« Blessed, The Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament »

Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament

Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament

An enclosed congregation and a reform of the Dominican Order devoted to the perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. It was founded in the face of great opposition by Father Anthony Le Quieu, a French Dominican, whose canonization was stopped by the French Revolution. Born in 1601 at Paris, he entered the Order of Friars Preachers in the Rue St. HonorÈ, in 1622, and was in due time made master of novices first in his own monastery, and afterwards at Avignon (1634). While at the latter place (1639), he began to lay the foundation of the institute he desired to establish, but it was not rill twenty years later (1659) that, after great difficulty, the first house was opened at Marseilles for the three ladies whom the saintly founder had begun to train at Avignon. The Bishop of Marseilles gave them the habit the following year, approved the rule and constitutions Father Le Quieu had drawn up, and erected them into a simple congregation. It was not till after the death of the founder, who lived to see another foundation made at Bollène, that the constitutions were approved by Pope Innocent XII (1693), who authorized the nuns to take solemn vows and bound them to enclosure. This was the first congregation instituted for the perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament; it is not an austere one, but the degree of perfection put before the members by the founder is very high. The original mother-house at Marseilles was suppressed at the French Revolution, when the nuns were dispersed, but it was reopened in 1816; the Bollène houses suffered more severely. Thirteen of the nuns endured martyrdom under the Commune; their cause of beatification is now before the Holy See; the remainder of the Bollène community returned to their convent and resumed their work of perpetual adoration in 1802. The Bollène nuns sent three of their number with one lay sister, under the Reverend Mother Emilie Pellier to England to found a house at Cannington (1863), a community which was afterwards moved to Taunton in Somersetshire, where it has since remained. There is also a house at Oxford, and another near Newport. After Father Le Quieu's death foundations were made in the south of France, and after the French Revolution other houses were founded in the same locality. Since then a house has been established in Normandy, from which another convent has been opened at Hal in Belgium. There are no houses of this congregation in America.

PALLOT, Vie du Père Antoine Le Quieu (1847); STEELE, Convents of Great Britain (St. Louis, 1902), 117.

FRANCESCA M. STEELE

« Blessed, The Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament »
« Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament Blessing »

Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament

Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament

One of the most recent congregations of religious women in the Catholic Church and one of entirely American origin, founded by Miss Katharine Drexel at Philadelphia, Pa., in 1889, for missionary work among the Indians and coloured people of the United States. The formal approbation of the Holy See was given to the congregation in July, 1907.

The Third Plenary Council of Baltimore gave a new impetus to missionary work among the coloured and Indian races and as one of the results of its recommendations, Right Reverend James O'Connor, Bishop of Omaha, acting in conjunction with Miss Katherine Drexel, daughter of the late Francis A. Drexel of Philadelphia, decided with the approval of the Most Reverend P. J. Ryan, Archbishop of Philadelphia, to form a new congregation of two races. For some years previous to this step, Miss Drexel had been very active in re-establishing and supporting schools in many of the Indian reservations. The survey of the field of work revealed about 250,000 Indians neglected, if not practically abandoned, and over nine million of negroes still struggling through the aftermath of slavery.

The piteous condition of these two races decided Miss Drexel to devote both her fortune and her life to them. With the approval of high church authorities in the United States, she gathered around her young women imbued with the same ideas, and thus founded, towards the close of l899, the nucleus of the new community. In order to be well grounded in the principles of the religious life, the first members made a two years' noviiate with the Sisters of Mercy. After this, they continued their period of preparation in the old Drexel homestead, Torresdale, near Philadelphia. Early in l892 a mother-house and novitiate were opened at Maud, Pennsylvania, adjoining which was erected a manual training and boarding school for coloured boys and girls.

The distinctive spirit of this institute is the consecration of its members, body and soul, to the service to Jesus Christ ever present in the Holy Eucharist. His Eucharistic life is to be the inspiration of the entire varied activity of the sisters. Besides the vows usual in all religious communities, the sisters pledge themselves to work exclusively for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the Indian and coloured races. By their rule, the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament may

  • undertake all kinds of educational works;
  • they may care for orphans or spiritually or corporally destitute children;
  • they may attend the sick by visiting them in their homes or by conducting hospitals;'
  • they may shelter destitute and deserving women;
  • they may visit and instruct inmates of prisons and reformatories;
  • they may establish and conduct homes for the aged;
  • they may establish schools and classes outside their own houses, visit the poor in order to look after their religious welfare and also to teach them habits of good living, neatness, and thrift-in short, to make them self-sustaining men and women.

The sisterhood now numbers one hundred and twelve members. In l894, St. Catharine's boarding and industrial school for Pueblo Indians was opened at Santa Fe, New Mexico; in l899, the Institute of St. Francis de Sales, Rock Castle, Va., a boarding academy and industrial school, was opened for the training of Southern coloured girls; in l902, St. Michael's Mission, Arizona, for the education of Navajo Indians, a boarding and industrial school, was completed and opened. The Academy of the Immaculate Mother, Nashville, Tenn., was opened in 1905. In this school girls are also trained to become teachers, while others not desiring to teach may tke a full course of domestic science and dressmaking. In l906, the sisters commenced work at Carlisle, Pa., by instructing the Indian pupils of the Government School, and conducting a day school for coloured children.

SISTER MERCEDES

« Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament Blessing »
Please login or register to save highlights and make annotations
Corrections disabled for this book
Proofing disabled for this book
Printer-friendly version





Advertisements



| Define | Popups: Login | Register | Prev Next | Help |