Sisters of Charity in the American Old West

by | Nov 10, 2017 | Formation, Sisters of Charity

This Saturday November 11 is the anniversary of the landing of the Sisters of Charity at Leavenworth, Kansas. A band of sisters in Nashville, Tennessee who had originally separated from the Mother House in Nazareth, Kentucky wanted to move to Kansas, for financial reasons, for the wide open spaces, and because they longed to evangelize the Native Americans there. Bishop John B. Miège of Leavenworth invited them to “come north” to the Midwest from Nashville. But the story doesn’t end there. The Montana Women’s History website describes it this way:

“The Sisters came to Helena, Montana in 1869 at the invitation of Jesuit priests who saw a dire need for feminine influence in the rough-and-tumble gold camp. Their mission was threefold– to teach youth, care for orphans, and minister to the sick– and it fit in with the real needs of the frontier community.”

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Link to Wikipedia article about the Orphan Trains

Panorama of Helena, Montana in 1870 (Wikimedia Commons)