100 Years Since Armistice

The American Daughters of Charity served as nurses on the Italian front of the Great War.  The archives today chronicles their service with journals and photographs of the War to End All Wars, the great powder keg explosion that began the 20th century.

Here are the entries in the Provincial annals from Nov. 10-11, 2018.  They are written very simply, but mark relief that the war which saw mass carnage on a scale unprecedented, which had killed 10 million young souls, was over.

Nov. 10: “In the afternoon a visitor coming from Washington brought the news that the armistice would be signed and that the Kaiser and other members of Hohenzolle[r]n family had abdicated.

Nov 11: “the armistice was signed this morning and all fighting ceased at eleven o’clock.  the cities are wild in demonstrations of joy – here we thought our celebration of last Thursday sufficient – the pupils had a holiday and a parade down the Avenue and they sang patriotic songs, made all the noise they could.”

The World War I collections are open to researchers remotely and visiting on-site.Coming Home - 1919 - 64A



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Words of Wisdom from a Daughter

We are all still trying to process the senselessness of what happened in Pittsburgh last weekend.  Although written for different purposes, there is a poem in the archives’ collections that may resonate with some of you.  This was written in 1984 by Sr. Susan Sheehan while on mission in Bethlehem.

“Thoughts from Bethlehem”

O blessed land of paradoxes,
You raise questions larger than your borders.
The blood from your wounds mixes with your neighbors;
It never seems to stop, heal and re-knit.

O blessed people, Jews, Christians, Moslems, children of the same Creator, Your God.
Why does fear still divide you through the centuries?
Why does this standard, “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”, grip stronger than wisdom and love?

O Jesus, our Savior, Who walked so tall in this stony hearted land.
You showed us the way, Your truth lighted the darkness.
Your fire took flame far beyond these hills.
We gentiles came to know Your voice as our Shepherd and Paschal Lamb. Forgiveness is for all men.
Young and old came to sing Alleluia in every tongue.

O blessed century of two thousand, generation of our
moment, most of whom are still awaiting Your arrival and other see You only as a prophet.
Still a minority know You, Lord.
Don’t forget this mustard seed. Let it not get choked among today’s thistles.

O blessed Spirit, enlighten minds and set aglow a spirit
of reconciliation. May all Your children know You,
Lord, and be known by their Love.
May Your spirit blow a new wind across this land.


“History teaches us where even the slightest perceptible forms of anti-Semitism can lead: the human tragedy of the Shoah in which two-thirds of European Jewry were annihilated,” –Vatican Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, “The Gifts and Calling of God are Irrevocable,” December 2015.

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Conserved Reel-to-Reel Film Available for the First Time in 60 Years.

The Archives would like to thank ColorLab in Rockville, MD for their assistance in restoring a set of damaged reel-to-reel film and sound strip.  The archives does not keep reel-to-reel film projectors on hand.  In addition to saving these valuable films from decay, giving them a shiny new set of canisters, and eliminating the terrible vinegar smell that it emanates from decaying film, ColorLab made these films usable in digital format for the first time. Users can hear Father Shehan’s mass during the re-interment of Mother Seton’s remains in the chapel at St. Joseph’s Provincial House, later the Basilica of the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.  We also have the complete ceremonies of the Centennial Anniversary of St. Vincent Hospital in St. Louis in 1958, featuring some of the most accomplished Daughters in the history of the city, religious leaders from across denominations, and Cardinal great Stan “The Man” Musial, as well as a 90-second promotional video from this same year.

You can view this promo from our Facebook page: file-60.jpeg


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