SISTERS IN FAITH

Sisters in Faith

The duty of a Deaconess is to assist in the work of the Parish, Mission, or Institution to which she may be appointed, under the direction of the Rector or Priest in Charge; or, if there be none such, to perform such functions as may be directly entrusted to her by the Bishop. The Deaconess and her Ministry in the Episcopal Church

From 1885 to 1970, many women opted to be set aside as deaconesses. They both directed and taught in homes and shelters, offered classes in everything from baptism and confirmation to sewing. They overturned the general expectations of women’s place and developed innovative ways to serve, traveling to impoverished settlements and to foreign missions. They dealt with the vicissitudes of war, language, weather, and disease so that they might improve the lives of others. Many of their names have been forgotten, and many of their adventures remain unrecorded; some may be found in newspapers, archival records, academic papers and books, and/or in online resources such as those offered by Project Canterbury, the Archives of the Episcopal Church, the Episcopal Women’s History Project, and the Fund for the Diaconate.

This list of commemorations, offered in recognition of their service, was inspired by Deacon Ormond Plater, whose  Calendar of Deacon Saints “canonizes” deacons “of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom.” 

Sisters in Faith will be updated on an ongoing basis. (Access brief biographies and list of resources by clicking on picture or date below.)

COMMEMORATIONS

January-April

Jan. 5 Clara Orwig
Jan. 8 Harriet Bedell
Jan. 9 Adeline Tyler
Jan. 14 Leonora Kelton
Jan. 27 Eva Hammitt Crump    
Incomplete: Pauline Whipple
Feb. 2 Edith Booth
Feb. 16 Annette Relf
Feb. 20 Gertrude Knight
Feb. 21 Kate Newell
March 11 Gertrude Stewart
March 15 Isabella Gilmore,
Maria Williams
March 31 Elsie Riebe
April 18 Elizabeth Ferard
April 25 Ruth Byllesby
April 26 Mary Libbey
April 30 Maude Henderson

May-August

May 10 Anna Barbour
May 17 Margaret Booz
May 19 Evelyn Ashcroft
May 21 Jean Colesberry
June 9 Mary Ward
June 10 Alice Mayer,
Elizabeth Boorman
June 11 Katherine Gilmore
June 29 Miriam Allen
July 4 Harriet Parkhill
July 5 Mary Louise Kneeves
July 9 Eliza Christman
July 10 Mary Bechtler
July 13 Bertha Sabine
July 25 Gertrude Whitfield
Aug. 9 Wish Whiting
Aug. 23 Alice Cowan
Aug. 24 Della King
Aug. 27 Sarah Peppers
Aug. 29 Anna Armstrong

September-December

Sept. 17 Henrietta Goodwin
Sept. 28 Sarah Kirtland Barker
Oct. 9 Edwardina Crane
Oct. 20 Kate Shaw
Oct. 27 Sophie Miller
Nov. 20 Heath Dudley
Nov. 21 Susan Knapp
Nov. 28 Anna Ranson
Dec. 15 Lucretia Chester
Dec. 26 Mary Burnham
Dec. 28 Dora Dawson
Dec. 29 Han Hsien-Tsz
Dec. 30 Caroline Sanford

*For questions, additions, corrections, etc., contact Patricia Marks
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