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Founded at Dublin, in 1857, by Margaret Aylward, under the direction of Rev. John Gowan, C.M., for the care of Catholic orphans. The foundress was called a confessor of the Faith by Pius IX, because of the imprisonment of six months she endured on account of her efforts to save some Catholic orphans from the hands of proselytizers. The congregation is especially active in the Archdiocese of Dublin, the residence of the superior general being at Glasnevin, where the sisters conduct a boarding-school for young ladies. In the original foundation, St. Brigid's Orphanage, Dublin, nearly three thousand orphans have been trained and placed in trades and situations. The members of the congregation also conduct primary schools, private day schools, infants' schools, and junior boys' schools. In their Coombe and Strand Street (Dublin) houses, which have an attendance of 1200 and 800 respectively, the poor receive their breakfast daily, and are also provided with clothing. Altogether the sisters in the fourteen convents of the archdiocese have charge of about seven thousand children. In the Diocese of Ossory a community of eight sisters conducts two primary schools and a private day school, with an attendance of 160.


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The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

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