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Thursday, August 20, 2009

"Second Sowing"

Second Sowing is the title of a book by Margaret Williams that was published by Sheed and Ward in 1942. I read it during the high school retreat at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in 1946 and was very impressed with Mother Hardey. Last summer, in retreat, I again read another life of Mother Hardey written in 1925 by Mother Gavey. Both lives seem to be influencing me again so I thought it would be good to share some thoughts with you in my blog.
Mother Margared Williams' "Second Sowing: The Life of Mary Aloysia Hardey" gives much background about the country, still so young, in which Mary Hardey lived from before the war of 1812 to after the Civil War. She shows how this tireless young Religious of the Sacred Heart was called to sow the seed first sown in this New World by St. Philippine Duchesne when she came from France in 1818 to establish the Society of the Sacred Heart in America.
This year is the bicentennial of Mary Ann Hardey's birth and it is fitting that we look at her life and learn from it.
Born December 8, 1809, in Piscataway, Maryland, her parents were Frederick and Sarah Spalding who had been married in 1806. The first daughter was named Ann; when the next daughter was born, she was named Mary Ann. Later, Mary Ann would change her name to Aloysia when she had been accepted into the Society of the Sacred Heart at a very young age. The spelling of their name to "Hardey" instead of Hardy was done earlier.
When Mary was still a baby, Grandmother Spalding came from Baltimore and used the pretext of an epidemic of whooping cough to take Mary Ann back to Baltimore with her. Aunt Betty Edelin, the black "mammy" who cared for Mary Ann went with them. Grandmother Spalding kept Mary Ann until she was five. It was the danger from the British Redcoats during the War of 1812 that allowed Mary Ann to return home when she was five. She returned to a family she did not know!
To be continued tomorrow!

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