Meanwhile, Father Eugene Weibel, an early missionary in Arkansas, persuaded Bishop Edward Fitzgerald to support his efforts to obtain Sisters to teach in the parish school at Pocahontas. After repeated requests, Prior Frowin Conrad of Conception, Missouri, spiritual director for the Sisters, agreed to send four Sisters to Arkansas. Mother Beatrice Renggli, the appointed superior and Sister Agnes Dali were two from the first group that came from Maria Rickenbach. Sister Frances Metzler and Sister Walburga McFadden came to Missouri with a later group. These four were the first Sisters who came to Northeast Arkansas.
The Sisters spent most of the next day unpacking and planning the daily order of prayer, work and relaxation. The Sisters tried as closely as possible to adhere to the Rule of St. Benedict, the constitutions and schedule they brought from Maria Rickenbach.
Because the railroads bypassed Pocahontas, and also, because many of the Sisters contacted typhoid fever from the drinking water, the community officially moved from Pocahontas to Jonesboro. The transfer was made on July 4, 1898, when the farmers could use their wagons to haul the Sisters’ belongings. The new convent in Jonesboro was completed and named Holy Angels Convent in gratitude for a safe crossing of the Atlantic by one of the groups of Sisters and postulants.
St. Bernard's Hospital
The mission of the Jonesboro Benedictines is the same today as it was 125 years ago when they first came to Arkansas. They came to serve those in need.
Although the community will be 126 years old this December, 2013 it has been in Jonesboro for 115 of these years. The bond of friendship formed in 1898 when the Sisters first came to Jonesboro to serve, has continued to grow for more than one hundred years.
You can assist the Olivetan Benedictine Sisters of Holy Angels Convent through a financial gift. Your gift would be used for current needs, repairs to the Mother House and supporting our active and retired Sisters.