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Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ Records

Identifier: HJC

Scope and Content

The Notre Dame Archives is the repository for the Archives of the American Province of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ. The records of the collection consist first of those records generated or collected and kept by the administrative structures of the Province, including the Ancilla Domini Sisters, Inc., corporate board, the Provincial Chapters and Assemblies and the committess associated with them, the Provincial Leadership and its committees, and the departments and offices of the Province. These records include materials pertaining to the business dealings of the Province, the relationship of the Province with the Generalate and other provinces of the congregation, the Province's relations with outside organizations, the establishment and direction of the Province's missions and activities, and the direction of the sisters of the American Province. This material includes meeting minutes of the corporate board, Provincial Leadership, Provincial Chapters and Assemblies, and Province committees; correspondence of Provincial Leadership, Province committees and Province departments and offices; reports generated by the Province Leadership, committees, departments or offices, or sent in to the Province structures by the outlying convents, institutions, or sisters of the Province, such as Chronicles and financial reports of the missions; material dealing with the governance of sisters, including registers of sisters, records of vows, records of sister's assignments, and sisters' dossiers; legal correspondence and documents related to the activities of the province, its institutions or sisters; and printed material published by the Province or pertaining to the Province, its institutions or sisters and collected by the Province.

The Archives includes some records of the Missions and Sponsored Ministries of the American Province, that is, records generated or collected and kept by the Missions and Sponsored Ministries, but only insofar as certain of these records have come into the possession of the Province. These are not collected in a systematic way by the Province and the scope and content of these Institutional Records varies greatly among the institutions. Similarly, the Archives has a few Personal Papers of sisters and other persons connected with the American Province which have come into the Province's possession.

There are very few records from the early period of the Province's history. There is a copy of the Rules of the Congregation of 1859 compiled by the Order's spiritual director Fr. J. J. Wittayer, but no copies of the Constitution approved for the Poor Handmaids by the Apostolic See in 1870. There are no corporate records for the Poor Handmaids' Illinois or Indiana corporations before 1910, though the Poor Handmaids were incorporated in these states in the 1870s. There are no minutes of Provincial Council meetings before 1949. Provincial correspondence was not systematically preserved before 1949. There are very few letters preserved from the nineteenth century. There are Province financial ledgers from the beginning of the Province and some quite old ledgers giving sisters' assignments and status of the missions. There are Chronicles and financial, personnel and statistical reports from the nineteenth century for missions which opened in the nineteenth-century and continued in existence into the twentieth century, but none from missions which opened and closed in the nineteenth century. It should be noted that the records in the Archives do not include records, including some old records, still in the possession of and actively used by the American Province of the Poor Handmaids.


  • Creation: 1847-[ongoing].


Language of Materials


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Restricted by contract.


Summary: Religious order of women founded in Dernbach, Germany by Blessed Mother Mary Katherine Kasper on 15 August 1851. The Poor Handmaids devote themselves to the care of the sick and orphaned and to the education of children. They have provinces in Germany, Holland, India, England, and the United States, and have extended their ministry into Bolivia, Cambodia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico, Vietnam, and Kenya. The American Poor Handmaids operate many hospitals, nursing homes, orphanages, and schools in Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

The History and Structures of the American Province of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ

I. Introduction

Blessed Mary Katherine Kasper founded the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ (PHJC) in Dernbach, Germany, in 1851. PHJC sisters first came to the United States in 1868. Under the auspices of Bishop John Luers of the Diocese of Fort Wayne eight sisters established themselves in Hessen Cassel, Indiana, where they had charge of an elementary school and performed home nursing. In the same year they began working at an orphanage at Havelock, near Chicago, later known as Angel Guardian. The following year the sisters took possession of St. Joseph Hospital in Fort Wayne, to which they moved their Provincial Motherhouse. In this year also seven more sisters arrived from Germany and the first two American postulants entered the order.

The American Province of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ has been active in home nursing, hospitals, homes for the aged, schools and orphanages. At its peak in the 1930s the Province had almost 700 professed sisters and owned or operated fifteen hospitals, six homes for the aged and three orphanages, as well as many schools in Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota. In 2000 the community still has an active interest in five hospitals through its sponsored corporation, Ancilla Systems, Inc. The American Province has also reached beyond the borders of the United States with sisters working at various times in Viet Nam, Thailand, Bolivia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico, Brazil and India.

The records of the American Province of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ have been part of the collections of the Archives of the University of Notre Dame since 1987 and were first arranged in 1988. This initial arrangement was not intended to "reflect the order of materials received prior to processing but rather the governing hiearchical structure of the congregation" (1991 Finding Aid). In 1998-2000 the records were significantly rearranged to better reflect the historical structures and activity of the American Province as well as to incorporate a large amount material accessioned after 1991.

II. Governance

The American Province has two main policy-making structures. The business activities of the Province are handled through a corporation whose governing board largely coincides with the Provincial Leadership. The direction of the apostolic and religious activities of the Province is set by a triennial Provincial Chapter and carried out by the Provincial Leadership.

A. Corporate Structure

To conduct their business affairs the American Province of the Poor Handmaids incorporated in the state of Illinois in 1875 and separately in the state of Indiana in 1878 as the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ. Other corporations were set up in Wisconsion in 1897 and Minnesota in 1898.

TheProvincial Superior was President of all the corporations until 1918, when it was deemed prudent to have American-born presidents for the Indiana and Illinois corporations. Mother Tabitha, the Provincial Superior,accordingly resigned as President of both these corporations. She remained as President of the Wisconsin and Minnesota corporations, whose by-laws specified that the Provincial Superior would always be ex-officio President of the corporation. From that time until the dissolution of the Illinois corporation in 1937 the Indiana and Illinois corporations had separate boards of directors.

In 1925, the Poor Handmaids filed new articles of incorporation in the state of Indiana under the name Ancilla Domini Sisters, Inc., as a successor corporation to the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ. The former corporation continued in existence into 1926 for the purpose of transferring its property to the new corporation and tying up loose ends related to the move of the Motherhouse from Ft. Wayne to Donaldson, Indiana, in 1922. The new corporation, which is still the corporate identity of the PHJC American Province, was necessitated by "the growth of our activities" (cited from the announcement of the new corporation made on January 31, 1926). Mother Tabitha, still Provincial Superior, was elected President of the new corporation. She had served as Vice-President of the former corporation from the time the Motherhouse was moved. Subsequently, the Provincial Superior has always served as the President of the corperation. The board of directors has beengenerally comprised of members of her council, although such was not specified in the by-laws until 1970.

In 1936, in order to consolidate the debts of all their institutions through a loan from the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, the Poor Handmaids were required to transfer all their properties to one corporation. Consequently, the property held by each of the corporations was transferred to the Ancilla Domini Sisters. The Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin corporations were subsequently dissolved in 1937.

B. Provincial Chapters and Related Assemblies

The Provincial Chapter, currently a triennielmeeting of ex officio members--the Provincial Leadership--and elected delegates, is the highest legislative body in the American Province of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ. Provisions for a Provincial Chapter first appear in the 1934 PHJC Constitution. The first Provincial Chapter of the American Province was held in 1935.

Prior to the Vatican II Council authority in the Province resided in the Provincial Superior subject to the authority of the General Superior. The sole tasks of the Provincial Chapter were "to elect...delegates and substitutes to represent the province at the general chapter and to discuss matters of importance regarding the whole province" (1966 Interim Constitution; cf. 1931 Constitution). This last task consisted in drawing up questions and recommendations for the General Chapter, the highest legislative authority in the congregation consisting of General Leadership and delegates from all the provinces. The Provincial Chapter alsoresponded to suggestions from sisters in the Province in matters which it deemed within its purview.

The American Province of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ held five Provincial Chapters prior to the Vatican II Council, in 1935, 1948, 1949, 1954, and 1960. These early Chapters were preparatory to the General Chapters in Dernbach, which were to be held every six years. This was prevented, however, by WWII. In 1948 the General Council granted a one time permission to the American Province to elect a slate of provincial leaders to be approved by the General Council. A special Provincial Chapter of Elections was held on February 2, 1949 to do this.

After Vatican II, the American Province obtained a higher degree of autonomy and the Chapter became "the highest legislative body of the Province" when meeting as a Chapter of Affairs (1978 Directory). Chaptershave become more frequent. Chapter delegates meet as a Chapter of Elections to elect Provincial Leadership and as a chapter of Affairs to make policy decisions at least once every three years. Between Chapters, the delegates meet as a Provincial Assembly, a consultative body to the Provincial Leadership, at least once a year.

The 1966 Chapter, the first of the Vatican II era, was prepared for by the work of five committees: Theology of Religious Life, Formation, Apostolic Works, Common Life, and Government and Organization. These committees took opinions from sisters and formulated recommendations for the Chapter. The use of such preparatory committees became standard for Provincial Chapters. The chapter considered revisions of the PHJC constitution proposed by the Generalate. It also created an Advisory Committee for the Provincial Council.

Much of the work of subsequent Chapters up through the 1980s involved adapting the Poor Handmaids to the reforms of Vatican II. The renewal process included changes to the way Chapter delegates and Province leadership were elected, two major reforms in the governmental structures of the Province (1972 and 1988), revisions to the PHJC Constitution and development of a Provincial Directory. A special Chapter session was held in January 1991 to adopt a new Pastoral Plan which had been developed over the previous several years. The June 1991 Chapter was devoted almost entirely to on-going concerns of the Province including sponsored ministries, Pastoral Plan,land management, finances, and human resources. It did, however, reverse the order in which the Chapter of Affairs and Chapter of Elections were to be held and made a corresponding change in the Provincial Directory.

The process for electing delegates to the Provincial Chapter has changed considerably. Prior to Vatican II, one superior and one sister were elected as delegates to the Chapters from each of a number of voting districts, thirteen in 1935 and 1948, twelve in 1954 and 1960. It is not clear how the districts were determined; they were not, however, defined territorially. Delegates to the August 13-17, 1966, Provincial Chapter were elected from three groups based on length of time in vows. Prior to the 1971-1973 chapter, the pre-chapter Government and Organization Committee devised a multi-tiered method for electing delegates to the Chapter; delegates were elected by age group, region, apostolate, pre-chapter committee, and at-large. Delegates to subsequent assemblies and chapters were elected on the basis of age group and apostolate. The distribution of delegates among these groups was frequently adjusted to account for changing demographics in the Province. Two at-large delegates were added in 1982. After 1988 the apostolate groups were replace by territorially-defined mission groups.

Delegates are elected to three year terms, during which they will normally attend one Chapter of Elections, one Chapter of Affairs, and two Provincial Assemblies. Following the 1971-1973 Chapter, delegates from both apostolate and age groups were elected for the Provincial Assembly which first met in June 1974. At the November 1974 Provincial Assembly it was decided to stagger elections rather than elect all the delegates at the same time. Instead the elections would be stretched over three successive years. Delegates by age group would be elected in the first year, provincial leadership would be elected in the next year, and delegates by apostolate in the following year. This decision was reversed by the August 1978 Chapter, which decided that delegates would be elected all at once for each Chapter and would continue to serve as delegates to the Provincial Assemblies until the next Chapter. To make this adjustment, a set of delegates by age group was elected in 1979, then a new set of delegates by both age group and apostolate was elected in 1981 for the 1982 Chapter.

III. Provincial and Provincial Leadership

Between Provincial Chapters, authority in the American Province of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ resides in the Provincial Leadership. The American Province has had three models of Provincial Leadership.

Prior to the Vatican II Council Provincial Leadership consisted of a Provincial Superior and a number of Assistants, including a Vicaress or First Assistant Provincial, a Procuratress, a Directress of Schools, and later, a Directress of Hospitals. These were appointed by the General Superior, except in 1949, when special permission was granted to elect a slate of provincial leaders to be approved by the General Council.

After Vatican II, the American Province obtained a higher degree of autonomy and was able to elect its own leadership. TheProvincial Chapter ofrenewal of 1971-1973 introduced a new govenmental structure for the American Province comprised of a three member Provincial Team (consisting of a Provincial and two Associates), two Area Coordinators, and five Commissions, the commissioners of which served on the Provincial Council: Christian Life, Education, Health Care, Community and Social Services, and Finance. The commissioner of the Christian Life Commission was one of the provincial associates. To better coordinate their activities, a Joint Apostolic Commission consisting of the commissioners of the Education, Health Care, and Community and Social Services Commissions was formed in 1983.

The overlap of responsibilities of the apostolic commissions led to a perceived need for a restructuring of the Provincial Leadership. The Provincial Chapter of 1985 created an Ad Hoc Government Committee to develop a proposal for a new model of government for the 1988 Provincial Chapter. It proposed a new government structure consisting of aProvincial Council with a Provincial and Provincial Councilors each charged with a Mission Group comprised of sisters living in territorially defined regions. The number of Councilors needed would be determined before each Chapter of Elections. The activities of the commissions of the previous structure were to be taken over by the Mission Group councilors and a newly formed Mission Concerns Committee, co-chaired by two of the Provincial Councilors. A special session of the Provincial Chapter held in January 1988 adopted this new government structure.

In spite of its relative independence, the American Province retains close ties with the Generalate in Germany, the PHJC provinces in Germany, the Netherlands, England, and the PHJC region in India. General Chapters are held every six years at the Generalate in Dernbach, and annual meetings of the General, Provincial and Regional Leaderships (GPRs) are hosted by each of the provinces and regions in turn. There are frequent bi-lateral meetings of the General Leadership and the American Province Leadership, and visits from the General Leadership to the American Province. International activities of the congregation are coordinated through international committees, including the International Missions Committee and International Communications Committee. The whole congregation has a single constitution which sets the overall tone of the congregation's activities. Each province is governed in its specific needs and activities by a provincial directory which has been approved by the Generalate.

The Provincial Leadership has held regular meetings since at least 1949. After 1968 it has been advised in its work by a number of temporary and ad hoc committees, beginning with the Advisory Committee created by the Provincial Chapter of 1966.

IV. Departments and Offices

Since Vatican II and the renewal Chapters of 1966 and 1972, some of the tasks previously accomplished by the Provincial and her assistants have been taken over by offices or departments below the provincial level. Other departments have been created to handle new tasks. The Notre Dame Archives has records from the following PHJC departments and offices: Archives, Communications, Finance, Development, Vocations. There are also a Formation Office, an Associates office and a Library for which there is some printed material.

A. Archives

Sr. Mildred Augustin was collecting material for an Archives room at the Motherhouse as early as 1967. In July 1974 the Provincial Council made a decision to preserve the Province's historic documents in a Provincial Archives. Sr. Mary Roselda Filley began work on collecting and organizing the archives in 1976. In 1987 the bulk of the collection was transferred to the Archives of the University of Notre Dame. The Province Archives continues to function as a collecting point for PHJC documents.

B. Communications Office

The Communications Office was established in 1982 by a decision of the Provincial Chapter on a proposal by the pre-Chapter Communications Today committee. The office is run by a director and overseen by the Communications Advisory Board which includes a liaison from the Provincial Council.

C. Finance Offfice

The American Province of the Poor Handmaids has always had a financial officer, at various times called the Procurator, Financial Coordinator, Finance Commissioner, Director of Finance or Treasurer. For the early period of its history, however, many of the business transactions were handled by the Provincial with her Vicaress. Since at least the restructuring of 1971-1973 the role of the financial officer has been more clearly defined. From 1973-1976 the Commissioner of the Finance Commission served as a member of the Provinicial Council. In 1976 it was decided that Treasurer / Finance Commissioner would be a non-voting member of the Provincial Council appointed by the Provincial Team. Generally, the financial officer of the Province has also served as Treasurer of the Corporation.

D. Development Office

A Development Office for the American Province of the Poor Handmaids was organized in 1988 with the help of a grant from the Lilly Foundation and the assistance of Sr. Bernadette Kalscheur, SSSF.

E. Vocations Office

The beginnings of the vocations office are found in the post-Vatican II period. The need for a vocation directress was raised by the pre-1966 Chapter Formation Committee. In March 1968 a Vocation Committee was established with Sr. Julienne Smith as chair. In August 1968 Sr. Julienne was asked to be Vocation Directress. As Vocation Directress, Sr. Julienne also served on the Formation Team, which was created in 1970, and the pre-1972 Chapter Formation Committee.

F. Formation Office

According to the General Directory, formation in a province is the responsibility of the Provincial. In the American Province, this responsibility is delegated to an Associate Provincial who has the title of Formation Director and heads up a Formation Team which also includes the directors of vocations, affiliates, postulants, novices, temporary professed and associates. The Formation Team was created in 1970 and publishes a Formation handbook.

G. Associates Office

Associates are lay people who share in the work of the Poor Handmaids. An Associates Program was officially begun by a resolution of the 1982 Provincial Chapter. In 1986 a Director of Associates was appointed to organize activities with the associates.

H. Avita Library

The American Province has long had a library located at the Motherhouse. Originally known as the Professed Sisters Library, the library was renamed Avita Library in 1987 in honor of one of its long-time librarians, Sr. Avita Hums.

V. Missions and Institutions

The American Province of the Poor Handmaids conducts its apostolic activity from its Motherhouse and its outlying convents through the institutions it owns or operates and through its sponsored ministries.

A. The Motherhouse

From 1869 to 1922 the Motherhouse of the American Province was located at St. Joseph Hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana. In 1918 the Province purchased a resort hotel on Lake Gilbraith at Donaldson, Indiana, renamed it Retreat St. Amalia, and made plans to transfer there the Motherhouse and the Novitiate. In the following years more land was purchased in Donaldson and a large convent was built. The Motherhouse was officially transferred to the convent in Donaldson, now known as Convent Ancilla Domini, on August 30, 1922. The Convent was dedicated May 24, 1923.

Besides serving as the residence of the Provincial Superior, the home of the Novitiate, a place for retreats, for Provincial Chapters and Assemblies, and for conducting the business of the Province, the Motherhouse has also served as a place of active ministry. From 1925 a two-year college, Ancilla Domini College, has operated at the Motherhouse. At first exclusively for the training of sisters, in 1966 the college was opened to the general public. A high school for girls, Ancilla Domini High School, was located at the Motherhouse from 1927. When it closed in 1976 the building in which it was housed, built in 1957, became a retreat center, now known as the Lindenwood Retreat and Conference Center. In 1988, following a renovation of the Motherhouse, the whole complex was reorganized as the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ Ministry Center. Besides the convent, college, and Lindenwood, the Ministry Center includes an assisted living residence for the elderly, Maria Center, and a retirement home for the sisters, the Catherine Kasper Home, which was opened in 1970.

B. Missions

Most of the Provinces apostolic activity is conducted out of convents and institutions away from the Motherhouse. The first apostolate for the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ from the founding of the order was the care for the poor and the sick. Even before their consecration, the Blessed Catherine Kasper and her companions nursed the sick and brought orphans into their home. The work with orphans led to a need to teach and the organization of schools.

The first activity of the eight Poor Handmaids who came to the United States in 1868 was to nurse the sick in their homes and conduct an elementary school in Hessen Cassel, Indiana. The same year, three of the Poor Handmaids were sent to work in an German Catholic orphanage at Havelock near Chicago. The next year the Poor Handmaids acquired their first hospital, St. Joseph Hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana. In the following year they took possession of a girls' school in Fort Wayne. In 1873 they took charge of a school in Avilla, Indiana, where the sisters also did home nursing. In the following three years the Poor Handmaids began operating schools and doing home nursing in southern Illinois, in the Diocese of Alton, in Carlyle, Germantown, Trenton, and O'Fallon. In 1875 the sisters built a convent in Chicago with the exclusive purpose of nursing the sick in their homes. Work with smallpox patients at Chicago's Isolation Hospital during an epidemic in 1881 led to an invitation by the city and Archbishop of Chicago for the sisters to take charge of this hospital. In 1884 the Poor Handmaids were asked to start a hospital in Ashland, Wisconsin, and take over an existing hospital in New Ulm, MN. In 1886 they began building their own hospital in Chicago. By the turn of the century the Poor Handmaids owned or operated ten hospitals and two homes for the aged, and ran two orphanages and fourteen schools. The sisters also continued to do home nursing from two convents in Chicago: Our Lady Help of Christians (North Side), and St. Joseph (West Side). At its greatest extent the Province owned or operated fifteen hospitals, nine schools of nursing, six homes for the aged, three orphanages, four high schools and twenty-five elementary schools in Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The Province has also had institutions at various times in Missouri, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Iowa. Recently, the Province has had foundations in Mexico and Brazil.

Before Vatican II, convents were governed by a Superior appointed by the Provincial. The Provincial or her assistants would make decisions about the assignment or transfer of sisters to missions. The convents were required to submit periodic financial reports and reports of activity back to the Motherhouse, as well as financial contributions. Each convent kept a daily chronicle of the sisters' activity. Annual retreats for the sisters were organized from the Motherhouse. The sisters would return to the Motherhouse for retreats and to pronounce their vows. The Provincial would also make yearly visits to the convents.

After Vatican II and the subsequent Chapters of renewal, the convents elect their own local leader through a process of discernment. Decisions about assignments and transfers are still made by Provincial Leadership. Sisters return to the Motherhouse for retreats and for Community Weeks held in conjunction with Provincial Chapters and Assemblies. Convents still send in periodic reports and now send their chronicles to the Motherhouse archives, as do sisters not living in convents.

1. Hospitals and Homes for the Aged

Because of the high capital costs associated with them, the hospitals required much more provincial involvement. The Poor Handmaids bought or built most of the hospitals which they operated. Much of the activity of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, Inc., and of Ancilla Domini Sisters, Inc., has involved the financing and management of hospital assets.

The organizational history of the health care apostolate of the American Province of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ is one of increasing centralization. The apostolate was originally comprised of separately incorporated hospitals responsible to the provinicial leadership. In 1936, in connection with the Northwestern Mutual loan, all the property of the separate corporations was transferred to the Ancilla Domini Sisters, Inc. All the hospitals and homes for the aged were then mortgaged for the loan. This move also necessitated a much more detailed bookkeeping system at the province level. This situation lasted until 1963, when the hospitals were again allowed to incorporate separately.

The increasing complexities of the health care environment, however, coupled with decreases in the number of sisters in the health care apostolate necessitated the formation in 1965 of a new corporation, Central Management Services (CMS), to coordinate the activities of the hospitals and homes for the aged. This corporation was located on the premises of St. Anne's Hospital in Chicago and provided services in group purchasing, data processing and facility construction. In 1967 it was renamed Association of Ancilla Domini Hospitals (the Association) and moved to the School of Nursing building at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Chicago.1973-1974 the corporation was reorganized under the name Ancilla Domini Health Services (ADHS), relocated to Des Plaines, Illinois, and given a greater role in providing management assistance to the hospitals. ADHS was restructured in 1980 and again in 1982. In 1984, a two-year systemwide strategic planning process culminated in a thorough reorganization of the system under the name Ancilla Systems, Inc. (ASI), which has far greater governance and management powers. While the earlier entities had primarily an advisory function, the Poor Handmaids granted to the new organization much of the responsibility for governance of the hospitals which had been reserved to the Province, which, however, still retained certain powers as sponsor.

2. Schools, Orphanages and Other Ministries

By contrast with the hospitals, most of the schools in which the sisters taught have not been owned by the Poor Handmaids. The sisters were invited by local pastors or bishops to run their parish schools in exchange for housing and a stipend. The Province built one high school, Catholic Central High School in Hammond, Indiana, which opened in 1923. The orphanages in which they worked were owned by either private associations or dioceses. The principal activity of the Provincial Leadership was the assignment and training of school sisters. This task was generally handled by the Directress of Schools, an Assistant Provincial. Sisters would come back to the Motherhouse for courses during the summer.

In recent times, individual sisters have been involved in ministries outside of the convents in parish ministry, religious education, pastoral counseling, etc. Such activities have taken sisters to Kentucky, Texas, Bolivia and Nicaragua.

c. Sponsored Ministries

One of the chief concerns of the Poor Handmaids in the process of the centralization of the health care system was to maintain the Catholic and Poor Handmaid identity of the hospitals. A significant part of the strategic planning process which resulted in the formation of Ancilla System, Inc., was the development of a statement and understanding of the Poor Handmaids' role as sponsor. The sponsorship statement was issued in 1983.

Sponsorship identifies a canonical relationship between a religious order and an incorporated entity in which the order controls and influences the relgious character of the corporation. The Poor Handmaids have sponsored several individual corporations: Ancilla Systems, Inc.; Ancilla College; Earthworks, a co-operative agricultural venture located at the Motherhouse; Catherine Kasper Center, a clinic in E. St. Louis, IL, which was later incorporated into St. Mary's Hospital in E. St. Louis; Dayspring, Inc., a short-lived corporation designed to foster collaboration among health care systems. From March 1990 Provincial Leadership has held separate monthly meetings to deal specifically with sponsorship issues.


130 linear feet. 30 linear feet of photographs. 66 linear feet of printed material.