Monday, September 8, 2014

Encyclopedia of religious habits

Who were these nuns? Summer school students in the 1950s
at MSMC. (Mount Archives photo.)
MANY OF OUR OLD PICTURES carry no information on the back. The photo above shows up in a folder titled "Sisters in Traditional Habits" but doesn't identify the women. All we know is that they're not Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.

Luckily, the University of Dayton has an important, wonderful (and not to mention cute) resource online that identifies the traditional habits of more than 100 religious orders of women. Instead of photographs like the one above, they're pictures of miniature, hand-sewn costumes on porcelain dolls measuring about seven inches tall.  The landing page at UD has information about how the collection was developed.

We're able to identify the habit above as that of the Daughters of Mary and Joseph in their distinctive embroidered teal-blue scapulars.

Starting back in the 1920s, many teaching orders sent their nuns to the Mount for summer school classes toward a degree or credential. Thanks, U. Dayton! Now we can at least figure out where they came from.

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