Part of the American History & Genealogy Project

Mme. Eugenie Audi


Mme. Eugenie Audi entered the Society of the Sacred Heart in Paris, and offered herself for the mission of the Sacred Heart in America. Two lay sisters were chosen to accompany this little band of missionaries, and on the 29th of May, the anniversary of the Feast of the Sacred Heart, they landed on the shores of America about sixty miles below New Orleans.

After their arrival they determined to join the Ursulines in St. Louis, arriving there August 21, 1818, where they established a school about fifteen miles out of the city. The wife of Mr. Charles Smith, a relative of the Hardey family, who had left Maryland in 1803 to make Louisiana his home, built the first Catholic Church in New Orleans, and one of their plans was the establishment of a school at Grand Cateau which was the home of Mary Hardey. Proposal for this foundation was in due time accepted by Mother Barat and the organization entrusted to Mme. Audi.

In October, five pupils were received, one of whom was Mary Hardey. Here she spent the early years of her education, and during this time her thoughts were turned to a religious life which met with the hearty approval of her mother, but her father, while not approving did not oppose her in her plans, and on September 29, 1825, she entered upon her training for religious orders, receiving the religious habit on the 22nd of October, 1825.

About sixty miles from New Orleans, on the left bank of the Mississippi, lie the farm lands associated with the pathetic story of the Arcadian exiles and glorified by the charm of Longfellow's magical pen. These woodlands are embalmed with memories of the gentle Evangeline. Not far from these smiling scenes, in the midst of a devout Catholic population, the Society of the Sacred Heart founded its third convent in America. The Abbe Delacroix, cure of the small town of St. Michael, appealed to Mother Duchesne to establish a convent in his parish, and it was decided that Mother Audi was the only one who could carry on the work. She entered upon it assisted by some novices, among them being Mary Hardey, who was then not yet sixteen. On the 23rd of October, 1825, they bade farewell to their relatives and friends, and on the 20th of November, took possession of their new convent.


Women of America

Source: The Part Taken by Women in American History, By Mrs. John A. Logan, Published by The Perry-Nalle Publishing Company, Wilmington, Delaware, 1912.


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