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

Junior Essay Winner

The Expulsion Looms

In 1901, the French government re-examined the laws against priests and religious. The years of 1902 and 1903 saw closings of numerous religious houses. By the spring of 1904, it was clear that the nuns of St. Eustace were slated for evacuation. Sister Mary Jane's journal entry for "January and the following months," 1904, reads: "We were employed by Madame the Abbess [Ida Adam], in light of the events, to take prudent measures. All superfluous, useless things were sold. [Buyers] flooded in. We could not help seeing a singular Providence on the community."

She also notes that they could not keep the library, as it was not of the most absolute necessity.8 In July, evaluators came to look over the property.

A Sister of the Monastery of Notre Dame du Prieuré, also facing expulsion in 1904, expressed what nuns all over the country must have been feeling. "Hitherto we have given up our well-loved and respected parents, our brothers and sisters, our families, our welfare, in fine our all, to devote ourselves to prayer. In a little time . . .we must bid farewell--an agonizing farewell --to all that we have chosen. Why must it be?"9

Next (Atchison)

Return to 'Transforming the Journey' Index


8MSSA. From a journal kept by Sister Mary Jane Weckerlin June 12, 1900-May 1904 (my translation). return

9The Diary of an Exiled Nun (St. Louis, MO: Herder 1911) 13 ("An Authorized Translation"). return

© 2003 by The American Benedictine Academy / www.osb.org/aba/