Mount St. Scholastica's French Refugees:
In Search Of Liberty

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During the next forty years, the Atchison and the St. Eustase sisters apparently lost touch. Then, in 1991, the archivist at Mount St. Scholastica, Sister Marie Louise Krenner, heard from a certain Madame Delpit, who was inquiring on behalf of the St. Eustase community. Sister Marie Louise sent a letter to France, including photos and information about the refugees.

In return, she received notes of thanks from Abbess Marie de Goué and from Sister Christine Amsler, subprioress. Included with the letters was a pamphlet giving the complete history of the St. Eustase community.

The pamphlet says that in 1921, many of the expelled sisters living in Italy re-grouped and installed themselves in the diocese of Saint-Dié, France. They went to Poyanne in 1935; in 1966 they celebrated the millenium of their founding. In 1985, they transferred to their present monastery, the Abbaye Notre-Dame Saint-Eustase in Eyres Moncube, Landes.

Sister Christine explained that they had often heard of the sisters who went to Atchison when they read their necrology aloud in the refectory--but did not know whether "Atchison" still existed. In 1990, after they discovered Atchison in a catalogue of Benedictine monasteries, they appealed to their friend Madame Delpit, who lived in America. And voilà, contact was made.

Sister Christine ended her letter: "With joy we give your community a great MERCI!"

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