St. Frances Academy Convent - Baltimore MD
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Don.Morfe
N 39° 18.155 W 076° 36.529
18S E 361281 N 4351589
Quick Description: Father James Joubert and Elizabeth Lange founded the Oblate Sisters of Providence—a religious order of black women dedicated to educating the children of their race. In 1870 the convent and school moved to their current building on 501 East Chase St.
Location: Maryland, United States
Date Posted: 4/24/2022 11:29:14 AM
Waymark Code: WM1632C
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Alfouine
Views: 0

Long Description:
TEXT from the Historic Marker placed on the building by the First Maryland Foundation, Sponsor; Oblate Sisters of Providence, Sponsor; William Donald Schaefer, Mayor of Baltimore City.

St. Frances Academy-More than thirty years before the Civil War, when blacks and women were generally viewed as property, Father James Joubert and Elizabeth Lange founded the Oblate Sisters of Providence—a religious order of black women dedicated to educating the children of their race. This was the first order of black nuns anywhere in the world. The women began their novitiate in 1828; that the same year, they established St. Frances Academy, now the oldest existing school for blacks in Maryland.
Father Joubert, a French Sulpician priest, had come to Baltimore from Haiti, and soon became involved in black religious education at St. Mary’s Seminary. Elizabeth Lange, an educated young black woman, had also fled the turmoil in Haiti and settled in Baltimore, in the Catholic, French-speaking area of present-day Seton Hill.
Distressed by the lack of educational opportunities for blacks, Elizabeth Lange conducted a school in her home for nearly ten years, assisted by another Caribbean refugee, Marie Magdeleine Balas. Lack of funds finally forced the school to close.
Shortly thereafter, Father Joubert proposed that a new school be established and made secure by the creation of a black female teaching order. His daring proposal was eagerly accepted by the two women, and, under his spiritual direction, a small community of black women was organized in June, 1828. In 1829, the women took their vows in the chapel of St. Mary’s Seminary.
Despite financial difficulties and sporadic violence from a hostile community the convent and school survived, assisted in turn by the Sulpicians, Redemptorists, Jesuits and Josephites.
In 1870 the convent and school moved to this building, designed by George Frederick, architect of Baltimore City Hall.
(Inscriptions under the two photos on the left)
Elizabeth Lange; Father Joubert
Full name of the abbey/monastery/convent: St. Frances Academy

Address:
501 East Chase Street
Baltimore, MD United States
21202


Religious affiliation: Catholic

Date founded/constructed: 1870

Web Site: [Web Link]

Status of Use: Acitvely Used

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Don.Morfe visited St. Frances Academy Convent - Baltimore MD 8/11/2022 Don.Morfe visited it