As a young sister, Mother Mary Cecilia Bailly taught English and music at the Academy.

As the years went by Sister Mary Cecilia taught English and music at the Academy. She was very successful and was known for her charming personality and shrewd intelligence.

Sister Mary Cecilia’s nieces Rose and Frances Howe started attending the Academy in the mid-1850s. It was noted by Rose that Sister Mary Cecilia showed them no favor. Rose Howe eventually became the first graduate of the Academy.

During this time, Sister Mary Cecilia was elected Mother Theodore’s first assistant. When Sister Basilide Sénéschal, who had been in charge of the Academy, was sent to Madison, Ind., Sister Mary Cecilia was chosen to replace her as directress of the school.

Then in the last year of Mother Theodore’s life, Sister St. Francis Xavier Le Fer died. She was the mistress of novices. So Sister Mary Cecilia was called by Mother Theodore to handle the job until the next election.

This article was written by Paul Beel, a staff member in the Mission Advancement office and an admirer of Mother Mary Cecilia Bailly. Paul is also a Providence Associate.