Hawthorne family to be “reunited” in death

Hawthorne family to be “reunited” in death

The story of the great American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne should be familiar to anyone living in Salem, Mass., like Melanie and I. The author of “The House of the Seven Gables” and “The Scarlet Letter” was born in a house that used to be situated right behind where Immaculate Conception Church sits today (the church itself came later) and the actual seven-gabled house on which the book is based is now a Hawthorne museum.

In any case, Hawthorne himself is buried in Concord, Massachusetts, but his wife and one of his children are buried in England where they moved after his death. Now a religious order wants to bring them together again. Specifically the Dominican congregation founded by Hawthorne’s daughter Rose, which has been paying for upkeep of the graves.

Hawthorne’s daughter, Rose, returned to the United States and started a Catholic order dedicated to caring for cancer patients that became the Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne, based in Hawthorne, N.Y. For decades, the order has paid to maintain the Hawthorne graves in England. When cemetery keepers told the nuns the grave site needed major repair, the order proposed bringing them to the United States to Hawthorne’s descendants.

“We gave our consent gladly and thought it was an excellent idea,” said Joan Deming Ensor, 93, of Redding, Conn., one of Hawthorne’s four surviving great-grandchildren.

Incidentally, the cause for Rose’s canonization has been opened and she may one day be raised to the altars.

Technorati Tags:, , , ,

  • The story of the great American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne should be familiar to anyone living in Salem, Mass., like Melanie and I.

    We can pretty much extend the appreciation of Hawthorne beyond Salem. I read his books and about him in Detroit growing up.

    (‘Course, after moving to Swampscott The House of Seven Gables was a must-see for visiting family and friends!)

    I had to laugh at this characterization of the author in a June 1 Globe article:

    Hawthorne, considered among the giants of American literature, is known for his searing Puritan-influenced moralism and melancholy tales.

    I laughed harder, and with more appreciation, at this letter writer’s observation of the above:


  • Speaking of nuns and habits.  I had the pleasure of spending 1 hour with a Hawthorne Dominican, Sister Mary Francis on the ferry from Port Jefferson to Bridgeport.  I could tell she was a sister, because she was wearing the habit and saying the Holy Rosary!  Imagine that!

    Interestingly, they live in Hawthorne, NY.  All of them wear the habit, and from Sister Mary Francis, they all seem to be true to the faith (no calling the Holy Spirit a she).


    Interestingly, Father Wilson, I met another sister in Chicago-Midway. She was 82 years old, and was in habit.  She said she was a Franciscan of Chicago http://www.chicagofranciscans.org/.  She told me the story of how god called her back to the habit after close to 50 years, and how she had the hardest time finding a large rosary and the “cord”.