of Patients cared for. 10,000 

From 1814 to 1916 Nazareth Academy at the Mother 
House has registered 7036 pupils. 



ST. JOSEPH S CATHEDRAL, BARDSTOWN 

DURING the week, July 16-20, 1916, was commemor 
ated the hundredth anniversary of the laying of this 
venerable edifice s corner stone. An editorial writer in 
the Louisville Courier-Journal fittingly reports the cele 
bration : "A jubilee marked by touching and inspiring 
ceremonies, the presence of learned and good men, the 
delivery of masterful addresses, but, most memorable of 
all, the coming together in a common fellowship of men 
and women of all religious faiths. The Protestant peo 
ple of Bardstown and Nelson county united unanimously 
with their Catholic brethren to celebrate an event which 
meant the spread of Christianity and civilization, not 
merely throughout Kentucky, but the whole of the great 
Northwest Territory. 

"It is a significant and satisfying fact that the early 
Catholic settlers of Kentucky the men who raised that 
beautiful temple in the then virgin forest were descen 
dants of those Catholics of Maryland who, fleeing reli 
gious persecution in their native land, proclaimed and 
practised that dearest of all American principles, religious 
toleration. All Kentuckians should love the old cathe 
dral, if for no other reason than that it was builded by 
children of the noble men and women who sailed the 
Ark and the Dove. 

"But the Cathedral of St. Joseph is venerable for other 
reasons. Within its history-imbued walls there is housed 
a priceless collection of the world s greatest paintings, 
the works of such immortals as Rubens, Murillo, Van 
Eyck and Van Dyke. More than a million dollars gladly 
would be paid by collectors for this treasury of art." 

These paintings were bestowed by Louis Philippe and 
his family. Another gift from the French King was a 
bell, bearing the royal coat-of-arms and the inscription: 
"At Lyons, 1821. Audite vcrbum Domini, gentes; et 
annunciate in insults qucc procul sunt" To the summons 

416 



APPENDIX. 417 

of that venerable bell, now recast, a long procession of 
acolytes, religious, priests and prelates marched from 
Bishop Flaget s episcopal residence to St. Joseph s dur 
ing the Centennial Exercises. 

Distinguished clerics and laymen honored the celebra 
tion by their presence and eloquence. Their addresses 
contained frequent reference to Nazareth, whither dur 
ing the week many pilgrimages were made. One day 
was set apart to honor Nazareth s founder, "Father 
David. The orator of the occasion, Rev. R. J. Meany, 
made glowing allusions to the Sisters work, emphasiz 
ing their invaluable aid to Father David and St. 
Thomas s Seminary in the early days. 

Because of Nazareth s close and long association with 
St. Joseph s, it was fitting that the Sisters should share 
in the impressive season of prayer and thanksgiving. 
At the request of Dean O Connell, a member of the 
order paid the following lyric tribute to the venerable 
Church whose founders and those of Nazareth were 
identical : 



CENTENNIAL ODE 
1816 BARDSTOWN CATHEDRAL 1916 

Triumphant music heavenward flows, 
Flows upward to the Great White Throne, 

Melodious notes 

From myriad throats 

A swelling wave of praise and prayer, 

From hearts in which love warmly glows; 

With organ peal sublime, 

And bell s sonorous chime, 

Blending in one harmonious tone, 

Is joyous borne 

This glorious morn 

Upon the vibrant ambient air; 

A psalm of love 

To God above, 



418 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH 

Thanksgiving for the graces given 

That make this earth a type of Heaven 

Given through thee, O sacred Fane, 

Fair temple of the Lord of Hosts, 

The radiant center of His grace, 

His chosen home, His holy place, 

Through all thy hundred years 

Of storms and sunshine, smiles and tears. 

The world takes up the glad refrain 
And sounds thy name to farthest coasts. 

We gather here 

From far and near, 

To do thee homage on thy natal day, 

And feast upon thy comeliness and grace 

Thou rt fairer now than at thy birth, 

A gem upon the brow of earth, 

The smile of God reflected in thy face. 

Thou hast a beauty all thy own 

From spire to foundation stone, 

A simple beauty that enthralls the heart 

Far more than all the tricks of art. 

Thy massive columns grand, 

As those in classic land, 

In silent majesty before thee stand, 

And from their niches as in temples old, 

The images of saints look calmly down 

Upon the worshippers of saintly mold 

Who daily throng thy portals fair, 
At sound of bell that calls to prayer. 

That grand old bell, 

The royal gift of royal hand, 

Whose golden notes 

O er hill and dell, 

Oft rise and swell, 

As the music floats 

Away through all this favored land, 

Bearing to souls the message clear, 

Bright and clear as the morning star, 

"AUDITE VERBUM DOMINI," 



APPENDIX. 419 

Let it sound from sea to sea, 

"Hear the word of the Lord, ye nations, hear, 

And announce it in islands afar." 

Within thy walls, O temple fair, we gaze 

In wonder and amaze 
On the vision bright of loveliness we see ; 

It seems as thou wouldst vie 

With summer s star-gemmed sky, 

And mingle sunset colors gloriously 

With soothing azure hue 

Borrowed from welkin blue, 

And deck thyself in jewels rich and rare, 

In honor of the Presence there, 

The Prisoner of Love 

Who leaves His home above, 

Among the sons of men to dwell. 

Could thy walls speak, what wondrous tales 

Of past and present they would tell, 

Of sins forgiven, hearts consoled, 

Of souls uplifted to the light 
That once had groped in darkest night ! 

What histories they could unfold 

Of priests and prelates, heroes brave, 

Heroes whose courage never fails 

While battl ; ng humankind to save! 

Priests who offered at thy holy shrine 

The Spotless Victim for the sins of men 

Restoring them to grace and health again, 

And feeding them with Bread of Life divine! 

Shepherds who faithful to their flock, 

Unwavering as the solid rock, 

Sought unwearied far and wide 

Sheep that from the fold had strayed, 

And led them back to sunny glade. 

The living streams beside, 
Sowers that sowed the seed divine 

Which fell on fertile soil, 
Blessed with the saving sign, 
And brought forth fruit a hundred fold 



420 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH 

Among the sturdy sons of toil, 

Who broke the glebe and blazed the woodlands wild, 

Who built them huts of logs fresh hewn 

The virgin forests priceless boon, 

Homes where love as pure as gold 

And peace and sweet content untold 

Reigned in dominion mild; 

Where God was loved and His commands obeyed, 
Where virtue, wealth and fame outweighed. 

Men of brawn and men of brain, 

From early dawn to evening s wane, 

Toiling in the fields of grain 

Or in the garden of the soul, 

As the seasons ceaseless roll, 

Until the wilderness they found, 

Blossomed like the rose, 
Whose beauteous leaves unclose 

In sun and rain, 
And faith and hope and love abound. 

Within this sacred pile their children kneel to-day, 
Heirs of their faith, their courage and their zeal, 

Ready like them to perish in the fray 
For truth and justice and the Church s weal. 

They sing in worthy words of praise 

Their noble forbears and their noble deeds, 

And that long line of leaders true and brave, 

\Vho guided them in all their ways, 

Through persecution s thorns and weeds, 

And taught them how their precious souls to save. 

The saintly Flaget leads the glorious line, 

The primal Prelate of this Western See, 

Who ruled with gentle sway of charity; 

While David fed his flock in this new Palestine, 

The humble shepherd, who with sling and lance 

Of zeal and learning, soon laid low 

The great Goliath Ignorance, 
Truth s bitterest, deadliest foe. 

Behold a Kenrick and a Spalding great, 
And brave Loyola s warrior sons, 



APPENDIX. 421 

And all the holy faithful ones, 

Who would have died for thy estate 

A line of God-like men, 

The Army of the Lord. 

Whose only aim has been 

New glory for their King to win, 

By the Spirit s two-edged sword. 

The last to-day before us stands, 

And lifts his consecrated hands 

To draw God s blessing down, 

As he has done for years, 
Years that have placed their silver crown 

Upon his honored brow, 
Faithful he through hopes and fears 

Ever as we see him now. 

Need I breathe his cherished name 

When thousands rise and call him blest? 

Ah ! no, the very hills proclaim 

The great O Connell of the West 

Who like the Liberator strong 

Upholds the right, condemns the wrong, 

And stands for all that s good and true, 

As thou dost stand, O Church of God, 

Who treads the path his Master trod, 

And keeps his Master s ends in view. 

He loves thee, old Cathedral, with a love 

That will outlast the ravages of time, 

His tender care and watchfulness to prove 

He keeps thee ever fresh as in thy prime 

To make thee pleasing to the eye; 

He keeps thy spirit pure unstained 

To make thee pleasing to the soul, 

To lift man s thoughts to God on High 

And lead him to his goal. 

Ah! dear St. Joseph s, thou art blest, 

And hast been, and we pray 

That thou shalt be in years to come 

Till time has passed away. 



422 SISTERS OF CHARITY OF NAZARETH 

And all thy children are at rest 

In their eternal home, 

With that vast throng of beings bright, 

Whose voices with our own unite 

On this thy Jubilee, 
In the glorious anthems that arise 
And fervent prayers that pierce the skies 
For thee, for thee ; 
That happy band, 
Who by thy hand 

Were led from earth to realms of light, 

And who through all the eternal days, 

Will sing thy glory and thy praise. 

SISTER MARY DE LOURDES, 
Nazareth, Kentucky, July, 1916. 



INDEX 



Abbott, Capt. Jack 185 

Abell, Rev. Robert 29; 53; 54; 
55 

Adrian, Ky., Nazareth founda 
tion 401 

Aime, Sister 229 

Albina, Sister 171 

Alumnae Association 246; 248 
401 

Anderson, Robert, General 148- 
149 

"Angels of the Battlefield" 148 

Angermeier, Mr. Harry 294 

Anine, Sister 188; 189 

Annunciation Academy, Pine 
Bluff, Ark. 194-195; 400 

Anselma, Sister 220 

Antonia, Sister 170 

A. P. A., in Boston 323 

"Aunt Agnes" 105 

Badin, Stephen, and Flaget 4, 
missionary labors 6 sqq., and 
Nazareth 59 ; 61-63 ; 69 

Bamber, Sister Hilaria 53 ; 93 

Bamber, Sister Margaret 53; 93 

Bamber, Sister Patricia 93 ; 138 ; 
155 

Bardstown, cathedral conse 
crated 28 ; cholera epidemic 
101 ; 138 ; civil war period 150 ; 
Flaget s episcopate 6; Naza 
reth 100; 224; see erected 5; 
396 

Barry, Bro. Edmund 354 

Barry, Rev. Richard 216 

Barton, Ohio, Nazareth founda 
tion 209 ; 212 ; 256 ; 402 

Basilla, Sister 252 ; 302 

Beatrice, Sister 114 ; 252 

Beatricia, Sister 167 

Beaven, Ellen 277 

Beaven, Sister Martine 53 



Beaven, Mary (Sister Polly) 20; 

26; 27; 39; 101 
Beckham, Governor of Kentucky 

258 

Bellaire, Ohio, Nazareth founda 
tion 206-207 
Bellevue, Ky., Nazareth school 

234; 401; 403 
Bethlehem Academy, Bardstown 

27; 90; 224; 396 
Bethlehem Academy, Holly 

Springs 177-178 ; 187 ; 191 ; 398 
Bethlehem School, Holly Springs 

399 
Bickett, Sister Adelaide 162; 

177; 401 

Blaque, Madame 125 
Blessed Sacrament School 

Louisville 399 

Boetzkes, Rev. John M. 193 
Boldrick, Mrs. Carra Spalding 

297 

Boldrick, Mary Phillips 297 
Bonaventure, Sister 173 
Boniface, Sister 246 
Bonzano, Mgr., and Nazareth 

centennial 280 
Boston, Nazareth foundations 

212-218; 322-324 
Bouchet, Rev. Michael 224 ; 298 ; 

354 ; 357 ; 369 ; 399 ; 402 
Bowling, Rev. B. J. 265 
Bowling Green, Ky., Nazareth 

foundation 164; 398; 402 
Boyer, Madame 125 
Bradford, Anna 130; 131 
Bradford, Elizabeth 130; 131 
Bradford, Mary 130; 131 
Brady, Rev. Hugh 354 
Bragg, General 161 
Breintner, Father 284 
Brennan, Sister M. Paul 411 
Brice, Sister Mary 



423 



424 



INDEX 



Bridgeport, O., Nazareth found 
ation 209 ; 211 ; 401 

Brockton, Mass., Nazareth 
foundation 214-215 ; 400 

Brooks, Sister Angela 230 

Brossart, Rt. Rev. Ferdinand 
229 ; 230 

Brown, Sister Aurelia 412 

Brown, Col. 160 

Brownson, O. A. 124, 124n 

Brute, Bishop, and Nazareth 110 

Buckman, Sister Seraphine 411 

Buckman, Sister Victoria 71 ; 
255 

Buckner, General 161 

Buechel, Ky., Nazareth school 
294; 403 

Bullitt, Alexander 133 

Buschmeyer, Mrs. Florence 
Byrne 291 

Byrne, Sister Anatolia 235 

Caldwell, Eliza Mary Brecken- 
ridge 172; 318 

Caldwell, William Shakespeare 
172; 318 

Calhoun, Ky., civil war period 
154 

Callen, Sister Augustine 222 ; 411 

Camilla, Sister 231 

Campbell, Mrs. Given 260 

Campbell, Rev. Thomas J., SJ. 
289 

Carney, Sister Serena 110 

Carrico, Sister Teresa 19; 26; 
85-88 

Carrell, Rt. Rev. G. A., and Na 
zareth Sisters 112 

Carroll, Mother Columba (Mar 
garet) 41; 95; 121; 130; 136- 
147; 153; 157; 159; 180-181; 
188; 248; 296; 347; 396; 398; 
399; 411; 414 

Carroll, Sister Sophia (Esther) 
122; 137 



Carton, Sister Sophia 110; 114; 
137; 221; 234 

Catholic University, Nazareth 
affiliation 303 

Chabrat, Rt. Rev. G. I., and Na 
zareth 21 ; 58 ; 59 ; 397 

Chambige, Rev. Francis 71 ; 160 ; 
244-245; 354; 367-369; 398 

Charity, Sisters of, of Emmits- 
burg, and Nazareth 16 ; 25 ; 58 ; 
181 

Charity, Sisters of, of Leaven- 
worth 116 ; 397 ; and Nazareth 
centennial 290 

Charity, Sisters of, of Loretto 
101 ; 380 

Charity, Sisters of, of Nazareth, 
Bardstown foundation 27 ; 100 ; 
Barton, Ohio 209; Bellaire 
206 ; Bellevue, Ky. 234 ; Boston 
foundations 212; and Father 
Bouchet 224; Bowling Green 
164; Bridgeport, Ohio 209; 
Brockton, Mass. 214; Buechel, 
Ky. 294; Carroll, Mother Col 
umba 136-147; centennial 276- 
292; changes suggested 59-69; 
chapel, first 36; Circleville 
208; Civil War 140-143; 148- 
163 ; and Father Coghlan 369 ; 
Corning, Ohio 209; Coving- 
ton, Ky. 112 ; 191 ; and Father 
Cronin 227-230 ; curricula 305- 
328; and Father Davis 287; 
Dennison, Ohio 209; Earling- 
ton 235; East Liverpool, O. 
212; election, first 20; Fancy 
Farm 235 ; foundation 16 ; and 
Mother Frances 81 ; Frankfort, 
Ky. 235; habit 25-26; 63; 69; 
338 ; and Father Hazeltine 365- 
366; Helena, Ark. 192-194; 
Holly Springs 177-178; Hyde 
Park, Mass. 215 ; and Dr. Ken- 
rick 371-372 ; Leonardtown 



INDEX 



425 



200; Little Rock 196-197; 
Long Lick 29 ; Louisville 110 ; 
Lowell, Mass. 217; Martin s 
Ferry, Ohio 209; Maynard, 
Ohio 209; Memphis, Tenn. 
197 ; Morganfield 274 ; Mount 
Vernon, Ohio 207; Mingo 
Junction, O. 212; Nashville 
114; Newburyport, Mass. 213; 
New Hope, Ky. 236 ; Newport, 
Kjy. 112; Newport News 205; 
New Straitsville, O. 212 ; nurs 
ing activities 138; 144; 383; 
166-171 ; Father O Callaghan 
375; orphanages 52; Owens- 
boro 112; Paducah 113; papal 
approbation 265 ; Paris, Ky. 
235; Pine Bluff 194; Ports 
mouth, Ohio 206 ; Roanoke 
203; rule 25; and Father 
Russell 375-379; and St. 
Joseph s College 31 ; Shaw- 
nee 209; Somerset, Ky. 265; 
Spalding, Mother Catherine 
45-78 ; spirit of the order 329- 
344 ; superior, ecclesiastical 59 ; 
statistics 415; Uniontown, Ky. 
235; Vincennes 109-110; 
Whitesville 237; Yazoo City 
178 ; see also Nazareth 

Charity, Sisters of, of St. Vin 
cent de Paul 393-395 

Charlesetta, Sister 299 

Chase, Madame 125 

Chazelle, Father 133 

Chenowith, Sofia 174 

Cheverus, Bishop 276 

Chiles, Miss Ophelia 249 

Chittick, Mgr. James J. 217; 
380 

Christian Instruction of the 
Sacred Heart, Brothers of, 
orphanage, Louisville 299 

Circleville, Ohio, Nazareth 
foundation 208; 400 



Clark, George Rogers, and Fla- 
get 5 

Clark, Rev. William 354; 371 

Clark, Rev. W. E. 46 

Clarksville, Tenn., Nazareth 
foundation 198 ; 399 

Clay, Henry, and Flaget 357; 
and Nazareth 42 

Coghlan, Father 354; 369 

Columba Reading Room, Nazar 
eth 290 ; 346-347 

Columbus, Ohio, Nazareth 
schools 321 ; 403 

Concordia, Ky., Nazareth found 
ation 398 

Constantia, Sister 167 

Cook, Polly 277 

Coomes, Mrs. William, school 
380 

Cooper, Sister Agatha 27 ; 39 

Corcoran, Jeremiah 77n 

Corning, Ohio, Nazareth founda 
tion 209 

Corona, Sister 181 

Corriganville, Mass, school 217 

Courier-Journal 220 

Covington, Ky., La Salette Aca 
demy 82; 112; 191; 227-230; 
398 

Covington, Edward 168 

Crane, Rev. Dominic 353 

Craney, Rev. Robert 274 

Cronin, Very Rev. James, and 
Nazareth 271; 293; 302; 370; 
402 

Crothers, Austin L., Governor 
of Maryland 201 

Cull, Rev. D. B. 206 

Cyrilla, Sister 181 

Daily, Mr. and Mrs. M. V. 232 

David, John Baptist, biograph 
ical details 11-16; death 70; 
397 ; episcopal consecration 28 ; 
and Flaget 7; grave 353; and 
Nazareth 1; 35; 36; 59; 64; 



426 



INDEX 



119; 121; 298; 358-364; 396; 
statue 346 

"David s Tower" 113; 231 
Davis, Sister Constance 231- 

232; 274; 295 
Davis, Mrs. Marcella O Reilly 

247 

Davis, Mrs. Richard 178 
Davis, Rev. Richard 231; 286; 

287; 379 

Dayton, Tenn., Nazareth founda 
tion 198; 401 
De Chantal, Sister 164 
De Fraine, Father, and Nazar 
eth 373 

Dennison, Ohio, Nazareth foun 
dation 209; 401 
Deppen, Rev. Louis G. 272 ; 300 ; 

301; 379 

De Sales, Sister 114 
Devota, Mrs. Susie Malone 189 
De Vries, Rev. Joseph 164; 168 
Dewey, John, quoted 325 
Disney, Father 354 
Doherty, Mrs. P. M. 178 
Dorchester, Mass., Nazareth 

foundation 400 
Downing, Sister Berenice 250 
Drumm, Sister Regina 411 
Drury, Sister Alice 299 
Drury, Sister Benedicta 411 
Drury, Sister Blandina 411 
Drury, Sister Isabella 97; 104; 

105; 106; 231 

Drury, Sister Martha (Cath 
erine) 34; 53; 96-97; 101; 
114; 150-151; 234; 301; 411; 
412 

Dufour, Mile 125 
Dunn, Sister Alberta 412 
Duprez, Sister Mary Elizabeth 

238 
Durbin, Rev. E. J. 33 ; 102 ; 225- 

226 
Durbin, Sister Mary Stephen 405 



Dutto, Father 184 
Dwyer, Sister Lucilla 412 

Earlington, Ky., Nazareth foun 
dation 235 ; 400 
East Lake, Tenn., Nazareth 

foundation 198; 400 
East Liverpool, O. 212 ; 401 
Elder, Archbishop 183; 188; 380 
Elder, Sister Emily 162; 337; 411 
Elder, Rev. G. 37; 354; 371 
Elder, Thomas 46 
Elgin, Sister Salesia 412 
Elliott, Sister Claudia 411 
Emerentia, Sister 181 ; 188 
Emerson, Sister Harriet 238 
Etienne, Sister 263 

Fairfield, Ky., Nazareth founda 
tion 96 

Falconio, Cardinal 271 ; 281 ; 402 

Fancy Farm, Graves Co.., Ky., 
Nazareth foundation 235-236; 
401 

Farley, Cardinal, and Nazareth 
centenary 281 

Felton, Father 262 

Fenwick, Sister Scholastica 238 

Filley, Mrs. 260 

Fitzgerald, Rt. Rev. Edward S. 
192; 196; 227 

Fitzgerald, Sister Stella 184 

Fitzpatrick, Sister M. Jerome 412 

Flaget, Benedict Joseph, bio 
graphical details 2-11; conse 
cration 396; death 398; and 
Mother Frances 81 ; and Naz 
areth 21; 49; 53; 58; 59; 60; 
63 ; 278 ; 356-358 ; ring 290 

Flaget, Sister Eulalia 40; 101; 
117-118 

Flaherty, Sister Guidonia 114; 

226; 412 
Flanigan, Sister Ann Matilda 301 

Florentine, Sister 164 
Florida, Sister 173 



INDEX 



427 






Ford, Dr. 168 

Forest, General 151 

Fossick, Mrs. Mary Ellis 
O Reilly 247 

Fossick, Margaret 247 

Fouche, Rev. Simon 34-35 ; 119 ; 
134 

Fox, Sister Columba 229; 230 

Fox, Sister Mary Ignatius 216; 
405 

Francis Xavier, Sister 299 

Frankfort, Ky., Nazareth foun 
dations 235 ; 398 ; 399 ; 400 

Gallitzen, Prince Demetrius 46 
Galvin, Mrs. Mollie Fitzpatrick 

291 

Gambon, Mgr. 227 
Gardiner, Sister Clare 27 ; 42-43 ; 

91-92 ; 110 ; 112 ; 299 ; 399 ; 411 
Gardiner, Mother Frances 27-28 ; 

30; 43; 79-85; 109; 112; 145; 

397; 399; 411 
Gardiner, Sister Harriet 20 ; 21 ; 

26; 27; 34; 42; 43; 89-92; 101 
Gardiner, Henrietta Boone 79; 

80 

Gardiner, Joseph 79 
Gardiner, Winfield Hamilton 79 
Gaudy, Sister Lucena 411 
Gaynor, Sister Eulalia 231 ; 299 
"Genii of the Water" 351 
Georgetown College, David at 

13; Flaget at 5 
Geraldine, Sister 299 
Gibbons, Cardinal 200 ; 201 ; 202 ; 

262; 280 

Gilles, Rev. Vital 134 
Gillespie, Mr. 301 
Gilsenan, Rev. James 302 
Glynn, Father 215 
Gonzaga, Sister 173 
Gossens, Henry 354 
Gough, James 34 
Grace, Sister Pelagia 197 



Grandeville, Monsieur de 125 
Greenwell, James 201 
Grief, Sister Verina 412 
Grimes, Sister Patricia 166 ; 167- 

168; 412 

Guilfoyle, Sister Hortense 196 
Guthrie, Hon. James 157 
Gwynn, Sister Mary 20 ; 396 
Gyles, Rev. Mr. 199 

Faeseley, Rev. C. A. 235 
Hager, Mr. 196 
Haissart, Rev. Evremond 134 
Halinan, Sister Celeste 411 
Hanly, Sister Catharine 
Hardie, Sister Mary Vincent 

197; 204; 226; 253; 411 
Hardin, Ben 50 
Harkins, Sister Eugenia 411 
Hardinsburg, Ky., Nazareth 

foundation 399 
Harrison, Sister Laurentia 183 ; 

234 
Hartley, Rt. Rev. James J. 271; 

278; 321; 380 
Hasson, Sister Estelle 192 ; 225 ; 

412 

Haughran, Rev. John 208 
Haydon, Ann 277 
Haydon, Julia 277 
Haydon, Polly 277 
Hayes, Rev. Thomas D. 168 
Hazeltine, Henry 123 
Hazeltine, Rev. Joseph 59; 114; 

122; 130-131; 354; 365-366; 

397; 398 
Helena, Arkansas, Nazareth 

foundation 192-194 
Henderson, Ky., Nazareth foun 
dation 399 
Henderson, Mrs. Jennie Legg 

291 
Herbermann, Charles G., quoted 

357-358 
Heslin, Rt. Rev. T. 270 



428 



INDEX 



Hewit, Dr. 150 

Higdon, Mother Agnes 27; 29; 

39; 40; 396 

Hines, Sister M. Louis 412 
H obbs, Sister Julia 299 
Hogan, Sister Dula 164 ; 208 ; 405 
Hogarty, Rev. Joseph 253 ; 280 ; 

379 
Hogarty, Rev. William 249 ; 284 ; 

379 
Holly Springs, Miss., Nazareth 

foundation 178 ; 183 ; 184 ; 185 ; 

398 
Holy Angels School, Barton, O. 

211-212; 402 
Holy Family statue, Nazareth 

346 
Holy Name School, Henderson 

399 
Holy Name School, Louisville 

223; 320; 401 

Holy Redeemer School, Ports 
mouth, O. 399 
"Home Manual," by Mrs. Logan 

108 

Hood, General 161 
Hoop, Rev. Francis D 134; 354 
Hopkins, Miss Lula 260 
Howard Society 181 
Huber, Father 182 
Hughes, Rev. Thomas, quoted 307 
Huff, Sister Rosalie 411 
Hyde Park, Mass., Nazareth 

foundation 215-217 ; 258 ; 324 

Imelda, Sister 226 

Immaculata Academy, Newport, 

Ky., 82; 112; 113; 191; 230- 

234; 398 
Immaculate Conception School 

Dennison, O. 209 ; 401 
Immaculate Conception School, 

Newburyport, Mass. 400 
Isadora, Sister 181 
"Jacko the Great" 123 



Jacob, Charles, mayor of Louis 
ville 168; 170-171 

Jane Frances. Sister 114 

Janssens, Bishop 188 

Jenkins, Rev. C. K. 201 

Jesuits, St. Joseph s College 71; 
133 ; 134 ; and Nazareth 170 

Johnston, Col. Stoddard, quoted 
357 

Jovita, Sister 173 

Kehoe, Rev. Frank 234 
Kellenaers, Rev. T. 235 
Kelly, Mrs. E. H. 189 
Kelly, Sister Erminilda 412 
Kelly, Sister Margaret 184 
Kennedy, Sister Agnes 411 
Kenney, Sister De Chantal 412 
Kenrick, Rt. Rev. F. P. 371-372 
Kentucky, first school 380 
Kentucky University, Nazareth 

affiliation 303 
Kerr, Mother Alphonsa 211 ; 

254-257 ; 260 ; 293 ; 402 ; 403 
Kester, Paul 349 
Keyes, Sister Uberta 172 
Kirwin, Very Rev. James M. 208 
Knoxville, Tenn., Nazareth 

foundation 198; 400 
Kostka, Sister 254 
Kuhlnan, Father 288 

Ladies of Charity 393 
Lampton, Sister Lucy 107 ; 109 
Lamy, Father 184 
Lancaster, Ann 24; 277 
Lancaster, Rev. James Madison 

114;122 
La Salette Academy, Covington, 

Ky. 82 ; 112 ; 191 ; 227-230 ; 397 
Le Bray, Sister Marie Michelle 

405 

Lebreton, Rev. Peter 134 
Le Corre, Rev. P., and Nazareth 

178; 179; 187 
Legounais, Rev. Thomas 134 



INDEX 



429 



Le Gras, Anthony 392 
Le Gras, Mile 29 ; 391-395 
Lennehan, Sister Justine 411 
Leonardtown, Md., Nazareth 

foundation 200-202; 400 
Lewis, Sister Joanna 118 
Lexington, Ky., Civil War peri 
od 153; Nazareth foundation 
108; 109; 226; 298; 399 
Lincoln, Abraham 141; 156 
Little Rock, Arkansas, Nazareth 

foundation 196-197 
Logan, Mrs. John A. 103-106 
Long Lick, Ky., school 29 ; 396 
Loretto Sisters, Fairfield, Ky. 

288 ; 290 

Louis Philippe, and Flaget 5 
Louisiana Purchase Exposition 

257-259; 402 

Louisville, city council, and Sis 
ters of Charity 53; 54; civil 
war 148-150; Nazareth foun 
dations 71 ; 110 ; 168 ; 221-224 ; 
293-294; 319-320; see trans 
ferred to 71; tornado (1890) 
219-221 

Lourdes grotto, Nazareth 346 
Lowell, Mass., Nazareth founda 
tion 217 

Lubberman, Father 225 
Lucey, Rev. J. M. 194; 195-196; 

380 

Luckett, Sister Anastasia 411 
Ludlow, Ky., Nazareth founda 
tion 401 
Luynes, Rev. Charles Hippolyte 

De 134; 373-374 
Lynch, Rev. J. W. 204 
Lynch, Sister Johanna (Nancy) 

27; 101; 253; 411 
Lystra, projected settlement 385- 
386 

Mariana, Sister 171 
McCabe, Mr. 211 



McCloskey, Bishop 290 ; 354 ; 379 
McCloskey, Rev. George 354 ; 379 
McClure, Father 215 
McCormick, Dr. 189 
McDermott, Gertrude 185; 185n 
McDermott, Sister Mary Agnes 

301 ; 411 

McDermott, Robert 185n 
McEachen, Rev. R. 211-212; 256 
McGill, Sister Apollonia 110; 

117; 301; 361 
McGill, Rt. Rev. John 125; 133; 

352 
McGill, Mrs. M. E. Jenkins, 

verses 414 

McGinnis, Sister Genevieve 411 
Mcllvain, Charlotte 126 
Mclntyre, Sister Anna 238 
McKay, Sister Alexia, golden 

jubilee 248; 411 
McKenna, Mrs. James 278 
McLoughlin, Sister Rosaline 412 
McMahon, Mother Eutropia 222 ; 

260; 264-265; 272-273; 402 
McMahon, Sister Mary Mag 
dalen 230; 411 
McNerney, Rev. James 233 
Madeleine, Sister 265; 299 
Maes, Rt. Rev. Camillus Paul 

269; 279 
Mageveny, Mother Mary Agnes, 

O.S.D. 197 

Mahony, Sister Cointha 184 
Malone, Sister Evangelista 190; 

405 
Malone, Sister Mary Catherine 

190 

Malony, Sister Thomasine 412 
Mapother, Wible 222 
Marcella, Sister 231 
Marillac, Louise de. See Le Gras 
Martinelli, Cardinal, and Nazar 
eth 280 ; 401 
Martin s Ferry, Ohio, Nazareth 

foundation 209; 400 



430 



INDEX 



Mary Ann, Sister 159 

Mary Anthony, Sister 260; 261- 

262 

Mary Cyrilla, Sister 299 
Mary de Lourdes, Sister, verses 

406-410 ; 417 

Mary Eunice, Sister, verses 344 
Mary George, Sister 170 
Mary Ignatius, Sister 229 
Mary John, Sister 299 
Mary Josephine, Sister 171 
Mary Leander, Sister 261-262 
Mary Louis, Sister 114; 151-153 
Mary Martha, Sister 299 
Mary Pius, Sister, death 219-220 
Mary Regina, Sister 234-235 
Mary Xavier, Sister 
Matignon, Rev. Francis 276 
Maynard, Ohio, Nazareth foun 
dation 209; 210; 401 
Meagher, Mr. 165 
Meagher, Sister Gonzales 232; 

274 
Meagher, Sister Lauretta 227- 

229; 412 
Meagher, Mother Rose 207 ; 232 ; 

274 ; 291 ; 303 ; 402 
Meara, Rev. M. M. 208 
Memphis, Tenn., Nazareth foun 
dations 197-198; 321; 400; 

401 

Menard, family 151 
Menard, Sister Marie 295-296; 

317; 347; 391n; 403; 405 
Meyer, Mr. Nicholas 354 
Miles, Mrs. Edward (Anna 

Bradford) 236; 247; 254 
Miles, Gen. William R. 188 
Miles, Bishop, and Nazareth 

114; 116 

Miles, Eleanor 277 
Miller, Miss Mary Susan 241- 

343 ; 241 n ; 244 ; 290 
Mills, Mother Cleophas 191; 

207; 210; 216; 226; 236; 252- 



254; 260-261; 346; 400; 402; 
411 
Mingo Junction, Ohio, Nazareth 

school 212 

Mitchell, Mrs. J. S. 248 
Montariol, Father 374-375 
Morgan, Mr. 22 
Morganfield, Ky., Nazareth 

foundation 274; 402 
Morris, Brother James 354 
Morris, Rt. Rev. J. B. 197 
Morrissey, Sister Celestine 412 
Morrissey, Sister Euphemia 

253 ; 411 

Morrissey, Sister Stanislaus 184 
Mount St. Agnes School, Mingo 

Junction, O. 401 
Mount St. Mary s College, Em- 

mitsburg 399 
Mount Vernon, Ohio, Nazareth 

foundation 207-208 
Mouton, Father 179; 182 
Mudd, Sister Euphrasia 170; 

175-176; 230 

Mulhane, Rev. L. W. 207 
Mullan, Rev. Elder, S.J. 266 ; 380 
Murphy, Sister Marietta 161 ; 

162; 260; 290; 296; 403 
Murray, John 156 

\ 

Nasseau, Margaret 394 
Nashville, Tenn., Nazareth foun 
dation 114-116; 397 
Navarro, Mary Anderson De 

110-111 

Nazareth, art collection 348 ; au 
ditorium 238; 299; buildings 
72 ; 256 ; 262-264 ; 396 ; Calvary 
353; cemetery 353; centennial 
ode 406-410; charter 50; 51; 
397; church 36; 72; 254; 352; 
curriculum 128-133; 239-246; 
305-328 ; and David 1 ; 35 ; 36 ; 
119; and Father De Luynes 
373-374; and Father Deppen 



INDEX 



431 



300 ; 301 ; discipline 37 ; exam 
ination, public 41-42; 39.7; 48; 
120; and Flaget 21; 49; and 
122; Holy Family group 346; 
Lourdes grotto 346; and 
Father Montariol 374-375 ; mu 
seum 346-350 ; name 22 ; oper 
etta 351 ; reading room 290 ; 
346-347; and Father Reynolds 
362-364; Sacred Heart Statue 
346; St. Ann shrine 346; and 
St. Joseph s 120; 129; 133; 
Seat of Wisdom statue 345- 
346; university affiliation 306; 
Mrs. Wilkinson s recollections 
117 
Nazareth School, Boston 274- 

276; 402 
Nazareth School, Roanoke 302- 

303 

Nevin, Sister Isadore 412 
Newburyport, Mass., Nazareth 
foundations 213-214 ; 217 ; 324 ; 
400; 401 

New Hope, Ky., Nazareth foun 
dation 236; 401 

Newport, Ky., Nazareth founda 
tion 82; 112; 113; 191; 230- 
234; 398 
Newport News, Va., Nazareth 

foundation 205; 402 
New Straitsville, Ohio, Nazareth 

school 212; 401 
Nilan, Rt. Rev. John 214 
Nugent, Mrs. Florence Burkley 
291 

j 

Oberti, Father 184; 185 
O Brien, Sister Aurea 301 ; 302 ; 

403 

O Brien, Sister Bernardine 71 
O Brien, Sister Cecily 24; 30; 

260; 277; 396; 411 
O Brien, Mrs. Lizzie Graves 291 



O Brien, Sister Mary Rose 162; 

246 

O Brien, Sister Silvia 194; 215 
O Callaghan, Rev. Eugene 227; 

250 ; 375 

O Connel, Bro. Samuel 354 
O Connell, Very Rev. C. J. 224; 

283, 284, 376, 379 
O Connell, Sister Ellen 23; 24; 

27; 35; 37; 38; 94; 95; 118; 

119; 137 
O Connor, Sister Scholastica 32 ; 

38-39; 263 
O Donaghue, Rt. Rev. Dennis, 

and Nazareth 267 ; 278 ; 379 
O Dwyer, Sister Angelica 166- 

167 

O Dwyer, Rev. Joseph 235 
Ohio, Nazareth schools 321 
"Old Nazareth Day" 283-287 
"Old St. Mary s," Paducah 113 
O Leary Home, Louisville 401 
O Loughlin, Rev. Francis, grave 

354 

O Mealy, Sister Generose 411 
Oregon, Nazareth project 303 
O Reilly, Rt. Rev. Charles J., 

bishop of Baker City 303 
O Reilly, Rev. J. B. 205 
O Shaughnessy, Mr. .and Mrs. 

Peter 232-233 
O Shea, Rev. A. 236 
O Sullivan, Rev. Hugh 237 
Our Lady of the Angels School 

Barton, O. 256 

Owensboro, Ky. Civil War peri 
od 154; Nazareth foundation 
112; 226-227; 397 

Paducah, Civil War period 150; 

Nazareth foundation 113 ; 234- 

235; 398 

Paine, Sister dementia 411 
Paris, Ky., Nazareth foundation 

235 



432 



INDEX 



"Part Taken by Women in 
American History" 108 

Pendleton, Sister Adelaide 291; 
347; 353 

Perry, Sister Mary Lawrence 
178; 181; 188 

Peters, W. C. 352 

Petit, Rev. Nicholas 133 

Phillips, Mrs. Mary Finn, golden 
jubilee 296 

Pike, Sister Mary Agnes 237 

Pine Bluff, Ark., Nazareth foun 
dations 194; 400 

Portsmouth, Ohio, Nazareth 
foundation 206 ; 212 ; 399 

Powell, L. W. 133 ; 157 

Powers, Major S. E. 185 

Presentation Academy, Louis 
ville 52; 53; 110; 221-224; 
264; 397; 401 

Preston Park, Ky., orphanage 
298; 299 

Queen, Mrs. Margaret Haydon 
290 

Raffo, Rev. Charles P. 221 

Rahm, Rev. Charles 274 

Raywick, Va., Nazareth founda 
tion 402 

Readville, Mass., school 217 

Record, The 224 ; 298 ; 300 ; 302 ; 
369 

Regina, Sister 52 

"Religious Day," Nazareth cen 
tennial 288 

"Reminiscences of a Soldier s 
Wife" 103 

"Return, fair girls" 352 

Revolution, French, and Amer 
ican mission 2 

Reynolds, Rt. Rev. Ignatius A. 
119; 362; 364 

Richmond, Va., Nazareth foun 
dation 205 



Riordan, P. E., archbishop 283 

Roanoke, Va., Nazareth founda 
tion 203-204; 302-303 

Roberts, family 101 

Robertson, Mrs. Margaret 
Whitehead, gift 346 

Robinson, Sister Constantia 164 

Roger, Mrs. Anna Moore, gift 
348 

Romania, Sister 171 

Ronan, Rev. Michael 254, 352; 
380 

Russell, Rev. David 251; 248; 
375-379; 398; 401 

Ryan, Mrs. Thomas 204-205 

Ryan School, Roanoke, Va. 204; 
401 



Sacred Heart Academy, Helena, 

Ark. 192-194; 400 
Sacred Heart School, Louisville 

219-221; 223; 320; 399 
Sacred Heart School, Memphis 

198; 401 
Sacred Heart statue, Nazareth 

346 
St. Agnes Sanatorium, Louisville 

294; 403 
St. Agnes School, Buechel, Ky. 

403 

St. Agnes School, Louisville 320 
St. Agnes School, Uniontown, 

Ky. 235 

St. Aloysius School, East Liver 
pool, O. 401 
St. Aloysius School, Clarksville, 

Tenn. 399 
St. Andrew s School, Roanoke 

302-303; 401 

St. Ann s, Louisville 293; 403 
St. Ann s School, Morganfield, 

Ky. 274; 402 

St. Ann s shrine, Nazareth 346 
St. Anthony s mission, Ohio 210 



INDEX 



433 



St. Anthony s School, Bellevue 
234; 401 

St. Anthony s School, Bridge 
port, O. 401 

"St. Anthony s Monthly Visitor" 
211 

St. Augustine s School, Louis 
ville 223 ; 320 ; 399 

St. Augustine s School, New 
Straitsville, O. 401 

St. Bernard s School, Corning, 
O. 209; 400 

St. Bernard s School, Earling- 
ton, Ky. 235 ; 400 

St. Boniface s School, Ludlow, 
Ky. 401 

St. Brigid s School, Louisville 
223; 320; 399; 400 

St. Brigid s School, Memphis 
197; 400 

St. Catherine s Academy (Scott 
County), Lexington 34; 47; 
108-109 ; 191 ; 226 ; 396 

St. Cecilia s School, Louisville 
223; 320; 399 

St. Clara s Academy, Yazoo City 
82; 179; 180; 187; 188; 189; 
190; 399 

St. Columba s Academy, Bowl 
ing Green 164-168; 398 

St. Dominic s School, Columbus, 
O. 403 

St. Frances Academy, Owens- 
boro; 82; 112; 191; 226-227; 
398 

St. Frances of Rome School, 
Louisville, 223; 320; 400 

St. Genevieve s School, Dayton, 
Tenn. 401 

St. Helena s Commercial Col 
lege, Louisville 294-295 ; 403 

St. Helena s Home, Louisville 
191; 401 

St. James School, Ludlow, Ky. 
229 



St. Jerome s School, Fancy 
Farm, Ky. 235-236; 401 

St. John s School, Bellaire, O. 
400 

St. John s Eruptive Hospital, 
Louisville, 168 ; 399 ; 400 

St. John s Hospital, Nashville 
114; 397 

St. John s School, Adrian, Ky. 
401 

St. John s School, Louisville 
223; 320; 398 

St. Johns Academy, Frankfort, 
Ky. 235; 398; 399 

St. Joseph s Cathedral, Bards- 
town 5 ; 416-422 

St. Joseph s College, Bardstown 
31; 71; 120; 129; 133-134; 
380; 396 

St. Joseph s Hospital, Lexington 
172-176; 399 

St. Joseph s Infirmary, Louis 
ville 55; 110; 111; 223; 300- 
301; 397 

St. Joseph s School, Bowling 
Green 168 ; 402 

St. Joseph s School, Circleville, 
Ohio, 208; 400 

St. Joseph s School, Memphis, 
Tenn. 198; 400 

St. Lawrence s Home for Boys, 
Louisville 300 

St. Louis, Mo., Exposition, 1904 
257-259 

St. Margaret s Retreat, Louis 
ville 400 

St. Mary s Academy, Leonard- 
town, Md. 200-202; 400 

St. Mary s Academy, Nashville 
114; 397 

St. Mary s Academy, Paducah 
82; 234-235; 295; 598 

St. Mary s College, Lebanon 133 

St. Mary s School, Paducah 399 

St. Mary s School, Paris, Ky. 400 



434 



INDEX 



St. Mary s of the Woods, 

Whitesville 237 ; 402 
St. Mary s School, Covington 

112; 229; 398 
St. Mary s School, Knoxville, 

Tenn. 400 
St. Mary s School, Martin s 

Ferry 209 ; 400 
St. Mary s School, Paris, Ky. 

235 
St. Mary s School, Shawnee, O. 

209; 401 
St. Michael s School, Louisville 

223; 320; 398 
St. Mildred s School, Somerset, 

Ky. 265; 412 
St. Monica s School, Bardstown 

399 
St. Patrick s School, Brockton, 

Mass. 214-215; 400 
St. Patrick s School, Covington 

229; 401 
St. Patrick s School, Louisville 

271; 320; 402 
St. Patrick s School, Memphis, 

Tenn. 197 ; 400 

St. Paul s School, Lexington 400 
St. Peter Claver s School, Lex 
ington 400 
St. Peter s Orphanage, Lowell, 

Mass. 217; 400 
St. Peter s Orphanage, Memphis, 

Tenn. 107; 400 
St. Peter s School, Lexington, 

Ky. 298; 403 
St. Philip Xeri School, Louisville 

223; 320; 400 
St. Raphael s School, Hyde Park, 

Mass. 215-217 
St. Raphael s School, West 

Louisville 400 
St. Romould s School, Hardins- 

burg, Ky. 399 
St. Rose s Academy, Uniontown, 

Ky. 235; 399 



Sts. Mary and Elizabeth Hospital 
143; 172; 191; 223; 298; 399; 
403 

St. Stanislaus School, Maynard, 
Ohio 210; 401; 402 

St. Stephen s Farm 9 

St. Teresa s School, Concordia, 
Ky. 398 

St. Thomas s Farm 297 ; 396 ; 403 

St. Thomas s Orphanage 223 ; 
299-300 

St. Thomas s Seminary, Bards- 
town 14; 20; 71; 160 

St. Vincent s Academy, Union 
Co., Ky. 30 ; 93 ; 102-108 ; 191 ; 
224-226; 303; 396 

St. Vincent s Church, Nazareth 
254; 352 

St. Vincent s Infirmary, East 
Lake, Tenn. 198-200; 400 

St. Vincent s Infirmary, Little 
Rock, Ark. 196; 400 

St. Vincent s Infirmary, Louis 
ville 55; 111 

St. Vincent s Orphan Asylum, 
Louisville 52; 55; 110; 111; 
223; 298-299; 397 

St. Vincent s Orphanage, Roan- 
oke 401 

St. Vincent s School, Mount 
Vernon, Ohio 207-208; 400 

St. Vincent s School, New Hope, 
Ky. 236 ; 401 

St. Vincent s School, Louisville 
399 

St. Vincent s School, Newport 
News, Va. 402 

St. Xavier s School, Raywick, 
Ky. 402 

Seat of Wisdom statue, Naza 
reth 345-346 

Sharkey, Sister Madeline 200; 
265; 299 

Shawnee, Ohio, Nazareth foun 
dation 209 



INDEX 



435 



Sheedy, Sister Berlindes 412 

Sherer, Mr. 155 

Sister servants 69; 69n 

Srnarius, Father 337 

Smith, Addison 222 

Smith, General 150 

Smith, Sister Josephine 412 

Smith, Sister Xavier 205 

Snowden, Mrs. Emily Tarleton 

126; 278; 378 

Somerset, Ky., Nazareth founda 
tion 265; 402 
Spalding, Sister Ann 29; 92; 

108 ; 109 

Spalding, Sister Barbara 29 
Spalding, Mother Catherine 20; 

21 ; 24 ; 26 ; 27 ; 29 ; 32 ; 34 ; 39- 

40; 44; 45-78; 108; 109; 110; 

119; 278; 363-364; 396; 397; 

398; grave 354; statue 346 
Spalding, Miss Columba 291 
Spalding, Most Rev. John Lan 
caster 290 ; 373 
Spalding, Mrs. Julia Sloane 122; 

247; 260; 291 

Spalding, Mrs. Kate 260 ; 290 
Spalding, Most Rev. Martin 

John 46; 71; 77; 124; 126; 

148; 149; 223; 290; 351; 363; 

368; 372-373 
Spalding, Ralph 46 
Spanish-American War, and 

Nazareth nurses 198-200 
Speed, Hon. James 133 
Spink, Mother Angela 30; 31; 

397 
Spottiswood-Mackin, Countess 

348 

Stafford, Sister Euphrasia 412 
Stafford, Sister Kostka 412 
Stafford, Sister Victoria 184 
Strain, Sister Angela 121 
Strain, Mrs. Wallace 121 
Stuart, Rev. Mother Janet Er- 

skine, quoted 325; 332 



Sullivan, Mr. Jerry A. 301 
Suttle, Sister Elizabeth (Har 
riet) 26; 98; 118; 398; 411 
Swearingen, Dr. R. M. 186 

Tarleton, Sister Columba 40-41 ; 

47; 137 

Tatu, Mile 125 
Teachers Meetings 321 
Teeling, Mgr. 213; 214; 279; 

287; 380 
Thebaud, Rev. Augustus 126- 

127; 134 
Thirty Years in Washington," 

by Mrs. Logan 108 
Thomas, Delia 277 
Thomas, Rev. Frank 166 ; 166n 
Todd, Sister Gabriella 109; 411 
Tollman, Sister Benita 412 
Tormey, Mother Helena 173 ; 

191-192; 200; 201; 222; 231; 

248 ; 251 ; 400 ; 401 ; 411 
Townsend, Sister Bernardine 222 
Transylvania College, Lexington 

153 

Travers, Sister Mildred 411 
Traynor, Sister Blanche 154; 

231; 412 
"Trinity College," Louisville 

221-222 

Truyens, Rev. Charles 134 
Tucker, Mrs. Mary Logan 108 
Twelmeyer, Rev. F. X. 190 
Twomey, Rev. Mortimer E. 213 : 

274-275 

"Uncle Harry," 105 

Union Co., Ky., Nazareth foun 
dation 30 

Uniontown, Ky., Nazareth foun 
dation 235; 399 

Ursula, Sister 234 

Valentine, Sister 170 



436 



INDEX 



Van de Vyver, Rt. Rev. A. 203 ; 
269 

Veale, Rev. John 197 

Verhaegen, Rev. Peter 134 

Verne, Jules, and Fr. Bouchet 
370 

Vincennes, Indiana, Nazareth 
foundation 90; 109-110; 396 

Vincent de Paul, St.., and Mile 
Le Gras 392-395; and Nazar 
eth rule 25; spiritual admon 
itions 334; statue, Nazareth 
346 

Virginia, Nazareth foundation 
schools 202 ; 321 

Von Lintel, Rev. O. H. 211 

Wagner, Sister Mary David 112 ; 

231 ; 412 

Walsh, Sister Mary 231 
Walsh, Rev. William 197; 198 
Walters, Col. H. W., and Naz 
areth 

Waltrude, Sister 171 
Watterson, Bishop 321 



Wayne, General, and Flaget 4-5 

Webb, Hon. B. F. 79; 80-81; 
97; 121; 146 

Webb, Nehemiah 100 

Weigand, Rev. J. A. 210 

Wells, Elizabeth (Sister Betsy) 
19; 21; 89 

Wesley, Mr. 22 

Whitesville, Ky., Nazareth foun 
dation 237; 402 

Wilkinson, Mrs. Eliza Crozier 
117 

Williams, Archbishop 214 

Wise, Mgr. 189; 380 

Wood, General Th. J. 157 ; 158 

Xaverian Brothers 300 

Yandell, Dr. 172 
Yazoo City, Nazareth founda 
tion 178-182; 187; 189; 399 
Young, Sister Honora 377-378 

Zealand, Christian, grave 354 
Zenobia, Sister 181 



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