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Hardey, Mary Aloysia, Mother


Religious superior; b. Piscataway, MD, Dec. 8, 1809; d. Paris, France, June 17, 1886. Her parents were Frederick William and Sarah (Spalding) Hardey, descendants of colonial Maryland Catholics. The family moved to the South, and Mary Ann grew up with her eight brothers and sisters on the Hardey plantation at Opelousas, La. She was educated at the Convent of the Sacred Heart, Grand Coteau, La., and entered the novitiate there in 1825, taking the name Aloysia. She was professed in 1833 and three years later became superior of the convent at St. Michael's, La. where she met (Bl.) Philippine Duchesne, first missionary of the Society of the Sacred Heart in America. Mother Aloysia left the South in 1841 to begin her work on the Atlantic seaboard as foundress and superior of the first house of her society in New York City. The convent on Houston Street later became Manhattanville College, situated at Purchase, NY, since 1955. She was superior at Manhattanville for 25 years, and in 1844 became superior vicar of all the houses of the society in the eastern states and Canada. To the six foundations that she made in New York, Philadelphia, Pa, Buffalo and Albany, N.Y., Detroit, Mich., and Cincinnati, Ohio, she added two in Canada, Montreal and Halifax, and one in Havana, Cuba. She was appointed (1871) assistant general representing the houses of the British Empire and North America and was stationed (1872) at the motherhouse in Paris. Her office obliged her to travel widely and in the following years she returned several times to North America.

Bibliography: m. a. williams, Second Sowing: The Life of Mary Aloysia Hardey (New York 1942). l. callan, The Society of the Sacred Heart in North America (New York 1937).

[m. m. green]

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