In the She Built NYC initiative to honor women of historical significance, it should be known that Roman Catholic religious sisters have had a significant impact upon the life of New York City for over 200 years
It begins with St. Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton, foundress of the Sisters of Charity, who pioneered parochial schools, orphanages, hospitals, and colleges, which have served the immigrant poor women and children at a time when there was no government social welfare network for either individuals or families.
A prime example is the St. Joseph's Female Orphan Asylum (St. Joseph's Home) in Bedford-Stuyvesant, where my orphaned mother, Marie, and her three sisters, were domiciled in the 1930's and 40's due to family misfortune.
Without the acts of charity and mercy of the Sisters of Charity toward my mother, I may not be here today.
And then look at the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, who were my parochial school teachers at St. Patrick's School in Clinton Hill, and how they gave such an excellent intellectual, moral, and spiritual education to immigrants, particularly amongst the Irish and Italians.
The Pallottine Sisters in Clinton Hill served the community with the St. Thomas the Apostle day nursery school (well before the city’s pre-K initiative) and in PS 157. The list goes on.
Joseph N. Manago