Apr. 11, 1889 – To Sisters of the House of Providence Kingston from General Superior Sr. M. Edward, Kingston ON

House of Providence, Kingston
Apr. 11, 1889
House of Providence, City
My dear Sisters,

With reference to your letter dated March 7 I may say that I fully realized the truth and importance of your statement concerning the separation of children of the same family. I am certain that many heartless parents do not hesitate to say, “that if your Society will not adopt all their children the entire family will be given to the Protestants”.

I am indeed deeply interested in the children sent to our Institution and would gladly say to you – send all those children who need to be rescued from the grasp of the enemies of our Faith, but that is not possible as I fully explained to you before the difficulties encountered here in finding good Catholic homes for small children. However this much I do say – that if your Society will allow something more than four dollars for children under six years, that may remain longer than a couple of months in the Institution, then I agree to accept as many as your Society really think should be rescued from the bad example of bad parents or otherwise exposed to the influence of the proselytizing Societies.

I do assure you dear Sir, that my Sisters have left nothing undone in the way of securing good homes for the children and so far have been fairly successful but in a great many cases the children have been returned, then they must be clothed and if another home can be provided their travelling expenses must be met by our Institution.

Mrs. Lacy can testify that not one out of twenty consent to pay the children’s fare. At present there is not a single application either in this or the London Diocese for boys. I have many for large girls from the City and Diocese of Kingston and not a few parties took boys with the express understanding that they could exchange those boys for girls in May. This will undoubtedly leave a number of boys in our hands.

I am however hopeful that Mrs. Lacy will be able to dispose of a goodly number of boys in London, consequently I am willing to receive the children as usual excepting those cases already mentioned.

Now as regards the aid promised in fitting up the place for these children, I will leave that to the Society, either to give a little each year or a sum that they consider adequate for the purpose.

Allow me to reassure you dear Sir, that the same unfailing and charitable interest will be exercised towards those poor children in future as in the past.

Wishing you and all interested in this good work courage and perseverance to accomplish their noble purpose.

In sentiments of sincere affection I am, Dear Sisters
Sister Mary Edward, Sup. Gen.
Source: 105-C, General Superior's fonds, Correspondence series, Copybook, pp. 106-107, Archives, Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul.
Catherine McKinley’s Letters

This letter is part of a large database of correspondence written by and to Catherine McKinley, who is considered one of the founders of the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul. As a Sister of Providence she was known by her religious name Mother Mary Edward.

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