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Franciscan Sisters of the Atonement papers

Identifier: CSC-016

Scope and Contents

This collection includes photographs of the order's founders and current administration, issues of the Sparks of Graymoor-Around-the-World newsletter, informational brochures about S.A. services and vocations, a prayer book, and materials printed for the centennial celebration in 1998.


  • 1930-2001
  • Majority of material found within 1995 - 2001


Restrictions on Access

This collection is open and available to the public for research in the U.S. Catholic Special Collections reading room. The materials are non-circulating.

Copyright Notice

Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

History of the Franciscan Sisters of the Atonement

The Society of the Atonement was founded in 1898 by the Reverend Lewis T. Wattson, an Episcopalian minister, and Lurana White, a novice of the Episcopal Sisters of the Holy Child. The two shared a frustration as they searched for an order that combined Franciscan traditions with a focus on Christian Unity. Together, they established the order in Graymoor, near Garrison, New York. Their early work focused on uniting the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches. In 1909, Wattson (now Father Paul James Wattson) and White (Now Mother Lurana Mary Francis White) converted to Catholicism. The two branches of the Society of the Atonement, the Friars of the Atonement and the Sisters of the Atonement, focused their ministry on promoting Christina Unity. They published magazines, and promoted the Church Unity Octave (later known as the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity). The society established missions across the United States, and in foreign countries such as Canada, England, Ireland, Italy, Japan, and Brazil. Mother Lurana passed away in 1935, and Father Paul passed away in 1940. Today, the Society of the Atonement continues to focus on service to communities and promoting Christian Unity. They operate the Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute, which promotes dialogue among different faith groups. The Sisters of the Atonement run retreat houses in Graymoor and Washington, D.C., as well as daycare centers in several cities. Many work in parish and diocesan centers, in direct service to the poor and needy.


0.25 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



Materials related to the history and present activities of the Franciscan Sisters of the Atonement.

Statement of Arrangement

The arrangement given to this collection by the donors has been maintained.


U.S. Catholic Special Collections, 304 Roesch Library

Acquisition Information

Donated to the U.S. Catholic Special Collection in 2001 by the Franciscan Sisters of the Atonement archives department, Garrison, New York.

Separated Material

The following bibliographic texts were separated from the collection and are shelved in the U.S. Catholic Special Collection: Faithful love: the constitutions of the Franciscan Sisters of the Atonement, A woman of unity : a biography of a remarkable woman, Mother Lurana of Graymoor by Sr. Mary Celine Fleming, S.A., Devotion to Our Lady of the Atonement: its roots and development by Fr. Fred Alvarez, S.A., In the beginning: foundational letters of the Society of the Atonement, 1897-1899 edited by Sr. Mary Annunciata Griffitts, S.A., and Father Paul of Graymoor by Fr. David Gannon, S.A.

General Physical Description note

0.25 linear feet

Processing Information

Processed by Colleen Mahoney, February 23, 2011

Guide to the Franciscan Sisters of the Atonement papers
Finding aid prepared by Colleen Mahoney
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University Libraries Repository

300 College Park Dr.
Dayton Ohio 45469-1360