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First Ursuline Death in Toledo - 1874

Posted 10/21/2018

1874 – Mother Alphonsus called to her eternal reward.

                                                     For the first time in 20 years death visited the Community, July 19, 1874, when                                                          Mother Alphonsus, after months of intense suffering, died on her way to chapel for Mass.

                                                             Under Mother Alphonsus the community made creditable progress and her death was                                                         a severe blow, not only to the nuns and the Catholic Church in Toledo, but to the entire                                                         civic community. The Blade, commenting, said:

                                                                    While those of her own faith are bowed with grief and sorrow, …
                                                                    there are none who will more sincerely mourn her death than the

                                                                  Protestant young ladies educated under her care and whose acknowledged                                                                     accomplishments have reflected the greatest  compliments upon her and her                                                                     school.

                                                                    When Mother Alphonsus was appointed superior of the convent, August 15,                                                                     1861…the building was a three story brick structure, but through her untiring                                                                     efforts she built up one of the most magnificent educational institutions in the                                                                     West. The building is now four stories high, with chapel and hall capable of seating                                                                     five hundred people.  With a Gothic roof and a large tower, it is such a  structure as                                                                     every  Toledoan may well be proud of.   

                                                                                                                                    (Toledo Blade, July 20, 1874)


    Mother Alphonsus was a woman of fine educational attainments and unerring judgement. Her amiability of temperament enabled her to carry forward her plans with the faculty and retain forever the friendship of those who were so fortunate as to make her acquaintance.
    Because it was the first death in the community, no provision had been made for a burial ground. She, like her model and Savior, had nowhere to lay her head and was buried in the Grey Nuns cemetery. In 1879, however, the community purchased lots in St. Mary’s cemetery and Mother Stanislaus in 1882 superintended the transfer of the remains.

 

The material quoted here is taken from A Tree in the Valley by Sr. Lelia Mahoney.