(Images used with permission of the Daughters of Charity Provincial Archives)
“It won’t make headlines, perhaps, but it will certainly make heart lines. For, on September 20, 1964, the white cornette of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul will disappear from the world. Literally from the world, since on five continents and in sixty-five countries the white starched headdress with its widespread wings will never again be seen … For more than three centuries the cornette has been, as one of our recent Popes remarked, ‘The international symbol of Charity, even as the cross is the international symbol of Faith.’ … ”
–Sister Catherine Sullivan, 1964
The Provincial Archives’ new exhibit, Swan Song: Looking Back at the 1964 Habit Change, will open on June 30 in Provincial Archives Gallery 2, and will run through October 17.
On September 20, 1964, Daughters of Charity all over the world set aside their traditional habit, with its beloved cornette. Through photographs, artwork, oral history, and artifacts Swan Song will look back at the change in the Daughters’ habit and the experiences of the Sisters who went through it.