Seventy-five years ago, the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth began their first foreign mission. To celebrate our presence in India, we will follow the journey of our Pioneer Sisters. Over the next year, you will read the story of how six SCNs traveled from Nazareth, Kentucky, to set up a hospital and serve those in need in one of the poorest regions of a newly independent India.
Our story continues with at the Brooklyn dock on Saturday morning, October 11, 1947.
“The following went aboard with the three Sisters and had the privilege of inspecting the ship thoroughly: Mother, Sister Bertrand, Mrs. Veeneman, Ella Sullivan (Mother’s sister), the four Sister students from Fordham, Sister Alethea, Sister Charles Adele, Sister Clare Gabriel, S.S.J. (Sister Theonesta’s niece) and her companion, Sister Mary Adrian, S.S.J., Mr. Higgins of Maryknoll (Sister Ann Cornelius ‘s cousin) and his companion, and Mr. and Mrs. Stoll (Mr. Stoll had taught Sister Crescentia at the Pharmaceutical School in Louisville). Father Alexander, S.J., Director of the Mission Bureau, New York Province, came to the dock Saturday morning to offer his services and to assure the Sisters that Father Batson had done a wonderful job in his erection of Nazareth in India. He visited the Missions with Father Hubbard, S.J., recently.
Mother and Sister Bertrand met all the passengers aboard the Vendor. There was Mr. Perrill, a Presbyterian minister; who with his wife was returning to India to do missionary work, he labored within fifty miles from Mokameh Junction for many years. Mr. and Mrs. Dey, natives of India, were returning to Calcutta after a visit here of three or four months. Mr. Dey is a consultant engineer and had been in this country on two previous occasions. They spoke splendid English and promised to teach the Sisters some Hindustani en route to Calcutta, and to look after the Sisters in Calcutta. (Our Sisters will stay with the Little Sisters of the Poor while in Calcutta) Father Birney was assigned to the cadets’ quarters on the ship. Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher and their young son, Benjamin, age two years, made up the eight passengers, besides the three Sisters and the crew. The Sisters’ cabin was spacious and most comfortable. They had an upper and a lower berth, a day bed, private bath and toilet, one huge closet (that accommodated the large trunks and suitcases, typewriter, brand new microscope donated by the Sisters at Georgetown Hospital, bombardier bag, and other odds and ends) and two other closets. Father Birney will offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass each day in their cabin; the dressing table, which is securely fastened to the wall, will act as a suitable altar. The Sisters have a special table in the dining room. The visitors were with the Sisters from ten o’clock Saturday morning until twelve-thirty, when the call came for all who were not sailing to go ashore.
Mother hopes that the second party, leaving October 28, will be permitted to get on the Steel Executive at Baltimore.”