Category Archives: Provincial Annals

An Update from the Archives during the COVID-19 Pandemic

For the safety of our staff and visitors, the Archives is currently closed to the public. And although a reopening date remains unknown, we look forward to welcoming visitors and researchers to our campus soon.

Meanwhile, Archives has been keeping busy! Requests have continued to come in from researchers, and while lay staff has been working remotely, the Sisters who live on campus have served as wonderful facilitators with the ability to scan a file or a folder in response to a request. Materials already digitized are easily accessible, and we can quickly forward on this material. For the more complicated request, we have compiled a running list that we will address and answer once back on campus. You may send requests to

Under normal circumstances, archivists need access to the physical materials to do their work, which are safely kept in our lower level repository. Without access to these documents, we are somewhat hampered in addressing all needs. But Sisters still working in Archives on campus are adding materials to the digital collections, which in turn have become usable to researchers. Lay staff have also made the rare decision to allow a few materials, in good condition, to travel home with them, with the promise that they be kept safe from archival scourges such as wandering cats or open mugs of coffee that are prone to spill.

Other special projects currently underway include, 1) a staff member is creating an index for the newsletters and literary journals taken from Marillac College in St. Louis, the former college run by the Daughters of Charity exclusively for members of women’s religious communities. These newsletters serve as both campus newspaper and a place for commentary on the events of the world in the 1960s and 1970s as related by the women religious at the time.

2) Staff members have been transcribing valuable historical materials, such as Sister Mary Raphael Smith’s scrapbook; a book that contains the writings of sisters and students of St. Joseph’s Academy and information on 50 years of community and school life during the 1800s.

3) We have also been busy creating indexes and transcriptions of some of our legacy oral history collections; the fascinating stories of the lives of Sisters and the times in which they lived and served.  Many of these histories were recorded on cassette tapes, and we have been working diligently in digitizing them to ensure their preservation. These stories provide a fuller picture of both the ministries of the Sisters and the society in which they lived.

We remain available and committed to assisting you and fulfilling requests as best as we can for now, and we are looking forward to serving you and seeing you in the near future on Emmitsburg campus!

Be safe and well.


Filed under COVID-19 Pandemic, Provincial Annals

Beatification of Louise de Marillac – DC pilgrimmage to Rome, May 1920 (part 3)

Louise de Marillac

Louise de Marillac, 1591-1660 (Image courtesy of Vincent de Paul Image Archive, DePaul University)

(Account of Sister Margaret O’Keefe from the Provincial Annals used with permission of the Daughters of Charity Provincial Archives)

May 9 – Sunday. Went to St. Peter’s at 8 the High Mass commenced at 10 – even though we had tickets it was necessary to be there early on account of the great crowd. Tribunes were erected for the occasion. Sister Eugenia [Sister Eugenia Fealy, Visitatrix of the St. Louis Province] and I were in the one next to our M[ost] H[onored] Mother and we sat on red velvet chairs; the draperies were red and gold. High up over the altars a magnificent gold frame of very elaborate design the picture veiled was in the centre. The procession was the grandest of course I ever saw – the long lines of Bishops and Cardinals the officiating Bishop minister with his retinue. When all were seated an ecclesiastic read from a pulpit a long document in which the names of St. Vincent and Louise Legras occurred frequently. When this was finished the Bishop removed the veil from the reliquary which was place on the altar on a throne at the same moment the curtain fell and all the Cardinals and prelates knelt to venerate the relic. Then the glorious Te Deum burst forth. the missionaries, our brothers were directly below us and they joined in the singing, every other verse was Gregorian. then came the Solemn High Mass only the Introit and anthems were Gregorian, the Gloria and Credo etc. were Perosi and very beautiful, in four parts with Bass, Tenor and Soprano, solos interspersed there was no repetition – and the Amen was long drawn out and died away in a soft sweet note. Cardinal Merry Del Val with his retinue came in after the celebrant and was the last in the procession.

We finished dinner at twenty minutes before two – at half past Two we started for St. Peter’s the doors were to open at 3 and the ceremony to take place at 5.30. The crush outside the door was indescribable, a lady fainted and had to be taken out by the soldiers – there were several of the latter about but they could not control the jam. At last we reached our places in the tribune and waited patiently until the silver trumpets announced the entrance of the Holy Father [Pope Benedict XV] – the long procession as in the morning, followed by the Swiss Guard the Pope’s Guard and the Vicar of Christ blessing the people as he passed thro the Church. We had Benediction – the procession, in front of the Pope was borne the relic given by O.M.H Mother and behind it a large pyramid of flowers. It was all a grand sight and a great manifestation of faith, people were standing even on top of the confessionals handkerchiefs waves as he passed then the crowd came before the altar to venerate the relic, and we left.

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Filed under Benedict XV, Church History, Louise de Marillac, Popes, Provincial Annals

Beatification of Louise de Marillac – DC pilgrimmage to Rome, May 1920 (part 2)

Louise de Marillac

Louise de Marillac, 1591-1660 (Image courtesy of Vincent de Paul Image Archive, DePaul University)

This is the second in our series of posts on the beatification of Louise de Marillac. The account, written by Sister Margaret O’Keefe and taken from the Provincial Annals, is used with permission of the Daughters of Charity Provincial Archives.

May 8. Saturday. Via Appia. Went to the Church Domine quo vadis! It is outside Rome on the way to the Coliseum, and on the spot where St. Peter met our Lord and asked him whither He was going. A large marble statue of our Lord with the cross, stands passing the door.

Saturday P. M. Most wonderful visit of all the Catacombs! The Trappists have charge, the monk who was our guide had been a patient in our Sisters’ Hospital, and took the trouble to show us everything. We had each a lighted taper, and as we went in single file thro those narrow passages lined with empty tombs, down in the bowels of the earth our souls were thrilled with various emotions – At St. Cecilia’s tomb there is a beautiful marble statue in the place where her boy lay, and near by an altar – nine Masses had been said there that morning. These were the Catacombs of St. Callixtus on the Appian Way.

Tomorrow our series will conclude with the account of Louise’s beatification ceremony.

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Filed under Benedict XV, Church History, Louise de Marillac, Popes, Provincial Annals