From the Archives — Walking in a Winter Wonderland

By Mary Flynn, Archivist

As we are part way through a dark and stormy Halifax winter, I wanted to cheer up with some lighthearted snowy scenes from our audiovisual collection. The photos and films below are from Halifax, New York City, Dorchester, and Wellesley Hills.  

The first is an excerpt of a film of Mount Saint Vincent College students creating snow sculptures near Evaristus Hall followed by shots of tree branches heavy with snow. The film dates to 1959 or 1960 and was shot on Kodachrome 16mm film by Sister Ernestine Marie, assistant professor of chemistry and geology at MSVC.

 F023 MSVC 1959-1960

EM061 Sisters walking on Mayhew Street in winter near Saint Margaret’s Convent, Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1956. 

Though the Sisters arrived in 1911 to teach in the parish school, they did not have a suitable residence and had to move in with the Sisters at nearby St. Peter’s Convent. In 1912, a convent was opened on Boston Street and in 1915, the Sisters moved to the newly constructed St. Margaret’s convent on Mayhew Street, where they resided for more than 80 years.

Caption: MT045 Novices tobogganing down the hill outside of the new Motherhouse in Halifax. Circa 1960-1961. 

Photograph is by Sister Margaret Therese Campbell, who was the Mistress of Novices at Mount Saint Vincent from 1947 until 1962.

Caption: SC-1885 Bishop Reilly High School exterior after a snowfall, 1963.  


Bishop Reilly High School in Fresh Meadows, Queens, New York City, was opened in 1962. For more information about the school, please see the archives column from the November 2021 issue of Charity Alive

Caption: Photo album #352 Sisters en route to Saint Mary’s University rink, Halifax, NS. January 1967 

Caption: Photo album #352 Sisters skating at Saint Mary’s University rink, Halifax, NS, January 1967. 

These photographs were taken by Sister John Mary McNeil of Sisters of Charity out for “Sisters Day” at Saint Mary’s University Alumni Arena in Halifax, NS. The ice rink opened in 1965.

Caption: Photo album #155 

The final item to share is a page from an old photo album from Mary Cass, a student at Academy of the Assumption in Wellesley Hills, MA. Mary graduated from the Academy in 1909 then joined the Sisters of Charity – Halifax, taking the religious name of Sister Mary Helen. After joining religious life, she and her sister Margaret (class of 1912), later Sister Mary Theophane, both returned to teach at Academy of the Assumption. The photo album documents her time at Academy of the Assumption, with snapshots of the students, Sister teachers, and grounds of the school.  

Three of the photographs on the album page are of unidentified students on the snowy grounds of Academy of the Assumption, circa 1907 – 1909. The bottom right photograph appears to be a Sister at a desk, wearing the old habit with bonnet.  

Photos copyright of SC Congregational Archives 

More Charity Alive – February 2022

Climate Change

Climate Crisis! Climate Change! Climate Events: Flooding, Droughts, Catastrophic global fires! Have you noticed how frequently we are hearing and seeing these words across our computer screens, newspapers and on our TVs? It would seem that these frequent devastating events are becoming the norm instead of the exception in our daily lives. As we take all this in, we shake our heads in disbelief at the destruction of people’s lives and homes. We pray. We feel anguish at the loss of forests, wildlife and natural beauty. We ponder the societal, spiritual and economic ramifications of each climate catastrophe. How will people continue on? Can the forest come back to life? Because of the devastating loss of numbers, will this species go extinct and never be seen again?

Podcasts, Anyone?

Recently I have been made aware of the beauty of podcasts. This is what I’ve discovered so far.

Charity Alive – November 2021

Racial Equity: A Personal Call to Love as Christ Loves

A goal of the conference was to have us examine our personal histories and to identify how these influence the ways we resist or reinforce racism. Another goal sought to strengthen the collective input of the FAMVIN by seeking opportunities for service and systemic change.

Issues of Charity Alive

2022-02-14T23:37:29+00:00By |Comments Off on From the Archives — Walking in a Winter Wonderland
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