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advised to wait and see what policy would be adopted in religious affairs. In any case, she would not go just then, fearing that a persecution might arise in her absence. The new government was no improvement on its predecessor. On the first of May, 1879, the good Mother and a companion started for home. They met with the kindest of captains and officers, all Protestants. In England and Ireland friends were not wanting. All to whom they could venture to explain their circumstances advised them to quit the city of good air as soon as possible. When the Mother Superior reached Dublin her early friend, Cardinal Cullen, had passed away, but Archbishop McCabe did for her all that his predecessor could have done, save to revive the memories and friendship of bygone years.
It was necessary to apply to Rome for authorization for the withdrawal of the Buenos Ayres sisterhood, “and," writes Mother M. Evangelista, "a most influential bishop" (who we have reason to believe is the present Australian Cardinal) “kindly and charitably undertook the whole affair for me. Meanwhile I was advised to return to Buenos Ayres, and do all I could to get leave of the bishop there. I did so, and in the end, after much suffering, succeeded.” She speaks in the highest terms of the hospitality and courtesy of the convents at which she stopped: “I was overwhelmed with kindness in Ireland, and the same in England, with one solitary exception, which shall be nameless. May God enlighten said house to see the excellence and beauty of Christian hospitality, ‘using hospitality one towards another, without murmuring.'” She made arrangements for the transfer of the whole community to Adelaide, South Australia. Many prelates were anxious to secure their services, but by the advice of their special friend, Bishop Moran, now Cardinal Archbishop of Sydney, they accepted the invitation of Dr. Reynolds, then bishop, now archbishop, of Adelaide, who regarded them as confessors, if not martyrs, and felt that his diocese was blessed in securing them. “My diocese,” he wrote, “is very large, and my people are doing their best for the extension of religion and Catholic education. We are surrounded by many temporal difficulties, yet come to us in the name of God! I promise you, for myself and people, and the colonists generally, a peaceful home for your community, and as vast a field for your zeal as Sisters of Mercy as your hearts can desire. Come, then, in God's name."
On her return to Buenos Ayres, the Mother Superior at once prepared to leave with her beloved Sisters. Moneys given her for the support of orphans and other charitable works she placed in the hands of a responsible committee, and she made the best arrangements possible, under the peculiar circumstances, for perpetuating
the benevolent works the Sisters had originated. She left full power of attorney to two responsible gentlemen to represent the community in the settlement of their property, since sold for the equivalent of nearly one hundred and fifty-one thousand dollars.
At an early hour, February 8th, 1880, all the English-speaking priests in the city said Mass in the convent chapel. The last was celebrated by the Dean, who purified the sacred vessels. At ni the house was crowded with the relatives and friends of the Sisters, several of whom, being Irish-Argentines and Spaniards, saw their parents for the last time on earth. Copious was the tear-shedding, as they took their places in the carriages which conveyed them to the Boca, where they embarked for the Outer Roads.
The deepest regret was felt at their departure, for they were singularly beloved by the people. Yet it was expedient for them to go; and their nearest and dearest said not a word of disapproval, keenly as they felt the separation. Were the Argentine Confederation like the great republic at the other end of the American continent, never would they have left its shores. It is impossible to detail all the causes that led to this result, so deplored by the friends of order and religion throughout the country. Nor have these friends been without a confident hope that, in happier days, the dark-robed Sisters to whom they were so loyal in times of sorrow and peril, will again gladden the land. But of those who sailed on the Royal Mail, Guadiana, on the memorable 8th of February, 1880, none will again see the River of Silver,
Sixteen Sisters of Mercy have slept their last sleep in the Argentine capital, and await the resurrection in a beautiful cemetery, where the friends of the order“ see that their graves are kept green” and decked with the choicest flowers.
On reaching England, the Sisters took their places in the very next vessel that started for Australia. Easter Sunday they spent at Madeira. When they stopped at the Cape of Good Hope for water, Bishop Leonard came on board to visit them. He thought the party too large for Adelaide, and asked for a few to begin the good work in a convent he had just finished. But to Adelaide all had been sent, and the good Mother did not feel authorized to change the destination of any. Shortly after, Bishop Leonard went to Ireland for Sisters of Mercy. In less than three months from the date of leaving South America, the Buenos Ayres Religious were established in their Australian home, May 3. Here they found the coveted peace. Their co-religionists welcomed them with effusion, and those who differed from them in creed were kindly disposed towards them, and not unwilling to aid their efforts for the relief of the suffering and the enlightenment of the ignorant. The alternating terrors, surprises, and petty annoyances of Mother M. Evangelista's South American experience, made her value the quiet of her new home. “Verily,” she would say, “ Australia is a land of peace and liberty.”
“Buenos Ayres,” she wrote, “is not a place for our order, and will not be for years to come.
Often when ill there (for I had very poor health, owing, I think, to anxiety of mind), I felt I could gladly lay down my life, but for the thought of leaving my beloved Sisters so unprotected in such a country. Now, thank God, I can die with a mind easy on that head. We are really in a Christian land. There were more priests there than here, and ten times as many churches, but the whole state of things was different. To explain all would be simply impossible. Some things on which all the others hinge I am not at liberty to mention. And to give a superficial explanation would be as repugnant to my nature as unsatisfactory to you. We must only let the dead past bury its dead.
“We are not as well off temporally as we were in South America, but our peace and happiness in other ways are beyond explanation. I never look back to our sojourn in Buenos Ayres, save to bless God for His wonderful deliverance of us from its dangers. Our home was undermined by communists. This had nothing to do with our first motive in resolving to leave. But it certainly increased our joy when we got permission, and our gratitude to God when we learned that another revolution broke out shortly after we left."
The six years of Mother M. Evangelista's residence in Adelaide were years of toil and progress. Now that she was free from mental anxiety of the worst species, her health improved greatly. On June 21, 1886, she became slightly ill. Her sufferings, borne with exemplary patience, increased hourly, but there was nothing to alarm her loving children. On the 29th, the doctor found her almost well; and she declared herself quite well. The bishop came to her room and was about to compliment her on her healthy appearance, when she suddenly said: "Bless me, my Lord, I am dying.” He placed his indulgenced cross in her hands and gave her absolution as she closed her eyes in death, without a single struggle, as if going to sleep. She was in the sixty-fourth year of her age, and had spent forty-two years in Religion. Her last act befitted her singularly holy life—an instruction on devotion to the Blessed Virgin. Within the convent and outside of it, her death was lamented as the greatest calamity that could befall religion and education in South Australia. Her talent for governing was of the highest order, and she had the faculty, so precious to one in
her responsible position, of winning the love of all who came in contact with her. Though never free from the cross, she was always cheerful, even gay. “She had lived the life of a saint,” said one of her devoted children, “and died the death of one.”
Despite the almost constant persecution the commuity endured in Buenos Ayres, the Mother Superior kept up its intellectual life. She sent to Dublin, London, and the United States for the best works on subjects of interest to her flock; and her letters frequently bewail the difficulty of getting direct the literary treasures she coveted. “Books and periodicals are often delayed," she wrote; “the Meditations have not yet come, but I expect them. I got some American books lately that could not be got in England, on Natural Philosophy, etc.” She was a woman of exceptional literary gifts. Her knowledge of Spanish and other languages was most useful in cosmopolitan Buenos Ayres. She had a great facility for translating or adapting the beauties of other tongues into English or Spanish. Her translations of the Dies Ira, the Lauda Sion, and the verses of St. Francis Xavier, show that she was thoroughly familiar with the Latin idiom, and are not unfit to rank with any translations that have been made of those glorious hymns. But the great troubles that had come upon her in Spanish, so to say, gave it such unpleasant associations that in her closing years she rarely spoke the language of the gods. “We have no Spanish ways,” she wrote from Australia; "we just rose up to come here, and all Spanish ways fell off us. We sometimes talk a leetle Spanish at recreation, just for fun.” Yet she occasionally uses Spanish in her letters, especially the word which represents the virtue she had such need of, paciencia.
During her last voyage, literary societies were formed by the passengers, and the captain, forgetting that all poets have not the gift of rhyme, insisted that every member should write a poem. Mother M. Evangelista, usually so bright, was on that occasion unaccountably depressed, yet her lines were the best received, though she bewails the dreariness of life, and confesses that the companions of her lonely hours are often the faded ghosts of former joys. Some of her verses are not without beauty:
“O, poor soul weary,
In exile dreary,
Like poor bird nestless,
Her heart turns fondly to the home of her childhood and early religious life, but she speedily lifts her eyes to heaven, where her treasure is:
“Soul deep desiring,
Soul high aspiring,
There is home fairer,
There is joy rarer,
“ Eye bath not seen it,
Ear hath not heard it,
Hath ne'er believed it,
Hath ne'er conceived it,
The Buenos Ayres Religious continue to practice on the islandcontinent the virtues which spread the good odor of Jesus Christ in their former home. Nor have their labors, prayers, and sufferings been wholly fruitless in the city of good air. Religion is again asserting her rights in the Argentine Republic. And when that fair land will have ceased to be a refuge and a theatre for the lawless of other nations, posterity will hear with wonder, and not without indignation, of the pressure of strange and untoward events and circumstances which forced the Sisters of Mercy, who had come so far to assuage misery and enlighten ignorance, to appeal to the Holy Father himself to authorize their removal to a more congenial land.
God has blessed and prospered these devoted women in their Australian home. The successor of the holy mother whom they still mourn is a memento of their sojourn in South America, Sister M. Clare Murphy, an Irish-Argentine (that is, born of Irish parents in the Argentine Republic), who joined the Mercy Sisterhood in Buenos Ayres in 1869.
i Her immediate successor was Mother M. Liguori Griffin, the same who took charge of the Lazaretto at the Argentine capital during the worst days of the yellow fever. She became ill just after the funeral of her beloved Mother Evangelista, lingered for eighteen months, and died a most holy death, April 25, 1887. Miss Griffin was daughter of Dr. Griffin, of the Jervis Street Hospital, Dublin, and was educated at Rathfarnham Abbey. She was regarded in her distant homes, Buenos Ayres and Adelaide, as an angel of charity.