Mother Mary Cecilia Bailly ministered at the St. Ann Orphan Asylum (St. Ann Orphanage) in Terre Haute, Ind.

In 1880 Mother Mary Cecilia, at her own request, was transferred to St. Ann Orphan Asylum in Terre Haute, Ind. She taught the children Catechism and was very interested in making them happy. There was one instance where she helped a little girl with shoes. A sister-purchaser had just returned with shoes for all of the orphans. One little girl was sitting close to Mother Mary Cecilia while trying on her shoes. The girl was disappointed because the shoes she really wanted had blue tops and not red tops. Overhearing this, Mother Mary Cecilia had the sister-purchaser take the girl back to the store and get her the shoes she wanted.

She would serve at the orphanage for 18 years. Besides teaching and attending to the business of the orphanage, she found time to write “The Life of Mother Theodore.” This was instrumental in the evidence presented for Mother Theodore to become a saint. She also wrote a biography of Sister St. Francis Xavier Le Fer, the once angelic mistress of novices.

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.