St. Henry

Josephinum 1890
Josephinum 1891
Motherhouse 1930
SHC 1937

Plans for sending Sisters of Christian Charity to the USA were already being made in 1868. Bishop Junkers from Alton, Illinois desiredto haveour Sisterswork in his diocese. Bishop Conrad Martin of Paderborn favoredthe project,so an agreement was made betweenthe Bishop of Alton and Rev.Motheraccording to which a numberof Sisters would be sent as soon as possibleto establish an AmericanProvince in Alton. The unexpected death of the Bishop curtailed these plans.

In 1872 aletter arrivedfromNewOr­leans fromthe Rev.Bogaerts,pastor of St. Henry's Parish.He,too, requested Sisters for hisnewparish. Bishop Conrad advised that the offerbe accepted. On April 9 eight SCCs departed from Bremen, on the steamer "Frankfurt".On Sunday morning, May 4, the steamer entered the har­bor of New Orleans, Louisiana.

Plans were made in 1873 for the SCCs to open a school for girls in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania but, due to lack of room and means for expansion, the school was in session for only a few months. It became necessary to use the building as a temporary motherhouse. The first American motherhouse was opened in the small dwelling which had been occupied by the Sisters of St. Nicholas parish. …on April 28, 1874. In 1879 construction was completed on the new motherhouse and school: St. Ann’s Academy.)

When Mother Pauline visited the United States again in 1879, her heart expanded with thanks to God for the fruits of her first journey, 1873. Besides the new motherhouse… there had been twenty-eight foundations established within seven years; one hundred and fifty-eight Sisters had entered the country from Germany, and sixty-eight native Americans had been received into the Congregation in the United States.(Schreiber)


1884
Rev. Aloysius Thiele establishes St. Aloysius Parish in Chicago, Illinois, and requests SCCs to staff his school. Two years later he asked Mother Philomena Schmittdiel to establish a high school for girls. In September 1890 the Josephinum opens.

1911
The decision is made to transfer the motherhouse from Wilkes-Barre, PA to the Chicago area

…upon the return of Mother Eduarda from Paderborn, 1911, with the consent of the General Chapter to select a plot of land and build a new motherhouse more centrally located in the Province. Through the personal interest of the Very Rev. A. J. Thiele, pastor of St. Aloysius parish where the Community conducted a parochial school, permission was obtained from the Most. Rev. H. E. Quigley to establish the motherhouse in the Chicago diocese. (Chronicles of the North American Western Province)

1912
Mother Eduarda Schmitz purchases 35 acres of land in Gross Point (now Wilmette), IL.

Permission is given by Archbishop Quigley to build a provincial motherhouse in Wilmette; Permission is given by Archbishop Bonzano to transfer the novitiate from Scranton, PA to Wilmette

1913
Construction begins on the motherhouse in Wilmette. The cornerstone for Maria Immaculata Convent was laid on September 26, 1913.

1913-1916
Construction of the motherhouse

1916
During the month of January 1916, there was a general transfer of Sisters from Wilkes-Barre to Wilmette. By the end of June, there were eighty-five Sisters in the motherhouse: 33 professed Sisters, 28 novices and 24 aspirants and postulants. On August 21, nineteen postulants received the holy habit and seventeen novices made their first holy vows. The following morning 44 Sisters pledged themselves perpetually to their Divine Spouse.

For the education of the Sisters, Mother Eduarda established at Maria Immaculata a fully accredited academic department, comprising the four-years of high school, and a junior college… [the “Normal Department” opened on September 11, 1916, and Mallinckrodt High School in 1923 (-1960).

1926
Although the motherhouse was now centrally located, the administration of the widespread province with a membership of more than 800 Sisters became increasingly difficult. When Reverend Mother Ottonia Gerdemann, the fifth superior general of the Congregation, visited the United States in 1925, she became convinced of the need for a geographic division. At the general chapter of 1926 the decision was made: the foundations "east of Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama," as the Chronicles put it, would belong to the Eastern Province; the rest, to the Western Province, which would retain Maria Immaculata Convent as its motherhouse.

The most important decision made by the General Chapter (1926) was the division of the North American Province. In August, 1926, dear Sister Raphaele, the superior in our mission in Elizabeth, was fortunate enough after repeated endeavors and much prayer to find an Estate in Mendham, New Jersey, consisting of 112 acres of land, for sale. On the property there was a large residence which had been used by the Cromwell Family during the summer months…

New Jersey was indicated as a suitable location for the Eastern motherhouse. In December 1926 the Congregation purchased the Cromwell Estate in Mendham, near Morristown, New Jersey, for this purpose.

1927
Permission to erect a novitiate there was procured from the Holy See and sanctioned by Bishop O’Connor of Newark. Small groups of Sisters appointed for Mendham traveled there in the course of August.

1927
On September 1,1927, the two provinces officially came into existence.
Mother Alvarez Ruck became the first provincial of the Eastern Province, which had 27 foundations in addition to the newly-established motherhouse, and a membership of 423 Sisters. Mother Eduarda Schmitz remained the provincial of the Western province, which had 27 foundations and a membership of 443 Sisters, including 32 novices.

Until August 31, 1927, the North American Province comprised 871 Professed Sisters and 32 Novices. Now, after the division 423 Sisters belong to the North American Eastern Province, as do also the 27 missions located in the East, whilst the North American Western Province has 416 Professed Sisters, 32 Novices and 26 missions.

1937
Construction of Sacred Heart Convent – Wilmette, Illinois

1951
SCC membership peaks at 2,457 members worldwide

1956
In September [1956-1975] Western Province SCCs began to participate in the instruction of deaf children

1957
During the summer [1957] four Sisters studied in Washington, D. C., to prepare for teaching the blind. (This ministry was discontinued in 1971.)

1958
Because of the steady increase in enrollment in Josephinum High School, as well as deterioration of the building, a new school was built. The new Josephinum High School opened its portals for 671 students on September 8, 1959.

1960
The solemn commencement exercises on June 5, 1960, for 62 Mallinckrodt High School students marked the final act of the existence of this high school.

1961
In agreement with the permission granted by the last General Chapter to make a visit to their homeland, 37 Sisters of our Province made use of this privilege. …beginning their travels on May 18, 1961.

1962
in 1962 property is purchased in Folsom, LA for an aspirancy (Marywood closed in 1967.) Plans are made for a Southern Region (1968-1974).

1963
Province membership peaks at 561 Sisters

1966
From 1927 on, with slight fluctuations, membership in the province increased steadily until it reached its peak in 1963, when the number of Sisters was 561.

Thereafter it began to decline, noticeably from 1966 on. During the post-Vatican II era fewer candidates entered, some Sisters asked to be dispensed from their vows, and a few transferred to other congregations. All of these factors were characteristic of most congregations in the USA during the late ‘60s and early ‘70s.(Gaul, Sister M. Julitta, SCC: Sent to Love: the Story of the North American Western Province of the Sisters of Christian Charity.)

1972
a parcel of the motherhouse property in Wilmette is sold

It had been the wish of many Sisters to wear an emblem that would identify us as Sisters of Christian Charity. Of the fourteen [designs] from which the Sisters could choose, both the Eastern and Western Province, the medal designed by Sr. Marina Bengal won the highest vote.

1975
90 Sisters leave the Province, forming the Sisters of the Living Word

1988
On February 21, 1988, fourteen Lay Associates were initiated into the new program…this pilot program was initiated in the Chicago area.

1990
On January 22, Sister M. André Blanchard informed the Sisters of the discussions with Loyola University Chicago about a possible agreement under which Loyola would operate and maintain the [Mallinckrodt] College facilities. The last graduation as Mallinckrodt College of the North Shore took place on May 19, 1990.

1992
The various newsletters of the province were combined into one professionally printed publication – Bread Broken.

1998-99
As part of the planning for the sale of the motherhouse to Loyola University, the decision was made that the Archives, Heritage Room and Provincial Treasurer’s Office would be transferred to SHC. Preparatory work on the east wing of the basement began on September 28, 1998. On January 27, 1999, the Archives, Secretariat, and office of the Provincial Treasurer were moved to their new quarters. Ground-breaking for the Province Center took place on November 3, 1998. On June 15, 1999, the Provincial Council moved into the Province Center

2012
On September 8, 2012, the Western Province officially became a Delegation with Rome. That day a new Leadership Team, consisting of a Delegate and two Assistants, was installed.

2013
In July 2013, during the 23rdGeneral Chapter of the Congregation, the term “region” was given to the Uruguay/Argentina and USA West groups.

 

 

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