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Students tour Sisters’ of Holy Cross property

Alicia Smith | Thursday, January 27, 2011

In honor of Heritage Week at Saint Mary’s College, students had the opportunity to tour Augusta Hall and the Heritage Room in Bertrand Hall, buildings owned by the Sisters of the Holy Cross.

Sr. Miriam Cooney and Sr. M. Jeanne Finske gave tours to small groups of students at 12 and 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Students met for the tour at Augusta Hall and were able to see the building’s chapel as well as a portion of the apartments set up for the Sisters of the Holy Cross.

In Bertrand Hall, the tour guides led students to the Heritage Room.

“This has the history of the whole Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross,” Finske said.

Finske talked about leaders who were instrumental in the history of the congregation. She said the Sisters of the Holy Cross originally split into three parts.

“The Congregation separated into three: the Marianites remaining in France, the Sisters of the Holy Cross who were in the United States … and then eventually the sisters in Canada,” she said.

Students had an opportunity to see photographs of the early Sisters of the Holy Cross and pictures of the early days of the College, including a photo of Bertrand Hall. The hall was named in honor of the original location of the Sisters of the Holy Cross.

“They went to Bertrand [Mich.] first because the Bishop of Fort Wayne said, ‘We’ve already got an order of Sisters in Saint Mary’s of the Woods, so we don’t need another order of Sisters,'” Finske said.

Finske said Fr. Edward Sorin asked if the Sisters could be located in Bertrand, 11 miles away from the location of the College today.

“In 1855, they moved to this campus, and that’s the beginning date of Saint Mary’s College,” she said.

Students were also able to look at different displays about the heritage of the Congregation, including the traditional habits worn by the Sisters and artwork and music the Sisters had created.

In addition to the tours, the Moreau Dinner was held in the Nobel Family Dining Hall Wednesday from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Heritage Week continues through Saturday with the Heritage Dinner held in Stapleton Lounge in Le Mans Hall Thursday from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. S’mores and a meet and greet with the nuns will be held in the Lillie O’Grady room at 2 p.m. on Friday.

Heritage Week will conclude with the All School Formal on Saturday.