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1893 World's Fair and the Benedictine Sisters of Chicago Connection

The Benedictine Sisters of Chicago Community Archivist, Sister Virginia Jung, OSB, hosted the Chicago Open Archives event: Columbia Welcomes the World: Benedictine Sisters and Students at the World’s Fair on Sunday, October 7, 2018, in the St. Scholastica Monastery community room. In conjunction with the Illinois Bicentennial, Chicago Area Archivists decided that the 2018 Chicago Open Archives events would aim to highlight items and collections that celebrate Illinois with the theme Chicago Archives 200: Celebrating Illinois History. Sister Virginia decided to connect the CAA theme with the 1893 World's Fair items found in the archives, as well as items that celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first graduating class of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School (Pilsen). Prioress, Sister Judith Murphy, OSB, was the founding principal of Cristo Rey and spoke about the beginning of the school (now network of Cristo Rey schools) during the panel discussion. Ph.D. Candidate in History from Loyola University Chicago, Sebastian P. Wuepper, spoke about the migration of German immigrants to Chicago in the panel discussion offering us great context for our own founding as a Benedictine community. Sister Virginia opened the panel by sharing about the items displayed at the COA event from both Sisters and students of Benedictine Sisters of Chicago that were submitted as part of the exhibit for the Columbian Exposition of 1893. Poetry and academic work, as well as embroidery, were among the many items available at the Chicago Open Archives event at the monastery.

If you would like to learn more about the archives or schedule a visit, please email Sister Virginia Jung, OSB.

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