Archbishop harty invites the sisters
by Rev. Fr. Roman C. Sagun, Jr.

Archbishop Jeremiah Harty was the first American appointed for Manila on 3 June 1903. The shipboard diary likewise revealed:

He (the Manila Archbishop) brought us to visit his chapel, a real marvel, with a magnificent altar all covered with engraved silver decorated with mother-ofpearl, and a lovely ivory statue of the Blessed Virgin, dressed in perfect taste, enshrined in princely splendor.

The Archbishop left us after a while, but we stayed at the feet of Our Lord, very close to Him, till his Excellency returned to invite us to partake of some refreshments which he himself served to us. Then he told us that he would ask his secretary to take care our luggage and find us places aboard a ship leaving for Cebu and that he would send word to the Sisters of the Assumption, commending us to their care. We did not know how to express our gratitude to the Archbishop for his goodness.

Meanwhile, the good Lord had been reserving another surprise for us, for His Excellency, touched by our trust and simplicity, told Sister Superior that he would be happy if our good Mother from Saigon could give him some Sisters to open a hospital in Manila and another in Vigan, a two-day journey from Manila, northeast of the island of Cebu. It would be difficult to describe our inner joy. It was a delicate gesture of the good Lord, Who wanted to make us forget the contretemps created by the nationality of dear Sister Charles.

At last we took leave of the Archbishop after receiving his blessing, which he gave us while repeating, “I bless you. Oh yes, I bless you!!!” Then he extended kindness by going down himself to accompany us to the car. He did not leave us till he had instructed the driver to bring us to the home of the Sisters of the Assumption.

There, thanks to a short note from His Excellency, the most cordial welcome was given to us. Though it was already late, the Sisters set to work and gave us a truly warm and touching reception. All of them spoke French, but they gave classes only in English. During dinner, the Archbishop’s secretary returned to tell us that he had been able to obtain the deliverance of the prisoner, but that he did not know whether he could fetch her that evening or not. However, he promised to fetch her from the ship the next morning.

Sister Superior thanked him, but we were all anxious while our two Sisters were not with us. The good priest must have undoubtedly understood this, for he left without a word. Two hours later, our two Sisters were with us.

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