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Edes, Ella B.


Journalist; b. Dec. 7, 1832; d. Pescina, near Pinerolo, Italy, Feb. 27, 1916. A member of an old New England family, Miss Edes was baptized a Catholic on Feb. 25, 1852. In about 1866 she took up permanent residence in Rome, where she did secretarial work for Cardinal Alessandro Barnabò, prefect of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith. After 1870 she became Roman correspondent for various newspapers, including the Tablet (London); the New York Herald; the New York World (as "Anne Brewster"?); the Brooklyn Daily Eagle; the New York Freeman's Journal and Catholic Register; and the Catholic Review and Catholic News (New York). Her interest was in Roman ecclesiastical events. She remained intensely loyal to the successors of her confessor, Abp. John hughes of New York, and placed her reportorial talents at their disposal. As an agent of Abp. Michael A. corrigan and his "conservative party" in their conflict with the "progressive" American bishops, Miss Edes incurred the displeasure of the latter. Increasingly unwell after 1900, she closed her Rome apartment at "Via della Mercede, 21" in 1908, and retired to northern Italy. Some of her correspondence with ecclesiastics has been preserved in the archives of the archdioceses of Baltimore, New York, and St. Paul, the Diocese of Rochester, and the American Catholic Historical Society of Philadelphia.

Bibliography: h. j. browne, The Catholic Church and the Knights of Labor (Catholic University of America, Studies in American Church History 38; Washington 1949) and d. f. reilly, The School Controversy 18911893 (Washington 1943) touch on Miss Edes's role in Church conflicts.

[r. f. mcnamara]

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