Marydale: Nuns of the Most Holy Cross and Passion

The history of the Order of the Nuns of the Most Holy Cross and Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Diocese of Covington, dates back to April 10, 1947, when, at the invitation of Bishop Mulloy, a foundation was begun in the Diocese. At that time five Religious, four Choir Nuns and one Lay Sister, came from Our Lady of Sorrows Convent, Carrick, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and established a convent at Marydale, Erlanger, Kentucky. 

The first foundation of the Sisters in America was established in Pittsburgh, in 1910, through the efforts of Bishop J.F. Regis Canevin, the Sisters coming from Corneto, Italy. A convent was founded in Carrick, a suburb of Pittsburgh, July 9, 1910. The present permanent convent was solemnly dedicated on May 28, 1911. The foundress, Mother Mary Hyacinth of the Sacred Heart, died on April 7, 1934. The Covington foundation, established in 1947, marked the fourth foundation of the Nuns in the United States. 

Shortly after the purchase of Marydale Farm by the Diocese in 1946, one of the residential houses on the property was remodeled to serve as a temporary convent for the Passionist Nuns. The Marydale Convent became known as The Convent of the Sacred Passion. The original five members of the Erlanger Community were Mother Anna Maria, C.P.; Mother Gertrude, C.P.; Mother Matilda, C.P.; Mother Mary, C.P.; and Sister Gerard, C.P.

 The Congregation of the Passionist Nuns is a strictly cloistered, penitential and contemplative Order, founded by St. Paul of the Cross in Italy in the year 1771. Whatever time is not spent in devotional and community exercises, is given to work proper to their vocation, such as the making of vestments and the promotion of retreats for lay-women. A portion of the convent is set aside for the purpose of such retreats. The first little temporary frame convent at Marydale was only large enough to accommodate the original Community as a residence, and did not offer accommodations for lay-women retreats. In 1947, Reverend Nicholas Schneiders, C.P., was appointed the first Chaplain to the Convent of the Sacred Passion.

 On May 20, 1950, Bishop Mulloy laid the cornerstone of the present Convent of the Sacred Passion, located on Donaldson Highway, Erlanger. The convent was dedicated by the Bishop of January 24, 1951. The new convent offered ample accommodations for lay-women retreats. A program of spiritual retreats for the women of the Diocese was inaugurated May 4, 1951.

 The Community at present has eight Nuns, one Novice and two Postulants. 


excerpted fromĀ History of the Diocese of Covington, Kentucky, on the Occasion of the Centenary of the Diocese, 1853-1953, by Rev. Paul E. Ryan