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Philippine Duchesne: Florissant


'We learn to remain in silence and poverty of heart before Him.' (Constitutions Paragraph 20)


The first US noviciate at Florissant built in 1818. During the building of this house the religious lived in a one room log cabin, 18 sq ft.

The front of the house at Florrisant.
Above: The front of the house at Florrisant.

Philippine Duchesne's corner of the schoolroom.
Above is Philippine Duchesne's corner of the schoolroom.

Florissant- the noviciate

The noviciate was in the attic of the house, these photos illustrate the two ends of the room where the novices studied and had recreation. They slept in a dormitory on the floor below.

Sometimes it was so cold that they slept in the classroom. Winds blew through the cracks, and the ink froze on the end of their pens, but the hardships were those suffered by any frontier woman at the time.

 

The cupboard under the stairs

Above: The cupboard under the stairs where Philippine slept. After she had locked up the house and seen to all the mending, she went to the chapel to pray.. this cupboard is outside the chapel. It is thought that she slept here so that no one would know at what time and how long she spent in the chapel!

The Dormitory
The Dormitory 



'Philippine held in balance the need to establish the Society on a firm financial basis and a radical comittment to the poor, but she made choices for the poor which impinged on the prosperity of the Society".

C. Mooney rscj