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First Two Superiors on Toledo

Posted 3/25/2018

Mother des Seraphims and Mother Alhponsus McCart were the first superiors in Toledo.


When she came to Ohio it was understood that Mother des Seraphims would one day return to the house of her profession.  As an Englishwoman, she believed she could be effective in founding a community in North America, but soon realized she lacked the missionary mentality.  With all the good will in the world she strove to become adjusted to the new environment in which she found herself. But intelligent, talented,warm-hearted and highly spiritual thou she was, she yearned for the security and seclusion of the cloistered life in Boulogne.

So it was that after eleven years of missionary work in North America, with Bishop Rappe's approval and blessing, Mother des Seraphims returned in 1861 to France. where she kept up a cordial relationship through continued correspondence with her beloved Toledo community.

With the departure of Mother des Seraphims for France, Bishop Rappe appointed Mother Alphonsus, superior. Although just 23 years of age when she came to Toledo, she was a veteran teacher and administrator.   During her tenure two parochial schools were opened: St. Patrick's (1863) and Immaculate Conception (1874).   The vital resources of the convent increased by the entrance of zealous and talented postulants eager to dedicate their lives to God.  By means of benefactors frequent contributions of both money and property, together with the practice of strictest ecomony, Mother Alphonsus was able to pay all debts and erect a spacious new wing in 1859.

When she left the office, the membership had increased to twenty four professed and six novices, the age distribution ranging from  40 (1); 30's  (15); 20's (14).