This week’s #HiddenCatholicCollection is the archives of Our Lady of Victory Missionary Sisters, commonly known as Victory Noll Sisters, an order of Catechists based in Indiana who provided religious education, social services and health care in the Southwest from the 1920s. The Archives has about 90 linear ft. and eleven file drawers of material that supports the order’s catechetical work, housed at the Motherhouse in Huntington, Indiana. Included in the collection are glass slides, photographs, and postcards.
The Victory Noll Sisters are a Pontifical Congregation founded in 1922 by Father John J. Sigstein. Although most of the people at their missions in New Mexico may have been baptized, many did not receive instruction on any of the other sacraments. The Catechists would instruct all ages to prepare them for their First Holy Communion, and later for their confirmation. Fr. Sigstein wanted to minister to the poorest of the poor, and when the Catechists would ask their benefactors for assistance for their missions, one of the requests would be for gifts (toys, candy, or fruit) for their young charges for Christmas. Many of their early supporters resided in the Midwest or East.
Glass slides in the Archives document the challenges Victory Noll Sisters faced in heading from the Midwest to the New Mexico mission field, including 1923 images of the Sisters crossing the Mora River on their way to El Pardo, New Mexico, including their Model T Ford being removed after it stalled in an attempt to ford the river. The Archives has digitized The Missionary Catechist, the mission’s journal. It was published from December 1924 to October 1964 and is filled with information about and images from their missions. It is available online here.
The collection has not been fully digitized and an online finding aid has not yet been established, however, researchers are welcome to make an appointment to visit the archive in person. For more info, contact Archivist Jeff Hoffman at [email protected]
Our Lady of Victory Missionary Sisters
1900 W. Park Dr.
Huntington, IN 46750