Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1943 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
Newspaper Page Text
JANE WHITAKER VISITS THE HOUSE OF THE
f GOOD SHEPHERD HERE'S HER STORY
By Jane Whitaker
- "When I visited the House of the
(food Shepherd there"was in my mind
the criticisms. I had heard regarding
it and shortly after the mother su
perior had greeted me and given me
permission to inspect the institution
I asked her if she would be willing to
tell me the reason for some of the
things objected to by some of the
girls and by some of the people out
side who have talked to me.
I-took her smile as an assent and 1
; "There is criticism of the censor
ship of correspondence you maintain.
Is it true that you so rigidly censor
psrrespondence ? "
- "We certainly do rigidly censor it,"
she answered, "and in that we have
the support of the federal govern
ment. These girls are, many of them,
practically white slaves. They are
placed here to protect them from
their former environment If that
environment had been the right one
they would not have come here.
"We open the letters they receive.
If there is some advice or suggestion
in the letter that in our opinion the
girl should not receive and that will
not help her to build a new and better
life we return the letter to its writer.
"If the letter is from one of her old
friends or from some man she knew
vre also return these. The letters the
girl herself writes are read by us lest
there should be something written to
some former companion, some plan
made that we do not thing it advis
able to have made.
"We try to break the girl away
from the past that placed her where
she-ds. We only permit her relatives
to visit her and that visit is in a meas
ure censored by us, since a sister sits
in the roam with the girL"
"It is also declared that you do not
permit visitors through the institution,"
"We do not admit the general pub
lic," the mother answered, "and that
again is to protect the girls. We have
no objection to any one who has a
real interest and a genuine motive
going through the institution, but to
throw it open to the inspection of the
public would mean that we would
have no way of knowing but that a
man was a white slaver and merely
wanted to look over our girls and per
haps identify some girl or perhaps
in a manner undetected by us com
municate with her.
"Then we feel that it is not kind
to the girls to have many visitors go
ing through the institut on. You will
find that a number of girls will hide
when the word is circulated that a
visitor is coming.
"Many of these girls are from very
fine families and they do not wish to
be recognized and they are ashamed
of having reached the place where
they should be sentenced."
"We received an anonymous letter
from a girl complaining that she had
had to work in the laundry," I next
"Assuredly the girl have to work,
In any institution they must work.
What good would be accomplished if
we let them sit around idly exchang
ing gossip? They are taught many
things that we think wfll help them
when they leave. Their work is not
hard, but they must work."
"Since this is a nonsectarian home
and Protestant as well as Catholic
girls are sent here, do you insist that
they follow the Catholic form of wor
ship? I asked. "Though I am not a
Catholic myself, I am making tbfo
query merely to answer criticism.
Personally, I never discuss creeds of
'How absurd," the mother laughed.
'JWe could not force them to follow
any form of worship, a would be
unconstitutional. We do not evtin
force Cathotte .girls to attend to iheix