1521-1911 (bulk 1862-1886).Origination : Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, Minnesota
Given by the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, Minnesota, on the 17th of October 2017.
Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls Collection (LFF), University of Notre Dame Archives (UNDA), Notre Dame, IN 46556
Pre-foundation files (i.e., files representing the earliest history of the sisters who eventually became the Little Falls Franciscans), with two folders from the 16th century, five from the 18th century, and hundreds from the 19th century; including records of Mother Mary Ignatius Hayes, of work in Savannah, Georgia, and of Minnesota prelates; consisting chiefly of documents or articles photocopied or transcribed to support research into the origins of the congregation.
Elizabeth Hayes, daughter of Anglican priest Philip Hayes, became an Anglican religious sister in the Community of St Mary the Virgin, taking the religious name Sister Mary Ignatius of Jesus. Influenced by the Oxford Movement, she converted to Roman Catholicism and became a missionary Franciscan in Belle Prairie, Minnesota, at the invitation of Bishop Thomas Grace. In the 1870s she established the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception there. In 1879 she went to Georga with other Franciscan sisters to teach the children of freed slaves.
The Franciscan academy in Belle Prairie burned down in 1889, and the sisters moved to Little Falls, Minnesota. In 1891 sixteen sisters became a diocesan congregation (Diocese of Saint Cloud), the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls. The congregation includes 129 members and 260 associates. They operate in Minnesota but have missions in Arizona, California, Illinois, Mississippi, Texas, Wisconsin, Ecuador, and Mexico.