Catholic Telegraph, August 5, 1897
Document 6: Catholic Telegraph, 5 August 1897.
This article in the local Cincinnati, Ohio, Catholic newspaper addresses anti-Catholic stereotypes of women religious, noting the family connections between sisters and the Catholic community as well as the position of respect that sisters held among lay Catholics. In addition to the service they performed, their prayer lives were an important component of sisters’ everyday lives, keeping them focused on the reason for their work. The retreat mentioned in the article was a concentrated period of eight days in which sisters focused exclusively on their spiritual lives. A priest offered several talks throughout the day with other time for private prayer and reflection.
The common idea with non-Catholics is that nuns are either young women disappointed in love or prisoners forced in to the convent. They do not remember that the nuns are our sisters, our daughters, our near kin. They do not know that only virginal souls, who consecrate their innocence and give their whole heart to God, are accepted as novices. They are not aware that the most cheerful and hopeful of women, is the Catholic Sister.
The first week’s retreat of the Sisters of Charity, held at St. Joseph’s Mother House, Delhi, closed last Saturday noon. Three hundred and seven Sisters were in attendance. The retreat is conducted by Rev. M. J. O’Connor, President of St. Xavier College. The second week’s exercises, in which 180 Sisters are to participate, will begin next Saturday. An edifying feature of the first week’s retreat, was the presence of a mother and daughter, both members of the community.