Sisters of Charity Federation Archives

Honeychuck, Sister Francis Louise Oral History


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Sister of Charity Oral Histories
Interviewee: Sr. Francis Louise Honeychuck
Interviewer: Sr. Marie Corona Miller
July 15, 1987

This interview is being conduced as part of the Oral History program of the Sisters
of Charity of Seton Hill. The interviewee is Sister. Francis Louise Honeychuck. The
interview is being conducted by Sister. Marie Corona Miller at De Paul Institute. The
date is July 15th, 1987.
Sr. M: Good morning Sister Francis Louise

Sr. F.L: Good morning, how are you today?

Sr. M: I’m fine how are you.
Sr. F.L: I’m fine thank you.

Sr. M: All right sister I came here to today to talk to you about your life as a sister of
charity all the many things you have done and the ministries you have been involved
in. Would you like to begin with your date of birth?

Sr. F.L: I was born in Mount pleasant October 23, 1914 I have one sister whose name
is Helen she’s married she lives in Florida, clear water and um originally she lived in
Greensburg and her children attended Cathedral school and she has 5 children and
they are all married except one and um her oldest daughter lives in Westminster
Colorado and her two daughters are attending Catholic university in Washington DC
there first year in college first and second year in college they both have college
scholarships very bright children and she has two other sons who are also very
bright her next daughter her oldest boy is Regus who was a went to St. Vincent
college for a scholarship and then he went to Pitt University and received his master
degree in Chemical Engineering. And then later on he went on for his doctorate and
now he worked at Westinghouse for many years and he moved to Lakeland because
his wife had arthritis and she was recommended to go to a warmer climate. So they
have 5 children also and the oldest daughter is ready for college this beginning of
September. Jimmy is another son and he lives in Orlando and he also has his
master’s degree in Engineering and the youngest boy is John he has a masters
degree in Electrical Engineering. And I have a brotherFather Bob who was educated
at St. Vincent’s college and he is the oldest in the family and he has gone been to
Pittsburgh Diocese then it was split and then he went to Greensburg of course and
he’s now retired and he lives at Polyment house. He’s my favorite brother of course
and our brother Andrew lives in Cleveland and he has is married and has 5 children
and they’re all married and I can’t begin to tell you all their relationships because it’s
so many children ok and then Brother Johnny is my youngest one and he lives in
Irwin and he was 5 children and they’re all married.

Sr. M: Which one is the nurse sister?

Sr. F.L: And Larry whose the nurse and he lives in Mount Lebanon and he goes to our
lady of Grace Parish and he has 2 children and they’re married. Ok that’s the extent
of my family. My mother of course was a widow and she my father died in 1918 flu
and so my mother had to work and she took in washings and all kinds of things in
order to keep us together, and she was determined not to leave us go to any other
families you know she kept us together and so we all survived under my mothers
care and all grew up and I remember going into first grade and I attended St. Johns
school and Sister Mary Eustice Mellon was my first teacher happy memories
because I remember she asked us to say the sounds of the alphabet A “a” B “ba” C
“ca” and I remember I use to do that at home when I was a little girl and I would look
at the story books and she gave me a metal a beautiful little metal and she said you
go to that other class because you remember all the sounds of the alphabet but the
very first day I remember she went around saying what’s your name what is your
name what is your name 60 children in a classroom you know we had 3 in a seat or
2 in a seat you know and she said what’s your name what’s your name what’s your
name and after the 4th time I was tired of hearing say what’s your name I said I told
you my name before and guess what I got a little crack. But anyhow I learned
quickly to be quite you know.
Sr.M: So what school was this?

Sr. F.L: St. James, St. John the Baptist school in Scottdale. Ok now I remember some
of the teachers we had after coming to 4th grade I had Sister Mary Martin Wit and in
5th grade Sister Perpetua Behe in 8th grade Sister Salome Kline and they were happy
memories you know then I got into high school and then I had some wonderful
teachers in high school I remember them very distinctly.
Sr.M: And what High School is this?

Sr. F.L: This is St. Johns St. Johns it was just the 3rd floor of the school and I had Sister
Angelica Little, Sister Suzanne McIntire she taught me Spanish, Sister Joanna
Gleeson was English, and Sister Bertha Shay and I remember her, very distinguished
she talked in Latin and oh I love Latin and Sister Marie Anthony was my report
teacher Sister Anthony and we had about 16 I guess 20 students in the class and a
Sr.M: In the whole class?

Sr. F.L: In in my class, in my class ok

Sr. M: About how many were in the high school?

Sr. F.L: About 90 maybe 100 all through and Sister Bertha was a favorite teacher of
mine I liked her and Sister Marie Anthony of course taught the Geometry and the
science general science classes. So I remained in high school until I was about till the

Junior year and it was then I was contemplating and I remember very distinctly I
was eating I took my lunch to school and we Sister Marie Anthony was there
watching the lunch hour they take turns, one day it was Sister Marie Anthony the
next day it was Sister Suzanne they took something time. And we were eating our
lunch one day and she said to me you know I dreamed about you last night and I
said you did? Ya she said I dreamed you were a Sister of Charity and I said Oh I don’t
know about that but I’ve been thinking about it, I’ve been thinking about it. And so
then I began to pray a lot you know and think about what I would like to do I wasn’t
quit sure but I just knew well I wanted to devote myself and I remember one day at
home my brother Andy and I were playing a game and he said and you know you
have to say what would you like to be would you like to be a sailor you like to be a
nurse you like to be this and so a saint was there and I said I wanted to be a saint
and he said no you be a saint I said yes I’m going to be a saint but anyhow I thought
you know that I thought well I wanted to think about being my vocation. So I then
after that I approached sister Marie Anthony and I said you know what I’m thinking
about entering the community and she said I’m not surprised so Sister Germaine
and Sister Richard Ann, Mother Richard Ann and Sister Mary Watson we were all
thinking about it too so then not much was said except for ?? She said well where
would you like to go and I said well guess I think you got to break the ice don’t all
three go together she said that’s not good
Sr. M: Were all of you in the same class?

Sr. F.L: We were in the same class we were junior year and so she said I think you
got to break the ice, so I said I think maybe March 25th would be nice so in the
October before that I went to Seton Hill to petition and I can’t remember who I went
with probably with Sister Germaine I’m not sure but Mother Eveline Fisher was the
Mother general, so she said you’re from Scottdale and I said yes and she said when
would you like to come? And I said well I think maybe March 25th and she said oh
that nice she said we have quit a few but I think you’re the first one to apply for that
date I think you’re probably the first one but she said threes a girl in college that’s
thinking about coming and she didn’t tell me who that was, but later I found that
was Sister Eugene O’Donnell, and so I went home and I told my mother that I
wanted and she said you wanna go to the community don’t you wanna finish your
high school and I said I think maybe I want to go now. So then I wrote a letter to
Father Bob and he was at St. Vincent’s at the time and I wanted to get him opinion
and he though well kind of young you know and so he did so then he wrote back and
he said he didn’t know about that, but then he said yes you can by all means go he
said you have my blessing or he said you know whatever I can’t remember what he
said but he said ill pray that you enter the Catholic vocation and God be with you
that was it. So then I remember we were getting ready, and Sister Marie Anthony
said you need some clothes you need this you need that, Sister Joanne offered to
make me a Kimona and I said well I already have one I already made one myself and
she said oh you sew and I said yes. So then they had a party for me my class had a
party so we went to Kate Sherman’s house and they presented me with a napkin
ring so that I have a napkin ring for my napkin at you know on the table those days

you had your own napkin ring ok. So that’s what they gave me as a gift, we had nice
evening had a nice party and I remember boys wanted to dance with me and I said
ok it’s the last time we’ll dance so we danced and we had some music and so on and
I came home and Larry brought me home cuz he was invited to the party and so
March came and I kept thinking you know oh gosh it was midnight we got worried
that I shouldn’t go until Easter Sunday because, March 25th in that year fell on Good
Friday so they said do you think we should come on Good Friday wait till Easter
Sunday. So Easter Sunday came and everything was bright and beautiful of course
they had Easter candy all around and the bishop baskets you name it everything to
make it look inviting. So I remember going up to the clothes room and the sister in
charge was Sister Agnes Francina and she had a black dress for me and little black
lace cap to put on my head and she said here I think this will fit you so we put it on
and I said well ill go down to the parlor and see how everybody likes me so I went
down to the parlor and Sister Marie Anthony was there and Sister Germaine and
Mother Richard Ann
Sr. M: They all went with you?

Sr. F.L: They all went with me yes
Sr.M: How did you all go?

Sr.F.L: Sister Germaine’s father drove the car ok, my mother didn’t go she said
goodbye to me at home and so they took me and so I went down and remember said
how do you like me? They said well you look kinda nice, and name? looked at me
and she said she kept thinking you know I guess I’ll be next you know because she
was contemplating being in a spot in September and so we stayed for a little while
and Sister Theodosia came down and took me up to the Bishop
Sr. M: And she was the mistress?

Sr. F.L: She was the mistress, she was the first mistress back then, we were the first
novices ok her first novices. So I went up to the Bishop and I met Sister Jean Francis
Peters, and she just got the white cap, and Sister Agatha, Sister Alice Marie and
Theresa Martin and Margery and Anne Matthia and all that whole gang there was a
whole good many.
Sr.M: What Sister Margery was that?

Sr. F.L: Sister Margery, she’s the one that just died from cancer a couple years ago.
And so we went I went to the chapel and Sister Marie Anthony took me to the chapel
after their incident, and she took me all the way up to the front pew on the Saint
Josephs sides I remember distinctly, and she said now you’re here and you tell God
you’re here to stay that’s what she said to me, you tell God you’re here to stay. And
so I prayed for a while and she took me out and we went down to the parlor for a
little while and we said goodbye to everybody and that was the end of that. Sister

Marie Anthony’s visit, and so they all went home and said goodbye. So then I went
up to the Bishop and I didn’t know what to expect you know it was all such a big
thing to me.
Sr.M: Now where was the Bishop Sister?

Sr.F.L: The Bishop is where the Sister’s community room is now. Ok, and the senior
division used that room across the hall you know they had a piano in there and so
that whole floor was really the Bishop floor. We use to go to the oratory you know
right across from them. Ok I was taken up to the fifth floor and shown where my bed
room was suppose to be, it was really a dormitory with curtains all the way around
Sr.M: Now this is the administration building.

Sr. F.L.: Administration building, and Sister Rose Irene Boggs was in charge up there
and she was the senior in that room. Sister Clara Marie McManama was in that room
and Sister Rose Irene, and she showed me where the washrooms were, and told me
when to get up early in the morning five o’clock in the morning, and I thought oh
dear and morning prayers etc. So while I was a postulant I remained in that area.
And I remember distinctly after about a month’s time I got very very homesick
Sr.M: Now were you the only postulant?
Sr. F.L.: In that room

Sr.M: Well I mean though in the group

Sr. F.L.: Oh no oh no, I should tell you that five entered
Sr.M: On that same day?

Sr. F.L.: On that same day, and they wore, they were Mary Greeley from Johnstown
and Sister Jean Seton she got the name from when she became a white cap, and I
can’t remember her Baptismal name. Sister Ruthann Kronenberger, and Sister
Eugene O’Donnell and myself. And Mary Ann Greely only stayed about two weeks,
she got very homesick and decided she wanted to go home. Sister Jean Seton was in
the community only six months, she got the white cap and decided she wanted to go
home, but we didn’t know she was going it was all on the secret we just missed her
and then sister asked if she was gone. So that left the three of us, Sister Ruthann,
Sister Eugene, and myself. Now Sister Ruthann was missioned out west in various
places, Scottdale and so on and she was a really wonderful companion, so was Sister
Eugene. I remember being in class with Sister Ruthann we were studying American
History and also Children’s Literature in summer school at Seton Hill.
Sr. M: Who taught those classes?

Sr.F.L: Oh I can’t remember who they are. Sister Mary Ann Joseph was the Literature
teacher and oh she was so exciting and wonderful, I just loved everything. Sister
Mary Fidelis taught the American History. Well, I had so much work to do I had an
awful lot of reading, Sister Mary Ann Joseph had all kinds of things that we had to
read about which was very fascinating to me which I, and Sister Mary Fidelis had all
kinds of assignments and I had to do an awful lot of reading and I have spent most of
the time with history, because I had a test every week and I also had a test every
week in the Literature. So we would go out on the swing, out in the yard and Sister
Ruthann would say to me now Francine did you read this story and I said no I
couldn’t have time I was doing history I was doing history I said I had to make this
book report for history and I said I had to go to the library and think what I was
gonna do for history make a pickery board. So I though I’ll go to the I’ll read this
certain book, because I know the name, it was Ulysses Grant I knew something
about him, I thought this is something easy I have to pick something easy because I
don’t have time, I had so much preparation to do. It was just so much the
assignments were so heavy. So sister Ruthann would say to me remember Moby
Dick goes with this, and so and so goes with that remember this, so she would the
night before the tests, she would tell me all these different things about this
Sr. M: Were you in the same class?

Sr. F.L: The same class, and I said well I recall this and I recall this and I recall this,
but I don’t have time to be studying this. So we took the test and low and behold we
passed both of us but I thought oh how could I ever go through a summer like this
again, I will never take two heavy classes again because each of those classes
required so much reading and so much preparation. In fact it was so hard on me that
I didn’t even go to recreation would you believe it. I couldn’t take time, and the
sisters in the dormitory said Francis Louise you gonna come out and play basketball,
you gonna come out and lets go swimming, lets go here, lets go and I said I can’t I
have to study this I have to do this, I have to do this work for tomorrow I had no
recreation it was awful.
Sr. M: What about a charge, were you given a charge?
Sr. F.L: Oh I had a charge; I had a big charge too
Sr.M: Whatcha get?

Sr. F.L: Well I can’t remember I think I had something over in the bathroom in
Cannevan I had to do a bathroom in Cannevan that was an everyday requirement
you know because you had to supply the needs you know that was required, and
besides I’d mop it up once a week, but outside of that you know I was kept very busy
it was a very busy summer. Ask me the question.

Sr.M: How long were you a postulant?

Sr. F.L: I was a postuland for three months. And then I got the white cap, and I
remember going to the oratory and the priest who was in charge of Seton Hill I can’t
remember his name he was a chaplain well he blessed the well I guess it was a
retreat master a retreat master.
Sr.M: Now what year was this?

Sr. F.L.: This was 1934 ok, so after we made may day retreat and I remember going
to the chapel everyday and the place was packed with Sisters the whole chapels
filled with Sisters everyday, they even had chairs on the side to accommodate you
know people the Sisters who made the retreat. And I remember going to the chapel
everyday and praying and then going to the retreat and we had our retreat exercises
in Cecilian Hall, and the best part about that retreat was to go to bed in the
afternoon and sleep. I tell ya because we get up at five o’clock every morning and I
was always exhausted and I slept, did I sleep, and then I’d carry some my stocking to
darn and downstairs I’d mend my stockings while the person was doing the reading
and it was usually a profess Sister and I think it was Sister Ann Mckale Orielley who
was doing the reading, and she had a beautiful powerful voice and she read for
twenty minutes and after twenty minutes we’d disappear and so do our where we
had to go and then we’d have a four o’clock conference and then early to bed in the
evening which I welcomed; and that was a really restful time for me because it was
something that I really thought I needed.
Sr. M: And this was in preparation for your receiving the habit.

Sr. F.L: Yes, so then the morning, the night before the novices were received, they
announced the names of the candidates who were going to receive their habit, so the
Sister up in the balcony in the Chapel after the prayers were over everybody hold
their ears open you know listening who these names were gonna who the
candidates were gonna be so they named them, and they said Emma Honeychuck
would be named Sister Francis Louise; and I remember hearing that and I was
delighted and Sister Ruthann of course got her name Sister Eugene.
Sr.M: Now where did you tell me about the name Francis?

Sr. F.L: Well I asked for the when I went to petition mother said to me would you
have you would you like think of a name and I said well I’d like to have some form of
Francis or some form of Louise, and she said oh I see, well she said we’ll think about
Sr.M: Now why was that?

Sr. F.L: That was probably maybe a month before I received the habit.

Sr. M: And why why did you want Francis and Louise?

Sr. F.L: Well I know that Louise was connected with Vincent De Paul
Sr. M: I see

Sr. F.L: And I knew that and I petitioned on October 4th at least to Saint Francis,
Francis of Assisi. So and I was surprised that I got those two names and I was happy.
And so I remember the morning that I received the habit you know then we had a
big celebration and you know and a
Sr. M: With all the retreat Sisters?

Sr. F.L: All the retreat Sisters and then of course you know we looked different in our
white caps it was so tight you know with the bows tied and all that and I remember
during the mission days I learned how to tie the white bows and then all be placed
there and I tied the bows, and even when I got to De Paul Sister John Agnes McClory
and Sister and all the Sisters here you know would said Fancis will you tie my bows
will you tie my bows, even the black bows so I learned that quickly you know and
that was kinda fascinating to me it was one of the old things I use to do.
Sr. M: Who made your Habit?

Sr. F.L: Well, Sister Agnes Francina had a Habit.
Sr. M: What was her family name?

Sr. F.L: I can’t remember her family name, but anyhow she well no we all went to
class. We had to do some sewing we had to make our own white sleeves and of
course I knew how to sew because I used to do a lot of sewing when I was little, and
so we you know all got together and did that, so I remember making the white
sleeves, and she would put our names on it and I remember we made our own
collars, and white caps, and she taught us how to do that, and she helped us to make
our Habits, so we had one good Habit for Sunday and one handy down for somebody
else. Yes for your everyday Habit So we
Sr. M: And what color were the Habit’s in those days?

Sr. F.L: Oh they were black of course they were black, and some were flannel the
everyday Habit was a flannel Habit it was made of flannel material and the other
was like a Panama which is a bit of quality it was a nicer, and so I used to remember
that I learned quickly how to make the Habits because when I went to WestEnd I
helped Sister, different Sisters to help fix their Habits I leaned by fixing, I’d rip an old
Habit to see how it was done and how the pleats were fixed you had four pleats
across the bodice and how they were turned, and I remember fixing a Habit one
time for Sister Marie Faycott the pleats were in backwards so I had to I had to rip it

and I said I knew where the mistake was. So then after that I began doing a lot of
sewing mending Habits and making Habits you know petti coats and all that kinda of
Sr. M: Ok now that time when you received the Habit, is that when Mother Richard
Ann entered in the following September?
Sr. F.L: Following September
Sr.M: In 1934

Sr. F.L: Ya, no yes 1934 no wait a minute no she entered I entered in 32 1932 and
she came the September of 1932, see I came in March and she came the following
September and I remember when she entered, she had long black hair and she
Sr.M: So Sister Germaine had not come yet?

Sr. F.L: No, she came the following September, she had graduated school. So then we
started to you know take some classes in preparation for teaching and you know
methods of different methods of you know you had to learn for preparation for
classroom work. So I remember going over to the college and learning at night and
completed my high school year. You know so then one day Annalise came to me one
day and she said do you know you haven’t finished your science you need a credit in
science, and she said Dr. Car will be teaching science this summer and there’s one
young lady from Greensburg who was interest in taking this, and she’s paying for
the course and she said there would just be two people in the class, would consider
taking the science course with her, that’s college credit, and she said if you take this
we would give you a credit for your high school as well, so I said I’ll try it. So we met
Dr. Car and I remember Sister Marie Anthony Lavin was also teaching Chemistry,
and she was teaching on the other side of the table, and she was doing
experimentations with some Chemistry, and she would see us everyday, but she
wasn’t aloud to talk to use cause we were I was a novice and you weren’t aloud to
talk to novices to Profess Sisters even though she was my mother in religion. And so
we got through the course and I passed it and I was very happy. So then when I went
to Duquesne University to work for my degree, I learned that when they transferred
my credits from Seton Hill that I had accreditation in college Chemistry and I
wouldn’t have to take any science at Seton Hill, so I also got my high school and
college for the one course because it was college credit. And that was all due to
Sister De Chantal Leis, which I was very happy. Well then in the mean time I earned
up a lot of credits for college, but I still wasn’t finished high school and I didn’t finish
high school until I came to De Paul Institute. And I remember taking pre
professional examinations and Sister Theresa Vincent Mahoney said to me you
mean you’re gonna study this you going to study this you’re going to do this by
yourself, and I said we have about a year to teach you this, and I said well if you just
give me some regions books so I went to Sister Emanuel Manny, and she gave me
some regions books, and she said what do you want, and I said well I want Economic

Geography and another aspect of Geography and so I studied these regions books,
and I would read on that, and go to the library and get some reference material and
then I would study these answers and so on. So I took the test, and I passed the test
and they were the only two that I needed so then I got my certification though the
state of Pennsylvania and finished my pre professional examinations and I got my
certificate. Well then from then on I was able to go on to my college work, get the
rest of it ok. I don’t know what I wanna say with the mission.
Sr. M: Sister do you wanna talk a little bit about your novitiate days?

Sr. F.L: Yes, um I’d like to say that the good number of Sisters entered with us there
was a good crowd of Sisters there, I remember Sister Ligouri Steinmiller, Sister
Theresa Martin Henry, Sister Ann Agnes, Kilkeary, Sister Rose Irene Boggs,, Sister
Alice MarieCrates, Sister Caroline Joseph Wilson, Sister Helen Hart, Sister Jean
Francis Peters, Sister Sara Marie O’hara, Sister Agatha Procter, Sister Clara Marie
McManama Sister Helen Mary Laferty, Sister Mary Mildred Curry, and Sister Marie
George Abbott. One particular day I remember that when I was very homesick
Sister Alice Marie, and Sister Caroline Joseph took me out to the barn and they said
all kinds of silly things about the cows and the chickens and the everything
connected with the farm and they got me laughing, got me out of my homesickness
which I was very grateful.
Sr.M: Sister can you remember any other incidents during your novitiate days?

Sr. F.L: Oh yes, I think I can remember another incident, I recall that you know we
always had to wash the dishes after the meal was over, in the Sisters dining room
and after serving and passing the pans and reading up and Sister Ligouri Steinmiller
was at the sink at the time, and she was splashing around making a lot of soap suds
and it was going everywhere and somebody got splashed and I said oh splash back
and just then that Sister and I said Saint Theresa did and just at that moment
SisterTheodosia walks in and she said Saint Theresa I never heard that, everybody
Sr.M: Did you serve in the dining room?

Sr. F.L: Oh yes we all had to serve we had to take turns carrying pans and serving the
meals and we carried it on trays always the hot food was prepared in the kitchen
and carried the serving dishes on the trays and carried them into the dining room
and put them on carts and same with the dish pans the soap and the water and the
mops and towels and all that. And after the meal several of us had to take care of the
towels take them down and wash them out and then hang them down in the tunnel
downstairs to dry for the next morning and the next day we’d collect them and some
Sisters worked in the butter house they had to cut the butter and get prepared for
the morning meal it would be breakfast. Other people had to get the pans ready
count them all out get the coffee pots ready I remember two of our Sisters were

appointed to make coffee every morning, they’d go down to the kitchen and use the
big urn you know and oh Sister Mary Terrence she’s the one that did that. One time.
Sr.M: ?

Sr.F.L: Sister Mary Terrence she was in our division too she’s long she’s dead
Sr.M: What’s’ her family name Sister?

Sr.F.L: Um Sister Mary Terrence Clancy. And I think Sister Clara Marie McManama
went down with her they had to go early in the morning before the morning prayers
that was around 5 you know, and so they had to make the coffee every morning, and
by the time Sister Mary Terrence was laughing she said well I hope the coffee’s not
too strong because I put too much in it I’m half asleep and I don’t even know what
I’m doin. We all laughed about that. So everybody had chores to do you know for the
breakfast and the lunch. We were responsible for a lot of things and we also had to
take turns saying prayers nigh prayers morning prayers reading, and I just never
had a turn for the morning prayers, I said the quarter prayers you know before the
lunch but I didn’t have a turn for that the reading. So when I got on mission I Sister
Theodosia said she remembered that I didn’t have a turn and she wondered how I
was doing and Sister Levonnation said oh she’s doing ok she was my Sister servant.
Sr.M: Sister what do you recall about the senior Sisters in the dining room, like you
weren’t aloud to talk to them, but do you recall anything about the senior Sisters
that you could remember?
Sr.F.L: Hmm well I can’t remember

Sr.M: How many tables were in the dining room when you were serving

Sr.F.L: Oh I would say about maybe 8 on each side you know maybe 16 tables at
least, well maybe not that many I guess yes I guess there were there were long
tables and you had 8, 10 people at a table you know, we had white table cloths on all
the time and we would take we every Wednesday we change the table we turned the
table cloths over the dirty side went under the clean side went on top in those days
why you then on Saturday you would clean them for the next week for the following
week and we all had napkins and napkin rings and all that was in this place, and the
dishes were in place, the silverware was there and the plates were turned upsidedown and the silverware was there, and you had to make sure that the sugar bowels
were attended to have sugar and salt, pepper those kinds of things. And that was
just the ordinary run of things.
Sr.M: Now what about your charge on the steps you had an amusing story about the

Sr.F.L: Oh that happened, when I was I guess I was a white cap then, and I remember
well we all had extra things to do that day because some Sisters went on retreat or I
can’t remember the incident but we all had extra work to do, and so Sister Feodosha
appointed Sister Mary Celest Casalina and myself to do the stairways in the in the
landing you know the chapel chapel landing and the floor near Cecilian Hall and
then the one below that near the dining room was and I said to her you take one side
and ill take the other side and we’ll meet you know downstairs, so we started work
we had our mops and we had our dusters and we had to dust all the curlicues you
know in those days we had banisters that were very ornate and they had a lot of
you know things to put your finger through in order to get your finger all to get the
dust off and with your cloth, and so we started and we worked for a while and about
15 minutes she came over to me oh Sister I think this is too hard, this is too much
work and she said I think I ought to ask somebody for some help, and I said oh come
on you do your side and I’ll do my side and we’ll get finished don’t worry about it. So
we went back to work and about 20 minutes later she says did you find, did you go
to Sister Feodosha and ask her if we could have some help, this is just too much can’t
you can’t you you’re the senior you should go now you’re the senior you go ask
Sister to get some help because I think this is too much. So I said no I’m not gonna go
I said no we’ll get finished don’t worry about it. Well now are you gonna go or aren’t
you gonna go, and I said no I don’t think I’m gonna go, well why not why not and I
said well I’m not goin because I don’t think we have to go we don’t need any help. So
we went back to work, and next thing you know she came back again did you find
some help I think you ought a go. So I finally went to Sister Theodosia after much
deliberation I went, so I explained what happened and she said well you tell Sister
Celest that I want to see her. So Sister Celest began apologizing immediately she said
Sister it’s my fault it’s my fault I urged Sister to talk to you and get help, she says it
was my fault and I knew I shouldn’t have done that but I knew it was my fault. So
anyhow that was the end of that.
Sr.M: So did you get the steps done?

Sr.F.L: Ya we got them done, sure we did we went back to work and they just sure
we did.
Sr.M: Did you have anything to do with the animals in the barn?

Sr.F.L: No, oh no oh no no no no Sister’s didn’t do anything like that the men take
care of that.
Sr. M: Alright Sister then you went out on your fist mission

Sr.F.L: Yes

Sr.M: Ok, now where was that?

Sr.F.L: Ya now the first mission well first I would tell you that yes I went to Westend,
and I was assigned to take third grade and the former teacher had that and she was
told or asked to take fourth grade so I could have the third grade because I have
never taught before. It was my first experience at teaching and Sister Generosa was
in charge of the teachers in training at that time for the community. She was a
supervisor you know. So she came around periodically and she had visits with all of
us, and so I remember going into third grade, I had about sixty children in third
grade. Sister Anastesia Mellon was in the second grade, Sister Ann Seton Boyle was
in the first grade and between the two of them they really gave me a lot of help,
especially Sister Ann Seton, and I spent a lot of time observing Sister Ann Seton
when she was preparing her vocabulary work for first grade all the I was asking her
many questions well how do you do this, and why are you doing this and she’d tell
me this is the vocabulary for tomorrow and then she’d have printing on the board
she’d have all kinds of art work ready for the children so that they would be have
something to do while she was teaching on group and or another class another
group, and a Sister Anastesia Mellon had second grade she had over sixty children in
there she was kind of on the stern people you know everything was did at task, and
Sister Ann Seton was well more innovative I would say because she was younger,
and so I learned a good bit from both of them and I had to do all the studying on my
own to try to prepare things so things went pretty well. And then the following year
I was appointed to have fifth and sixth grade and I was kind of un eerie about that
because it was going to be my first year of fifth and sixth level. It was a double grade
and I think we had fourth children in that room. Sister Erma Sullivan was sixth
grade opposite of me we were down stairs in the basement of the school, and it was
during that year, it was 1936 that the Pittsburgh you know the Saint Patrick’s day
flood occurred the famous Saint Patrick’s day flood oh I’ll tell you that was some
experience. I remember, we went to bed at night well into the evening because
Mother Egnasha was a little bit you know upset, not exactly upset but she was I can’t
think of the word
Sr.M: Concerned?

Sr.F.L: Concerned, she was concerned because the water was rising and there was a
creek behind the convent and she could see that water rising, and she was
concerned about the blessed sacrament being on the first floor where the chapel
was. So we all went to bed and she didn’t say anything but it was late when we get
up in the morning there was no bell ring and I said what’s the matter no bell look
how high it is, and we looked out the window and here this water was way up high
above the it was even with the convent porch which was high it was the old convent,
and the fence across the street which was next to the Thady Seton School was
covered with water the picket fence six feet high and it was covered with water.
Every place you look and there was a woman across the street yelling and she says
help help help from the second floor trying to get out, So first thing we did well I got
dressed and so did we and we opened the cellar door and here was the water just
about at the doorstep and we could see the cans up in the air floating tomato’s,
beans, all these cans were coming out of the cupboards floating on top of the water

ok, it was terrible. So we had to get out and the next thing I know a policemen came
with three or four policemen in a boat, so we all got out and got into the boat and we
went into the boat into a canoe all the way up to Stuben street if you can picture that
that’s pretty high up we got out and went on Stuben street and we walked to the
Devine Provence convent and they welcomed us somebody telephoned and said we
were coming guessing Mother Ignatia did that or somebody and so they gave us
breakfast and I remember specifically they gave us coffee and doughnuts and some
cereal and some fruit they had apricots or what you know ready for us.

Sr.M: Were they not flooded?

Sr.F.L: They were not flooded because they were on a higher level ok so
Sr.M: Do you remember the name of that convent Sister?

Sr.F.L: Saint Martin’s, Saint Martin’s convent. Ok so it was there that Mother Ignatia
had telephoned Mother Eveline finding out where we could go for the day. So we
had to wait for about a half hour until everything was processed through and so
they said well Hazelwood Saint Steven’s Hazelwood can accommodate five Sisters
they don’t have heat, but they’ll take you ok there’s no heat in the convent but they’ll
take you. So they decided to send Sister Veronica Scott, Sister Paula Moran, Sister
Olivia Hamilton, Sister Ann Seton Boyle, and myself and they called us to find
dionanies. And so we went to Hazelwood and
Sr.M: In a boat?

Sr.F.L: No, we went on a train and we got on the train and we went all across the city
and you could see the water everywhere when we passed J & L steel building
everything was flooded cars were covered and everything, it was terrible. So we
finally got to Hazelwood going into the cold convent and Sister Mary Ann MacAfee
was there and she was teaching there and some of the other sister, but I remember
her because she was stationed her later at De Paul Institute. So it was the year after
that that she came here. But so they accommodate us they serve us breakfast and
everything and they had three tables in the dining room the place was cold but at
least we had a bed to sleep in we were away from the water and we got our
scripture reading there are our prayers and we served our meals and everything, so
we were there for about a week, and then a telephone call came and said Mother
Evalan called and said I would like Sister Ann Seton and Sister Francis Louise to go
to Oakmont Saint…
Sr.M: Now did they still carry on their school?
Sr.F.L: Oh yes

Sr.M: They had no problem with the flood?

Sr.F.L: No, they carried on their school. Ok, and they didn’t have everybody because
everybody wasn’t able to get there but they took care of the ones who came. Ok so
then we went to Saint Irenaeau and Sister Ann Seton was told to do the CCD work
after school and I was to do to take fifth and sixth grade because Sister Mary Albert
Short was ill I believe she had scarlet fever and she would be away for at least three
weeks. And they thought of me because I had fifth and sixth grade before at
Westend. So when I got there, I didn’t have any problem and I thought oh gee this is
nice this is small class in compared to Westend, and there’s no flood no water and
I’m on in the safe land and its warm and it’s cozy and oh it’s nice and it was homey
they only had about six Sisters on mission there
Sr.M: What was the name of that convent?

Sr.F.L: Saint Ireneaus where Sister Mary Anna Mcsherry was the principal and also
the Sister servant. And so we slept upstairs and everyday I went to school and
everyday Sister Mary Anna would peep in the window to see how things was going
in the classroom. So after about three days, she said to me I can’t believe it she said
she says this is the wildest class in the school and she says you have control over
these kids she said I wish I could keep you and I said oh I have to go back to
Westend when they’re ready for me I’ll have to go back there I said it’s not up to me
to stay I said you know, so I just smiled and didn’t say anything and I know they
seemed to be out of hand at first but I was very commanding in the very beginning
because they warned me that it was a hard class but I
Sr.M: How many children did you have?

Sr.F.L: There must have been about forty not as big of class as I had. But anyhow, I
found they to be very very nice. So after the week was over, after the week was over
I went back to Westend but, we were not aloud to go down to the basement where
my school classroom was we had to make they had to make changes no body was to
use that room that place downstairs for children for the rest of the year. They had
libe all over the place the board of health came around said no it has to dry
completely and they had to make sure that there’s no bacteria no germs you know
debree anything that might be contagious for the children. So we didn’t go down
there and so we had to use the high school they emptied the library and the high
school classes had to go in the library conduct some of their classes there and they
vacated one whole room for Sister Erma and myself so we had she had sixth grade
and I had fifth and sixth grade so we put the two classes together and that was over
past sixth kids. So we worked it out that we’d you know go hand in hand we couldn’t
have two teachers in the room but she took part of the time then I taught part of the
time and so things went, we had to keep a record of everything and she was
wonderful with me she said be sure you have everybody whose absent down and it’s
a good thing I did because you know we had some wintery days and one boy whose
name was David Lennon was in an accident after school he was sled riding and he
accidently bumped into a truck or the truck bumped into him and of course the
parents were wanted to have a lawsuit. So the next thing I knew some gentlemen

stepped into my classroom and said hand me this note and said you’re ?? to court I
couldn’t believe it and so then he explained this is all about David Lennon’s people
wanting me to testify and so I went to Sister Erma immediately and she said oh
Sister she said this is serious you’ll have to go, so then we told Sister Margret and
Sister Margret said oh no you’re not going you not gonna go you’re not goin and
Sister Erma said oh Sister we have to go we have to go or you’ll pay five hundred
dollars. So we went
Sr.M: Both of you went?

Sr.F.L: We both went because we both handled him. So all I had to do of course was
to take my register with me and testify the days they were absent and I had to say
whether there was any preshable difference in his leaning you know capacity was
he injured in any way that his leaning ability was you know demurred and of course
I had to say that I didn’t see any difference in the child and so they won the case the
family won the case, but I was very much unnerved because it was my first
experience and I was a young Sister and I didn’t you know know what to expect. So
it was hard on me but Sister Erma was very nice about it she went to the court with
me I wouldn’t have gone alone you know which was nice. In those days we always
went in two’s you never went by yourself you know you always went with a
companion down the street or anywhere we just never went alone.
Sr.M: Sister when the five of you went to Saint Eranas or Saint Steven’s where did
the other Sisters from your house go?

Sr.F.L: Well some of them went to Sacred Heart and some went different places ya I
can’t remember just where they all went but
Sr.M: And then you all came back together within a week
Sr.F.L: Yes we did, yes we did. Then the following year
Sr.M: What about um

Sr.F.L: The following year we when the then there was a rumor that a flood was
going to come back again you know the river was going to rise again but and it did
rise to some extent but not like the Saint Patrick’s day flood. So father we had mass
in the morning and Father Sheetie came over he’s the assistant pastor Father Gilman
was the pastor at the time, but he was the assistant pastor and he said the rumor’s
comin up you better get out and so we all decided to go somewhere while Sister
Marie Ann to Sister Margret was in charge then and she said
Sr.M: This is the second year?

Sr.F.L: The year after 1938 ok no 1937 because the flood was 1936, 1937 it was the
spring season and I can’t remember if it was in March or April but anyhow it was

probably March. So they said they had room for three at De Paul Institute, so Sister
Olivia and Sister Ann Seton and myself went to De Paul ok and the others went to
different places some people went to Carnegie and some other people went I can’t
remember all the missions they were, but anyhow we left. And some people went to
Seton Hill I think, and so when I came to De Paul it was my first experience with deaf
children I really didn’t know anything about De Paul institute I had heard of it but I
didn’t know what it was like or what to expect. So I remember observing the
classroom during the day while the children were in session Sister Elizabeth Ann
Mahonie at the time was a teacher over in the primary school and I remember
seeing her and observing, and Sister Olivia and Sister Ann Seton came along and we
just sat and observed. The children were having reading and speech and ? training
and matching pictures and everything. And I distinctly I saw a Sally lou Sister, she
was just a little girl, she’s one of our teacher aids now you know and when she grew
up she went to Sacred Heart high school and then she went to Mercy college but she
didn’t finish, so then she came here and got a job and she was home economics
teacher for a while now she’s a teacher aid working with Mr. Hope. But anyhow I
was astounded at what the children could do you know I was very interested I
couldn’t believe that they were doing and not hearing what the teacher was saying.
So I said to Sister Elizabeth Ann would you not talk loud so she said alright ill talk
without voice, so she did and she was saying the very same things that she said
before but using no voice and the children were doing carrying on everything and
that’s when I was convinced that they were really you know lip reading and I though
isn’t that amazing I just couldn’t believe that. So I tried to talk to some of the
children but I found it difficult to understand some of them because I wasn’t use to
them but so after that then of course we were here for a couple days and then we
went back to Westend and resumed our teaching you know everything was normal
by that time but in the following June or I guess it was June, August when the
mission list was read we all went to the Cecilian Hall and Mother Marie Benedict
Monahaign was the Mother at the time and she read out the names of the Sisters for
the various missions and you would have to listen very closely for your name you
know as the mission was read so I was listening and listening and after it was all
over I didn’t hear my name and I thought why I wonder where I’m going so after I
started to go out to the end of the hall and I met Sister Margret and she said dearie
where you going on mission and I said I don’t know I said I didn’t hear my name She
said lets go to Mother and find out.
Sr.M: Now this is Sister Margret

Sr.F.L: Sister Margret McMan she was my Sister servant ok at Westend, so we went
to the hall and Mother was talking with some Sister about Mother said you go to
your mission go to your mission she said and you try it and if you if you contact me
later that’s all I heard. So then Sister Margret says Mother where is this Sister going
on mission and Mother looked at me and said oh she’s going to one of the
Institutions and I thought well I’m not a nurse I can’t go to the hospital you know or
maybe I’m going into and I going to send me to training or what so then I said you
mean De Paul Mother and she said yes De Paul she said I want you come here she

said now look she said I want you to try it for a year and see how you like it she says
now that’s not for everybody and I know and she said everybody wouldn’t like that
type of work but she said you try it and then next June she says you come back to me
and you tell me, well I tried it for a year and I was thinking I was going to Seton Hill
at the end of June like we always do all the novices went to Seton Hill you know
course I was profess then I was a profess Sister and I expected to go to Seton Hill
like everybody else and take classes and do all the things everybody else does get a
charge out there and have recreation with everybody and do everything that you do
in the summer time well, first thing I know Sister Regatta Fitzpatrick and myself
were sent to Wane State University, teacher in training for the deaf so I never got
Sr.M: Sister can I back up a little bit
Sr.F.L: Yep

Sr.M: into an incident that happened in the dining room you had said to me
something about Sister Marie Antonio Mclenen was in the dining room eating with
Sr.F.L: Oh ya

Sr.M: Was it mother Benedict

Sr.F.L: It was Mother Marie Benedict yes
Sr.M: and you were serving

Sr.F.L Yes I was serving the dining room and I just heard a conversation saying oh
that’s the one she’s the one I knew they were pointing to me but I didn’t know what
the conversation was
Sr.M: So this preceded your assignment

Sr.F.L This preceded my assignment so I presumed that that’s probably what they
were thinking about you know sending me there. Well I just don’t know whether
that’s just ya
Sr.M: Now who was the superior in the…

Sr.F.L: Well then when I came to De Paul well then when I came to De Paul Sister
Marie Antonio Mclenen was here she was the Sister servant and Sister Theresa
Vincent Mahoney was the she was the
Sr.M: Now what year was that?

Sr.F.L: Was the principal, that was 1937 September 1937. So this is 1987 so guess
what it will be fifty years in September. Well I had four years at Westend teaching
and then I had forty nine years at De Paul in the classroom and so you add it up at
it’s fifty three years in the classroom and while I was at De Paul I had many
experiences many happy memories and I’ve learned a lot of things about the deaf
and the children and from the very start I was you know asked to do teacher
training and I there had been many many girls who have been here and one I
cherish the most was Marlene Falco, she came from Connellsville and at that time
they took the girls here and they resided in the school they slept here at the school
and then they went on to Duquesne university for their education so they helped to
teach during the day got their teacher training experience with the children with the
with the model teacher supervising teacher and then they went to classes at night or
after school you know at Duquesne and got their college credits that way. And so
then after a certain number of years they were accredited to be able to go anywhere
to teach you know they had got their certification from the state of Pennsylvania and
so it was hard laborious work for them, but it was good for us too because we had
somebody to rely on and they did a lot of things that we weren’t able to do because
we had study hours and we had you know dining room you know duty we had to
take care of the children while they ate their meals and there’s many activities, boy
scouts, cubs you know brownies, and I had charge of the playmates
Sr.M: And what were the playmates?

Sr.F.L: They were a little group of children pre brownie group and we had Saint
Agnes as out patron and I remember distinctly making the beanies they were made
pink not flannel but pink felt and we make the beanies and then we had a lamb
white lamb insignia to designate the patroness of Saint Agnes while was their
patroness of the their playmate club and we had a playmate flag and it was pink and
we had a big lamb on that also and periodically we had entertainment for the
children and games and all kinds of activities for them plus health rules and
citizenship rules all those kinds of things are necessary for little children and we
dramatized the story of Saint Agnes and the children did that themselves one would
be the Saint Agnes somebody would be the soldiers ect. So we use to use the stage
in the what we use to call the boys hall and because we didn’t have Lady Victory hall
then it wasn’t built yet. So we would invite the school and the children would
participate from then on and I remember distinctly Mother Evan Fisher was living
here at the time and when her birthday came around which was always around the
feast of Saint Agnes she always wanted to see this play so we would put it on for her
Sr.M: How old were the children?

Sr.F.L: They were six, seven, eight-year-old children they were growing really very
Sr.M: Now they would in those days those were the young children

Sr.F.L: They were oh yes oh yes they were maybe younger than that. Our six years
olds were called we called them the babies you know because they were just
beginners and so well I have been working with the deaf children almost all the time
I’ve been here except period in 1949 I distinctly remember that I was asked to learn
the brail and so I was sent to Colombia University with Sister Justine for summer
course and Ms. Madeline Lumis was the author of the text book and the teacher and
so when I first arrived there I was the only people that applied for this brail course
and so the sue provider said well I don’t think we can really you know ask you to
take this course you’re the old pupil we couldn’t pay the teacher you know just for
one pupil that’s not customary we usually have ten fifteen people in a class and he
says where you from and I said Pittsburgh, what part? De Paul Institute oh De Paul
Institute well that’s where Sister Theresa Vincent Mahoney’s from I said yes well
you’re gonna stay and we’re going to provide a teacher for you because I visited
your school and I remember that Sister and I will do that for you, so in the mean
time this person Ms. Madeline Lewis was sick they thought she had appendix she
really was having cancer but they didn’t know it they thought it was appendix so she
had this operation and I had a substitute teacher and I had a hard time with her
because I she I knew that she wasn’t as equipped as I expected her to be and the
thing is…

Sr.M: This is a continuation of an interview being conducted as part of the oral
history program of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill. The interviewee is Sister.
Francis Louise Honeychuck the interview is being conducted by Sister. Marie Corona
Miller at De Paul Institute the date is July 15th 1987
Sr.M: Sister you were talking about your training with the blind

Sr.F.L: Yes, well at Colombia they coordinator of the program said that I could take
the class so as I was saying I had to take the brail course and I was taught to use the
slate and the stylus and that meant that I had to reverse the pattern in pricking the
dots on paper which was difficult because it didn’t have the Perkins brail writer at
the time we hadn’t purchased one yet this was all so new to me and so this was a six
weeks course and after two weeks I was told that Madeline Lumis was ready to
return when I was very happy to see her because everything was changed for me,
she gave me a better understanding of this whole idea of brail and teaching blind
children and I was thinking specifically of Ann Marie Jurard who was going to be our
first blind student from Erie her mother had gone to Pittsburgh to consult with
Bishop Derden to ask of it thee was any place that her child could be educated she
wanted Ann Marie to have a Catholic education and there was no place provided in
Erie there was no place in the Pittsburgh diocese and so Bishop Derden said well the
only thing he knew that he could do would be Father Darley was building a new
building our Lady of Victory Hall and he said maybe the Sisters of De Paul could
provided education for her daughter and so in the meantime he consulted with
Father Darley and said to specifically leave a classroom for the blind for the physical
for the partially sighted and blind children and they mentioned Ann Maria Jurard so

when I was taking the course I was thinking of her doing the slate and stylus and
then I knew that when I got back to school that I would we would purchase a brail
writer and all the things that we needed in the mean time Agnes Stone who was a
graduate from Mount Mercy was a blind women who knew the brail very well and
she lived in Oakland at the time and we hired her Sister Theresa Vincent invited her
to come out and to work with me and she started Ann Marie some of the things on
the brail you know slate and stylus and then she we started to she didn’t stay any
more than a year or a year and a half and so then after she left and I took over the
whole program and we had students starting to come in and we had then after I
guess several years after that I can’t recall which years but it might have been
probably fifty-two but I’m not sure 1952 Sister Angelica Little came so it was Sister
Angelica and myself who really engineered the blind department she started the
music with the children and provided the brail dots for them to read music
notations so they could play we had important piano recitals and among those
students were Earl Nixon and Thomas Burgander and Marita Matthews and Candy
Deet, Cindy Cudis, Denise MCcrilin, Terry McMahons, Cathy Webber, and the
Wisemen twins Larry and Jimmy, Larry Mahoney which was a grandnephew of
Sister Theresa Vincent, Regee Sullivan, and Timon Jackson and there was another
child who came later and I can’t remember his name but he came from the North
side and he had a he had a tumor on the eye and when they operated he lost his
sight but I can’t remember his name and I’m sorry that I can’t. So
Sr.M: Sister in you and Sister Angelica could go to Catholic University?

Sr.F.L: Well Sister did yes and I did too but I got most of my training my beginning
training at Colombia at Colombia and then later on I went to Catholic University yes
and I took some courses there eye in eye conditions and a few other things that you
know was required. Then it was several years after that that Dr.Peabody came from
Detroit and he was starting a program for the physically handicapped for the blind
and partially sighted at the university so he came to visit our class room and he saw
the children in their atmosphere, and he invited Sister Angelica and myself to attend
the class so that he could begin teacher training so he wanted us to get pointers on
what to do to teach the teachers in training so we went to class every week for six
weeks and Dr. Mary Moral still lived with us and she was the person who was in
charge of the United Presbyterian church who brailed material for us if we wanted
anything done for the children she would get a group of women to do the brailing
Sr.M: Were these women blind?

Sr.F.L: These women were not blind no and they did the brail work because it was
impossible to use all the textbooks, we did the Catholic textbooks Sister Angelica
and myself and we tried especially religion books, but they provided the other books
and they schlack them on the other side so that dots would not rub out and then
they bound them with a big string shoe strings or cut shoe strings and tied and they
had the books were huge they were about seven by fifteen you know in size and

they were cumbersome and heavy looking and thick and we had to provide story
space for them in Lady Victory hall lockers and itemize everything everything we
had . So we went every week to Pitt University and we offered our services and
learned a lot too, and we had discussions about and these people came from the
blind school and they came from other places that were going to start classes for the
blind in the public schools just like they had classes for the deaf in public schools
well it was unheard of to have deaf children then because this PL9142 wasn’t in
existence then you know so after six weeks we finished our course but that was the
beginning of the teacher training program at Pitt University we were invited to join
in that you know work
Sr.M: Sister I know that you had been very much involved in helping the children
begin dressed for their production their theatrical productions here at De Paul. Can
you tell us what you’ve been doing?
Sr.F.L: Would you sake a theatrical productions
Sr.M: Oh I think they’re theatrical
Sr.F.L: Well

Sr.M: What they can do
Sr.F.L: Well anyhow
Sr.M: Is marvelous

Sr:F.L: It was a Christmas play well Sister Marie Stell and I both had a hand in that
you know but lately I’d been doing most of it. In the beginning each teacher was
responsible for getting her own costumes and sewing them and so I remember
Sister Marie Michael Carol you know in years past needed a pair of pants for
somebody and she just found two old pillow slips and sewed them together, but
anyhow one point in time we had some material donated from the Altoona Silk Mills
I can’t recall who sent them but we had boxes of them different colors of pinks and
yellows and blues and you name it and it was boxes of that and I thought oh this
would make nice costumes to make nice angel gowns and white you know would be
nice for the angels you know Gabriel and so on and so after some time why we made
you know people help make the wings and all kind of things and but recently I’ve
been more or less commission to do the costumes for the cast so I guess the last six
or seven years or so, maybe more than that. When the assignments were given to
the teachers to dress the children you know each one had charge of certain groups,
one would dress the soldiers and somebody else would dress Mary and Joseph and
somebody else the Kings and somebody else the Shepard’s and so on, and Joseph
and Mary and so I volunteered to dress them to prepare the costumes prepare the
costumes so if any new costumes had to be made I went to the Altoona Silk Mill box
and you know dug out some material and cut it up and tried to make costumes for

the children, and we do preserve them from year to year and we try to use them
over and over again so when they have to be laundered and pressed and everything
and hemmed and re hemmed and re stitched or what have you or lengthened or
shortened why I’ve always taken responsibility to do that.

Sr.M: Sister beside Christmas play, I know the children did other kinds of plays that
happened before I came. Now the one I know that has been mostly talked about was
the play To Our lady of Lords now what Sister was in charge of that?
Sr.F.L: Oh, that was Sister Larita McGorie and Sister Mary Linus Hoak, they did that
their classes it was for the upper class children and that was really magnificent and
the children carry candles and it was really really beautiful it was like our you know
Sr.M: Sister when you were a young Sister starting out here at De Paul the pattern
of the young sisters going to Seton Hill in the summer was not done by you nor
those who were young like you here at De Paul can you explain why?

Sr.F.L: Well every summer you see in order to be trained for the teacher of the deaf
we had certain number of credits to get and so Sister Brugetta and myself went to
Wayne State University for three whole summers and Sister Scholastica Joyce and
Sister Ramada Manean taught me this also and it was three long summers and I
remember it was eight weeks at a time and the last no ten weeks ten weeks and then
the next summer was ten weeks and then the next summer was ten weeks and the
last the third summer was eight weeks and in addition to that we had to get our
thesis written and had to be in on a certain date and also I took classes at Duquesne
University and I went to Pitt University and Catholic University and tried to get as
many credits as I could in order to get my state certification so in the end I was
certified as an elementary school teacher in the dioceses of Pittsburgh and also deaf
education and hard of hearing and in addition to that sight handicapped and blind
and then later I was certificated to be a speech correctionist so in all those areas I
had my certification.
Sr.M: So you almost continued to go to school.
Sr.F.L: Yes,

Sr.M: All the summers

Sr.F.L: Yes, yes it was a continuation practically every summer and then when I
wasn’t doing that we were working on curriculum. Now this present the past two
years I’ve been working on the curriculum, and the team for that each there are
coordinators for each of the teams and for instance Sister Justina Drysockend and
David Williams and Thomas Hogue and myself were the language, reading language
curriculum of which I was the coordinator responsible for accumulating all the
material and seeing that it was done you know properly. This was a must from the

state of Pennsylvania there were certain guidelines we had to do. We had to include
our twelve goals of quality education and so we designed the curriculum the
language reading curriculum so that any teacher coming in any person who wanted
to learn about the deaf who expected to teach here at De Paul Institute would have
something to have in hand so she would be able to follow in order to teach the
reading systems, and we are presently using the Scott Forcemen series and we have
been for sometime, we found them very valuable our children have scored very well
in readings all the way up the line and they show progress so we know it’s a good
program, and were not about to give it up and the Sister have preceded me have
worked really very hard on that, Sister Helen Louise Connolly, Sister Florien
Mcgorie and Sister Marylinus, and all those people and so I cant name everybody
because there’s so many people involved but it just this year you know it has to be
so in November were going to have an auditor is coming in and the state will
evaluate our school, and so I’m not the only one this is not the only group we have to
update our mathematics department, science Sister Jeremy has to do the science
Sister Mary John is doing the mathematics they’re the coordinators of the speech
Connie Mcgrogan and perception and all Sister Sara Marie and all the people down
in the earlier you know preschool and readiness department they all have to do that.
Sr.M: Sister now to go back a little bit further into at De Paul the community of De
Paul would you just like you mentioned some of the Sisters who have come and are
now gone many of the Sisters have died, like those in many other key positions
other than teaching like I’m thinking of Sister Maureen Cogrus was here could you
name some of them like some of the dieticians who were here who took care of the
meals the nurses that were here.

Sr.F.L: Well Sister Alice Elizabeth Nolan was here as a nurse Sister Equanatia Moore
was here when I first came, Sister Ail Louise White took care of the laundry Sister
Mary Louis Highland was in charge of the girls, Sister Benedicta and I can’t think of
her last her family name she charge of the boys and Sister Lea Katy Mahallen was in
kitchen she took care of the meals and we had other people also I can’t think of her
their names
Sr,M: Sister Theresa Marie

Sr.F.L: Sister Theresa Marie Jenkins was in the kitchen, she came shortly after she
had her hand cut you know she had an accident at Seton Hill and so she came here
and I in fact I was her roommate at first over in the ?
Sr.M: Well what about the laundry?

Sr.F.L: Well Sister Mary Ali Louise White took care of the laundry she use to do my
dusters for me and I never knew who ever took them so one day I found out that she
was the one who was taking my dusters and washed them for me she was very kind.
Sr.M: Well when did Swister come?

Sr.F.L: She was always here, she was here when I was here you know she was here
the year I arrived.
Sr.M: Sister Rose Gazada

Sr.F.L: Yes, ya Rosa Gazada. She talked an awful lot about Germany and periodically
she’d get little candles from Germany and we’d have them for our peace days or
Christmas we’d light them put them on the table have our peace days all day
celebrations and one year she ordered a crucifix from Germany and so we all
admired it some of the Sister said they would like to have one you know beautiful
hand carved you know beautiful and.
Sr.M: Sister what about some of the children who needed some extra help

Sr.F.L: Well there were always children who need extra help especially in the
summer time. I recall Mark Partridge came and who was now when I first got him in
my classroom he could hardly speak in sentences at all and I was surprised the
other day he came to visit and he’s present living in Florida and he’s attending NTID
college for the deaf and he’s majoring in photography and I was amazed to hear his
speech, he was talking as well as you and I beautiful clarity beautiful work beautiful
speech but this past year this is Persvel Walker who has been our on auxiliary a
member of the auxiliary club for many years at De Paul Institute and who’s son
attended here earlier when he was seven years old I had him in the classroom he
was a deaf child and recently he had some eye problems he was unable to see so the
mother’s desperate and she asks what we could do he had gone to guild for the blind
and Sister Connie Ball talked with him and she tried to get him interested in brail
and he was very uncooperative and they exactly she called Sister Calamida one day
on the phone and said they didn’t know what to do with Robby they didn’t know
how to teach him because he’s deaf and so Sister Calamida talked with me and I said
oh bring him out here I know Robby I’ll take him and I said it’s been years since I’ve
had the brails but I said I’ll do what I can.
Sr.M: How Robert Walker graduated in what year?

Sr.F.L: Oh I can’t remember what year I can’t remember it’s so long ago probably the
60’s. And so anyhow he came with his father and his father’s now retired and the
mother said that the father would bring him everyday for as many times as I would
take him. So he stated in December December the fourth and we started out with
brail and first he was in the beginning he was reluctant to learn brail because he just
didn’t want to be bothered with it but then he began to see that he couldn’t to
realize that he just couldn’t do without it because he can’t see can’t hear he can’t
properly learn from talking books he can’t hear the talking book and he can’t see the
television and he can’t read and so he was just desperate he just knew he had to
have the brail. So he started and he came everyday during the month of December
and we got started. In January he had to go to Boston for an eye operation and he

saw a specialist there and it was really just a kind of preliminary to see what was
what he could do and so after several weeks he came back and we resumed the brail
lessons and I had him everyday I took him in the evening and I took him after school
some days after school some days it was in the evening which ever time permitted
on my schedule. So then during the month of May I didn’t hear from him they had
gone to visit his sister in Long Island and they said they’d be away for a couple
weeks, when they returned I called and said what happened and they said well there
in the process of moving the mother and the father have felt that something has to
be done for Robby and they didn’t they know they’re getting older and they didn’t
want anything to happen to them without Robby being provided for so they decided
to move to Richmond Virginia where they would be near her daughter. So if
anything happened to the parents then the daughter would take over. And Robert is
the type of person that was very clingy to his parents, he just can’t go without his
parents and they realized that and so he’s very unsure of himself because this has
happened to him. He was very outgoing in the beginning and he had a wonderful job
as a proofreader in New York in Margs position and so it just the mothers just just
crushed over this whole thing. So they broke the news to me that they were gonna
move so I said alright I’ll take him everyday until he moves, which I did and he was
getting along beautifully he began to read and was doing fine so then they had to
leave and I said goodbye and I said I would keep in contact with them which I will,
already sent a letter in brail to them and I guess it will be awhile until I hear
anything because they have to get adjusted in their new home and moving and all
that you know it takes time. So that’s that’s the present thing that’s happened.

Sr.M: Sister would you like to comment as to the changes which the church as gone
through since Vatican II and in turn our own community. How do you feel about
those changes?

Sr.F.L: Hmmm well when I think of Vatican II I think especially the liturgy. I really
appreciate the liturgy in English it has been so meaningful to me. The epistles and
the Gospels and the trend toward bible study, scripture, prayer meaningful to you to
me to all of us. I have learned to be more spiritual in that area because I feel more
prepared than I was at the time when we talked in Latin I mean Mass was in Latin
and I am particularly happy to be at De Paul Institute for the liturgy because Father
Convoy’s our present chaplain and he has certainly offered many many spiritual
assets to our community by his homilies he always has very very touching homilies
you know when you leave the chapel you always have something there. Although
Fathers been with us so many years at least well I guess its thirteen fourteen years,
and he has never repeated one ? and he everything is special when he’s estimation
he takes each day as it comes liturgy and he plans everything. He also plans very
carefully when we have parent days and also our facility meeting our facility mass
meeting that’s at the school and he’s been very much of an inspiration to all of us
and we’re very happy to have Father Convoy. And he certainly makes it very
meaningful. As far as the clothing is concerned well I think I welcome the change.
First I was reluctant to losing the habit and the rosary and the cap and all that but I

can see it’s very beneficial in lots of ways you know Polyester can in to being and we
had easier ways of taking care of your clothes and
Sr.M: And you did you have done lots of sewing
Sr.F.L: Oh yes

Sr.M: In the meantime

Sr.F.L: Lots of sewing for many people

Sr.M: Helping them get into the tradition

SR.F.L: Yes yes and ripping the old habits and I remember I ripped the old habit
from scratch and made myself a modified dress in the beginning and then when
polyester came in I grabbed the chance to do that because from you know stores on
sales and to make my own clothes so I do make my own clothes I make my own suits
everything my own caps and I offer to make caps for other people and
Sr.M: You’ve always been generous Sister

Sr.F.L: And so I you know I welcomed that because I liked to sew I’ve always I’ve
been sewing a long time even since I’ve been a little girl. I would make baby doll
clothes and
Sr.M: Did you ever take a sewing class?

Sr.F.L: No not really not really but I used to examine how things were made and I
would read books and listen to people talking or you know one time Sister Shela
was here and she talked about something and Sister Scholastica would talk about
something and I’d be listening to them and pick up a lot of things like that and so
you know it was more or less a hobby with me I feel relaxed when I sew it’s a hobby
for me and some people have I like to do things with needle work too you know for
instance last year I made craft work for the De Paul card party Noels for the
Christmas items and God loves you, and Sister Mary Bazel Youngling graciously gave
me the patterns and taught me how to do that. One day one December when I was
on retreat I met her and I happened to spot something she was doing and she says
come on and I’ll show you well after a few lessons I was able to do it and so she
offered to give me the yarn and things I needed at the time and I recently I made a
visit to Carnegie and she gave me some new patterns. So last November the first we
had our De Paul card party and those items were presented at the party and you
know on sale and so we expect to do some more this year.
Sr.M: Sister what about the Sister dolls that you dress for the community

Sr.F.L: Oh well Sister, Mother Victoria after the Vatican II changes and the habit she
came here and visit me and she said I like you to do something for me she said could
you consider would you consider dressing a doll that we could use for the archives
and she said I know that you have done you have dressed many dolls for the Seton
Hill festival and they use to raffle them off. Every year we’d have a doll raffled off
Sister of Charity doll and I guess I did about ten of them and each year we would and
I was in instrumental in getting these dolls through Sis Mrs. Cathy Mrs. Mrs. Webber
she was the mother of of a blind student who was here years ago when I taught and
she lives in the north side in Pittsburgh. So she would purchase the doll and I would
get the material and I would try to get panama from our capes and discarded capes
and aprons and anything that was up around anybody that wanted to offer anything
were pretty good I would wash them and press them try to use them and so she
would buy snaps for me she would you know then particularly remember the last
doll that I did. She went to Currner’s especially to try to get a rosary that was long
enough that had a preshable number of chains you know between the beads so it
looked like our community rosary. So I remember particular that I I really put my
heart and soul in it because I felt that was gonna be the last one that I would dress.
Sr.M: This was still in the traditional habit?

Sr.F.L: It is still in the traditional habit. And so I dressed that one and a woman from
West end happened to be the winner at the festival, and she was delighted to be the
winner and so she took it home and we never heard from her until last year or two
years ago. Sister Sara Louise approached me while I was on retreat and said did you
ever dress Sister of Charity dolls and I said yes I did and we laughed and she said
well you know there’s a women at West end who won this doll at the festival and
she’s had it for a number of years and she decided that she didn’t need it anymore
and didn’t know what to do with it so she went to the Sisters of Saint James and
asked what to do with it and they recommended that it be sent to Seton Hill so they
directed it to me and Sister Sara Louise and here my name was on the outside of the
box De Paul Institute it said. So she said would you consider you know she said I
know that you dress a Sister of Charity doll for Mother Victoria, which is at the
archives right now and she said the mother has gone through the trouble of making
a special glass case for that and it stands on a stand and it’s covered so it’s preserved
and she says Well Sister Sarah Louise said I know that you have you know dressed
this doll for Mother Victoria Mother Victoria’s request now I would like to ask you if
you would consider changing the black cap on this doll and putting on a white cap
So we will have a white cap Sister of Charity and we’ll have a black cap Sister of
Charity for the archives and I said ok I’ll do that I’ll do that. She

Sr.M: Now did you already done that

Sr.F.L: I’ve done it two years ago two years ago I made the white cap but I thought
after I got the doll, I said I don’t even remember how to make the white cap it’s been
so long since we wore a white cap and and I even Sister Agnes Theresa and those
people around here don’t have any lose you know

Sr.M: So what did you do?

Sr.F.L: So I finally I didn’t have a pattern I didn’t have a pattern but I measured the
head forehead to the back cross here to see how many inches I’d need across here
and then I measured this part and I remembered that the pattern is cut into a like a
an oval shape because you have to have more for over the ears ok so I cut it out of a
piece of paper first newspaper and put it on her head and then put paper clips to
hold it to the hair and then I started a pleat back there to see how it would go and I
found out that I didn’t have enough over the ears so I thought this isn’t right I’ll cut
more so I cut another pattern out and then I cut an old sheet and tried it on an old
sheet first an old piece of muslin to see how that would work and I found it was
gonna be workable. So then I got some white material and Sister Sarah Louise said
do you need material and I said no I I’ll have something I’ll have something. So I
made the white cap for her and then I took the sleeves out and I put new sleeves in it
and I took the collar out and put a new collar in it made a new collar and then I took
all the clothes off and washed them and pressed it so she was all done up freshened
up and then I put her back in the box ah first I had her on the stand and I showed
everybody and Sister Sara Marie wanted to take it to school and I said oh no you
don’t the kids aren’t gonna touch this doll I don’t want it fingered I said it’s going to
the archives. So so I sent it back to her and then I got a beautiful letter from Sister
Sara Marie Sara Louise thanking me for doing that. So that was but I I I couldn’t do a
doll anymore I just don’t have the patience and I don’t my fingers are not nimble
enough to do the fine work that I’d like to do you know very tiny hems it’s really
tedious work so that’s it.
Sr.M: So Sister is there anything else that we left out that you want to tell me
Sr.F.L: I think I’ve said everything I wanna say

Sr.M: Well I really appreciate spending this time with you reminiscing about this the
days here at De Paul and a lot of the things that I didn’t know that you went through
before you came to De Paul. I just wanna say that community is very grateful for the
time you’ve given and this will be a part of our archival collection for the oral history
Sr.F.L: Thank you

Sr.M: Thank you Sister God bless you
A correction is needed to indicate Sister Francis Louise’s appointment for her first
mission at Westend. Was given by Mother Rose Genevieve Rodgers instead of
Mother Marie Benedict Manahon.

Sr.F.L: Correction also was given the date of reception of the habit was not 1934 it
was 1932 June 1932. Another correction navicent sisters who were with me in the
first year of the navicent Sister Alice Marie Crates instead of Sister Alice Marie
Moran. Thank you
Sister of Charity Oral Histories
Interviewee: Sr. Francis Louise Honeychuck
Interviewer: Sr. Marie Corona Miller
March 19,2004

This interview is being conduced as part of the Oral History program of the Sisters
of Charity of Seton Hill. The interviewee is Sister. Francis Louise Honeychuck. The
interview is being conducted by Sister. Marie Corona Miller at Caritas Christi. The
date is March 19,2004. This interview is a revision of one given at DePaul Institute
with Sister Francis Louise on July 15,1987.
Sr.M: Good morning Sister Francis Louise
Sr.F.L: Good morning Sister

Sr.M: I am happy to be with you again so that we can do a revision of your history.
So do you want to begin you personal history?

Sr.F.L: Yes, I was born in Mount Pleasant October 23,1914 and baptized on
November 1 at visitation church Mount pleasant PA. My name was given the given
name was Emma Marie. My father died on October 12,1918 during the flu epidemic
after his death my widowed mother and her six children Robert age 10, Andrew age
8, Laurence age 6, myself age 4, Helen age 2, and John who was born three weeks
after my fathers death moved from Mount Pleasant to Scottdale Pennsylvania. It was
my mothers responsibility with her great faith and trust in God her life in prayer to
raise us together as a united family. My mother went to work each day cleaning
offices taking in washings and whatever she could find to earn the money to support
and provide for our home and needs. She insisted upon having a good education for
each one of us. We were fortunate to be educated at Saint John the Baptist school
Scottdale PA by the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill. I attended elementary education
at Saint John the Baptist school Scottdale PA 1921 to 1929. I also attended high
school at Saint John the Baptist school until my junior year. I recall some memories
before school age how I had to keep my Sister Helen and my little brother John
sitting on chairs all morning until my mother came home from work each day. We
never thought of going outside or leaving the door open at anytime or making any
noise while we were at home. We patiently waited for our mother to come home.
Walking one and a half miles to school in the morning and coming home for lunch
and back again to school in the afternoon gave me the exercise and the fresh air that

I needed to keep me healthy. On rainy days I rode the streetcar the fare was three
cents for a ticket. I recall when I was young I became interested in trying to sew
baby doll clothes I cut the patterns from newspaper to make to try to make the
clothing fit my doll, I remember going to Millers big store on Pittsburgh street
Scottsdale PA. I looked all the patterns that were for sale on the rack I wanted
especially to know how to make a dress with a flared shirt for my doll. After at
looking at all the patterns about a cent in my pocket I came home and cut out a
pattern. Since I was too little to peddle my mother’s sewing machine I sewed
everything by hand. On Christmas morning Santa brought me my own sewing
machine later I heard that it cost about five dollars, I was happy to get it, but after
several tries I found out that it really did not satisfy me very well. So I naturally
turned to my mother’s sewing machine. When I was in high school I made a dress
for my sister Helen and one for myself. On Saturday mornings I helped my mother
do the cleaning at the Casket factory Scottsdale PA. My job was to clean the sinks
the toilets and to mop the floor with soap and water while my mother did the same
to the rest of the building. I recall picking up oodles of straight pins off the chairs,
floor, anywhere. They had been dropped by the ladies who used the pins to make
while silk lining inside the coffins. Since I had to take care of Helen and John at
home, I was almost seven years old when I started to go to the first grade at Saint
John the Baptist school in Scottsdale PA. All my teachers were the Sisters of Charity
of Seton Hill. When I entered high school at Saint John’s I began to take my lunch
because the lunch hour was shorter and I had to be in class on time. It was during
my junior year that I began to consider what my vocation might be in the future. At
age 17 I entered the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill navicent on November 25,1932
actually it was Easter Sunday March 27th because Good Friday fell on March 25th the
feast of annunciation in the year and I was told to come on Easter Sunday. I became
a posolant to receive the black lace cap to cover my hair and a simple black dress
with a short with a black short-sleeved cape and of course black cotton stockings to
wear there. After six months and making a silent retreat for six days, I received my
long black habit including a black surged pleated apron and cape a white starch
collar and white cap with detachable bows under my chin. I also received a long
black rosary to be worn at my left side. A new name was given to me now I was
called Sister Francis Louise. One year later I made another silent retreat for six days,
at the end of the retreat I received my first black silk cap and bows, I also received a
new black habit pleated surge apron and pleated cape. One year later I pronounced
my simple vows of poverty chap obedience. I renew them yearly until years later I
pronounced vows for life. I attended classes in preparation for navicent training as
well as methods of teaching technique and remained a Seton Hill navicent until
1934. Then I was assigned to begin teaching third, fifth, and sixth grade students at
Saint James school Westend Pittsburgh PA from 1934 to 1937. During the Saint
Patrick’s day flood 1936 all the Sisters in the convent were evacuated by boat to
Divine Provence convent, we were welcomed there to eat our breakfast. Mother
Evan Fisher told us to get to any convent and they would be able to take care of us. I
went to Saint Stevens’ convent with four other Sisters’ by train to stay until the flood
stages were over. Within a week I was asked to go to Saint Iranians Convent
Oakmont PA with Sister Ann Seton Boyle. I was asked to substitute teach students in

the fifth and sixth grade because the teacher was sick. I stayed there for two weeks,
then I returned to Saint James school Pittsburgh PA and taught students on the
second floor near the library because the basement classrooms were not useable.
After teaching third, fifth, and sixth grade in elementary education at Saint James
school Westend in Pittsburgh PA, I went to the DePaul Institute in 1937 to being the
service training for the hearing impaired students. During the years I worked with
severely deaf students ages six to twelve with six or seven students in the class with
emphasis on teaching speech reading lip reading from blind to facial expression lip
reading and speech and language development using the oral no sign language
method of instruction for all elementary subjects. Many of these students didn’t
have the educational background needed for success namely because they were
transferred from other schools or just didn’t experience personal achievement in
their early education. The ultimate mission of De Paul Institute was to prepare
students for success in a hearing and speaking world. Since I had some experience in
teaching hearing students at Saint James School, I realized that quality education
was needed for a student to transfer to a regular school. I had to provide guidance
and direction to make the most of the gifts and talents of the students and to
advance them to there fullest potential so that they would make the transfer
successfully, it was a hard laborious job but it was very rewarding in time. Many
students have attended high school and college and have successful careers. During
the years 1949, 1970 a new direction came to my teaching career. Bishop Diren of
the Dioceses of Pittsburgh had requested De Paul Institute to begin teaching blind
and partially sighted students the history of these years can be found in the archives
of the Sisters of Charity and also the De Paul Institute archives. I was asked to take a
course at Colombia University and to become certified in transcribing brail using the
perpins brail writer. There were a number of blind partially sighted students who
attended during those years. Other teachers and especially Sister Angelica Little
were involved in teaching these children. I recall the many years that students from
the University of Pittsburgh, Duquesne University, and the Indiana University of
Pennsylvania came for a period of six to ten weeks for their in-service training in
education for the deaf. The students welcomed the opportunity to use their lip
reading skills in a variety of experiences, in which the in service training of the
teachers provided for them. The students always enjoyed taking part in Christmas
plays singing Christmas carols and patriotic songs. They had the advantage of being
taught everything that a hearing student could experience in a regular school
program, even joining boy scouts and Girl Scout activities. They were always eager
to put on their costumes that were prepared for them by the Sisters of De Paul
Institute. They loved to display their talents to please their parents who were proud
of their accomplishment. After full time teaching, I spend five years tutoring
students at De Paul Institute. This was done on the private basses for students who
needed special individual help for reading and language development to further
their success in joining other students in daily classes provided by the De Paul
Institute curriculum. The parents were grateful for their accomplishment. For the
next two years I volunteered recording individual speech records for students
during the school hours. This consisted of a grant at De Paul Institute the teachers
were required to record the minutes of each student for speech analysis rating them

I for improvement N for no improvement. Papers were collected each week and
recorded. The total number of papers for each month were recorded and given to
the schools psychologist and were sent to the state of Pennsylvania for evaluation.
Money was granted for the results of this money and it was used for to buy
computers and other equipment for the use of the De Paul students.

Dublin Core


Honeychuck, Sister Francis Louise Oral History


Sister Francis Louise Honeychuck


An oral history of Sister Francis Louise Honeychuck, a Sister of Charity of Seton Hill from 1932 until 2017. The interview was conducted by Sister Marie Corona Miller and was also partially self-taped.
Sister Francis Louise Honeychuck - born Emma Marie Honeychuck on October 23, 1914 - entered the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill in March of 1932. She received a bachelor's degree in education from Duquesne University in 1947 and a master's degree in education from Wayne University in 1955. She taught at St. James School in West End from 1934-1937 and at De Paul Institute from 1937-1997. From 1948-1970, she helped to develop and oversee De Paul's services for blind children. Having learned Braille through Columbia University, Sister Francis Louise submitted a Braille translation of the book Black Beauty in order to complete her program. She received a Volunteer Braille Transcriber certification from the Library of Congress in 1962. Sister Francis Louise died on April 29, 2017.


Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill


Archives of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill




All rights belong to the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill, Greensburg, Pennsylvania.


Audio cassette tape




Oral history



Oral History Item Type Metadata


Sister Marie Corona Miller


Sister Francis Louise Honeychuck


De Paul Institute
Pittsburgh (Pa.)

Original Format

Audio cassette tape



Bit Rate/Frequency



Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill, “Honeychuck, Sister Francis Louise Oral History,” Sisters of Charity Federation Archives, accessed July 14, 2024,


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