June 3, 1892 – To Archbishop Cleary, Archbishop of Kingston ON from General Superior Sr. M. Edward, Holyoke MA

House of Providence, Holyoke
June 3, 1892
My Lord Archbishop,

My letter to Rev. Fr. Kelly had just been sent to the Post Office when Dr. Beaven, Fr. Harkins and Fr. Conaty appeared and asked me to assemble the Community.

Dr. Beaven then read, that by order of the Cardinal Prefect of Propaganda, they were to interview each Sister privately and that the business of the Commission was to be kept strictly private by the Sisters. He could not ask them to take an oath but requested them to put their right as a promise of secrecy.

In the middle of it, I went in and gave them the names of six professed Novices who had only made temporary vows and consequently had no voice in the deliberations of the Community, and according to our Rule, could not hold an office. These names they took and said they would explain this circumstance to the Cardinal Prefect of Propaganda.

After all had been interviewed, the Commission sent for me and asked what I would consider a compensation for Sisters in case of a Separation. I said I wished the question put in writing and I here subjoin a copy:

“His Eminence, the Cardinal Prefect of Propaganda de Fide desires to know what would be considered an equitable Compensation for the loss of annuity arising from the withdrawal of Sisters from the Mother House in case of Separation.”

Presented to Rev. Mother at suggestion of His Grace the Archbishop of Boston as a mark of courtesy. I told the Rev. Gentlemen that I should have time for deliberation and conferring with my Council. I think, Your Grace, that this means a separation by Rome and may God direct all hearts in this important affair!

Humbly begging Your Grace’s benediction on myself and Community in this hour of trial, I remain with the most profound respect and lasting sentiments of gratitude.

Your obedient Child in Christ
Mother M. Edward, Sup. Gen.
Source: 407-409-A, General Secretary Fonds, Annals of the Congregation/Generalate series, Volume 1861-1892, pp. 309-310, 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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