Mar. 30, 1892 – To General Superior Sr. M. Edward, Holyoke MA, from Monsignor O’Bryan, Rome, Italy

20 Via Sistina, Rome
Mar. 30, 1892
To the Sisters of Charity
Holyoke, Mass.
Dear Mother Superior,

The post has just brought me your Communication of March 15 regarding the trouble in the Houses of Holyoke. I have read it through carefully, together with the letters of His Grace of Kingston.

I will do my best for you at the Propaganda, but as it may be some time before I can give you an official answer to your two requests to have the Blessed Sacrament restored and the Ordinary Confessor removed. I write to acknowledge the receipt of the papers and to assure you that pending any action on the main point of separation your authority remains entire according to your Constitutions over the whole Community in the two dioceses. Neither Bishop can interfere in your internal dispositions. Each has jurisdiction only in his own diocese, but that jurisdiction does not touch matters of discipline regulated by the Constitutions. His Grace cannot command the Sisters in Holyoke to obey nor can the Bishop of Springfield retain them contrary to your orders.

I say this merely to smooth your path; you can remove any or all the Sisters according to the rule and if you did so at once you would cut the knot of discontent, and you may canonically advise the Sisters that neither the Bishop nor the Confessor has any right to tamper with the Constitutions or the obedience of the Sisters. It is a slow process appealing to Rome; as yet the malcontents have not a leg to stand on.

Act vigorously; even if some do cast off the habit, you are within your rights. I will write as soon as I have seen the Cardinal.

Yours Faithfully,
Henry O'Bryen
Source: 407-409-A, General Secretary Fonds, Annals of the Congregation/Generalate series, Volume 1861-1892, pp. 292-293, 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.

Letters Navigation

⇐ Return to Main Page:
Catherine McKinley Letters