Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sacramental Significance

After discovering the Carnival of Genealogy, hosted on Creative Gene, I decided to write this post.

Our family is a mix of Roman Catholics and various protestants. My maternal grandmother and my paternal grandparents (all of whom are still living) are Roman Catholic. My maternal grandfather, William Theodore Morgan (1916-1983) was Presbyterian. When he married my maternal grandmother, she raised the children Catholic. In researching the various Catholic sacraments, I have discovered a few very interesting items.

I have found a photo (too large to scan) of one of my paternal great-grandmothers in a white, lace-trimmed dress. Mary Catherine Hermes would have been about 12 years old in the photo, dating the photo to about 1907. Because of the dress color and style, the gold cross necklace she wore and the formal nature of the photo (inside at a studio, with her hand resting on the back of a chair), our family suspects this is either her First Eucharist photo or Confirmation photo. We also have a certificate for her First Eucharist, that would confirm the date and event of the photo. The unknown is whether or not at that time, the sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation were received together.

Another document that I have seen is the marriage certificate from Italy (written in Italian) for my maternal great-grandparents. They were born in 1882 and 1888, and married in Italy before they immigrated to the USA. This is also unavailable to scan tonight.

I have been raised Catholic, having this faith handed down to me from both my mother's and my father's families. I was baptized at 5-6 weeks old, made First Reconciliation and First Eucharist in 2nd grade, was Confirmed in 10th grade, and married my husband a little over 3 years ago. After our daughter was born, we scheduled her baptism to pass our faith on to her.

"Katherine Elizabeth, I baptize you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."

Four generations of baptized Catholic women! :)


  1. Lovely post, fab photos! You look very happy!

    By the way, you could try taking a photo of Mary Catherine Hermes . If it is behind glass you will fight glare, but if you have a digitial camera you can try, try and try again. Have fun, and good luck.


  2. Good post! I hope to see more from you in the

  3. Wonderful pictures and post. You make it so clear why religion and faith have a place in our family history research.

    Carol's point about photographing your document/photos is well made. I've had luck photographing during daylight and turning the flash off on my camera.

  4. Carol and Nolichucky Roots, Thanks! I didn't think of that this time, and yet I've done it many times before. Thanks for the reminder. :)

    Thank you Bill!

  5. We have a Bergschneider connection with you, and I have recently been researching our line. See our website at for more. Would love to include your family.


  6. Lovely post. I enjoyed reading it.