Portraits of One Hundred Catholic Women of Maine

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In a narrative that covers these women who shaped history from the colonial era down to the present day, the author focuses on those who were influential among the Native Americans as well as among the immigrants, including those of French, Irish, Italian, and other backgrounds who helped shape business, education, health care, and even religion itself. Of particular relevance were the Sisters of Mercy who did so much to develop hospitals, orphanages, and schools in the Pine Tree State.


“Their stories are likely much richer than what has been recorded. To name them and recognize their varied and invaluable contributions to women’s past, to America’s past, to Catholicism’s past, and especially to Maine’s past to make possible an exciting and challenging present future brimming with possibility.” – Prof. Alice L. Laffey, The College of the Holy Cross

“[The author] gives us enough information to whet our appetite and more. The story of each of these hundred women helps us understand the rich past on which the present sits.” – Prof. John B. Anderson, College of the Holy Cross

“[This book] brings light [to] the remarkable accomplishments of many Catholic women of Maine and the power of their witness to the gospel.” – Fr. Stephen F. Concannon

Table of Contents

Introduction by Bishop Richard J. Malone of the Diocese of Portland, Maine

Foreword by Alice L. Laffey


Author’s Preface

Chapter 1: The Colonial Era

Antoinette du Pons-Ribérac (1570-1632)
Marie-Mathilde de St. Castin (c. 1653-1717)
Esther Wheelwright (1696-1780)
Marguerite Thibodeau Cyr (1735-1810)
Marie Thérêse de Gregoire (174?-1816)
Molly Ockett (c. 1740-1816)
The Nineteenth Century

Molly Molasses (c. 1775-1867)
Jean Stuart Esmond (1777-1867)
Elizabeth Jackson Smithwick Mooney (1782-1864)
Winifred Kavanagh (1805-1883)
Fanny Marks (c. 1821-1919)
Catherine Mangan O’Donnell (c. 1826-1913)
Mary Agnes Tincker (1831-1907)

Chapter 3: Sisters of Mercy

Mary Gonzaga O’Brien (1834-1920)
Mary Augustine Saniewska (1841-1927)
Mary Teresa Pickersgill (1843-1922)
Mary Gertrude McConville (1849-1923)
Mary Xaveria Toohey (1869-1938)
Mary Beatrice Rafferty (1871-1955)
Mary Constance McCarron (1884-1939)
Mary Annunciata Quigley (1888-1969)
Mary Evangelista Ward (1889-1980)
Mary Benigna Viens (1897-1997)
Mary Rose O’Brion (1903-1995)
Mary Mark Barrett (1910-1994)
Maureen Thornton (1913-2001)

Chapter 4: The French Americans

Lucille Papin Borden (1873-1962)
Camille Lessard-Bisonnette (1883-1970)
Cecile Labbé Nicknair (1895-1961)
Marie Rose-Anna Sevigny Proulx (1896-1984)
Margaret Chase Smith (1897-1995)
Charlotte U. Michaud (1898-1989)
Lillian Cyr LaVerdiere (1901-2003)
Marguerite de Crayencour (1903-1997)
Mattie A. Pinette (1903-1999)
Marie Ange Larrivee (1904-1998)
Lucia Marie Cormier (1909-1993)
Lucille Jacques Letourneau (1909-1996)
Elizabeth Cyr (1920-1977)
Marcella Bélanger Violette (1921-2005)
Madeleine Dinora Giguère (1925-2004)
Georgette B. Bérubé (1927-2005)

Chapter 5: The Irish Americans

Margaret Eileen Jordan (1856-1936)
Mary Margaret Thompson (1864-1956)
Marie Jennings Reid (1870-1930)
Katherine L. Quinn (1876-1967)
Marion E. Casey (1891-1983)
Kathleen Louise Maher Dalton (1894-1974)
Frances Lee McGillicuddy (1904-1992)
Margaret McCarthy Beliveau (1907-2000)
Margaret M. Miller (1908-1990)
Irene Morse Bartlett (1909-1998)
Mary Rita Griffin (1911-1998)
Eleanor Carlson O’Connor (1912-1998)
Margaret P. Connolly (1913-1996)
Anne Joyce Richter (1913-2004)
Alice Greene Madigan (1916-1996)
Dorothy Dorr Batchelder (1921-2000)
Barbara Carey Joyce (1924-1990)
Catherine Louise Haggerty (1926-1997)
Jean B. Flaherty (1927-2002)

Chapter 6: The Italian Americans

Caterina G. Sangillo (1887-1962)
Donata Breggia (1891-2002)
Maria E. Spera (1904-1995)
Mary Dolores Sablone (1910-1987)
Emily Barbara Dambrie Kinney (1915-2005)
Rose E. Nappi (1922-1982)
Mary DeRice Kane (1922-2010)
Maria Cabrini Pulsoni (1923-2007)

Chapter 7: The Other Ethnic Groups

Martha Gallison Moore Avery (1851-1929)
Cornelia Thurza Crosby (1854-1946)
Louise Drexel Morrell (1863-1943)
Emily Poole Baxter (1874-1921)
Josephine Formanns Benoit (1896-2001)
Mary Alice Nelson Archambaud (1903-1977)
Marjorie Moulton Murphy (1912-2000)
Helen A. Libby (1915-2000)
Rosemary Karam Baldacci (1926-2002)

Chapter 8: The Contemporary Scene

Mary Consuela Florence White (b. 1920)
Elizabeth Gribbin (b. 1921)
Patricia M. Collins (b. 1927)
Margaret Dorgan (b. 1927)
Olga Kanayan Proudian (b. 1927)
Mary George O’Toole (b. 1930)
Joyce Connors Rogers (b. 1932)
Theresa Therrien (b. 1932)
Bernadette Gilbert Cyr (b. 1933)
Adele M. Millette (b. 1934)
Mary Norberta Malinowski (b. 1936)
Gloria Capone Hutchinson (b. 1939)
P. Yvonne Goulet (b. 1939)
Judy Ayotte Paradis (b. 1944)
Cynthia Murray-Beliveau (b. 1947)
Patricia Pora (b. 1947)
Rita-Mae Bissonnette (b. 1948)
Tabitha Spruce King (b. 1949)
Rhea Coté Robbins (b. 1954)
Joan Benoit Samuelson (b. 1957)
Susan E. Conroy (b. 1965)


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