Mar. 10, 1892 – To Archbishop Cleary, Archbishop of Kingston ON, Virginia Beach VA from General Superior Sr. M. Edward, Holyoke MA

House of Providence, Holyoke
Mar. 10, 1892
My Lord Archbishop,

Your Grace’s dispatches, as well as the letter Mch. 8, all received, many, many grateful thanks. I read your Grace’s letter as directed and I know it had a good effect on some and that it has brought a peace and strength to my own soul that I needed very much.

My position, which your Grace so clearly defined, is no longer a torture to me. With God’s help, my dear Lord Archbishop, you shall not have any cause to complain of my conduct, for I shall make your Grace’s advice my constant study, and its effects will be seen in my actions.

I have not spoken to a priest since the first day of March. I will keep quietly at home doing my little work among my Sisters.

Happily no one has interfered with us in the New House, nor has any attempt been made to take the Blessed Sacrament from Mt. St. Vincent. The Bishop is expected to arrive on Saturday, I believe, and were it not for the influence of Dr. Beaven on his Lordship, I would not fear in the least, an interview with him.

Rev. Father Harkins will not come to any terms concerning a Principal for his schools until the Bishop’s arrival.

Poor mis-guided Sr. M. of Providence is as resolute as ever!

I hope and trust that Your Grace has already felt the benefit of your much-needed rest and that all your children desire so much for you that you may be enabled to continue your increasing efforts to advance the Glory of God in the Archdiocese. The climate, the quiet and freedom from urgent calls upon you, will we trust, speedily prove efficacious. In order that your Grace may not be anxious about our affairs, I promise, that with the blessing of God and the assistance of His holy Mother (which I will fervently implore) I will do nothing that the most malicious can criticise.

O Your Grace! Could I only tell you how grieved I have been to add so much to your already too heavy burden! But without your direction what could I do?

Hoping this unhappy affair shall soon terminate and with many fervent prayers for your Graces’ restoration to perfect health.

I am most respectfully,
Mother M. Edward, Sup. Gen.

The following statements were enclosed in the above:

On the 9th day of February at request of Rev. Dr. Beaven who said he represented the Bishop of Springfield, I assembled the Community: Rev. Dr. Beaven, in presence of the Sisters, blamed me for announcing to the Sisters that the decision had been received from Rome and that all idea of separation of the Houses in Holyoke from the Mother House in Kingston must be abandoned. He said, that while to a few it would be pleasing news, to many it would be beyond the heart's endurance and that he hoped grace might be given them to bear it.


Sr. M. Ignatius, Sup. Mt. St. Vincent,
Sr. M Presentation, Asst., Mt. St. Vincent
Sr. M. Loretto


House of Providence,
Holyoke, Feb. 25, 1892.

To: Rev. Mother Superior,
House of Providence,

Dear Rev. Mother,

In reference to the private interview which Dr. Beaven had with the Sisters, I thought it might interest you to know in what it consisted: I presented myself and was told by the Rev. Dr. Beaven that he had a petition which had been drawn up by Bp. O'Reilly of Springfield and he wished all the Sisters who were in favor of the movement on this side (Holyoke) to sign their names to it. He said the Bishop of Springfield wished to send it to Rome and also to convince himself of the number.

Hoping you are enjoying good health, I remain in the Sacred Heart

Affectionately yours,

Sr. M. of the I. Conception.

Source: 407-409-A, General Secretary Fonds, Annals of the Congregation/Generalate series, Volume 1861-1892, pp. 270-271, 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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