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Founded in the City of New York, USA, by the Rt. Rev. Thomas Stanislaus Preston. On 8 September 1869, Father Preston began a semi-weekly gathering of the poor and abject children of the street in one of the most wretched quarters of the city; after this came the opening of a house for the reformation of young girls not yet hardened in vice, and the preservation of children and older girls from the moral danger in which they lived. The founded called it the House of the Holy Family and became its spiritual director. The work was fostered by many prominent Catholic ladies of New York, under the name of The Association for Befriending Children and Young Girls. Foremost among these ladies was Mrs. Mary C.D. Starr (in religion Mother Veronica; d. 9 Aug., 1904), who became the president of the association and devoted all her time and energies to this work of charity under the direction of Father Preston. Seeing the necessity of a religious community which should be trained to this work and perpetuate it, Father Preston compiled a rule of life for those who desired to devote their lives to it. The first draft was written 5 September, 1873, and was observed in its elemental form until 1886, when it was elaborated and obtained the informal approbation of the Archbishop of New York. The constitutions, which are an enlargement of the rule, and represent the norm of living in the institute, were written gradually, as it developed, and reached their completion in 1899. On the 29th of September, 1990, both rule and constitutions received the express canonical approbation of Archbishop Corrigan of New York. The object of the institute is (1) the reformation of erring girls; and (2) the training, religious, mental, and industrial of girls in moral danger from ignorance, indolence, or waywardness, or dangerous influences. The institute is composed of two classes, choir sisters and little (or lay) sisters. In addition to the House of the Holy Family the sisters are in charge of a training home in New York City. The institute comprises about 40 sisters in charge of 215 girls.

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The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

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Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

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