Yesterday, the Archives’ staff hosted the Sisters’ Renewal Group for a tour of the archives. The Sisters’ Renewal is an event that allows the Sisters in mission to reconnect with their fellow Sisters here at Maryknoll, to get updates about what is currently happening at the Center and its various departments, and spend time reflecting on their inner work and spiritual direction.
The Sisters braved the rainy weather and made their way over to the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers’ Center building where the Archives is located. The Sisters entered the Reading Room and were greeted with a display of items that centered on Sisters’ creativity. The first section included items from the Educational Resources collection and contained coloring books by Sr. Pauline (Mary St. Paul) Linehan and catechetical workbooks by Sr. Juliana Bedier. Next there were children’s books pulled from our Published Resources collection by Sr. Louise Trevisan, Sr. Juliana Bedier, and Sr. Elizabeth Roach. In the middle of the table laid a hand-drawn template of a banner designed and created by Sr. Frances Venard Lotito that was hung at the St. Therese School in Chicago’s Chinatown and staffed by the Maryknoll Sisters. At the far end of the table were materials from the Sisters’ Vestment Department collection and included pattern samples, ordering forms, and photos of finished pieces.
After an introduction about the Archives, the Sisters enjoyed an Archives’ Department production of The First Hundred, a film produced at the time of the Society’s and Congregation’s centennial celebrations in 2011 and 2012 that focused on the efforts of the first 100 missioners sent abroad. Next was a behind-the-scenes tour of the stack area, normally off-limits to researchers. A highlight of the tour was the demonstration of the compact mobile shelving – something most of the Sisters had never seen before. Once the Sisters made it back to the Reading Room, the afternoon ended with a listening of a recording of the Sisters’ Foundress, Mother Mary Joseph’s St. Teresa’s Day talk from 1945. The talk ends with Mother listing the qualities of a Maryknoll Sister, “I think our Sisters should be distinguished by a Christ-like charity, a limpid simplicity of soul, heroic generosity, selflessness, unswerving loyalty, prudent zeal, an orderly mind, gracious courtesy, an adaptable disposition, solid piety, and a saving grace of a sense of humor.”