St. Elizabeth's Convent

On April 25, 1859, Father Pamfilo da Magliano, O.S.F., in the chapel of St. Bonaventure's College and Seminary, gave to Mary Jane Todd the habit of the Third Order of St. Francis and the name Sister Mary Joseph.  This reception marked the beginning of a new Congregation of Franciscan Sisters in the United States.  It was also the first Congregation founded in the Buffalo Diocese, which had been created some ten years earlier.   In 1861, the first convent was built on the hill and by 1863 became home to a girls Academy.  By the 1930's, the building was already over- crowded, and there was a need for a new infirmary, auditorium, more classrooms, a dean's office, a faculty library, accommodations for more retreatants, more summer school students, and more academy girls. As the years progressed so did the increasing needs of a growing community. 

1959 marked 100th year anniversary of the foundation of  the Sisters of St. Francis of Allegany, and it was that same year that the Sisters of Allegany moved into their newly- founded Motherhouse.  The current St. Elizabeth's crowns one of Allegany's rolling hills and is surrounded by natural beauty.  The building is varicolored brick trimmed with buff Indiana limestone.  The brick was chosen for its resemblance to the handmade brick used many years ago in this locality and was evident in the old Motherhouse.

To visit the St. Elizabeth Convent homepage, click here

The archivist at the St. Elizabeth
Motherhouse has created a detailed layout
of all the sisters who are buried at the St. Bonaventure Cemetery
Her layout stretches down almost an
entire hallway, and mirrors the layout
of the Cemetery itself; making it a very
useful tool to locating any sister's burial
A picture of some early sisters gathered
at the Mortuary Chapel, which once stood
on the grounds of the St. Bonaventure
Another view of the sisters
A view of a procession at the
Mortuary Chapel
A recent picture of the sisters gathered
outside the Motherhouse.

Return to Mortuary Chapel

Return to Cemetery

Return to the Cemetery Tour

Last updated: 26 January 2007