Global Sisterhood: Transnational Perspectives on Gender and Religion

  • Gertrud Hüwelmeier


On August 15, 1868, Mary Catherine Kasper, the founder of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ (PHJC), wrote a letter from Le Havre, France, to her co-sisters in Dernbach, a little village in the Westerwald, one of the poorest regions in Germany. This letter gives an impression of her various feelings of sadness and pain after she had accompanied eight of her sisters to the harbor and had bidden them farewell before they set sail for America. Kasper wrote:

They received priestly blessings, sang the song “Escort us on the Waves,” and then they left for the open sea, and the poor children [the sisters] could weep. But, my beloved sisters, what a touching sight, the huge ocean, the terrible waves, and the rapid retreat of the steamship out to sea. The poor sisters were no longer visible. Now I also could weep and I followed the ship with my eyes as long as we could see it.

(Amend 2001: 73)


Transnational Migration Catholic Woman Mother General Vatican Council American Province 
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Copyright information

© The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and the Women’s Studies in Religion Program, Harvard Divinity School 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gertrud Hüwelmeier

There are no affiliations available

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