Included here are the first several pages of the constitutions which the Mission Helpers drafted for themselves between 1906 and 1912. The General Chapter of the Mission Helpers approved the constitutions in 1912, and then Cardinal Gibbons of Baltimore signed them in 1915.
Note in particular the qualifications necessary for a woman to join the Mission Helpers in 1912, as well as how they conceived their "end and spirit" at that time.
Included here are six letters sent between the Mission Helpers and the office of Bishop James McFaul of Trenton in 1913. In these letters the nuns are requesting a letter of recommendation from the bishop for them to include in their application to Rome. They needed to obtain such letters from several bishops, and this one correspondence reveals how slow this process could become.
Included here are three letters from Fr. Hector Papi to the Mission Helpers in 1917, providing the nuns advice on how they are to submit their application to Rome. The forth document is a note made by the Mission Helpers themselves recording which documents they had already sent to the Vatican.
This document is the first draft of a "cover letter" detailing the Mission Helpers' history which would accompany their application to Rome. This version was sent to Fr. Hector Papi for revision. The notes in pencil are the changes he suggested to the nuns. Note that those changes mostly concern how the nuns presented the events surrounding Mother Joseph's tenure as Mother Superior and her exit from the community. Fr. Papi also helped the nuns translate the document into Italian before sending it to Rome.
Included here are four letters in Italian between the Mission Helpers and Cardinal Pietro Gasparri, the Vatican's Secretary of State, concerning Rome's receipt of the nuns' application.
This is the Italian version of the cover letter the nuns sent to Rome in 1917, including Fr. Papi's suggested amendments to the historical narrative.
This document is the English version of the cover letter detailing their history, sent to Rome in 1917. It includes the changes Fr. Papi suggested they make to the earlier version. On reading, one can see that almost all mention of Mother Joseph had been removed.
In this letter of 1920, Fr. Papi writes to Sr. DeSales advising her not to worry too much about how long it had been since they had heard anything from Rome regarding their application. These things take time, he assures her.
This document, compiled in 1921 and sent to the Vatican for review, reports the activities of the Mission Helpers as of 1920. It details each institution they ran at the time, the numbers of students they had, the kinds of lessons they provided, and the demographics of their students (African American, Italian, etc.). It also goes into detail about the work the nuns were doing to counteract the efforts of Protestant missionaries.
On September 10, 1921, Cardinal Gibbons and the Mission Helpers received this letter from the Vatican deferring their papal approval pending revisions to their constitutions.