Letters Mark Daughters Of Charity Arrival In Jacksonville
~ The Sisters arrived in May 1916. Here are letters from their correspondence. ~
July 3, 1916
My very dear Mother,
The grace of our Lord be with us forever! Well at last, the Master of the House is with us. We had the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for the first time this morning in our dear little Chapel. I asked the pastor, Fr. Maher, to say the first Mass so he came over at 6:30 a.m. I invited Mr. Powers, his wife and sister-in-law, Mrs. O’Keefe and a Mrs. Clark, the latter has given us many things for our Chapel, and is very kind to us in various ways. She is a rich Catholic and does a great deal of charity. We also invited the Sister Superior of the Convent and companion, they have been so good to us, one of their sisters was the most part of two days here showing Sr. Louise how to line the tabernacle, they do it very neatly, they also gave us oil for our Sanctuary lamp, tapers etc., sent a box of flowers for the altar, as did also the Sisters at the Home. We had a Sister from each house sick here, the one from the Convent returned today. Sr. Stanislaus from the home will be here another week.
Oh, how I wish you could see the Chapel, Mother, we love it so, we are just beside ourselves with joy today, and our dear Lord was so good to us today, brought in some checks I was looking for, as I needed the money so badly to pay the insurance that was renewed May 1, 1916. I forgot to mention that our four Catholic nurses went to Mass also – we had eleven or twelve Communions.
Since May first we have received 97 patients and have between 22 and 25 in the house all the time; average four charity patients all the time.
We all made our retreat Sat., July 1 – now were we not all very good; and the heat sometimes is prostrating, one does not know what to do, you feel like you were just on fire, and the perspiration just pours out, but the nights are cool and we have lots of rain, so God takes pity on us.
I wish Sister Chlotilde had some nice sweet pineapples like we get down here, $1.50 for a crate of them – thirty in a crate; lots of watermelon now for about 15 cents a piece; cantaloupes are cheap and plentiful too; potatoes high and poor in quality.
As I want this to go tonight, I shall close and will try to write again this week. Love to all.
Yours in our All,
Sister M. Rose
Life In 1917
The Bishop’s House
St. Augustine, Florida
December 21, 1917
Dear Sister Margaret,
I visited St. Vincent’s in Jacksonville a few days ago and was pleased to find everything going on splendidly. I believe that in a few years it will be the hospital of Florida, and the work will call for new and enlarged buildings. As you recall the Sisters came to us in the middle of summer heat and at a time when bigotry was rampant and the very air was filled with rivalings against the Church and all its agencies. Yet, in spite of all that six hundred and twenty-two patients were treated during the first year, and now promises are cheering.
The four Sisters have worked like Trojans and I am afraid they are overworked. I am writing to ask you to give them, if at all possible, an additional Sister or two. Knowing the many demands made on you, I am asking the above favor with reluctance. We shall be satisfied with whatever you do. The little hospital is a blessing and I am proud of it.
Happy Christmas and God’s blessing to all the good Sisters of Charity.
Yours sincerely in Christ,
Michael J. Curley,
Bishop of St. Aug.