Dec. 21, 1895 – Circular letter to sisters from General Superior Sr. M. Edward, Kingston ON


"Christus natus est nobis; venite, adoremus."

House of Providence, Kingston
Dec. 21, 1895
My Very dear Sisters,

As the bells ring out the glad tidings of great joy and peace my thoughts instinctively turn to the members of my religious family who are engaged in the distant Vineyard, attending to the work of the Master. Concerning them thousands of good wishes well up from my heart and seek expression through the feeble channel of my poor pen. I will, however, content myself with the good old time-honored custom and say to all “A Merry Christmas and a Bright, Happy New Year,” and I will carry to the Crib of the Infant Saviour all my hopes, all my wishes for each of my dear Missionary Sisters, feeling confident that His little arms will be stretched out to embrace and press to His Sacred Heart these souls who are living in sacrifice for His own sweet love.

The Community has been spared any remarkable or extraordinary trial this year; death has cast his shadow, but suddenly withdrawn again leaving our number unbroken, thank God!!

Of our financial condition we have no reason to be other than grateful to a Divine Providence who so carefully watches over and provides for all our wants.

Our Novitiate is proving more and more satisfactory as the months flow on. Early in 1896 we hope to see three of our dear Novices kneeling at God’s Altar to bind themselves to Him and the Community by their holy vows.

I cannot close this my last Christmas letter to you, dear Sisters, without a word of appreciation for all your personal goodness and kindness; but, above all do I desire to testify to your obedient, generous, self-sacrifice in the performance of all duties. Although giving you up to the guidance temporal and spiritual of another, no matter how worthy, I feel that there will still be a bond between us that time will never sever – I earnestly trust that whoever fills my place may be the recipient of as much filial love and tenderness as I have been, and that in turn she may have the heart of a mother for you all. That God, in His infinite goodness, may guide all hearts and minds and that the present standard of this little Barque may never be lowered! That from day to day, Superior and subject may continue to have but one aim in life, the good pleasure of God and the maintenance of the spirit of our Institute. Such, dear Sisters, is my daily earnest prayer in which I ask you to join me.

At the foot of the Crib and in the presence of the sweet Infant Saviour I remain as ever, your most devoted and affectionate,
Mother M. Edward, Sup. Gen.
Notes: Another copy of this letter exists as an individual letter. 105.6-C, Mother Mary Edward General Superior sous-fonds, Correspondence series, Letter December 21, 1895.
Source: 105-C, General Superior's fonds, Correspondence series, Copybook, pp. 250A & 251, 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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