By Mary Flynn, Archivist
As the year winds down and the days get shorter, I’m looking forward to celebrating Christmas at the end of the month. For the final From the Archives column of 2022, I’m sharing some photos and traditions of Christmas crèches, or cribs.
In this excerpt from the January 1959 Motherhouse Chronicle, a new tradition has been introduced to the Sisters to remind them of the importance of loving sacrifice during the Advent season.
The next photograph is from the “old” Mount Saint Vincent Motherhouse, which burned down in 1951.
SC-0272 Outdoor crèche at Mount Saint Vincent Motherhouse, Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1948.
Former Sister Ernestine Marie O’Connell had a love for crèches and collected them in her travels around the world. In 1987, Ernestine donated the collection of more than 100 crèches to Mount Saint Vincent Wellesley.
EM-201 Outdoor Christmas crib at Seton Hall in Patchogue, New York in 1961. Photograph is by Sister Ernestine Marie O’Connell.
SC-0331 Grades 1-4 Christmas Crib Procession at Our Lady of Perpetual Help School, Ladysmith, British Columbia in 1961.
Crèche and festive decorations at St. Veronica’s Convent in Dorval, Quebec. The photo is undated but likely from the late 1950s when the convent opened or early 1960s. Photo is from album #54.
The pioneer Sisters to Bishop Reilly High School thoroughly documented the first few years of their ministry, especially their Christmas traditions such as decorating their chapel altar, midnight mass, and Christmas concerts.
SC-16 95 First Christmas crib at Bishop Reilly High School, Fresh Meadows, Queens, NY in December 1962.
Crib and Christmas tree in Cenacle Community in Marillac Residence, Wellesley Hills, MA. Photo is from album #455.
Finally, a photo of one of the cribs in Caritas Residence in Halifax. The crèche was donated to Seton Academy in Vancouver, BC by the family of Sister Ann Cornelia Crowley.
Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a happy 2023!