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Montana Missions - 1883-1884

Posted 6/26/2019

Westward Ho!  The journey begins.

In 1883, Bishop J. B. Blondel was given the spiritual charge of the whole territory of Montana. The Cheyenne Indians, who first came to his attention, were located on the banks of the Tongue River about 75 miles south of Miles City.

Bishop Blondel sympathized with the Indians and sent a report of their plight to the governor of Montana, who reported the matter to the authorities in Washington. Conditions improved and the Bishop, planning to open a mission among the Cheyennes, made an appeal to the Bishops in the States to secure through them the services of zealous priests and Sisters for that purpose. Bishop Gilmore of Cleveland, a close friend of Bishop Blondel, invited the Toledo Ursulines, on the eve of the feast of St. Ursula, October 30, 1883, to accept the call. Thirty of their number sent in their names as volunteers, from whom the Bishop chose six. Father Joseph Eyler of Cleveland accepted the invitation and was ready to accompany the missionaries to the new field.

Mother Stanislaus appointed Mother Amadeus superior of the missionary group consisting of Sisters Ignatius McFarland, Holy Angels Carabin, Sacred Heart Meilink, Francis Seibert, and Angela Abair.

Preparations for the departure began at once. The six religious left Toledo January 15, 1884, with the prayers and good wishes of all the Sisters and their pupils.

 

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