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"In 1874 the Sisters had obtained a Charter for an educational institution in the State of Illinois. Especially Article 3: ‘To maintain a seminary for young ladies and to promote Christian morals and benevolence,' set the tone for the future of St. Francis Academy and it's successors.

Plans for St. Francis Academy at the Oak Hill Nursery site were ready for groundbreaking when Bishop Foley called for the election of a new Reverend Mother.

  Consequently, the new academy was never built on the east side of Joliet as planned by Mother Alfred in 1875. The unused plans bear great similarities to Our Lady of Lourdes Academy, which was built in Rochester, MN.
  The letters commissioning Mother Alfred to build in Minnesota showed that she was acting in obedience to her superior. All was going well until Bishop Foley stepped in again. This time he ordered a separation between Mother Alfred and the Sisters in Joliet. Within ten days each Sister had to decide whether she would remain a Joliet Franciscan or join Mother Alfred in what would become the Rochester Franciscan community."2
"The outcome was that twenty-five Sisters out of the community of one hundred seventeen members now formed a new community under the superiorship of Mother Alfred, with their motherhouse at Rochester, Minnesota.

During the chapter held in Rochester in the following July, 1878, under the presidency of Bishop Grace of St. Paul, his Lordship appointed Mother Alfred as the first Mother General of the new congregation.

Century of Caring Poster These seemingly adverse circumstances for the community at Joliet eventually proved by the direction of an all-wise Providence, a boon to humanity in the establishment of other institutions by Mother Alfred, notably among them St. Mary's Hospital at Rochester, Minnesota, with Dr. William Worrall Mayo as its first medical head, and, for some years past, under the direction of his sons, Doctors William James Mayo and Charles Horace Mayo of international renown."1