North to Alaska

Written on: March 14, 2018

Sisters Ceil Cosgrove and Diane Bardol recently spent time in Kodiak, AK. The attached article from the February 23, 2018 issue of the Kodiak Daily Mirror seems like a good way to do that along with some clarifications and additions.


The Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart came to Kodiak in 1944 at the invitation of the Town’s Fathers, to administer the hospital that had fallen into ruins. How that came about was entirely Providential. The Town’s Fathers made their request to the bishop of the territory who in turn told Msgr. Gallant to find Sisters to take on this mission while he was on his home visit to Prince Edward Island in the summer of 1944. His task proved to be surprisingly easy when he met two Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart in Grand Central Station N.Y.

Regarding the establishment of the Marian Center,

In 2000, Sisters Barbara Harrington and Carol Bartol came to Kodiak to work with the needs of the immigrant population. This required office space and a place to gather. Through their instrumentality the Marian Center was built to serve their mission which included doing everything necessary to accompany the many immigrants in Kodiak in every aspect of their new and difficult life situations.


Our trip to Kodiak was our way of responding to the needs of the people there in a manner compatible with our current demographics.

The Grey Nuns were the only religious congregation to have maintained a long term presence in Kodiak and after we left in 2009 there were no sisters with whom the people, especially the women, could share their spiritual life. However, there is a small group of women who keep their hearts close to the ground and their fingers on the pulse so as to intuit needs. The current burning question was “How can we remain positive in such negative times?”  This became the substance of the retreat day they wanted and we facilitated. We called it ‘The Wisdom of Hope‘.

Shortly after our travel arrangements were made, but before they were announced to anyone, the hospital chaplain, Orthodox Deacon Innocent Philo asked Fru Finn, a St. Mary’s woman, if there would be a Grey Nun of the Sacred Heart he could talk to about the history and mission of the Grey Nuns on Kodiak. The present Hospital Administration desires to keep our mission and theirs united!

It would seem that Divine Providence and the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart have been working together for a very long time.

Even in our twilight years Divine Providence, You are the Promoter of all the wonderful works of God and the Source of all good.

In spite of the busy schedule, there was time to visit many friends, share meals together and sight-see!  View pictures here

Sister Ceil and Sister Diane

Staying connected to the people in Kodiak, Alaska, is a high priority for the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart. The trip described here is part of an ongoing commitment by the Congregation to have Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart visit this mission at least once a year. We depend upon your generosity to assist us in making this dream a reality. To learn of other ways we depend upon your financial and spiritual support, please click here.

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