Archive Treasures: Music To Our Ears

A Handmaid Diamond Jubilee

Saint Augustine is credited with stating, “He who sings prays twice.” And there are variations of this gem and debates about its original source. Some will give the version of “He who sings well prays twice.” While we aren’t sure about that, it’s a pretty good bet that no one can imagine the music of Heaven. Yet we have music …

Archive Treasures: Father Gerald’s Confession Stole

A Handmaid Diamond Jubilee, Father Gerald Fitzgerald

It seemed fitting that as we readied the Advent wreath’s violet and rose candles, we unpacked a violet treasure tucked away in an archive box: Father Gerald’s confessional stole. Carefully folded up in tissue paper with a simple handwritten note labeling it from the year of his death, “Father Gerald, s.P. Confession stole 1969”.  One wonders how many absolutions, how …

Archive Treasures: International Eucharistic Congress 1976

A Handmaid Diamond Jubilee, HISTORY, News

As the Catholic Church in America gets its Eucharistic Revival underway, there are plans for a National Eucharistic Congress in July 2024. (For more information visit: As cloistered contemplatives we will only be attending in spirit. But in 1976 we were still a Diocesan Community with a semi-active rule and not yet, enclosed. So we had the honor and …

Veterans Day

A Handmaid Diamond Jubilee, Father Gerald Fitzgerald, News

Happy Veterans Day! Father Gerald Fitzgerald was a priest, a religious, and a founder but he was also a veteran, having served in the U.S. Army in World War II as a Chaplain. He attained the rank of Captain, and was stationed both in the U.S. as well as the Pacific theater.  As a priest out to save souls, he …

Treasures FOR the Archives!

A Handmaid Diamond Jubilee, News

We’ve been sharing several posts called “Archive Treasures” where a photo or an object is highlighted from our archives of the last 75 years. Now we again send out our prayers of gratitude to the benefactors who have enabled us to really tackle the huge labor of love in sorting through decades of photo material stored over the years in …

Archive Treasures: Singing In the Cloister In Procession

A Handmaid Diamond Jubilee, News

This photo was captured in 1999 at the Motherhouse for a candlelight procession up the cloister. You can notice one Sister, Sister Mary Patricia of the Holy Souls, with her hand to her ear to pick up the strains of what the Sisters behind her are singing. It’s not just about singing the right hymn together, but also the right …

Archive Treasures: What’s a Wollensak?

A Handmaid Diamond Jubilee, News

We share a fast glance instruction sticker for the portable reel to reel magnetic tape recorder, the Wollensak, that was used to record conferences and homilies over the years in our community. Our community wanted to record for posterity the spirituality of our Founder but did much of that by hand in the early days. It wasn’t until the 1950s …

Father Gerald, CSC

A Handmaid Diamond Jubilee, News

Our Founder, Father Gerald, was prepared for his role by living several types of priesthood. First, he was a diocesan priest for 12 years. Then he joined the Congregation of Holy Cross for 12 years. In World War II he served as an Army Chaplain and following the war, asked permission from his congregation to explore the foundation of communities …

Archive Treasures: Meeting Saint Paul VI

A Handmaid Diamond Jubilee, HISTORY, News

Mother Dolorosa and Sister Bernadette (who would become the next Mother) greet Pope Paul VI during a visit to Rome. They were delighted to meet the successor to Peter and the Vicar of Christ on Earth but might not have guessed how soon he would be canonized.