Blessed Marie Catherine Aspirancy

Aspi 9.12 052

420 Auburn Rd
Avondale, PA 19311

For questions or more information, please contact our Vocations Director: M. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Ambrogio, SSVM at or tel. 202-543-1179.

study room_maria

“Within the diverse periods that are distinguished in the formative process, we find, situated in first place, the Aspirancy, for all those who at an early age manifest a desire to devote themselves to God” (Constitutions, 232).  Blessed John Paul II affirms that “Christ’s call ‘Follow Me’ …usually makes itself heard in youth; sometimes it is even heard in childhood” (Dilecti Amici, 8).

The Blessed Marie Catherine Aspirancy offers girls of high school age a place to  listen more intently to the Lord’s call in a joyful, familial environment while continuing their high school education.  Saint Thomas teaches, when considering the predilection of Jesus for the apostle John, “this gives us understanding on how God loves in a special way those that give themselves to his service from an early age” (Exposition of the Gospel of John 21,5,2).

maria_daisy longwood trip

The girls mature in an environment that promotes the practice of virtue, a devout sacramental life, and spiritual growth. Thus, the adolescents “who have manifested the seed of a vocation [are able] to discern more easily and to respond to it… with sufficient responsibility and freedom” (Const., 232).

Our Patroness

Blessed Marie Catherine of St. Augustine

In his homily on the day of the beatification of Blessed Marie Catherine, Pope John Paul the Great said: “Among the founders of the Church of Canada in its spiritual springtime can be numbered Marie Catherine, this Augustinian whose hand, as well as her heart, was nothing other than charity.”

Catherine de Longpre was born on May 3, 1632 in Saint Savuer, France.  She responded to the call to religious life when she was 12 and entered the congregation of the Augustinian Hospitaller Sisters of the Mercy of Jesus, taking the name Marie Catherine of St. Augustine.  By the age of 16, she offered herself to Quebec, New France where she was sent as a missionary working tirelessly for 20 years.  She vowed to live and die in Canada, giving her life to the poor and the sick.  She died on May 8, 1688 at the age of 36 and was beatified on April 23, 1989. Her feast day is celebrated May 8th.

In a circular letter upon her death, Blessed Marie Catherine’s superior described her with these words: “prudent, with simplicity, keen of perception, without curiosity; sweet and gracious, without flattery; invincible in her patience; tireless in her charity; amiable to all, without undue attachment to any; humble, without being mean-spirited; courageous, without any haughtiness.”