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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Journal of Mother Duchesne, 1818-1840

 Old South Wing (Convent) of St. Ferdinand was built in 1819

September 3 and 4, 1819 ~  Mother Duchesne and her companions transferred their residence and boarding school from St. Charles to a log cabin on Bishop Du Bourg's farm at Florissant, to live there until December 24, when the new convent would be habitable.

The log cabin at Florissant is composed of a single room, which will serve as the children's dormitory, refectory, parlor, and classroom.  Above is a loft under a leaky roof.  This will be our living quarters night and day, serving as kitchen, refectory, storeroom, and dormitory for the religious.

Taken from the book:  Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne

Below info was taken directly from the Old St. Ferdinand website ~  The AASH Board had a personal tour led by Sr. Margaret Munch, RSCJ this past June. I encourage you to learn more about this very special place, to visit it and become a member of the Friends of Old St. Ferdinand Shrine.  

Old South Wing (Convent ) of St. Ferdinand was built in 1819 (photo above was taken June 2011). It was originally used as a convent. It was here that Rose Philippine Duchesne stayed before moving to St. Charles.

The convent wing, is one of the few brick buildings of this age and is almost in its original condition. It is considered one of the best examples in brick of the Federal style architecture in the state.

A closet under the stairs in the hallway of the convent was used by Mother Duchesne as a makeshift bedroom. She reportedly slept on a straw mattress with a ragged blanket in the closet to be close to the chapel.

A long upstairs room in the convent was used as a dormitory. One end of the room is now furnished as a schoolroom as it might have been when Mother Duchesne taught there. The other end is set up to depict an infirmary, which was actually in another room on the second floor.

The third floor attic was the Novitiate and the linen room.

The church's original 1820 pews with very narrow seats are on display in the chapel area of the convent.
All of the buildings have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places, a cultural inventory of our nation's irreplaceable resources, and form St. Ferdinand's Shrine Historic District.

The Shrine is operated and maintained by the Friends of Old St. Ferdinand, a non-profit agency.

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