Sister Mary Uriel (Mary Ellen) Walshe (Welsh), C.S.C. (1868-1925)
Mary Ellen Walshe was born in Ireland in 1868 and entered the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross in 1895 from Washington, D.C. She made her final profession of vows at St. Mary’s Convent, South Bend, IN. in 1901. From 1898 until her death in 1925, she took care of orphans in a number of “orphan asylums” in Utah, Washington and Maryland. Her last assignment was as superior in Baltimore, in St. Patrick’s Parish, at the Dolan Aid Asylum from 1919-1925. Upon her death in June of 1925, the following article was published in a Baltimore newspaper: SHE INSPIRED CONFIDENCE, “Children of Dolan Home Counted Her As their Best Friend.” Here are portions of that article. “Sister Mary Uriel Welsh [sic] of the Holy Cross Order [sic], who died last Saturday morning at Mercy Hospital had the key to the hearts of children. She opened those hearts and placed in them confidence and trust, faith and self-respect, love and devotion. For six years she was the superior and for eleven years before that she was stationed at Saint Joseph Orphan Asylum, Washington. Most of the twenty-eight years of her life in religion was spent as a friend of orphans. What sweeter vocation is there? Sister Mary [Uriel] not only gave her days and her nights to the care of the fatherless and motherless ones over whom she had charge, but she reared them in a home-like atmosphere. They were never made to feel that they were dependents, absolutely beholding to those willing to be beneficiaries. Rather they were raised like other children and looked upon the sisters in charge of the home as other little children look upon their mothers. Sister Mary [Uriel] was a woman of extraordinary executive ability. She managed the home well and had so many friends that she received many contributions to the home. Burial was in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Washington. Fourteen automobiles of friends made the trip from Baltimore to the Capital for the funeral.”
Fr. Thomas O. Barrosse, C.S.C. (1926-1994)
Thomas Barrosse was born in 1926 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He professed final vows in the Congregation of Holy Cross in 1947 and was ordained a priest in 1950. After biblical studies in Rome, he taught at the University of Notre Dame and at Holy Cross College, Washington, D.C. From 1969 to 1974, he served as Novice Master in the common novitiate of the six American provinces in Bennington, Vermont. Elected Superior General by the General Chapter in 1974, Father Barrosse visited all the houses of the Congregation, trying to meet personally with every religious to reassure them of the Congregation’s mission and future in the wake of the Second Vatican Council. He composed several circular letters addressing the meaning of religious life and the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. He oversaw the establishment of the Province of India in 1984 and encouraged the brothers and priests in Bangladesh to seek provincial status. Barrosse promoted devotion to Blessed Moreau as the Congregation’s founder, writing a biography on him and putting together a compendium of his circular letters. He also worked for the beatification of Saint André Bessette, C.S.C., which happened in 1982. He played a large role in the revision of the Constitutions by the General Chapter of 1986, which is the version that remains in effect today with minor alterations. Father Barrosse also stressed collaboration with the Holy Cross sisters’ communities and pressed the Congregation to recognize its international character. After leaving office, he went to Bangladesh where he taught in the major seminary. After falling sick, he died in Bangladesh on June 14, 1994. (Holy Cross Congregation Website)
Brother Philip (John Knox) Hughes, C.S.C. (1824-1900)
Born in Ireland in 1824, there is scant information about this Brother’s years in the Community. He received the habit in 1856 and made final vows in 1860. At the time of his final vows, he had yet to make the canonical novitiate year. A fragment of a letter is printed in Brother Aiden’s Extracts taken from Sorin Chronicles, February 29, 1860. “Having heard your circular letter relative to the opening of the Novitiate on the 17th of March next, I once more beg to be permitted to return home [University of Notre Dame] and commence that year of grace [the novitiate] of which I so greatly stand in need. I do not or cannot feel happy in my present state as I am neither a religious or a worldly person. I hope you will grant my request if it can be done without prejudice to the institutions of the Community”. And from the Scholastic June 21, 1879. “Brother Philip has designed a most convenient desk for the new study halls. The desks will be single, made of seasoned ash, and each will have a receptacle below, in the form of a closet with a door, for books, hat, slippers, and other articles”. From the Scholastic. Jan. 17, 1880. “Brother Philip, one of the early pioneers of education at Notre Dame, has in his possession a curious looking snuff box, which at one time belonged to John Knox, founder of the Presbyterian Church. Brother Philip is one of the last lineal descendants of the so-called reformer, and the box has been handed down in his family as an heirloom from generation to generation. It is made of black horn and silver mountings, and bears a plate inscribed with the initials of its first owner. Brother Philip is a convert, and he has taught with marked success at Notre Dame and at other institutions [ New Orleans is mentioned in a change of assignment from Provincial Council notes for Sept. 1870] of the Congregation of Holy Cross in the U.S. and Canada”. From The Missionary. Nov. 1913 “This [Brother Philip’s conversion to Catholicism] is less strange however than the conversion to Catholicity some decades ago of the last lineal descendants of Martin Luther and Katherine Von Bora [Luther’s wife], and of the last descendant of John Knox, father of Scotch Calvinism. This convert, John Knox Hughes, labored for years as a teaching Brother of Holy Cross in the Middle West”. And finally from Brother Gilbert (John) Horton, in Alumnus. 3:112: “Brother Philip, the last lineal descendant of the Presbyterian John Knox, leading a useful life and making secret reparation for his deluded ancestor. He was a giant in stature and was well known as a teacher and disciplinarian”. Brother Philip died in April, 1900 at Wexford, Ireland while there on business and is buried in Wexford.