Sept. 27, 1891 – To Sister, House of Providence, Kingston ON from General Superior Sr. M. Edward, St. Vincent Convent, Holyoke MA

New House,
Sunday Morning
Sept. 27, 1891
My Dear Sister

I could not possibly write you yesterday, but will tell you all that happened since I closed my letter on Friday – At about a quarter past five I was engaged at my work, but from the window I seen Fr. Harkins and Dr. Beaven coming in the gate and another person whose purple stock I knew, marked him as something more than common. After a few moments Sr. M. Providence came and asked me down at the same time saying hurriedly that he was from Rome and asked to see the Sisters. Well God only knows how I went into the Parlor. Fr. Harkins introduced me and repeated that Monsignor Schmidt was just from Rome that he met him at the Bp that day and that he wanted to see the Sisters. My heart I know did not beat for some time for I felt certain that it was our affair that brought him, however we went to the Community and he arose and told the Sisters that his Visit to the United States had no official character then he went on to tell us all about the Holy Father and so on. Made quite a pleasant visit; but Sister dear I did (not) get over it until after midnight I got such a fright. Well then Saturday afternoon I got a letter from the Bp of Springfield a copy of which I enclose and as I did not wish to compromise myself by writing I made up my mind to go and tell him on Monday.

Monday Morning – Dear Sister as I was writing the above to you after Mass yesterday I saw Fr. H. and Dr. Beaven come in the gate and in a minute or two Sr. M. Providence and told me they wanted to see me, well down I went, and a corpse I know would have looked well beside me. Dr. Beaven said the Bp sent him to ask me to allow him to read a letter for the Sisters. Have you any objection he said – none whatever said I for I had a letter yesterday from the Bp and I probably know the contents of yours. So the Sisters were assembled and much the same as the enclosed read to them, now I think they know that they must wait for Rome to speak. After he read it I arose and said I was attending to my usual annual Visitation and he said as the letter received from Rome was dated Sept. 12 it had no reference to the present visit. Then he said he was going to the Mt and asked me to go. I said I could not as I had no conveyance and then he asked if I would authorize him to say to Sr. M. Ignatius that the Sisters could be assembled and I said yes. However I thought after a moments reflection that I had better be there so I said I would go – and they went after a moment poor Fr. Harkins returned and said I would not be without a conveyance while he had one, and that in a few moments his carriage would be at the door and so it was, and out I came and the Doctor was hearing confessions. Sr. M. Ignatius asked me if I got my telegram that went a quarter of an hour before I came a dispatch came and she sent it in – well immediately, I thought either you or the Archbishop were dead or dying and you can just imagine how I felt, it was half past twelve before he got through and then read the letter – in the meantime Sister sent in on horse back for the letter and the Sisters at the City had sent it out and it was half past two ere I got it and then it was your word of Motherhouse about the papers. I was so upset that I am not over it yet. Now I am just leaving to see the Bp of Springfield and will write you as soon as I possibly can after I get back. I am going to the New House to finish my work there after I get back from Springfield.

Sr. M. E.
Notes: The original letter is undated, but is marked Sunday Morning.
Source: 105.6-C, Mother Mary Edward General Superior sous-fonds, Correspondence series, Letter undated [September 27, 1891], 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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