This is the third cache in a five-part series chronicling the history of the Benedictine Sisters of the Annunciation in Bismarck. This cache is placed as part of my final project for HIS 350, “Intro to Public History” at the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota. This cache is located near the C. B. Little Home, the first motherhouse of the Benedictine Sisters of the Annunciation B.M.V.
Although the Sisters in North Dakota were growing dramatically in number, they were officially part of St. Benedict’s in Minnesota, and they remained that way until the 1940s. On October 16, 1941, Bishop Vincent Ryan of the Bismarck Diocese wrote a letter to the Papal Delegate in which he suggested the idea of the Sisters in North Dakota forming an independent community. Over the next two years, the idea of separating from St. Benedict’s continued to pick up momentum until November of 1943, when word came from the convent that independence was being considered and that those Sisters who wanted to become part of the new North Dakota community should let them know their wishes in writing. By June of 1944, 140 Sisters had indicated that they wished to join the proposed North Dakota community.
Finally, on March 24, 1947, the Sisters received papal approval to form an independent community. However, the news did not reach the Sisters until June 6, 1947. Pressed for time because of the delay, Bishop Ryan needed to report the name of the new community back to the papacy quickly. The Sisters did not have time to gather community input on their name, so their leadership selected the name for their new community: The Benedictine Sisters of the Annunciation B.M.V (Blessed Mary, Virgin). They chose this name because Papal Approval had been granted on March 24, and March 25 was the Feast of the Annunciation. That same year the newly formed community moved into the C. B. Little Home at 304 Avenue A West, which served as their motherhouse for the next 12 years.
BYOP. There is limited parking behind the house, which now serves as the headquarters of the Diocese of Bismarck. Individuals of a shorter disposition may need a grabbing tool or tall person of their choice to retrieve this cache. Happy Hunting!