The mission of LowellIrish is to collect and preserve the history and cultural materials, which document the presence of the Irish community in Lowell. As the first immigrant group in a city that continues to celebrate its immigrant past, LowellIrish will serve as an advocate to support a better understanding of the historical, political, religious, and social function the Irish played in the formation of the city.
If you’ve got the history bug, you will understand the rest
of this entry.A short time ago we wrote
about how Walter and Karen Hickey found the stones of 3 Daughters of Charity,
the nuns from St. John’s Hospital, who served as nurse during the Civil
War.Obviously they could not leave well
enough alone.Spending Saturday and Sunday
of last week at the cemetery they thought they would honor the Sisters by uncovering
the sod that has gathered over their stones.They did just that and then continued to do the other Sisters.
As they uncovered each stone in the Sisters’ lot they
researched each name.One young Sister
died of influenza during the 1918 epidemic while treating patients in the
hospital.Others died of old age.And then they found them- 4 more Civil War
Sisters!Like their confreres, two
served at the Satterlee Hospital in Philadelphia and another at Fort Lincoln
Walter and Karen have placed American flags on the graves of
those who served.Like many Civil War
veterans not all of the Sisters were native born coming from Ireland and
Germany.Sr. Josephine, one of 8
Sr. Justine and was
a nurse at Ft Lincoln in Washington DC.Sr. Loyola was a German immigrant and was a sister for 42 years serving
at Satterlee during the war.All died
while on mission to St’ John’s in Lowell.
Walter & Karen next to Fr Grey's stone, 2014
children of German immigrants, joined the order at age 20 and served at
Today the Daughters of Charity’s lot is pristine and shows
the respect these women, foreign born and American alike, who served their
country and their mission to heal the sick.What Walter and Karen have done recognizes that call.In their name, we say thank you.They do
not ask for applause or wave a flag drawing attention to themselves, but go
about their work quietly while making a mark on the history of the city.
A little note- The Daughters of Charity have asked for photos and documents Karen and Walter have collected for their archives. Less than a week after all their work,
we visited the site.Already grass
clipping have started covering the markers.Last September a group of volunteers cleaned the Sisters of Notre Dame
lot.On our visit there barely a stone
was visible.We also found a second lot
belonging to the SNDs, barely visible.Something caught my eye and directly across is a small lot belonging to
the SSMN (Sisters of St Mary of Namur).These sisters operated Sacred Heart School.The few stones barely peek out from the
sod.In early fall we ask for volunteers
to clean the stones in Yard 1 to prepare for the tour.We will need a team of people if we dare to
include these new lots.