The Guardian was a children’s magazine published monthly by the Sisters of Providence from 1916 until 1959. The Guardian was distributed widely in schools throughout the Archdiocese of Kingston and beyond. Proceeds from the sale of the magazine helped support St. Mary’s of the Lake Orphanage. In 1919 a year’s subscription cost 25 cents, increasing over the years to 50 cents in 1954.
Children not only read the publication but also contributed to it in the form of letters, stories and poems. The Guardian also contained religious teaching, moral stories, obituaries, coverage of school events and articles about the Sisters’ various missions. The magazine proved to be so popular with the Kingston public that the Printing Room was commonly referred to as the “Guardian Office”.
On January 13, 1916, Sister M. Francis Regis, Superior General, wrote the following letter to the Sisters who worked as teachers encouraging them to promote the magazine in the schools:
I would like to encourage a project inaugurated by Mrs. Henry Smith of Kingston, viz: the Publishing of the “Catholic Guardian”, a Sunday School Paper for children. It has the approval of His Grace, the Archbishop and the Priests of the City.
This generous Lady purposes to issue the Journal monthly at the rate of one cent each per copy. A number of copies will be mailed to you about the 23rd. inst. for distribution among the children of your School.
The object of this most worthy enterprise is two-fold; 1st. to afford good, wholesome literature for Sunday reading; 2ndly, to assist financially the Orphanage at St. Mary’s of the Lake. The proceeds from the sale of the papers is to be given to the Orphanage. The price is so low I do not think there will be any objection to its publication throughout our Schools.
Trusting the undertaking will meet with success,
Believe me, dear Sister,
Very affectionately yours,
Mother Francis Regis