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Historical Society To Host Lecture on Mother Marianne Cope’s Time in Oswego

OSWEGO — The Oswego County Historical Society will host a lecture entitled “A Saint Amongst Us: The Life of Mother Marianne Cope” on Sept. 16 at 1:30 p.m. at the Mother Marianne Cope Hall behind St. Peter’s Church at 83 E. Albany St.

The guest speaker will be Sister Kathleen Osbelt, Director of Missions for the Sisters of St. Francis of the Newman Community.

This lecture coincides with final canonization of Mother Marianne Cope as a Saint on Oct. 21 at the Vatican.

“Many people may not realize the Mother Marianne Cope lived in Oswego while she served as the Mother Superior of the St. Teresa Convent at St. Peter’s Church in the 1860s, when the church was newly established,” said Justin White, president of the historical society. “She also served as the principal of the school.”

Mother Marianne Cope was born in Germany in 1838. Her parents immigrated to the United States in 1839 and soon after settled in Utica, NY. In 1862, she joined the Sisters of the Third Order Regular of Saint Francis based in Syracuse, NY.

She was a founding member of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Utica in 1866. She later served as Superior Govern of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse in the 1870s.

Her greatest mission was her service overseeing the Sisters of St. Francis in the creation and management of hospital for leprosy suffers in the Hawaiian Islands beginning in 1883. There she became known as the “Mother of Outcast.”

She died in Hawaii in 1918.

St. Peter’s Church’s hall in Oswego was named in her honor in 1987, as it originally served as the school and the convent.

What makes St. Peter’s Church so unique, is that the hall is the only building still standing where Mother Marianne ever resided.

Efforts are being made by the church to create a shrine in her memory.

The event will be free and is open to the public.

The Oswego County Historical Society is a non-profit organization founded in 1896 and dedicated to the collection, promotion and interpretation of the historical resources of the county.

The museum is open Thursday through Saturday from 1 – 5 p.m. and other days by appointment.

For more information contact the museum at 343-1342.