After refreshments, socializing, and a brief business meeting, the presentations began. Historian Ellen Skerrett provided a fascinating account of her research for the historical installation she curated for the National Shrine of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini. The shrine, located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago, originally closed in 2002 after Columbus Hospital was sold. A grand re-opening of the shrine was planned for 2012, and Ellen was hired by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to research the life of Mother Cabrini to help prepare an exhibit in her honor.
|Mother Cabrini's address book on exhibit. |
Photo credit: THE NATIONAL SHRINE OF ST. FRANCES XAVIER CABRINI
The second presenter was Marcia Stein, Archivist for the Robert M. Myers Archives of the Chicago Province, Society of the Divine Word. Marcia’s talk was a wonderful complement to Ellen’s because it provided an archivist’s perspective on the process of writing history. In 2010, Marcia launched a project to have the SVDs write the histories of the communities in their Province, an ambitious undertaking that would take four years to reach fruition. Marcia detailed the steps involved in guiding this project, starting with building enthusiasm via the order’s newsletter and getting buy-in from the order’s leadership, to writing a charter, holding a planning meeting, and gathering the histories as they were completed.
|Marcia Stein, Archivist for the Robert M. Myers |
Archives of the Chicago Province, Society of the Divine Word
The meeting concluded with a brief presentation from Malachy McCarthy about the work he and Brother Dan Magner (also present at the meeting) are doing on a pictorial history of the Claretian Missionaries, USA Province. The next CARA meeting will occur in Fall 2014. We hope to see you then!