Thursday, May 19, 2011

Make the Connection: Abraham Lincoln and the Daughters of Charity

Several ministries of the Daughter of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul finding their beginnings connected to Abraham Lincoln.  Here are 3!

This photo is scanned from a recent Washington Post Article: The online version doesn't have the photo.  Sr. Mary Bader is director of St. Ann Infant and Maternity Home.  Here she is holding the original incorporation document signed by Abraham Lincoln. 

The date was March 3, 1863 and just a couple months since the Emancipation Proclamation.  There were many abandoned children due to the war and unwed pregnant women.  All these years later, St. Ann's called "Home" and no longer called "Asylum" still is true to its original mission.  Check out their website: and page on their history:  I wish there were more photos of the children on the website because they just steal your heart!  However, since they basically all children taken from abusive, neglectful or arrested parents their privacy must be protected.  Below is Sr. Josephine Murphy who directed St. Ann's Infant Home for many years on the occasion of her jubilee which she celebrated at the home.  Sr. Josephine and in turn Sr. Mary have been tireless advocates for the rights of children rather than the preferences of the parents who have caused incredible suffering to their children.

Recently, I read the article linked here, about the Daughters of Charity in Alton, IL where in 1864 President Abraham Lincoln asked for Daughters of Charity to care for the sick in the prison where Confederate soldiers were being kept. This evolved into a hospital and in 1901 to school of nursing.  I also found a postcard of the "modern" hospital from 1937:

Then there is Providence Hospital in Washington, DC.  It is the oldest hospital in Washington, DC still in use (not the same building!).  This year Providence Hospital celebrates their 150th anniversary!  Here is the link to the history of the hospital  It was founded in 1861 and it became a teaching hospital to help deal with the wounded from the Civil War or War Between the States for my southern friends:-)

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