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.
Correspondence & Poems of Mother Germaine
Featured Poemsview all poems
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.
Mother 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.
Mother Germaine to P.J. Buckley, Knights of Columbus
December 29, 1913
Fundraising efforts for the construction of new buildings for Mt. St. Mary’s. Argues the necessity of women’s higher education.
Dr. James Walsh to Mother Germaine
February 10, 1916
Regarding his choice to lecture on Psychology rather than Chemistry or Physics; sending books for library; visit with Sisters in Monroe—their reactions to news of Marywood's early success.
Thomas Quinn Beesley, Catholic Sisters College, to Mother Germaine
October 11, 1917
Given the war tax on travel, proposes alternate lecture series with dates and subjects.
Mother Germaine to Rev. Joseph Mulry, President of Fordam University
April 18, 1918
Relates the results of her interview with the Father Provincial of Fordham; thanks him for his help.
Mother Germaine to Sister Agnes Clare, St. Mary-of-the-Woods
August 8, 1918
Explains in detail why she cannot accommodate a request to change the college's name to something other than Marywood; relates story of how she devised the name.