United States Province
In 1851, Fr. Louis de Goesbriand, who was then the Vicar General for the diocese of Cleveland, went home to Brittany for a visit. After requesting to read the Society’s Constitution, he saw at once how well the Society’s charism fit with the needs of the people in the United States. In addition, the fact that the Daughters of the Heart of Mary never wore habits gave them an advantage, because they could be among the people without any outward signs that would create barriers.
By 1851, the United States of America was only 75 years old. Father Louis was pleased to find three brave women willing to leave family, friends, and their beloved country to journey to a strange new land. All for God. On September 24, 1851, the Feast of Our Lady of Mercy, this small but valiant party of four embarked on the SS Humboldt.
On October 8, 1851, after 15 days on a turbulent sea, the fateful day arrived. The Society of the Daughters of the Heart of Mary took root in the United States of America. At 5:00 pm, the SS Humboldt docked at the Port of New York. There to greet then warmly was Bishop Amadeus Rapp of Cleveland, Ohio.
On Friday, October 10, 1851, the small group arrived in Cleveland, their new home. They first took refuge with the Ursulines. On December 6, 1851, the first Saturday of the month, the Society was able to move to a small wooden house. The works of the Society quickly began to bear fruit. The Daughters of the Heart of Mary took in their first orphan on Christmas Day 1851, and her name was Mary.
Today, the United States Province of the Daughters of the Heart of Mary includes “Reunions”, or locations, across the United States. The U.S. Provincial House is in Holyoke Massachusetts. DHM ministries in the U.S. include chaplaincies, healthcare and health care administration, education, municipal development, diocesan administration, pastoral support, and spiritual direction.
If you are interested in learning more about Vowed Religious Life as a Daughter of the Heart of Mary, please contact us at (413) 534-4502.