July 7th, 2004
How the inspiration of a 19th century woman's incredible life helps me keep the faith
We would, of course, roll our eyes. That’s what teenage girls do when being told something for the millionth time. Still, repetition does have its effect, and so when our teachers at our small all-girls school run by the Sisters of the Holy Child in suburban New Jersey reminded us of how we were meant to “meet the wants of the age”
—one of the many mottos of the order’s Foundress, Cornelia Connelly—it usually stuck.
Connelly (1809-1879) founded the Society of the Holy Child Jesus in 1846 in England and in the process broke all the rules about what a woman in the Church was supposed to be. She was a wealthy Philadelphian who in the span of 30 years lived a life that would have made any soap-opera…