“She was an essential part of the endeavor to make Saint Mary-of-the-Woods an autonomous facility, maintaining its own farm, dairy, orchard, coal mine and bakery, in addition to the cannery,” Sister Mary Roger Madden wrote in the commentary for Sister Mary Henry Brames (RIP), the subject of this week’s Throwback Thursday.
Receiving requests in any way from people regarding the Sisters of Providence and Throwback Thursday blogs is so refreshing, and we want to thank Linda Schroering for requesting this blog. Sister Mary Henry was her great-aunt.
Agnes Brames was born on Nov. 26, 1896, in Jasper, Indiana, the daughter of Henry and Elizabeth (Heilers) Brames.
Agnes entered the Congregation on Feb. 10, 1919, and was given the religious name Sister Mary Henry.
Throughout her 74 years as a Sister of Providence, she ministered as a cook, initially in large convents where the Sisters of Providence taught, in Illinois and Indiana.
However, in 1934, Mother Gertrude Clare asked Sister Mary Henry to begin a ministry at the Motherhouse, and she did – for the next 42 years.
Sister Mary Henry became the director of operations at the cannery, where Sister Mary Roger said, “fresh fruits and vegetables were prepared for tables in Providence, the Novitiate, Infirmary, Academy and later college dining rooms.”
Sister Mary Ann Lechner was in the novitiate when Sister Mary Henry ministered there. Recently, she recalled peeling apples as a novice at the cannery, which was north of Providence Hall.
“She was a very gentle woman. She was never rushed, she just seemed to go,” Sister Mary Ann said. “She loved jigsaw puzzles and was so faithful every day.”
In her commentary, Sister Mary Roger continued, “It seems safe to say that no sister now living can remember when Sister Mary Henry Brames was not part of our family life as Sisters of Providence. Her quiet, unassuming, but remarkably productive life has touched every one of us, and we shall miss her.”