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Connelly, Cornelialocked

(15 January 1809–18 April 1879)
  • Carleen Mandolfo


Connelly, Cornelia (15 January 1809–18 April 1879), founder of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Ralph Peacock, a land speculator and merchant, and Mary Swope Bowen. Very little is known about Cornelia’s early childhood, including her education. Like many young women of that time in Philadelphia she probably was educated at home by her mother and possibly tutors. After the death of both her parents, she was raised by her well-to-do half-sister, Isabella Bowen Montgomery, who spared no expense in developing Cornelia’s talents. It is uncertain whether she was baptized into the Presbyterian church where her family attended when she was a small child, but records show that Cornelia was baptized into the Episcopal church in February 1831 and married Pierce Connelly, an Episcopalian priest, in December of that year. They had five children....

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