May 28, 1892 – To General Superior Sr. M. Edward, Holyoke MA from Rev. Kelly, Archbishop’s Palace, Kingston ON

Archbishop's Palace, Kingston
May 28, 1892
My dear Mother Edward,

The Archbishop prefers not to write to you directly but wishes me to do so. He contemplated arranging for an interview with you when in the States but after mature deliberation he thought better not to go to Holyoke, which would look like a defiance of the Bishop of Springfield; nor to appoint any other place of meeting because this would appear surreptitious and rather mean.

The present condition of Bishop O’Reilly influenced him in coming to this decision. Moreover, he did not think any great good would come of an interview just now since all has been done that could be done by him in your case, and he had given you all the advice he thought suitable to your circumstances; and nothing remained but patiently and calmly to await Rome’s final decision.

The Archbp. has received no letter from Rome since he wrote a defense of you and your case in Virginia early in March. Don’t you believe that the letter received from Propaganda by Bp. O’Reilly was a mere estimation that the “case would be considered?”.

Be sure that it was an order to restore the B. Sacrament to your Convent Chapel, in accordance with the request made by the Archbishop and you. That order was probably not forwarded to Bp. O’Reilly from Springfield to the South and thus the restoration of the B. Sacrament was delayed.

The following narrative will amuse you but you must keep it strictly confidential for the present. Early in March, Dr. Beaven wrote to His Grace “in the name of the Bishop of Springfield”, complaining that, “by virtue of special faculties from the Archbp., you had fulminated the censures of the Church against the local Superior and grievous scandal ensued”, and accordingly requesting His Grace to deprive of those special faculties, and thereby restore peace. No answer. A fortnight later, the same petition was more urgently made in a second letter “begging His Grace to do this at least until the return home of the Bp. of Springfield”. No answer. Eight or ten days later a third letter reached His Grace from the doughty Doctor declaring that since his former letters had received no attention, he “must now insist on a reply being given to him on this most important matter”. No answer. At Hartford, the Doctor was introduced to His Grace in elegant form by a fellow priest, and there was bowing and bobbing, and the Archbp. laughed in his sleeve – He is up to his eyes in the business at present. He bids you have courage and confidence in the goodness of your cause and the fairness of the Holy See.

All will be well, please God. He prays for you and the Community several times each day, and is full of hope. He sends his best blessing to you and the Sisters, but wishes this letter to be strictly private.

Yours affectionately,
Thomas Kelly, Sec.
Source: 407-409-A, General Secretary Fonds, Annals of the Congregation/Generalate series, Volume 1861-1892, pp. 306-307, 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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