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.


Sept. 26, 1884 - To Mistress of Novices from General Superior Sr. M. Edward, Kingston ON

J.M.J.
House of Providence, Kingston
Sep. 26, 1884
Sister M. of the S. Heart,
Mistress of Novices
Very dear Sister

Foreseeing that other important duties will engage my time and attention next March, I have decided to begin my visit to the Novitiate next week, commencing Monday after the morning lecture. You are aware that our Holy Rule directs me to make this visit four times a year and as I have already entered upon the third month in my present office, I deem it advisable not to delay longer. Be pleased therefore my dear Sister to instruct the novices in the manner they should conduct themselves during my visit. I will be present at all the exercises of the entire week - will interview each novice privately in the Novitiate - and you will please see that nothing will prevent them from presenting themselves in there when I can make it convenient to be there. Impress upon their minds the great necessity of making themselves known to me, aside from the questions I may think proper to ask with all candor, simplicity and clearness, and let them well understand that secrecy is to be strictly observed by them upon all that passes between us - no person excepted - and this secrecy I impose under obedience. If they require any explanation, upon anything I say to them, let them come to me and I will give them the information necessary. Be good enough dear Sister to read this for the Novices at the first Novitiate exercise after you receive it; recommend the matter earnestly to God in your own petitions to Heaven and have special prayers offered in the Novitiate every day until the visit will be over.

Praying God to bless you dear Sister and your labor. I remain in the Sacred Heart of our Divine Master
Affectionately and Sincerely
Sister M. Edward, Supr.

Source: 105-C, General Superior's fonds, Correspondence series, Copybook pp. 44-45, Archives, Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul.
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