What’s All in the Franciscan Sisters’ Archives

by Sister Caritas on November 8, 2012

Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Archivist Sister Caritas Strodthoff begins to ponder the wealth of historical publications written by our Sisters. In future postings, we promise stories of our faith-filled past while being attuned to God’s call alive and active in and around us. Watch for a posting on our 143 Anniversary of our founding in the next days.

“What’s all in the archives?” Our Archives possess a wealth of historical publications that are absolutely fascinating to read. The first publication I could find was “Alverno Chimes” printed from November 1920 until December 1921…5 issues. Next was 1 page of news…Mother Euphrosine plus Sisters at Holy Family Hospital provided Mother Generose the means to purchase a “Rotospeed” to print the new “Chimes”.

Motherhouse Newsletter

Our Motherhouse Newsletter was initiated in 1953 and was called “a regularly irregular community journal”. Celebrations, activities at the Motherhouse, exciting news was followed by messages from far away missions such as Good Samaritan Hospital in OH, West Point, NE and AZ. Updates on Sisters who were sick or hospitalized, relatives who had died, changes of Sisters on mission sites, were all part of communicating what was happening community-wide. Sisters described special celebrations, visitors who came, workshops being attended, and intriguing stories about each other…the kind we always say “Why don’t you write that down for the archives!” The last issue was printed in 1968.


The spirit of sharing, of being connected with one another was picked up by Holy Family College in 1967. During the 2 years before our 100th anniversary celebration, REKINDLE was published and edited by Sister Eileen Grace. It covered community history from November 9, 1869 to November 9, 1969. Each issue of REKINDLE featured one of our 11 Mother Generals, and ended with Sister Henrielda’s beginning term of office. Issues featured written recollections of each person, special poems, events that occurred during each person’s term of office. In the first issue it was stated: “We hope REKINDLE will be a spark of community reflection. WE hope together we will re-fervor the flame of the past so that we may “serve as a blazing emblem of what is to come.”

I believe this blaze continues to be kindled in all of our communications and sharing with one another. Let it never lack for fuel and encouragement.

3 thoughts on “What’s All in the Franciscan Sisters’ Archives”

  1. Sister Jan says:

    Sr. Caritas,
    I look forward to the next issue of our archive newsletters. You have shared many interesting things with us. We have more reasons for which to be grateful to our sisters over the ages.

  2. Sister Nancy Kinate says:

    Yes, kindling that fire is what we must encourage in ourselves and one another. As Pope John XXIII once said: “Christians are called to be a spark in the stubble of this world” so may we, Franciscans, not only be sparks but be kindled by the fire of the Spirit. Thanks for these still “warm coals” from our history.

  3. Sister Caritas, I look forward to anything you publish from our archives. Because of your vitality and interest, the past is made alive and present. We are deepening our future by “rekindling” our history and vibrancy.

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