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Elizabeth BAYLEY (Mother Seton) was born in New York City in - page 6 / 12

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Charity. By 1858 there were 14 Sisters – spread around the HalifaxDartmouth area

  • looking a ter three schools and a group of orphans. In keeping with the

practicability of the Emmitsburg tradition, Mother Mary Rose McAleer, successor to Sister Basilia, had the Sisters o f Charity incorporated by the

Nova Scotia legislature. When her term of ofice was over, Mother Mary Rose followed Sister Basilia’ s example and returned to New York as had been

provided for by the 1855 ag reement. Her successor, in turn, was the irst

Halifax born Mother Superior: Mary Josephine Carroll. In the eighteen sixties Halifax was riding a wave ofprosperity occasioned

by the American Civil War. The city pro ited by selling goods to both sides. Archbishop Connolly took advantage of the pro s p erity to urther his

educational projects: ten Christian Brothers came to Halifax to teach. Meanwhile, the Sisters opened houses in Bathurst, New Brunswick and in

W es t ern Nova Scotia. In 1866 they also con irmed their name, Sist ers o f

Charity. That year victims of cholera were landed rom an i mmigrant ship on McNab’s Island i n t h e harbour and when the Archbishop asked for helpers,

all the Sisters volunteered. He chose three. The Acadian Recorder that spring wrote,

As everywhere throughout the entire world in times ofsorrow,war,and pestilence,the Sisters ofCharity have rendered invaluableassistance...

Th at s u mmer the increase in the number of orphans led to expansion of

fa c i l i t i e s . The early years seem to roll o n w i t h o nly expansion and prosperity as

hallmarks, but the l i fe o f t he Sisters, indeed the very existence of the

Congregation, was threat en ed b y t he rapid expansion. In those days in the Congregation religious formation amounted to apprenticeship. Sisters and

novices gave time both to classroom duties and to the supervision oforphans living in their convents (a separate orphanage was not built until 1866). A ter

school hours, they also visited the sick and b rought necessities to the poor. Their devotions were carried out in the parish church in what little remained

for them. This circumstance, al o n g w i t h the form of government then

common to religious congregations of women, combined to bring upon the Sisters the troubles of 187 7 , but not before one more Mother Superior,

  • 62 —

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