Correspondence & Poems of Mother Germaine

mother germaine

This project publishes nearly all of Mother Germaine’s extant writing, from her correspondence to her poetry, which are now preserved in the IHM Archives in Scranton, PA. Reading these works—poetry and prose alike—testifies to the strength of her belief in the enormous power of women to do good in the world, especially those women with access to formal education, and her determination to provide the women of northeastern Pennsylvania with that opportunity.

Mother M. Germaine O’Neil was elected Superior-General of the IHM Congregation on August 7, 1913. Having been in charge of the school for the novitiate and then a school examiner for many years, she had great faith in the power of education and a clear understanding of what resources would be required to establish an institute of higher learning for women. In 1915, under her guidance, Marywood College--the first college for women in northeast Pennsylvania--was founded, and through her hard work, in 1917, the institution became the first Catholic college for women accredited by the state of Pennsylvania. 

1919_2Mother Germaine faithfully shepherded Marywood’s first class through graduation in 1919, a full year before the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment granted women the right to vote in this country.

On August 6, 1919, her term expired, and she stepped down. Eventually suffering from ill health and near blindness, Mother Germaine returned to Marywood in July 1928 and passed away there on December 13, 1928.

Featured Correspondence

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