Letters of Correspondence

This website contains nearly all of Mother Germaine’s extant correspondence preserved in the IHM Archives in Scranton, PA, especially those letters with information pertaining to the foundation of Marywood College. These letters, written to and by Mother Germaine, testify to the enormous undertaking of founding the college. Through her letters with administrators of other institutions of higher education and her letters with guest speakers at the College, especially Dr. James Walsh, we can see how Mother Germaine sought to provide the best education possible for Marywood students, as well as how she forged stronger relationships with other Catholic institutions of higher learning to spread Marywood’s reputation. Her fundraising letters speak eloquently of the need to educate women, while letters from Dr. Walsh commiserate over the curmudgeons who descried such higher education for the fairer sex. Her letters even testify to how she devised the name Marywood as she defends the title to another sister who claimed the name for her school.

In addition, Mother Germaine’s correspondence reveals glimpses of the reality of life in early twentieth century Pennsylvania. Whether dealing with outbreaks of influenza or worries about coal deposits beneath the property, Mother Germaine’s letters reveal the many obstacles the Sisters faced in founding the school. Similarly, her letters show how the “war to end all wars” had its effect on Marywood, often through her correspondence with Ludwig Hausman, who managed St. Joseph Place, the sisters’ farm at Mount Cobb, who sometimes needed to pay urgently an employee who had enlisted or who needed time off for his citizenship hearing.

Most of the letters are typewritten on paper with signatures handwritten. A few are wholly written by the sender.  I have provided digital scans of each letter and transcribed them precisely as written to preserve a sense of the material artifacts as closely as possible.