The Society of the Holy Child Jesus
Founded: 1846 by Venerable Cornelia Connelly
Purposes: Catholic instruction in parochial schools and colleges. Order founded Rosemont College along the "main line" in the Philadelphia suburbs. This liberal arts college catered to wealthy young Catholic girls and one of John F. Kennedy's sisters attended school there.
Habit: Black habit with veil and white cap and collar. Cap is rounded around edges. Gold crucifix hangs from belt with rosary and silver cross is worn around the neck. Foundress designed habit with cross, but cross was not "approved" for the habit until after the Foundress' death. A medal of the Holy Child Jesus is attached to the end of the rosary instead of a crucifix.
Interesting Notes: Supposedly, the sisters curled the ends of the caps around broom handles and starched them in order to make them curled as seen in the photos. The foundress, Cornelia Connelly, was raised an Episcopalian in Philadelphia. She converted to Catholicism and initially entered the convent so her husband could become a Roman Catholic priest. Her initial formation was with the Society of the Sacred Heart. At one time, upon entering the order, the candidate was asked to bring, among other things, tea and silver services and plate settings as part of her dowry. This order was at one time considered one of the "elite" orders of the Roman Catholic Church.