Letters from Sister Mary Ignatia to her own Mother
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SISTER MARY IGNATIA
SOLD BY NATHANIEL PEABODY,
NO. 13 WEST STREET. 1853.
Entered according to Act of Congress , in the year 1853
By Nathaniel C. Peabody,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.
These Letters are published as a memento, for the friends of Sister Mary Ignatia Greene.
To those friends who loved and cherished her from her childhood until she became a Sister of Charity, and particularly to those who sympathized with her in her religious experience, from the time of her conversion and connection with the Baptist church at the age of 14 years, until she united with the Sisterhood, these Letters are kindly commended.
That they are simple and unaffected, written only for the eye of an affectionate mother, will be apparent to all. But in their simplicity, the spirit of her mind is truthfully represented to her friends, and it is hoped that the Good and the True will feel that they are united with Sister Mary Ignatia in worshipping the same Saviour.
St, Joseph's House, Nov. ISth, 1845, My Dearest Mother,
I can convey to you no idea of the pleasure which your letter gave me. I received it last evening, and many a prayer of thanksgiving have I raised to God since. Thank you, dear mother, for your kindness. May God reward you.
And now, dearest mother, trusting in your affection, I have one little request to make of you — it is that you will wear the little medal enclosed, for my sake, night and day, as long as you live. You will perhaps say "Superstition!" But no. What superstition is there in wearing a little picture of the mother of our Saviour? You would wear heathen gods and goddesses in your breast-pins, — Jackson, and many others; you cannot then refuse to your child to wear, for her sake, a little picture of the mother of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. You love me, I know. Wear it, for my sake, on a little string round your neck, and you may imagine that on my dying bed I say "Thank you," — for I shall not cease to thank you in my heart until that time. Probably it is the only request I shall ever make you. Do not refuse your child.
I am glad to hear of W's happy prospects. May he always he happy, in Time and in Eternity. Give my best love to all, — to M. J and the children, and to E , and kiss the little baby for me. Give my best wishes to W and A I hope they will be very, very happy. My prayers are all that my poverty will permit me to give them,— but these they shall have. I wish, dear mother, that you would go sometimes to see Sister Ann Alexis — it would give me much pleasure. It is not long since a Sister left here for Boston — Sister M. Gregory. She was always, like every other Sister, very kind to me. I would like you to see her, if it is agreeable to you, and I feel confident it would be. My paper is filled, so let me conclude by signing myself what I really am, and ever shall be.
Your most affectionate daughter,
Sr. M. Ignatia.
St. Joseph's Housb, Jan. 2OTH9 1846. My Dbarbst Mother, #
I have just received a letter from M. J., and I feel a little pained at the impression she seemed to get from my letter. I certainly was very far from intending to convey any such idea.
I am going to write to M. J. immediately, and shall tell her that you
are pleasantly situated at Mrs. Y 's in the Valley of St. Joseph's,
on the bank of the creek, all in sight of the Sisterhood, and will stay
there until Mr. C comes to Baltimore. I hope you feel better,
and that you will soon be able to come out. I have a proposal to make to you when I see you. That our dear Lord may bless and keep you is the prayer of your own affectionate daughter,
' Sr. Mary Ignatia.
St. Joseph's House. My Dearest MotHER,
Mother Etienne desires me to write a little note to accompany the barouche which she is going to send for you; she says you must dine here; she intended to see you this morning; she had no idea of your going. I will explain the confusion of this morning when I see you. I hope you will not fail to return in the barouche.
Yours, most affectionately^
Sr. M. Ignatia.
NoTB. In the morning, some one weeping yery bitterly at the head of the hall stairs, attracted my attention. In the afternoon Mother E— referred to the circumstance, say- ing, ** You see there are some unpleasant things in our happy home. I had the painful duty to perform of telling a noTice that she had no Tocation for a Sister of Charity, and that she must, prepare to leaye the next morning."
8 St. Joseph's House, May 17th, 1846.
Mt Deabest Mother,
I have been expecting to hear from you since you left here, to be informed of your safe arrival, &c., but as you have not written, it has occurred to me that perhaps you are waitmg to hear from me. We had a second edition of the freshet yesterday, and much more alarming
than the first. The water jose ten inches in Mrs. Y 's house, and
it was with some difficulty that Mrs. Y »* escaped safe from the house, and this was accomplished only by wading some distance. Mr.
Y attempted to take her on a horse, the same as when you were
there, but the result was that both fell ipto the water. Luckily the sudden rise of the water4ook place in the day-time. Some of the Sis- ters expressed their satisfaction to think you were not at Mrs. Y 's
this time. You would hardly haye escaped a severe fit of sickness.
Mrs. Y is sick here. I send you a nice view of St. Joseph's ; you
can cut it off from the letter and press it out. How did M. J. stand the journey ?. I hope she did not get sick. Give my love to her and
also to Mr. C and the children, to E ■ , and L , and all
my friends. I am writmg this letter in most marvellous haste, so you
must make all sorts of allowances. Sister Bernard has been very
sick, and at the present moment is exceedingly busy, or I would ask her to write a few lines in this letter. She told me that when I wrote, I must bring her the letter, and let her write a few lines, but I shall wait, I think, till next time, for she is more than employed. Sister Rose Genevieve sends her love, also Sister John Patience. We have had almost <;ontmual rains since you left ; we have hardly had a day that
we could take a walk ; the country looks most beautiful, however, for the foliage is thick and fresh, and the grass beautifully green. I have a nice little garden this year. Mother Etienne, who is now in Baltimore, gave each of us Sisters about four square yards of ground, and you should see the energy and industry with which we cultivate them. Perhaps you will see them one of these days —the next time you come South. You must write soon and let me know how you aQ are. Sister Augustine sends her love, and so would all the other Sisters whom you know, if they knew me fco be writing.
The thought of you was very forcibly recalled to Sister Bernard last night by the freshet. We have commenced the examination, and the next six weeks will at least be fully occupied^ so you need not'think me dying of ennui or monotony.
I must give you Sister John Patience's message in fiill^ it is so like her ; she says, ^^ Give her my most affectionate respects, and tell her I do n't forget her." I replied, " She will receive it with a great deal of pleasure ; " to which she returned — "And I give it with as much." All are desirous to hear how you arrived, and if you are well.
Two of our Sisters have died since you left — one at home. Sister Bestituta, and one on the mission. Sister Teresa. Sister Bestituta was from East Cambridge ; she died just as I should like to die, and was buried in our dear little graveyard last Wednesday.
Kiss all the children for me ; give my love to all. Don't forget in your letter to tell me how you are, and how M. J. is, and believe me
Ever your most affectionate child,
Sr. Mary Igkatia.
St. Joseph's, June 12th, 1846. My Dearest Mother,
I received your kind letter mth mucli pleasure, and am yerj glad to hear that you arrived home so safely. I send you my last sheet of St. Joseph's paper, because I think you will be glad to have it, at least for some inquiring friend. I wrote to father on one of them to- day. Every one of your friends, as well as myself, was pleased at the reception of your letter. Sister Augustine is quite desirous to know if you had the red earth analyzed. I am very busy at present, and so is every one here, for it is the season of exanunation, preparation for Distri- bution,* &c. Distribution takes place a week from next Thursday, the 20th of June. My garden comes on very nicely ; the seeds you sent are planted. I was sorry to hear of your disappointment about Father Deluol. I shall tell him when I see him ; he will probably be here at the Distribution. I am sorry to tell you that he has been ill for some time, sufiFering much with bronchitis. We are all praying very hard to our dear Lord to spare him to us. Father McElroy has gone to Texas as Army Chaplain.
Father McElroy has kept our Retreat for more than twenty years. Ho is a most holy man. Mother Etienne, Sister Damian, Sister Theola, Sis- ter Rose Genevieve, and Sister John Patience send their love. I am glad you take the Emmittsburgh Star ; it will be pleasant for you, as my letters are not very frequent, and if anything very important takes place here it will be sure to contain an account of it. Our Retreat commences the 10th of July, and ends the morning of the 19th. During these
- Distributioii of prizes.
eight days you may ima^e us as quiet and collected as you please. Your imagmation will hardly be able to exceed the reality. Neither looks or words are then exchanged. The children hear mass during that time in the Stranger's Chapel. The 19th is the Feast of St. Vin- cent de Paul, our grand holiday. Tell M. J. if St. Ignatius is her patron, he will beg our Lord to make
her a good Catholic. Give my best love to her and to Mr. C and
to all the children — to grandmother, and L j and E , and to
all who care anything about me. When you see W and A ,
or write to them, please give my love. Sister John was going to send a message to you, but I cannot find her to tell her I am writing to you,
so the message must wait till next time. Give my love to A S ,
and tell her I hope she will be a gbod mother, and not neglect to have her little one baptized. She is certainly a good Protestant, so I will quote Scripture for her, and remind her that " \mless a man be bom of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven." However,! forget — it is only Baptists that let their children die without baptism.
Under all circumstances, your most affectionate child.
Sister Mary Ignatia.
St. Joseph's House, Sept. 27th, 1846. My Dbabest Mother,
I have neglected answering your welcome letter all this time, because I wanted to write to you as nearly as possible to my birth-day, which is next Tuesday, and if I had written then, I could not have written so soon again. Indeed, I believe it is not quite three months since I wrote last. It would be in vain for me to attempt to express all the feelings that almost ache to express themselves in my heart. You know I love you, and you know that tears of love and gratitude must come to my eyes as the approaching anniversary brings to my mind all your good- ness to me. Never while Crod grants me life, can I feel any differently, and the first wish of my heart will always be for the blesfidng of God on my parents.
I send father to-day a little picture of St. Joseph's house, like the one I gave you when you were here. As you already hav6 one of these, I have nothing lefl to send you but the enclosed little picture. Here is one for M. J. They are the prettiest that I have, and that is all the excuse I can offer for sending so trifling a gift. You must, as Kempis says, look at the love of the giver, instead of the gifb.
Were there any morning glory seeds among those seeds you sent me ? I ask, because there came up in my garden a most beautiful morning glory, handsomer than any the other Sisters had, and I camiot see how it came to be different from theirs, unless you sent it. I don't have much time to ^ve to my garden since school commenced this year, for I am more employed than I was last year. Dear Sister Lucia, however, is gathering seeds for me, so that I may have plenty to plant next spring.
I was so glad to hear about the church in Methuen ;* who knows but jou may have Sisters there one- of these days, to teach the poor children of .these laborers ? Would you not like to see a poor Sister of Charity visiting the sick, and teaching the little children to love God in Methu- en ? Give my love to all who remember me enough to care for it. All the Sisters whom you know send their love to you. K Sister Ber- nard can get the time, she will write in this letter. She has been very sick, but is better now. She has more to do than she had last year, as well as myself, so she is very constantly engaged. If she should not be able to write, she sends her best love. Excuse all faults, for I write in haste. Oh ! I had almost forgotten to answer your question about my cough. It is much better. Write soon and tell me all about your- self. When you come South again, you will see a most beautiful Gothic Chapel in our graveyard. Mother Seaton has been taken up and put into it. The exterior is pointed gothic, and very beautiful. I must stop, for it is time for Catechism class. *
Believe me, as every your most affectionate daughter,
Sr. M. Ignatia.
- The first Catholic church in Lawrence ii the one referred to in this letter ; it was then
St. Joseph's House, Dec. 8th, 1846. My Deabest Motheb,
I received your letter, and was for some time quite amazed at the
idea of having a little niece. I have admitted Miss E Qt to
a comer in mj heart, and a share in my prayers, and hope that she mil be all that is lovely and good. I have been exceedingly busy all this fall, or I should have "written sooner. I believe I forgot to tell you about my visit to Frederic in the summer. I was there a fortnight. Sister Aloysius was sister's servant there. She was exceedingly kind to me, and I had a very nice time. I was very glad to hear about your
visit to W and A , and you enjoyed yourself so much. The
description of the sword, and sash, and crucifix over the mantel-piece, made me smile. I was glad to hear that you were amusing yourself with Botany — I have no doubt it will secure you many happy moments. My poor garden is looking very dismal just now, but it will revive in spring.
If there is any want of sense in this letter, you must put it down to the account of my children, who are talking to me all the time, asking some question or otiier. This year you may imagme me sometimes in the Cabmet, your favorite place, of which I have the care. Among my various duties, I have the direction of the Epiphany play, — a littie play which the children have during the Christmas holidays.
You may be present in imagination. It takes place the 30ih of this
month, and commences at five o'clock in the evening. The principal
piece consists in selections from Mrs. Hemans^s Siege of Valencia. 1
• am just beginning to prepare the dresses ; my stock of finery consists
principally of red flannel and white cotton, and you know me well enough to understand that sometimes I am not a little puzzled. Tou must sympathize with me, although it is hardly possible for you to do so, with all your ingeniuty. Mother Etienne desires me to ^ve her love to you. She sent for me after my last letter, and told me she was much inclined to give it back to me, and make me write it over, for neglecting to give her love — so you see you are not forgotten in our Valley. Sister Augustine, Sister Damian, Sister R. Genevieve, and Sister Cephas, and all the Sisters whom you know, send their love. Give
my best love to Mary J., Mr. C , and the children, to W and
A ■ ■ , when you see them, and to any one who may care to receive it. Write to me soon — let me know about your health. Before I close, let me wish you a merry Christmas, and a happy New Tear. Sister Augustine and Sister Bernard desire to be remembered to M. J. I hope she is better than she' was, but I know that very good health is never her portion. I hope she did not get so very tired by her journey South, as to detenmne never to come again. I must conclude now, for I have no more^time. You must excuse this scrawl, for I was obliged to write in haste, or not at all.
That our dear Lord may grant you all the blessings which I shall beg for you during the ensuing year, is the sincere wish and prayer of your truly affectionate daughter,
Sr. M. Ignatia.
St. Joseph's House, Feb. 9th, 1847. My Dearest Mother,
As I have not receivedany answer to the letter I wrote you the early part of last December, I am beginning to fear, either that you did not receive it, or that you are sick. I remember having directed it rather carelessly, but stiU thinking it would reach you. It contained quite a long account of my occupations about Christmas time, which for fear of ^^a twice-told tale I will not relate. Mother Etienne and Sister Bernard have both been quite ill for some time past ; I know you will be sorry to hear it. Yesterday, when I asked permissbn te write, mother desired me to ^ve her love to you, so you see you are not forgotten. I forgot to tell you that Sister Damian is no longer assistant mother. Sister Serena now holds that office, and her character is the exact counterpart of her name. As I suppose you are desirous of knowing exactly what I am doing, I will inform you that my occupations have varied but very littie since you were here. I am still in school, and although I do not keep the same English class, all my other classes are the sa^ie. Just now I am most marvellously busy, for my children are writing their Distribution composition, and my criticisms and corrections are constantiy called for. By the way, I really think you would be astonished to find what a writer I have become. I am afraid I shall have to write you a sonnet before I can even convince you that I can ♦rhjnne.
Have you seen W and A lately ? How do they do, and
how is little Miss Lizzie ? who is she like, — smother or father ? I hope her littie ladyship will unite all the good qualities of both, — she will
then assuredly be a most interesting character. How are M. J
and Mr. C , and the children ? also grandmother and L , and
E and her children ? Please give my love to each and every
one of IJ^em. How does the new city come on near Methuen, and what is its name ? How do the Methuen people like having a Catholic church so near ? My time for writing is fast expiring, as the bell for Catechism will ring in a few minutes.
I remain your most affectionate and devoted daughter,
Sr. M. Ignatia.
18 St. Josbph'b House, Apbil 11th, 1847. My Deabest Mother,
I received your last letter a day or two after I wrote, and was much relieved by it, as I had been fearful that you had been sick. I was
pleased to hear that you had so pleasant an acquaintance in M , as
I have no doubt it contributes much to your happiness. I hope her
society is as agreeable to M. J as it is to yourself. Dear Mary
Jane ! she has certainly been always your most faithful friend, and I most sincerely hope God will reward her for all she has done for you. Does her health remain good ? I was very^lad to hear of the great
improvement in the M society. Mother Etienne desires me to
give her love to you ; she has been far from well this year. Sister Bernard sends her love, and all the Sisters whom you know. *
Do you remember hearing me speak of Sister Bridget, the mother of Sister Margaret ? I think you must, for I often spoke of her to you ; she was one of the oldest Sisters in the community. She has died since I wrote last, and was the fourth Sister we have buried this year. The other three were young. Two of them were novices with me. Their names were Sister Clarisse and Sister Emanuel. They died, as all the Sisters die, very happy deaths. I hope our dear Lord will make me right good before my time comes, that I may die in as much peace, and with as happy prospects of dwelling with Him forever in heaven.
Since you were here, there has been a very pretty monument built in our graveyard to the memory of Mother Seaton. Her remains were removed from their first resting-place and placed beneath the altar within the monument. Above the altar is a crucifix, and the chapel
will contain eight or ten people. It is in the gothic style, and is indeed extremely pretty. I do not know of any other change since you were
here, except that Mr. Y has removed. His house is now situated
much nearer St. Joseph's, on the opposite side of the road. Mvs.
Y still continues as fond of flowers, and is very successful in culti-
vatmg.them. Have you been to Boston since you wrote? If you
have, how is Mrs. Y , and did you go to the Sisters ? When did
you hear from W ? Is he well, and A , and little Miss
E ? Here is a catalogue of questions for you, which certainly
proves that I have not lost my interest in you all. Please ^ve my love
to M. J, and Mr. C , and grandmother, and L , and E .
Kiss all the children as proxy for me, and give my love to A and
W when you write. I must conclude, for the very important busi- ness of supper is coming on the carpet — tfiough it would be somewhat difficult to find a carpet for it to come on to.
I have written in great haste, but I presume you will not disgrace me by showing my letter. "With a large share of love for- my friends, believe me, I remain ever your most sincere and affectionate daughter,
Sr. Mary Ignatia.
St. Joseph's, July 18th, 1847. Mr Dearest Motheb,
It is so long since I have heard from you, that I feel anxious for fear that you are sick. I hope it is not so, but I fear it, as I certainly
wrote last. I received Mr. C ;:'s letter relating the news of grand
mother's death, and that her death was happy. I did not think I should feel her death so much as I really did, when it came. I was disappointed that she did not die a Catholic, but still I think we have every reason to hope in her present happiness. I have no doubt you all felt her death very much, but you did not regret her dying a Protestant. You have
no idea how I tremble sometimes for fear L , and M. J , and
E , and the children should die before they are baptized. No
doubt you know the reason — because the Catholic church holds it as an article of faith, that those who die without baptism can never enter heaven.* Death is but little if heaven be secured, but is most awful if it puts an end to all chance of eternal happiness. You cannot feel with me on this point ; I only wish you could.
Our Distribution took place on the first of July, and for several ►months back I have been very, very busy. I have not been very well either, but I am better now, and on account of these things you must forgive me if I have been apparently neglectful about writing. Do you still take the Emmittsburgh Star ? K you do, you saw a notice, and a silly one too, of our Distribution. A very good notice of it appeared in the Catholic Herald, printed at Philadelphia. The writer was present
- Sister Mary Ignatia was baptized in the Hudson River by the Baptist clerg^yman at
Troy, when she was about fourteen years old, while a pupil at Mrs. W *s Seminary.
at the Distribution, and at the Commencement at Mt. St. Mary's Col lege, which took place on the 80th of Jmie.
Do you ever have any day dreams about coming South again, 6r does the journey alarm you ? I believe we are going into our Retreat next week, but I. am not sure. School commences again on the 16th of August, and we will have it before that. Sister Ann Alexis has been home ijiis summer, or late in spring. Sister Blandina is at home now, but she leaves here to-morrow to return te Boston. I woutd send this letter by her, but she is not going directly, so I siq)pose I had better send it by mail. Will you not write soon, and let me know if you are well ? Dear Mother Etienne sends her love to you, also all the other
dear Sisters whom you know. Plepe to ^ve my love to M. J ^
lilj.. c , and the children, to L — -, and B , and her children,
and don't forget to ^ve it to W and A and their little pet.
When you write, tell A her little one has an aimt who prays for
her very often. So do I pray for you aU every day. I must stop, for the bell is going to ring.
Believe me ever your most affectionate daughter,
Sr. Mary Ignatia
, St. Joseph's, Sept. 19th, 1847.
M? Dearest Mother,
I received your welcome letter yesterday morning. I have been very anxious about you for some time, on account of your unusually long silence. Tou seem to think I do not write asi often as I can, but indeed, dear mother, you ought to look in upon me sometimes now-a- days, and* certainly you would not accuse me of spending much time in idleness. I was pleased to hear of your visitors from H. I only hope you may have many more, and such as will interest and amuse you. I thank M. J. for sending her love to me, and I am truly glad to hear that she is at least as well as usual. Please ^ve my lovei
to her. I was sorry to hear of W -'s illness, I hope he will not be
injured by it; his constitution is not marvellously strong. How are
L. and E ? you did not mention them in your letter. Tell A
I only hope she wiU favor me with a visit. Give my love to both
A and TV when you write. I gave your love to mother
Etienne^ She desired me to give you hers also. Tou seem to think I do not get all your letters ; at any rate I am sure that I get all that come to St. Joseph's — in fact, even were there anything in them which would prevent their being given to me, — which there is not. Mother hardly ever reads them ; in fact, I think never would be a much truer expression than hardly every for she does not even unfold them. How does the new city come on ? you have not mentioned it in your letters lately. I hear Father McElroy is going to be stationed at Boston. I do not know if it is true, but I hope you will have the pleasure of seeing him if it should be so.
In reading your letter, I sympathized deeply in what I knew must have been your feelings at the removal of grandfather's remains.
It must have been a painful time for you. You did not te]l me
in what p'krt of H ^1 the new cemetery is situated. Is it nearer
the town, or farther from it ?
As a little token of my gratitude, I enclose you a litUe picture, since I will not be able to write again before the 29th. Tou will think it a very paltry token, but it is all I have to send, and if it were capa- ble of expressing half my feelings, you would think it much. You speak of visiting St. Joseph's. You know, and I need not repeat that I shaU always be most glad to see you.
With most fervent prayers for your happiness, believe me ever your most sincere and affectionate child.
Sister Mary Ignatia.
St. Joseph's, Nov. 14th, 1847,
My Dearest Mother,
Although you have not answered my last letter, yet aa I foresee that I shall be very constantly occupied for some time to come, I seize the present opportunity to write. The children's Retreat begins next Wednesday, and as soon as it is over, the Christmas examinations will commence, and all the rehearsals and drilling for play at Epiphany, so that I shall not have a spare moment. So you sep that I am not 80 neglectful as you seem to intimate in your last letter.
Po you remember dear old Sister Louise, our blind Sister ? I am sure you do, and that you will regret to hear that she was buried yesterday. When told that she was going to die, she exclaimed "Me very glad." K you remember, she was French, and her English was always broken. Dear old Sister ! I have no doubt of her happiness now, in the presence of her God. She has always been so patient and cheerful under her affliction — twenty-five years, I believe, she has been blind. Mother has given me a little silver reliquary, which belonged to Sister Louise. I shall always keep it as a relic. We have lost many Sisters this year, mostly young ones, but I miss none of them so much as dear Sister Louise.
How are M. J. and the children ? Please ^ve my love to all of
them, and remember me to Mr. C , also to L and E ,
and don't forget to give my love to W and A ; tell A
I hope she wiU keep her promise of making a visit to Emmitta- burgh.
Mother Etienne sends her love to you. She often inquires after you very kindly. Sister Augustine and Sister John Patience, Sister
Rose Genevieve, and Sister Damian send their love. I had a letter from Sister Margaret yesterday, she is sister's servant in Cincinnati at present. She inquired particularly about you, although I believe you do not know her. So you see there are other Sisters beside Sister Mary Ignaiia who think of you. They all hope you will be a Cath- olic one of these days. Sister Augustine desires to be remembered
to M. J . I beg, dear mother, you will 'excuse this scrawl. It
is not because I am careless, but because I wbh to write a long letter, and have but little time.
We have a very full school this year, and consequently have plen- ty to do. Tou need not feel any anxiety about my health, as I could not for a moment think of taking time to be sick. On the whole, I think plenty of work is an excellent medicine.
Our children have been not a littie excited to-day, and nothing less than an Election was the cause. They chose their King and Queen for the Epiphany play. Sometimes we have the world in miniature here, though it is on the whole a very good-natured world. There is no doubt but the Valley air has an excellent effect, even on the children.
I expect M. J ^s children have grown so that I would hard- ly know them. I have never seen E 's youngest, have I ? I
hope they are alias good as tiiey used to be. I often think of them all. I hope you enjoyed jour visit to Brookfield? Well! here I am coming to the end of my sheet, so I must conclude by begging you to take good care of yourself; and believe me ever your sincerely affectionate daughter.
Sister Mary Ignatia.
St. Joseph's, Feb. 13th, 1848. My Dsabbst Motheb,
I received your kmd letter about two weeks since, and I embrace the first opportunity of replying to it, and whatever portion of my sheet may remain unfilled when the recreation bell rings this evening, shall be attended to at my first leisure moment. I imagine you will be^ to think my letters' nothing else but a tissue of excuses, as to my want of time, but such expressions, frequently as they occur, are noth- ing but the simple truth, for at one lime school is commencing and every- thing has to be arranged in ^^ apple-pie order," as regards studies, and classes, &c., &c., and as soon as the way is clear, come the preparations for Mother's day, and the play, which at present fall to my lot, — which important events fairly over, the Distribution compositions ^claim all my leisure, then preparations for Distribution, then the Distribution itself, then the Vacations, then the Retreat, and then the routine commences again. In reading this you might suppose the vacations to be, as the name impUe8,-free time,~but never were you more mistaken than you would be in such a supposition, for it is the busiest time of all, since every long or odd job is put off to be done in vacation. These various duties, with my regular classes, my painting, sleep, meals, and religious j
exercises — ^last, but by no means least, — ^fill up my time so completely, '
that it seems sometimes that before I have time to realize the arrival of |
one month, the next has taken its place. As for days and weeks, they are nothing ; and yet, how true as well as how awful is it, that upon each fleeting moment of each short day an eternity of happiness or misery depends! Oh! that Eternity — but alas! how many throw away the time granted by Infinite Mercy, and rush into it unprepared.
The msuls bring us sad news of the^state of healtih in many*, places, particularly New Orleans, where the yellow fever and typhoid are fa^ng. The Sisters have over nine hundred patients in the hospital. Two Sisters have gone home to our Lord, and we hope are receiv ing the reward of their labors.
When I think of the dear Sisters in the hospitals, I sometimes fear I have too easy times -^-l^ut after all, it is not what one does, but the intention with which it is done that makes the merit ; and to do little in obedience to the will of God is infinitely better than to do much from self-will. Did I tell you in my last letter, that Sister Frances liguori is on a mission in Philadelphia ? Sister Rose Genevieve is still at home. Many others whom you knew, when here, are on the mission now. Sister Bernard is at Wilmmgton, Sister Cephas is at Mt. Hope, Sister Damian is at a new nussion established at St. Francis Xavia — (you remember the place, I am sure,) — it is called St. Lazare. It is for the poor of this neighborhood.
Mother Etienne has been very ill for some time, but she is better now ; she sends her love, and the other Sisters whom you know, and some whom you do not knoWy but who know you as my mother. Give
my love to M. J. and the children, also to Mr. C . What you
wrote me about— —made me very sad ; please give my love to her — pray do nH forget it — she thinks I do not think of her, but she is very much mistaken ; I only hope my prayers for her will be answered.
Give my love to A , and W , and little Miss Lizzie . I
hope A ' will fulfil her intention and visit St. Joseph's. I am glad to hear that you have visited some of my Catholic friends. I hope you will continue to go, and I am glad you take such m interest in
botany. I am teaching botany this year myself. I hope you will ex- tend your interest to the geography of the heavens, it would so amuse you. Well, paper, time, and all thmgs seem to say — '^ Bring your letter to a conclusion ; " so good-bye, my dearest mother. I wish you many, many happy new years, and remain ever your truly aflFectionate child,
Sister Mart Ignatia.
P. S. I have opened my letter to express a hope that you will have nothing to do with astronomy. After I finished my letter I hap- pened to think you might be apt to take cold if you felt too much inter- est in looking at the stars. Perhaps you will say, ^' I should not think of attending to the study ; " but you will for^ve me, I was prompted solely by anxiety for your health and happiness.
Your affectionate child.
NoTB. The Retreat with the Sisterhood is a season of perfect seclusion, generally from five to ten days, the time wholly devoted to meditation, prayer, and spiritual reading.
" The Retreat" by Saint Ignatius, prepared for religious communities, to promote in- dividual piety and self-examination, constitutes a great part of the spiritual reading. The book has never been printed. '
St. Joseph's, April 80th, 1848. Mt own bsab Mother, *
I have begged a large sheet of paper from one of the Sisters, that I may write you a long, long letter, although I am very much pressed for time, and almost fear I will not finish it to-day, — but if I do not I will postpone the conclusion until next Friday, in letter-writinfi; class, and Lfwhile ijxe children a« writing their leLrs.
I received your letter, dated April 12th, in due season. I cannot tell
you how much shocked I was to hear of dear 's death. How glad
I am that I wrote that other letter, since it gave her any pleasure.
How glad must be that she was with her. I regretted so
much also that you were sick. I hope you are better now. . I regretted,
and regret that has changed so much in his belief. I cannot
comprehend it. But I hope Almighty Grod will bring him to the truth at last. It was not necessary to ask my prayers for him, nor for any of the dear ones in- New England.
Have you seen any of the Sisters lately ? Mr. S told me when
he was here, that Father McElroy was very desirous of having Sisters for his parish in Boston (Endicott street), and that he had applied for them. I hardly think he will get them just yet, as Sisters are so much wanted at the old missions. We have lost seven at New Orleans alone, I believe, within a few months, and I believe of the typhoid fever.
We came very near losing Sister John Patience the other day — she received a severe blow from a beam, which she did not see to avoid. The doctor said that if it had been an inch lower it would have killed her. Mother Etienne has been very sick most of this spring, but she is quite
well now, much to our satisfaction. She sends her love to you. Sister John and all send their love.
You cannot ima^e how nicely my little garden is looking ; I am waiting very impatiently for my seeds to come up. I have several tulips in bud, and such beautiful heart's-ease in abundance in* bloom for some time past. I was thinking, the oiher day, of the little set of garden tools I used to have at the convent, and you will not wonder when I inform you that my principal garden tools at present are my two hands, — but after all they do the work very well. I have been as busy as a bee over my children's Distribution compositions. I have almost fimshed correcting and copying, so I may hope to be done wiih them in a few days.
Father Deluol is here now. He is not well, his throat is very bad.
To-morrow will be the first of May, and the children are looking forward anxiously for a pleasant day. I hope they will be gratified, for their May-day celebration is very pretty, and what is better, very pious. They form in procession and go to the chapel of the Blessed Virgin, where the Queen of May crowns the statue of the Blessed Virgm, and many other little ceremonies are performed. Among them is one very pretty. All of ihem and many of the Sisters write little notes containing petitions, the grants of which they beg the Blessed Virgin to obtain for them. These petitions are burnt in the chapel with incense. During the procession the children sing the Litany of the Blessed Virgin. They will have eight guitars to accompany the sin^g to-morrow. Many little poet- ical addresses to tiie Blessed Virgin are spoken by the children, and as all are dressed in white, and the queen with her maids of honor are very prettily crowned, the whole scene is altogether very pretty. The littie
children are to have a queen of their ^own this year, a young lady not quite five years old being elected. She enters into the spirit of the affair as well as if she was twelve, ^e children were very busy yester- day ; they made about thirty crowns of natural flowers, besides wreaths for the grotto, and other little chapels. The maids of honor wear wreaths, though theirs are inferior in beauty to that of the queen. The little queen is to have her own maids of honor. In the evening they have a party, where they enjoy abundance of good things.
I had almost forgotten to tell you, mother, that we have had ^two ladies here from Boston this week, — a Mrs. M. and her daughter.
The daughter is a Catholic. I saw a good deal of Miss , and like
her very much. She is full of zeal. She knows Mr. S , and is
very intimate with Mrs. R , formerly of the community at Roxbury.
She is now a Catholic. Miss read me part of a very interesting
letter from her. Miss — - says that eight of that Roxbury community have become Catholics — six of them young men. Oh ! if our dear
Lord would make W a good Catholic ! I have begged our Lord
for all of you often and long. By and by he will grant it. Give my
love to W and A— when you write, and tell A the next
letter I write North shall be an answer to her dear little note, which I was much pleased to receive. Give my love to all my friends, and in
your next letter please tell me about M. J- 's health. Take good
care of yourself, and believe me ever your truly affectionate child,
Sr. M, iGNATIi^.
P. S. I have read this letter over, and am truly ashamed of the stuff, but have not time to write another. Don't let any one see it, and excuse all.
St. Joseph's, July 16th, 1848.
My own dear Mother,
Although you have not answered my last letter, yet I will not scruple to trouble you with a few lines, as I am very sure they wijl be far from unacceptable.
I send you this piece of poetry, which was one of the compositions read at our late Distribution ; and as it was written by a New England child, and in my class, I thought it might prove interesting to you. I enclose one for M. J., which I beg you will give her from me, with much love. Dear Mother Etienne desires to be very kindly remem- bered to you. She has not been well for some time. The other Sisters whom you know desire me to send their love. We had a nice wagon ride the oiher day, to a very lovely place in the mountains, seventeen and a half miles distant. I wish you could see it. It would answer your most lively imaginations of the picturesque. We rose at half past two, and started on our jolt at four. The wagons were of that kind which we call baggage wagons in New England. Each contained about twenty individuals, children and Sisters, all ^^ on pleasure bent," Uke the spouse of John Gilpin ; and the jolting of that day supplied all deficiencies in the way of exercise we might have felt during the past year. You would have enjoyed it as we did, had you been there.
We are now in daily expectation of the Retreat, and then in a few days more, school will begin again. Time flies so fast here, and here J am at the end of my paper too ; so love to all, and believe me ever your truly affectionate daughter,
Sr. Mary Igkatia.
St. Joseph's, August 16th, 1848.
My own dear Mother,
Although it is but a very short time since I wrote to you, and although I have received no answer to my two last letters, I will not hesitate about writing again, for I am sure my letter will be welcome. Dear Mother Etienne will take this letter to Boston, and I am sure if it is in your power, you will see her while she is there. I hope nothing will prevent it, for she hopes to see you, and I am very anxious you should see her. I think her stay in Boston will be short, although I do not know. I do not think she has ever been in New England before, and I hope she will see every thing that will please her, and nothing that will displease her. You see how much partiality I have for New Eng- land, since I wish it to make such a good impression. I am certainly a thorough Yankee yet. Our vacation is over, and our school com- menced this morning. I feel somewhat Uke drawing a long breath, long enough to last the whole year, so that I may not have to stop for that purpose again. You have no idea how industrious I intend to be this year. However, of late years I cannot accuse myself of wasting much time. When do you think you will visit St. Joseph's again ? I sup- pose the idea of such a journey would fatigue you, particularly if you are not well ; and I must own I have many fears that your health is not as good as usual, or you would have answered my letters.
Please give my love to W , and A — — , M. J-; — , Mr.
C , and the children, and to any of my friends you may see. If
you see the S 's, give them my love, particularly to dear A .
I would like to see her. As for myself, Mother will tell you all you wish to know concerning me, and I hope to heaic ^1 about yourself when she returns. I would write more, but time is wanting.
Believe me under all circumstances, ever your truly affectionate daughter.
Sister Mart Ignatia.
St. Joseph's, Sept. 24th, 1848,
My Dearest Mother,
Although I have written so many times to you lately, and have not received any answer yet, as this week will bring round my twenty- seventh birthday, I cannot think of letting it pass without a letter. You know the feelings which prompt me to write, so I need not enlarge upon them. On Friday next do not forget me, as I shall pray for you to whom I owe so much. I hope to hear much about you when Mother Etienne returns. We do not expect her yet for some weeks. I learned that she saw you when in Boston, as she sent me a message to that effect in one of her letters, and that you wished her to go to Methuen. I know she could not do that, as it would not be according to our customs, but I would have been very glad if it had been possible. I am so glad you were able to go to Boston to see her. I was very much afraid something would happen to prevent, and I feel quite de- sirous to hear all about it. Do you ever think of another visit to St. Joseph's ? It would be quite a nice journey for you and M. J. to take together. How is M. J. 7 better, I hope, than when I saw her last. Please give her a great deal of love from me. Tell her I would like her to write sometimes, if she will. How are the children ? almost
grown up, are they not ? at least W ? I was counting up their
ages the^other day, and I was quite astonished to find what big boys they must be. I expect the place at M. is very beautiful by this time, it had such advantages by nature. Did you stay long in Boston when
you were there ? and did you see anything of Mra. J or A
S ? Tell me how they are when you write. I wish A was a
Catholic, and here ; she would be so much happier. Tell me all about yourself when you write, please. Do you know I have been so anxious, as I have not heard from you since the spring, and I was very much afraid you were very sick ; but hearing that you saw Mother has re- lieved my mind of that fear. You must forgive me for writing such a scrawl as this is, but I wish to write you a nice long letter, and I have shch a short allowance of time (as usual) that I will not be able to write a long letter, and a nice one, and I know very weU which you will pre- fer. * You do not know how busy I am. A^iong other of my employ- ments, I am getting quite skilful in water-color painting. I have the class in that branch this year. Are you as muclf interested in botany as ever ? and have you become interested in anything else ? you know you must tell me all about your employments, for I love to think you are interested in anything, that your time may pass more pleasantly. There^is one thing above all others that I wish to see you interested in, and I do hope to see the accomplishment of my wishes. You know I mean Catholicity. I know you will not join in this hope now, but the time vnH come. Do you know I think it will be the reward of your many charities to the poor, when you had it in your power ? How I love to think of your visits and charities to ihe poor !— and the graces and blessings they may obtain you from God. I enclose you a little picture of our dear Lord in his humble station of the son of a carpenter, bearing the imitations of the instruments of his future passion, which he himself has made. Is not the idea beautiful, that from his earliest youth his greatest delight was to contemplate those sufferings by which he should redeem mankind ?
I also enclose you another little picture of a martyr. I did mean
to have drawn joa something for to-day, but have not had time. In fact, I never was so busy in mj life as I am this year. However, you will, I know, accept the will for the deed, and give these pictures, the prettiest I could get, a place in your prayer book, which I am sure
you still hav^. Give my love to W and A , wfren you see
them, or when you write to them. Again love to aK, aUy and believe me ever your truly affectionate daughter,
St. Joseph's, Oct. 29th, 1848. My own deab Mothbe,
Although it is not long since I wrote, yet as I am sure jou will wel- come another letter, I thought I would write to-day, particularly as I am going to be very busy for some time to come. There is one thing I should like, if you have an opportunity before or near Christmas. It is
to ask A , Mrs. T I should say, if she is willing to lend me for a
few months that pretty Madonna she painted before I left Boston — the one we both painted at the same time, she in miniature and I in oils. If there could be such a thing as a safe opportunity for it to come and return, I should be very glad to borrow it for a time. I hopei dear M.
J r enjoyed her visit to Ndw Amsterdam. Please give her much
love from me, to the children also, though I shall not send them any
kisses since they are grown so big. Give my love to L , and
W , and A ■ , and to any one who may remember me. I hear
Mr. C S is going to Rome. I suppose A — — feels sorry.
I regretted very much to hear of A— — 's bad health. I hope it will improve soon. I would like to see W— with his children about him.
We have one hundred and five scholars at present; more are expected. Mother Etienne sends a great deal of love to you.* All the Sisters whom you know, also send their love. Mother Etienne looked quite thin when she returned from her long journey, but she is like her- self now. Take good care rf yourself, now that the weather is changjig, dear mother, and that may perhaps save you a fit of sickness. As I have another letter to write, to acknowledge the receipt of some things which Mr. J purchased for me, I shall bring this to a
conclusion by beg^g you will always remember, my dearest mother,
tliat I am your truly affectionate child,
S&. M. Ignatia.
40 St. Joseph's, Jan. 6ih, 1849.
My OWN DEAREST MOTHBR,
I received, a few days smce, your kind letter dated Dec. Slst. I sympathize truly in all your disappointments, but I hope your principal urish for the winter may yet be realized. You regretted my not receiving that^wery. I assure you I do not regret it at all, as I did very well without it. The affair for which I wanted it is all over, and I did not need anything more than I had. Tou need not ^ve it another thought, even if you have the best opportunity^ as I shall now have no use for it.
You mentioned in your letter having had a very pleasant visit at Brookfield. I was very glad to hear about it. I hope you will have
many mo;re such. I wrote to A some six or eight months since, I
think, but she has not answered my letter. However, being a minister's wifcy and having a whole parish to please, besides a young family to take care of, to say nothing of a husband to make happy, etc., etc., etc., and hundreds of friends nearer and dearer than nip^self to write to,. I do not consider myself as having any right to complain.
You say M. J. is at Boston. I hope W. and H will improve
most rapidly at Andover. How old is F now ? I cannot picture
him to myself in |ny other way than as the little fair, curly-headed boy, who used to dance across the room to me so gracefully when I would whistle and wonder where my little fairy was. The dear little soul ! Do you know I really feel sorry to think he haft grown up to be a great boy ? I suppose, however, M. J. would not thank me for wishing him to remain small. By the way, I had Methuen brought to my recollection the other day, from a most unexpected quarter. Do you remember the
piece of poetry I sent you last autumn ? The young lady who wrote it is now in Mobile, spending the winter. She has written to me fre- quently since she left school, and in a letter which I received last week, she mentions haying met and spent a delightful eyening with a young lady who frequently yisited Methuen. She says the lady knows my Aunt M. J. weU.
Mother Etienne sends you a great deal of loye, also Sister Augustine, Sister John Patience, Sister Rose Geneyieye, Sister Damian. Sister Francis Legueri has gone on a mission to St. Louis.
And now, my own dear mother, as my time is almost spent, I must bring my letter to a conclusion.
Wheneyer it will be in your power to yisit St. Joseph's, you know I will always be too happy to see you ; and enclosing a great deal of loye for yourself and any of my friends you may see, I commit you and all connected with you, into the hands of our dear Lord, hoping he will grant you eyery blessing for time and for eternity that your heart can wish, or mine can desire for you. Do not forget that I am anxious to hear about your health when you next write.
As eyer, I remain yout truly aflfectionate and grateful child,
SiSTBB MaET IgNATIA. 4*
42 St. Joseph's House, June 17th, 1849.
My dearest Mother,
I regret that my silence has been iiie cause of one moment's anxiety to you ; it was only occasioned by the multiplicity of my duties, and my not having received any answer to my last letter to you. Did you receive it ? *I was fearfiil that I would not have time to write to you to-day, as I have been examining a class in Catechism. Tou know our examinations here take time, as each child is examined by herself, and not all together. TBiere were eleven in the class I havo examined to-day, but I finished in time for dinner, and so I have rather more ihan a half hour at my disposal before Vespers, and I am too g|Iad to employ it in answering your last welcome letter, dated June 10th. Daring vacation I will try and write again, and will also write to Anna.
I am so sorry W lost his littie boy. You may be sure I was pleased
to see, by his letter, that he remembered me witii sufficient affection to
intend naming the child for me. Pray give my love to W ^ and
A , when you write to them. I was so sorry to hear of M. J 's
illness. How is she now ? Give my love to Ker, to Mr. O— — , aha to all tiie children. Tell her I think it would be good for her health to travel — to the South, for instance. But as this bids fair to be a chol- era season, I suppose she would prefer remaining at home. Have there been any cases of cholera in Boston yet ? There was some talk about its being in Baltimore, but I believe without any foundation. It is very healthy here at present, though every precaution is being taken in regard to diet, etc., as much as if the cholera were about approach- ing US; Tfhich I hardly think it ifill, as the air here is so pure. Were
it right to fear at all, I think I would rather fear consumption, than ^ cholera, as far I am myself concerned.
We are very busy just now preparing for the Distribution, which will take place on Thursday, the 28th of this month. It is, as you know, our busiest time. I wish you could be present at one of our Distribu- tions. I think you would be interested. Mother Etienne sends a great deal of love to you. She says you could not be more glad to come, than she would be to see you here. All the Sisters you know send much lore. Many, however, that were at home when you were here, are on the mission now. As to the report of my going on a mission to Soston, there is not the slightest truth in it. I imagine, (although, of course, I know nothing of my Superior's intentions,) that I will remain stationary for a year or two, at least. So you need not be fearing that I shall be farther fix)m you than my present quiet, happy home.
Do not forget to give my love to L , and to all who remember me enough to care about receiving it.-
I shall endeavor to write you a long letter before many weeks will have passed ; but do not ima^e again, when you do not hear from me, that I am either sick or on a mission, for if I were any way dangerously sick, you would hear of it from Mother, and if I go on a mission I will write and let you know. Keither must you ever think it neglect. I fffotdd not negUet you. But you must attribute it to my numerous duties, etc. You need not fear making any mistake. I would send a more particular message to W— and A , but that I mean to
write to A as soon I have time, and I may perhaps write to W
too. Again love to all, and believe me, as ever,
Your truly affectionate child.
Sister Mary Ignatia.
St. Joseph's House, July 21st, 1849.
My own deabbst Motheb,
In the letter I wrote you a few weeks smce, I promised to write a long letter in vacation, to supply for the deficiencies of that, which promise I will now gladly fulfil. In your last letter to me, you wish you could see St. Joseph's and the Sisters. How I sympathize in that wish, and hope if it be the will of God your desire may be gratified. And yet, just at present, since the cholera is prevailing so in every place, I should feel very anxious if I knew you thought of travelling. I do not think even the pleasure of seeing you would compensate, in any degree, for the anxiety I should feel at knowing you were exposed. Probably you hear quite as much about the cholera as we do, but perhaps not quite the same. Several of our Sisters in the cities where it is, have had it, but only one has died of it. This seems a special mercy of Providence, since their labors are so incessant, and so £9.tigu- ing, and they are exposed night and day to the most infected atmos- phere. In St. Louis, besides the regular hospital, our Sisters are attending five temporary hospitals, and even visiting others who are not m the hospitals. In one family there, seven died in one day, and I believe the survivors could get no one to come near to assist them, while all these corpses were in the house, but a Sister of Charity. How happy that Sister must have been, privileged to assist souls so neglected.
There were, in St. Louis, over nine hundred deaths in one week. ' At home we pray for the dear Sisters who are bearing the burden and heat of the day, and wish we could go to their assistance, but must be
contented to do Tfithout such a favor, as some must stay at home to peiv form the duties of the house. At any rate, you know that whatever at- tractions nursing the poor sick may have, it cannot be denied that we are very happy at our own dear valley home.
SincQ the Distribution we have made our annual Betreat. This year, the instructions were given, and the exercises were directed by Bishop T , of Buffietlo, a most saintly man. He was, previous to his being made Bishop, Superior of the Lazarists in this countxy. The order of the Lazarists, generally called the Oongregation of the Mis* sion, was founded by St. Vincent of Paul ; so you see we may consider them as our brothers. I do not think I ever heard any instructions or sermons I liked so much as his. Of our Betreat you can form some little idea from the meditations you heard when you were here.
Our school bids fair to be very large next year. We have over sixty at present in the house. I do not remember any year since I have been here, that so many children remained during the vacation.
The election for assistant Mother is just over, and I will give you the pleasure of knowing that your old friend, as I am sure you consider her, Sister Damian, who occupied that post when you were here, has been elected to it again, after three years' release from it.
Sister Serena has been assistant Mother in the mean time, and very happy she feels this evening, on being released from a situation which carries with it such great responsibility.
I have just told Sister Damian that I am writing to you. She de- sires me to give you her love. , She inquired very particularly after your health. And now, pray, have I not told you enough about St. Joseph's ? At any rate I cannot think of anything more that would
interest you, except, what I am sure you will care more about than all the rest, that our dear Mother remembers you most kindly, and I neyer ask permission to write to you that she does not charge me to give her love.
And now, dearest mother, I beg you, when you write, to tell me all about yourself and your health. I hope it is better than it was in the
winter. And dear M. J ,1 was so sorry to hear of her sickness.
Please gYe her a great deal of love from me ; tell her to take care of herself, and tell her I want to hear of her being In good health, and very happy. There is. one thing I would be still better pleased if I should hear it, of any one of you. You can guess what that is. My
love to dear L I will write to A to-day or to-morrow, if
nothing happens to prevent. Write soon, and believe me, dearest mother, ever your most affectionate child,
Sb. M. Ignatia.
St. Joseph's House, Sept. SOth, 1849.
Mt own dearest. Motheb,
Although I have received no answer to my last letter, I would not for one moment hesitate about writmg to you to-day, since yesterday was the 29th, that day which recalls to my mind all the benefits, the care, and the unwearied kmdness you have bestowed on me since my birth. Would that it was in my power to do more than utter a few poor words to show my gratitude ! and yet, though I can do nothing, God can do everything, and continually do I entreat him for blessings on you, temporal and spiritual. Oh ! may my prayers be heard and answered ! What is the reason of your long silence ? I have hoped, almost against my judgment, that it was not occasioned by sickness. I have found one other reason for your not writing. It is, that you are,
or have been visiting A and W , and concluded to defer
writing until your return to M. A told me in her last letter that
she expected, or rather that she hoped to have you with her this sum- mer some time. I have not yet answered her letter, but I intend to do so before a great while. We have been suffering much here for the want of rain, but to-day we are blessed with an abundance. You may imagine how great the drought has been when I tell you that the people from town had to come to our Creek to get water to cook with. Our pumps did not give out, for which we were very thankful. Our dear Mother Etienne is now in Baltimore. Were she at home, I should, I know, be charged with a most affectionate message for you. Sister Augustine is in Norfolk, and has been there for some time. I do not know when she will return. Sister Damian sends much love. Oh ! I
had almost forgotten to tell you that I have been in Baltimore this summer. I stayed at Mount Hope, and was extremely interested in the insane patients. I like Mount Hope. It is a most delightful place. Did you see it when you were in Baltimore 7 Please give my love to
M. J , Mr. C , and all the children. Please also give W
and A a great deal of love &om me when you see them or write
I shall be obliged to stop, as it is getting dark, and in fact I have been fairly groping my way over the whole of the last page. Mudi love to all. Write soon, and believe me ever, till death,
Your most truly affectionate child,
Sb. Mary Ignatia.
I enclose a little picture, and trifling as the p& is, I know you will value it, as it is my work, and I have nothing else to send. You can- not imagine how much pleasure I took yesterday in doing it, thinking I was to send it to you.
49 St. Joseph's Hoitsb, Nov. 11th, 1849.
My vbbt dear Mother,
I received your last welcome letter mth much pleasure, short as it -was. Your promised visit will give much gratification, but I regret that jou'will have to travel alone in such unpleasant and cold weather as at the idme you mention. But you know best. Dear Mother Eti- enne sends much love to you, and desires me to say that she will be as well pleased to see you a^ myself. Pray wrap yourself up well. I am very glad my little picture pleased you, but it certainly is not worth framing, yet if it will ^ve you pleasure, it is all as you wish. You will be surprised to hear that Father Deluol is gone to Prance. He is no longer our Superior. We have now a Lazarist, tiiat is, a Priest of the Congregation of the Missions, instituted by St. Vincent. At present he is at StT Louis, where there are many Lasaarists, and he is Provincial of all the La^arists in America, or rather in the United States. . His name is Father Mailer. Give my love to all, and excuse this very short letter, for as I am very much engaged to-day, I would not have written, only that I did not like to postpone answering your letter any longer, for fear you mi^t be waiting to receive it. When I see you, I will s«pply all deficiencies ; at any rate, you know that I am now, as ever, your own most affectionate child,
Sister Mary Ignatia.
St. Joseph's, Feb. 19th, 1860. My own dearest Motheb,
I received your two welcome letters, and answer them a little more promptly than usual. I was disappointed at not seeing you as I expect- ed in December, but on the whole, I was very glad you did not under- take to trayel at that time of the year, as I am sure it would have been a very great exposurer. I sympathized too in the motive which detained you at home. Poor littie child ! I hope sincerely his lot may differ -widely from that of his poor mother, for hers was truly a sad life and an early death. Has he been baptized ? I suppose not ; however, I wish he were. How cruel is that custom, to suffer children to want that without wUch no one can enter the kingdom of heaven ! Do not let him die without it, dear mother, if he should die while in your care. Give him a great deal of love from me, and tell him I do love him without seeing him. Do not forget to give my love to M. J , Mr. C , and the children, and to dear L .
I expect Lawrence has got to be quite a city by this time. Do you ever go to the Catholic Church there ? I was so glad you went to
see dear Mrs. J , and M is such a fine girl. Do give my
love to her when you see her again. I have sr it now. I have written to Anna thi& evening. I received a letter from her the same day that I received yours, containing the news of little Sarah's death. I felt very sorry. I do hope sho was baptised. A told me that she
elected a visit from. you. I am very glad that you are going there for a. while. I hope you will be able to keep your resolution, and come
on here in the fall. Give a great deal of love to M. J , to L ,
Mr. C , and Ihe children. Tell littie W h«h must not wonder
any BH>re if I like him,
Wbdkssi>ay Mobning, July VItb^ — » for I certainly do love him very much. Whether I ever saw him or not, it is enough that he ia
E 's child. As I expected, I did not get tim^e to finish this letter
on Sunday night, although I wrote as fast as I could scribble. I only reached the bottom of the first page, and as you can see, the bell caught me in the middle of a sentence. I do not think you need to have much, fear of my leaving the United States at present. I begged very hard
to be one of the four who were, sent in May to the Mother house in Paris, but you see I was not one of the chosen. At any rate, I suppose they will come back to America one of these days, so you see you would not have lost me forever, even if I had been chosen. I really think that for many years to come I shall be on no other mission than dear St. Joseph's House, near Emmittsburgh, Maryland. So you see you have no cause for alann. I have wished so often lately that I had your faculty for making pretty litUe things ; and what do you suppose is the reason ? I have a new charge, the Orphans' Caae, where all sorts of things of the needle-wo^k kind are kept for sale for the benefit of the orphans. I expect you would willingly share your ability with me ; you would still have enough left for yourself. My little garden has been much neglected of late, and some very flourishing weeds rise up very prominently in it. I try not to look at it, for just at present I have not time even to touch it.
Please give my love to q^ll, particularly my love and a loss to littiie E— -, when you see her. Tell her I shall give her, in addition to her own share in my prayers, the share that was little Sarah's ; and now, dejarest mother, I shall be obliged to bring my letter to a close. You must excuse the writing, for I am very much pressed for time, and I did not wish to defer wriiang until I ha4 more. Mother Etienne sends much love to you, also Sister Damian, and Sister John Patience. Tell dear M. J I am glad the whip-poor-will pomes to remind her of
me — not that I think she would forget me without—- but perhaps she might not think of me so often. Need I say, ^dearest mother, I am, as ever, your own devoted daughter,
Sr. M. Ignatia.
St. Joseph's House, Oct. 31st, 1850. Mt own beabest Mother,
I hasten to write you a few lines, that I may not miss to-night's mail. How could you imagine that* your visit^would not be agreeable ? You must have forgotten how many times I have expressed my hopes of seeing you, and the repeated messages of our dear Mother Etienne. She wishes me to tell you in this letter, with her love, that your visit will be as agreeable to her as to me. I shall be on the look-out for you, the last of November, as you say. I should have written before, but you had not answered my last letter, and as you had said you were coming on in the fall, I did not feel sure but you were already on your way. I have been keeping a little picture that I think you will like, and a pair of beads that I have been wearing for some years, and that I thought you would like to have on that account, to send to you by the first opportunity, in case you did not come ; but I will not send them, now I am sure of your coming, but keep them till I see you. You must excuse this scrawl, but I was determined to write to-day, having received your letter last night, that you might not remain any longer under the impression that^ I could in the least neglect you, or do any- tUng else but love and cherish you as my own dear mother. I will have to conclude, as it wants but a few minutes of the bell, and I will only have time to fold and direct. But in concluding, let me remind you again, and a thousand times if necessary, that I am and ever will be, under all circumstances.
Your own truly affectionate child.
Sister M. Ignatia.
St. Joseph's House, Deo. 28d, 1850.
Deabest Mother, ^ ^ •
I hasten to write, to let you know that the carriage will come for you to-morrow some time after dinner ; so do not fail to be ready. It is going to be very cold, so wrap up warm. I expected you would have been c^ut some of the past fine days, but I suppose you were busy. Take a good long sleep to-night, dearest mother, as you wiU have but a short one to-morrow night. As ever,
I am your own devoted child,
Sb. M. laXATIA.
St. Joseph's House. Deaeest Mother,
This pretty little affidr was presented to me last night, and I asked permission to receive it, and to send^it to you at the same moment. I do not suppose you will care much for the sugar-plums, but I am sure you wQl be "pleased by any proof of the constant remembrance of your own affectionate child,
Sr. M. Ignatia.
JMt beab Motheb^
I told Mother that you desired me to present her the mountain picture
you painted for her. She thinks it excellent, and requested me to
write and give you her thanks. She told me this morning that she
hoped you stayed to supper last night. Hoping that you took no cold
from the dampness of the air last eyening, I remain your affectionate
Sr. M. Ignatia.
St. Joseph's House. Deabest Mother,
I received your little message this morning. I am so sorry to hear that you have been so ill, but I am truly glad that you are better. I feared that you were sick, it is so long since you were here. I suppose you have heard that dear Mother Etienne left us on Friday, for France. You can imagine how much we all felt her departure.
I send you a book which was given me the other day by one of the old scholars who was here on a visit. I thought perhaps you might like to have it. It may be of some service to you. Please get well soon. Dear Sister Damian sends her love ; she seems as sorry as myself to hear of your illness. I write in great haste.
Ever your own devoted child,
Sr. M. Ignatia.
69 Dearest Motheb,
I am so much afraid that you have been caught in this shower. Please send me word by the bearer of this. Sister Damian is so worried. She would send the barouche, but knows that by the time it would be ready you would be at home. Please let me know all. I blame myself for having advised you to go, so please do not take cold. In great haste.
Your own devoted child,
Sb. M. Ignatia.
St. Joseph's, Mat 11th, 1851. Dearest Mother,
I enclose you the few lines, which, according to your request^ I
have written to M. J . You can read them apd see if I have written
enough to be worth sending. I would write more, but I have very little time to-day, as I am going to Baltimore to-morrow morning to have my teetii filled ; I shall be back as quick as they are done. I will send you word as soon as I come. Please take good care of yourself while I am gone. Is your jubilee over ? Remember me most kindly to Mrs. Agnew. Hannah sends much love to you. She is in great affliction, having heard of her uncle's death. Sister Damian sends much love, and Sister Raphael and Sister Lucia. Sister A. Simeon is expected here to-morrow night. One of the children is going down to Baltimore with me, to have her eyes attended to. We are going as far as Frederic in St. Joseph's carriage. Sister A Simeon is coming that way, and
will return in it. I am very fortunate to be going to-morrow, as other wise I suppose I could not have avoided a whole day of stage-riding, which I do not like as well as you do.
Please pray for me. You see eyen a jubilee does not satisfy me. I must stop for want of time.
Ever your own devoted child,
Sister M. Ignatia.
St. Joseph's Housb, June 22d, 1851.
I was so glad to receive your letter written from Philadelphia^ and to hear that you had got so far safely. I did not answer immediately, because I thought it would be better to wait a little, as it would be so l<»ig before you would reach M. The leaves I would send you in this, but I have the drawing-room completely upset, preparing for Diitribu- tion, but I will send them in my next letter. I feel confident that you would prefer the delay to my taking the time it would require to find them now, or I would not do so. Dear Mother Etienne arrived home safely yesterday morning. I know you will be delighted to hear it. She sends much love. Tou may imagine we have not given her much time to rest since her arrival. Dear Sister Damian sends much love, and begs you will pray for her. All the ^ters you know send a great deal of love. Sister Lucia is so glad you are going to see her mother, and I am very glad too. Hannah was much pleased to hear that her parents had been so polite to you in Philadelphia. She sends a great deal of love. All is hurry and preparation for the Distribution here now. You can easily ima^e how little leisure time I have, and so can excuse a letter as hastily and badly written as this. I could not bear to leave it till next Sunday, for fear you should be'disappointed bj^ not finding it at M — ^when you arrived. Father Burlando admires the jars very much. He says the style is Spanish. You need not ex- pect that we shall use them for 9crapjar9. Sister Raphael borrowed them for the little Chapel last Thursday, which was the feast of Cor- pus Christi. I wish you could have been here on that day, to see the
procession. It was beautifal. In mj next, when I have more time, I will give jou a description of it. Now I must stop, for the bell for adoration will ring by the time I can fold and direct this. As eyer, I am, mj dearest mother,
Your own deroted child,
Sb. M. Ionaxia.
St. Joseph's House, July 28d, 1861.
My own dearest Mother,
I received with the greatest pleasure your nice long letter. I was yery sorry to hear that you had been so ill. K I had known it at the time I should have been so much worried. I am glad that they were all pleased with the trifling gifts I was able to send them. Give much loTC to all from me — to dear M. J. and the children, and when you
gee W and A you must give a great deal of love, and kiss the
little one and Miss Lizade for me. Mother Etienne sends a great deal of love. We have not yet put on our new dress, but it will not be very long before we shall have it. We have made our annual Retreat ; we came out on St. Vincent's Day, the 19th of this month. You must not forgot to pray very hard for me on the 81st of this month, for it is the feast of my Patron, St. Ignatius. I have the other relic which I told you I thought I would receive, of St. Ignatius. I have not yet come across those leaves. I put them in some book to press, and I do not know which one. I will send them, I hope, in my next. Did you receive the letter I wrote to meet you on your arrival in M. ?
Tou remember Sister Anna, do you not, who was with me in the drawing-room for a while, and afterwards went on the mission. She went to Cincinnati, and a short time since she was taken with typhoid fever. She is now dead ; she died on the 16th of this month, very happily. We were much pained to receive this news, she had left home so recentiy, and in such excellent health. But man proposes while God disposes. *
Haver you been to H yet ? I hope you will really enjoy your-
self while you are ihere« Oiye my leye to dear Aunt——, to dear
J y and to all who remember me, and the same in M. I suppose your
stay in Boston was so short that you did not see Sister L 's mother.
I hope you will not forget it the next time you go. Sister Lueia, Sister John Patience, Sister Damian, Sister Anne Simeon, Sister Scholastica, and all whom you know, desire much love.
When you write, teH me all about yourself, pardoularly your health. I am much better than I was when you were here. Since the Distri- bution, I have taken so much holiday, I must conclude now, acknowl- edging, howeyer, that your nice long letter deserved even a much longer reply, if I only had a little more time.
As evelr, you know, I am your own devoted child.
Sister Mabt Ignatia.
St. Joseph's^ Nov. 1st, 1851. Mt dsarest Mothbb,
I did not think, at the time I wrote to W ,that I should wait so
long before writing to you, but I haye had another little spell of iUness, and so there was an extra delay. This will account for my not haying written on or near the 29th of September. Sister Ann Alexis was here, and said she had seen you a few days before she left Boston. I was so glad to see any one who had seen you. It was next to seeing you myself. I shall send this letter to Brookfield, but I hardly think you can still be there, but as you may be, and as it will be yery easy to forward it if you are not there, I may as well do so. Dear Mother Etienne is not yery well. She is suffering much with her head. She sends much loye to you. Sister Damian, Sister Anne Simeon, Sister Scholastica, Sister John Patience, and Sister Lucia send much loye.
Giye much loye from me to dear M. J. and L , and all, all. I
am going to write to Anna to-day. I shall enclose some little pictures,
— one for you, which I will ask A ^^to send to you with this letter,
if you are not at B You must not forget to giye me a description
of your yisit to H. when you write next. I shall expect to hear that you enjoyed yourself so much. And all about your plans, how they prosper, etc. Haye you yisited the Catholic Church in Lawrence since your return ? You must go there sometimes to recall St. Joseph's. You know I do not wish you to forget us. The weather here now is yery pleasant. You can easily imagine a real Lidian summer day. Eyery one is enjoying it. It would be a nice day for you to walk from town if you were here. In fact, it seems a great deal like one of
the days when Bister Lucia walked wiiih me part of the way home with you. Do you remember it? You must not omit telling me. all about M. J. and her children, and E 's little W , as well as about
L , and about your visit to B . Have you seen E. P. P.
lately ? Give my love to her, and to all. Give my love to dear Mrs. J , and please ask her to give my love to M. E.
I will not write much more now, dearest moilier, but I hope to be able to write a little sooner next time. I feel v^ botxj when I am oMiged to poslpone answering your letters for any length of time. Pray for me often, dear mother— do not forget it. I need not assure you how frequently I pray for you.
I am,' as ever, yout own truly affectionate child,
Sister Mart Icotatia.
St. Joseph's, Dec. 14th, 1851.
My dea&est Motheb,
I received your dear letter, and thank you for it. Tou must not think so much of my being sick. You know I am not strong, and that I often haye little spells of sickness, but that really they amount to nothing very serious. At present I am much better ; I am delighted to hear that you are carrying out your plans so successfully. I sin- cerely hope our dear Lord will bless all your eflTorts. Mrs. D — •— 's house is a very pleasant one, and if it were not so, I am sure you would change its appearance. I shall often think of you, and imagine you in it. I have no doubt your furniture will be perfectly unique in
its style. How are M. J and the children ? I am glad to hear that
W , little W 1 was on the point of saymg, has entered college,
and that he promises to do so well. I am sure M. J must be
highly delighted. How does H do ? TVill it be long before he enters
college ? Give my love to all. I was sorry to hear of your disappoint- ment. I suppose you would be glad to be here for a few moments now to see us all. We have put on the French habit, and our appearance is not a little altered. It looks much more cheerful than the other, and as you supposed, the white linen head-dress gives the whole person a very great air of neatness. It will be a week to-morrow since we put it on ; the keeping it clean I find by no means so difficult as I an- ticipated. When you next come, you will see it for yourself. I re- ceived a letter from A some time since. I have not yet answered it, and I hardly know when I shall be able to do so ; and to tell the truth, I do not imagine it would be of much consequence either to her
or W— — , if I never should write, consequently it would be hardly worth while to make any desperate effort. You can give my love to them when you write. Our dear Mother Etienne sends much love to you. She has been suffering from a severe attack of rheumatism, but she is better now. Sister Lucia, Sister Damian, Sister John Patience, and all, send much love. Fray take good care of yourself. Tou know how much it would afflict me to hear Ihat you were ill.
I am going to write a few lines to your little friend H— G^
to-day. I have left a letter of hers unanswered for a long time, it is so hard for me to get time to write. I am taking so much time this winter in order to get better health, going to bed early, getting up late, very frequentiy not rising until half past five, which is one whole hour and a half later than the Community hour. These, and several other indulgences which I have to allow myself, encroach most wofully on my time. I have to be very economical of it, to accomplish anything at all. However, I hope to be able to do more after a while, for I am much better now, and hope to continue improving.
The bell will ring in a few moments for dinner prayers, so I must stop.
I wish my letter wa3 more interesting, but such as it is I will send it.
You do not, I hope, need the assurance that I am, as ever.
Your own trulv affectionate child,
Sr. M. Ignatia.
St. Joseph's, Feb. 15th, 1852.
I received your dear letter day before yesterday with so much pleas- ure. Tou had delayed writing so long that I was not^a little alarmed about you, particularly knowing how severe the winter is, and that you had commenced your undertaking of housekeeping. But your account of your little arrangements has put me quite at ease.
Have you commenced teaehing yet ? Do tell me all about it, and how you succeed. I enclose you two little pictures which may perhaps be of some service to you as patterns. I hope you will be very, very fortunate, and that God may bless every least exertion. I can ima^e you win have a way of your own for teaching ; you will hardly take the common road.
I am so glad to hear that H is reli^oiisly mclined. Tell Fred I thought he was coming on with his mother to see my valley home. I
hope he has not given up the idea. How is M. J 's health ? you
did not tell me in your letter. Give my love to aB. When you write
to W , or A , ^ve them also a great deal of love from me.
Our dear Mother Etienne, and Sister Damian, Anne Simeon, Scholas- tica, Raphael, John Patience, and Lucia, send much love to you. You must let me know when you go to see Sister Lucia's mother. ► Tou do not know how much I think of you now, for we are having another jubilee ; I have not made mine yet, I expect to do so next week. The intention of the Pope in graniing this jubilee, and requir- ing the prayers of the whole Church, is, I believe, the conversion of sinners. We have all to fast one day, and ^make three visits to the
church, during which we are to pray for the intention of the Pope, con- fess, and commune, and say fiye Our Fathers, and five Hail Marys, and of course have the requisite dispositions, which are to be in a state of grace, and haye no attachment to the least yenial sin, in order to gain the indulgence.
I mu^t tell you a great secret, dear mother. Our dear Mother Eti- enne is going to Philadelphia, after the spring opens, and she is going to take me with her. I suppose we may stay a week, perhaps, but I do not really know any thing about that. I tell you because I know you will be so much pleased. Do you remember how lonesome you felt when I went to Baltimore while you were here ? You must feel sa if you had company when I am in Philadelphia, I shall be so much nearer to you. You must mind and keep it a great $ecret. Bo not ima^e, howeyer, that I haye the yanity to think there are many besides yourself who care a straw where I ankor where I go. I except dear M. J.
I am going to enclose in this letter a little picture of a Sister in the new dress — new here, but old in France. I think I told you in my last letter that we took it on the 8th of December. . I think the picture a yery faithful representation. I hope you will like it. The dress has such a clean, neat look, and has such a religious appearance too. You must not think of us any more in the black cap, but imagine us in this. I had a little note from H. last week. They haye had so. much sickness in that family during the last year. Since Distribution, H. has lost two brothers, and now she writes, saying sickness and death haye been in the family again. Poor child ! she has been far from well herself.
Our good Father Burlando has been very ill. He- has been absent some time in Philadelphia and Baltimore^ for his health, but he is now much better, and we are in hopes he will return soon. Our good Father Mailer has had such heavy duty during his absence, having all
the confessions of the Sisters, children, orphans, and people, bladk and white, working about the place, to hear, in addition to his own usual duty, that. I am much afraid he too will get sick. Dear Mother has been, and still is, very ill ; she was better for a week or so, and we were all rejoicing at her recovery, when to our great regret she took a severe cold, and it fastened on her chest so strongly, that I fear it will be some time before it will be dislodged. The winter here has been very severe, but you' need not b6 anxious about me, for our dear Mother makes me take so* much care of myself. 'I only wish I could think there was any one to take such care of you. But you must try to be very J very careful of yourself, if not for your own sake, at least for nunc. I must finish my letter now. Again much love to all. I need not assure you that I am, a« ever, your own truly affectionate and de- voted daughter,
Sr. M. Ignatia.
St. Joseph's, Mat 28x>, 1852.
My dbabest Motheb,
I received your dear and welcome letter, and was truly rejoiced at finding you were not sick, as I feared. I hasten to answer your letter, for busy times are coming. The Distribution is at hand, and I shall not be able to take time on a week-day to write. I delivered all your messages to the Sisters. You know not how glad they always are to receive them. They often charge me never to let a letter go wi&out ^ving their love, Mother, and Sister Damian, and Sister Lucia partic- ularly. You mentioned M. J. as being absent from M She is well, I trust. Send her my love when you write. I have written to- day to A , in reply to a letter I received from her the same day
I received yours. She is very kind to me.
I shall have to tell you some news, for there is one subject so gener- ally a subject of conversation with us now, during our recreation, that I could hardly write a letter without saying something about it. I will not endeavor to excite curiosity. I do not . very well know if I could, but tell you simply that some of our Sisters are on the point of leaving for California, not to seek for gold though, at least not for ter- restrial gold, only for golden crowns in heaven. They have been asked for, for a Itfng time, and they are to go now very soon. Now I suppose you would like to know if any of your friends are among the number who are to depart. Well, I cannot tell that, for the best reason in the world — I do not know myself. For aught I know, I may be among them. We are all conjecturing, laughing, and talking in. recre- ation to the officers, but not a single syllable do we know. They say
the climate is delightfal. Dr. S has returned from there, and he
will probably go back in the same ship with the Sisters. The Bishop of Califomia is in Baltimore, and he, with two of his priests, will go on at
the same time. Dr. S says the thermometer stands between 60
and 60 the year round. During eight months of the year, they have not a drop of rain. As nothing is said atbout the other four months, I rather suspect the rain is pretty constant. The Bishop says he has never known but one person to die of consumption there. When he begged for Sisters, a few weeks ago, being here at that time, he ofiered to take sick or well, so they would only give him Sisters to look after the orphans and poor children there. It seems by his account that there is no lack of work to be done. He wanted ^enty-fivo Sisters, but I believe he is to get seven. However, I am not sure. What should you think if they should conclude to send me ? However, do not be alarmed. K they do, I will let you know jusi as soon as I know it myself. This time " no news will be good news," at least I suppose you will consider it so, as I shall not write immediately again, unless I have some such news to impart.
I ima^e, if dear Mother Etienne reads this' letter, she may wonder at my thinking for a moment that I am good enough to go. In truth I do not think I am good enough, but still there is no knowing but our Lord may will me to go, nevertheless. They say there are many Chinese there. ^ The inhabitants themselves are of Spanish origin — ^Mexicans. I suppose there are some Indians, and the rest of the population is a nuxture from all parts, and I believe of all kinds, generally from the rest of the United States. The Sisters are gomg
to sail from New York, they saj, in about two weeks ; so you see we shall not be obliged to mortify our curiosity long.
You did not tell me how you get along. Do not fail to do so in your next. You know how much I am interested in the subject. I could not even draw any conclusions from what you said. I have written in great haste, so as to have my letter ddne in time for the mail. You will, I know, excuse all faults, for I am not willingly careless. Love to all, and remember, dearest mother, I am as ever,
Your own truly devoted child,
S. M. Iqnatia Gbeene;
St. Joseph's, June 12th, 1852.
My own dearest Mother,
I received your dear letter tlq(yQornmg. I presented your petition, and it would undoubtedly hare been granted if time allowed, but it is im- possible. We are obliged to be in New York next Friday. We are to go under the protection of Bishop Blanchet. If we make any stay
in New York, it will be at the house of ^rs. , street.
The whole mission was finally arranged only this morning. It is only since dinner I have known that it was absolutely decided I should go. So you see I am not negligent. You must not think I have the palsy by my writing, but my hand trembles so, and I am 'writing in such a hurry, that it is as you see. I will write to you frequently — ^very fre- quentiy. If we stop long enough in Philadelphia or New York, you
shall hear. Love, oh ! so much love to all, — dear A- , dear M.
J , and all the dear children. You need not think I do not feel
your disappointment ; I do, very, vert/ deeply, but it is the'will of God ; that is my consolation, and I am sure it wiU be yours. Dear Mother Etienne sends so much love, and all the dear Sisters. In the letter which was lost, I told you that dear Sister Lucia promises to write to you every time they hear from us at home, unless I send word I have written to you. You must answer her letters, she is so kind. I must close, or I shall miss the mail. I will write to A — '• — to-morrow, and
to M. J too. Do not forget to send so much love to W , and
to L .
I am, as ever, your own devotedly attached child.
Sister Mary Ignatia Greene.
St. Joseph's, June 13th, 1852, My own dearest Mother,
You have, I hope, received the wretched scrawl which I sent you yesterday, but for fear it has gone astray, Z shall mention again the substance of its contents. Your letter I received yesterday morning. I can not tell you how much of pain I felt for you on account of that which your dear letter immfested. I would have given worlds to have been able to gratify you. I determined to present your petition to Mother the very moment I was really certain of going. That moment was yesterday, after dinner. Father Mailer, Mother and the officers had been in council aU the morning, and the whole afiair was finally settled. We have to be in New York on Friday next. Our own Bishop (that is to be) has gone without us, not being able to delay any longer, but Archbishop Blanchet is going about the 20th, and it was decided we should go with him, as he wiU pass directly by San Francisco, our new home, and will look after us all the way. The time is so short, that Mother says it will be impossible for me to go to Boston. Had it been otherwise, I think without a doubt your desires would have been gratified to the fullest extent. I am so sorry for the disappointment you all feel. I share in it ; but I am a Sister of Charity, and I should be ready to make all sacrifices. I feel more for you than for myself. I am truly grateful for the honor of being chosen. We are to have seven on the mission, and I may truly say the other six are saints. Our Sister Servant is very kind — she has a mother's heart, and has always been very* much beloved by all her Sisters
- wherever she has been on a mission. She has a great deal of ex-
perience, and has been many years Sister Servant in St. Louis, and recentiiy in Natchez, &om whence she has been recalled to take charge of the California mission. Her name is Sister Francis Assisium. Two others haye been Sister Servants on other missions, and have much experience. I am the youngest in years, and the least advanced in goodness in the band, though two of them are a little younger in Community than L Sister Lucia, as I tdd you in my letter of yes- terday, promises to write to you and tell you all the news of me whenever they hear from us, unless I write to you at the same time.
I do not know how much the postage is. I suppose if it is a great deal, I will not be able to write to you so firequontly, for fear of putting
you to too much expense. We shall stop in New York at Mrs. ^'s,
— — street.
I must stop now, and I ca^only add, let me hear from you as soon as possible. I have begged so many prayers for you. Pray for me, and remember always I am your own devotedly attached child,
Sister Maby Ignatia Greeks.
P. S. We will not reach New York until Saturday. The vessel is to sail on the 21st, at two o'clock.
NoTB. Sister Seryant is Superior of the band.
We arrived in the city a few minutes since. What was my joy when Mrs. M told me that you were here this morning, that you
arrived in the express train from Boston yesterday afternoon at 4 o'clock, and that you were at the House. The man who con- veys this note to you has a carriage, and will bring you directly to us.
Ever your own devoted child,
Sr. M. Ignatia Greene. . New York, Saturday evening, Jime 19th, 1852.
On Monday morning, June 21st, the Sisters ascertained that owing to some mistake by the person on whom they had depended, their passage was not secured on board the packet which was to sail that day.
After making all necessary arrangements for going in the steam- ship Ohio, which was to sail the 6th of %uly, they resolved, and ac- cordingly the next morning lefb New York, and went in the steam^ boat up the river to Albany, to spend the time with the Sisters of Charity there.
Before leaving New York a letter was despatched to Mother Etienne, strongly soliciting the visit of Sister Mary Ignatia to Massachusetts, for which her brother and his wife ^-had been negotiating, and had re- ceived the welcome assurance that expressly for her health, and at their expense, she should visit them.
During her stay in Albany she was constantly expected in Boston by her &iends, until the letter arrived from Mother Etienne, written in the spirit of kindness, hoping that the journey to Califomia would produce all the beneficial effects on her health which had been antici- pated from traveUing.
But the letter contained the fact that " Sisters of Charity never travel for pleasure,"
Albany, Jut^b 28th, 1852. My own dearest Mother,
I write to enclose dear Mother Etienne's letter. You will, I know, be mucli disappointed, but it is the will of God ; that I know will be your consolation, as it is mine in all events. Dear Sister Assisium feels your disappointment as much almost as I do myself. I am glad you did not know it before you left ui?. We should have felt the parting so much more. I received a letter from Mother Etienne this morning. Yours was enclosed for me to give or send to you.
You must give so much love to dear M. J and the children^
to L , and little W , and to all, aU my friends. I will write
a few lines to Anna and to Sister Ann Alexis.
Our passage is taken in the Ohio. I am going to write to Bev. Mr. Q to telegraph the Archbishop to see if he will be on board. If he should arrive in time, there will be twelve nuns also on board, who are going from Montreal to Oregon. You will, I know, pray hard for us all. We are receiving much more favorable accounts of crossing the Isthmus. I do not think it will be so much, after all. I believe there are some officers and soldiers going out in the Ohio, so we shall have quite a motley crew — all professions. I went up to see the Sisters
m Troy on Friday evening. Of course I saw nothing of Mrs. W ,
because she knew nothing of my being there.
All our California Sisters desire to be kindly remembered to you. You know not how affectionately they all think and speak of you. Sister Lucy Ignatia also. You must love her very much. You can have no idea how kind she has been to us all. Please, dear mother, go
to see the Sisters whenever you go to Boston. Give Mrs. J and
all my friends much love from me. Ask dear Mrs. J to pray for
me. I must say good-bye now. I will try and write a few lines from New York. I am, my own dearest mother, your own devoted child,
• SiSTEB Maey Ignatia Greene.
Albany, Sunday, July 4th, 1852. My own dearest Mother,
As I find I Tfill not have time to write from New York, I must at least send a few lines to-day. We expeot to leave here in the boat to-night, and will go on board ship very soon after our arrival in New York to-morrow mommg, in order to avoid ihe hurry and confusion we would otherwise have on such a day as to-morrow will be. The boat will sail at two o'clock. You wiU of course see the list of passengers, and so will know all as satisfactorily as I could tell youv I have not heard one word from you or any one in Massachusetts since you left. I hope you arrived home safely. Give my love to aU. I am writing in great haste, with a very bad pen, and in a very inconvenient situa- tion, so excuse all. Sister Lucy Ignatia, Sister Francis Assisium and
all send love. Tell M. J she must write to me. Good-bye, my
dearest mother. Bemember I am and always shall remain your own devoted child.
Sister Mary Ignatu Greene.
Steamship Ohio, Wednesday, July 14th, 1852.
My own dearest Mother,
You will, I know, be all axmety to hear of my safe arrival at Aspin- waU, but as I find it will be necessary to leave our letters on board with the clerk of the boat, in order that they may return in the Ohio, I must write before reaching that place ; but it will amount to the same thing, for you will know by receiving this that I have left it on board and have myself gone on shore. We expect to reach Aspinwall on Friday the 16th. We have had a slow passage, being very heavily laden. Eleven hundred passengers on board, five hundred of them soldiers. Many of the officers and soldiers have their wives and children with them. One of the soldiers' wives died and was buried in the sea a few days after we started. She left a little child two years old, a dear little girl. The father of the child is going to bring her to us, as soon as we are settled in San Francisco. We have all been very sick, but are all now much better. Sister Francis has not been sesrsick ; one day she had a bad sick-headache, and she has been pretty well fatigued, taking care of all the rest of us, who have been as searsick as any one would wish to be. Taken as a remedy for consumption, I think it is almost worse than the disease, though, to be sure, not quite so fatal. I do not think crossing the Isthmus will be quite so terrible as they say. The accounts we hear since on board are not so very awful. I do not think I shall be able to write from Panama, but I will do so soon
after I reach San Francisco. I have written to-day to Mother Etienne, and I said nothing of my intention of writing to you to-day, so if Sister Lucia is not at home, I do not suppose you will hear. You lose very little, however, but little as the incidents may be, I would be glad to put them all in here, only the boat rocks so much, and I am not too steacfy
yet. I do not think I would ever make a good sailor. It is not my
vocation, certainly. Give much love to dear William and Anna, M. J.
and all. Sister Francis and all my dear Sister companions send much
love to you. We are getting along very well, difficulties of course, —
much crowded, etc., — but we do not lack in courage, and can laugh at
many of our annoyances. I am going to try to write to Sister Lucy
Ignatia to-day if I can. She was so kind to us. Tou must let me
hear from you soon. I shall be as anxious about you, as you can be
about me: Do take good care of yourself, dearest mother.
I hope you received the letter I sent you from Albany, containing one
from Mother Etienne. I must say good-bye. Again love to all, and remember always,
dearest mother, I am your own truly aflfectionate and devoted child,
Sr. Mary Ignatia Greene.
F. S. Several of the gentlemen onboard have crossed and recrossed the Isthmus. They laughed at the stories that were told us, and con- vinced us that we will have very little, if any difficulty. So do not fear for us. Even if there should be difficulties, God will take care of us. But we have reason to think there will be no difficulty. Only keep well yourself — do not fear for me.
I have just concluded to keep this letter until we get to Panama. I will forward it from there. You will then know we are safe across, even if I should have no time to add a. line. It will be better, although you will not get it quite so soon. So as soon as you read this, you can say, ^^ Safe across the Isthmus."
NoTB. The 22d day of July they^ aniyed at Panama. About three o'clock on the fol- lowing moTning, after a few hours* illness, Sister Mary Ignatia Greene bade adieu to this world.