Sunday, September 16, 2012

Aunt Lil Enrolls Forever

I am sometimes surprised at the material I’ve discovered in Agnes Tully Stevens personal papers. Not that the material is inordinate in any way. It’s just that, well, some of these things are not exactly her own belongings.

Take this card below, for instance. It belonged to her sister Lily. Granted, Aunt Lil never married, and was a lifelong resident at her parents’ home in Chicago. While she was employed outside the home for many years, she left little to help anyone in the future determine what sort of life she lived. What little was saved came to me with her sister Agnes’ belongings.

While Lil did share the family’s proclivity to enjoy games, she also had a serious side. Like her mother—and, no doubt, her sisters, too—Lily Tully felt the draw of a spiritual nature.

One card from her papers, kept in nearly pristine condition, was a declaration issued by an organization called the Seraphic Mass Association. While the card was dated 1949, I wondered if there were such an organization still in existence. There is. And it still remains in Pittsburgh, though not at the same address.

I can’t help but wonder if the promise to be “enrolled forever” entails receiving the stated benefits in perpetuity.

Certificate of Enrollment in the
Seraphic Mass Association
Lily A. Tully
has been enrolled forever in the Association
on August 22 1949
Fr. Cecil Nally, O. M. Cap.

1. Each year 6,000 Masses are offered for the members.
2. Members participate daily in 500 Masses; 182,500 per year.
3. In the prayers and good works of 13,000 Capuchins.
4. In 300,000 Holy Communions offered each year.

Seraphic Mass Association, St. Augustine Monastery
220 – 37th Street, Pittsburgh 1, Pa.


  1. But what a beautiful glimpse into her life! Knowing that her religion was part of her life and that her beliefs were strong. What a beautiful find in your papers. Thank you for sharing today.

    1. Thank you! Glad you stopped by! And yes, Aunt Lil's beliefs were strong. That is part of the beauty of what goes into a family heritage. We are blessed by the strengths of these earlier generations.

  2. The Seraphic Mass Association continues to exist.

    1. Interesting how that organization is still in existence. I wondered about those promises that seemed to be made in perpetuity....


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