SISTER MARY OF JESUS NOIRY, CCVI, FIRST CONGREGATIONAL FUNDRAISER
She was one of the founders of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Far from her native France, Sister Mary of Jesus was fearless, and equally determined to seek funds in support of the orphans in their care. For nine years starting in 1874 she hitched a team of horses to a buggy, put on an old army overcoat, a straw hat and large boots over her traditional habit, carried a brace of pistols for protection and set out to ask for funds. She was usually accompanied by one of the older orphan boys and one of them was Charles Collins, who would later work for the sisters on campus with his future wife, Viola, another orphan, and spend their lives here well into the 20th century.
Sister Mary of Jesus earned the title of “Heroine of the Prairies.” When she arrived in a town in her special garb people would often ask ‘who or what are you?’ She was a determined fundraiser who would not be ignored. Once when she extended a hand for a donation a man spat in it. Calmly she extended the other hand and said, “That was for me, but what about the children?”
Her adventures were much later captured in the television series, Wagon Train.
This is part of our heritage. Making a difference.