Sister Mary Joachim Savage, R.S.M.

(March 25, 1868 - June 20, 1956)


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Sister Mary Joachim Savage, R.S.M.

Secular Name: Margaret Savage
Home Address: 184 West End Ave., Newark, New Jersey
Date of Birth: March 25, 1868
Place of Birth: Newark, New Jersey
Date of Baptism: April 2, 1868
Place of Baptism: “ “ “
Father’s Name: Nicholas Savage
Place of Birth: Donegal, Ireland
Mother’s Maiden Name: Mary Ward
Place of Birth: “ “
Date of Entrance: April 19, 1892
Novitiate: Sacred Heart, Oklahoma Territory
Date of Reception: January 1, 1893
Date of Perpetual Vows: August 15, 1895 at Sacred Heart, Oklahoma
Date of Death: June 20, 1956 at Mercy Hospital, Oklahoma City

Sr. Mary Joachim had a lingering illness and spent the last four months of her life in a coma, following a stroke. Sister was in the 61st year of her religious profession at the time of her death. Her sibling, Sr. M. Monica preceded her in death by eleven years.

Reception Ceremony

New Year’s Day – 1893, will long be remembered by those who had the pleasure of witnessing the impressive ceremony of the religious receptions of five young ladies, which took place in the new Church at Sacred Heart Mission. The Order into which they were received is the zealous efficient and wide-spread Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy. The young ladies, who had the happiness of receiving the Holy Habit on this Occasion, were the Misses Margaret Savage, in religion, Sr. M. Joachim; Alice Savage, in religion Sr. M. Monica; both were from Newark, N.J…. The Rt. Rev. Bishop officiated and the entire community of the Sacred Heart Monastery were present.

Golden Jubilee Celebration

August 2, 1945 marked the golden jubilee of the religious profession of Sister Mary Joachim Savage, R.S.M., at Mount St. Mary Academy, Oklahoma City, OK.

The day’s festivities began with a High Mass celebrated by Rev. Bernard Havlik, a Sacred Heart Church, Oklahoma City, OK. After the mass, a few words of congratulation were spoken to the jubilarian by the chaplain of Mount St. Mary’s, Rev. P.I. Wilwerding. The sermon for the occasion was delivered by Rev. Herman Joseph Schafers, pastor of Sacred Heart Church, Oklahoma City. Father Schafers dwelt with particular emphasis on the life and work of the jubilarian who, in 1892, left her home in Newark, New Jersey, to labor among the Indians of what was then Indian Territory. He said that neither the prospect nor the reality of the hardships encountered by traveling and even by sleeping in covered wagons, of crossing dangerous rivers, of risking attack by Indians and by outlaws could deter Sr. M. Joachim from seeking outlet for her zeal in ministering to the souls and bodies of the settlers in Oklahoma Territory. A resident of Oklahoma since territorial days, a former pupil of the Sisters of Mercy, and at present pastor of the last school in which the jubilarian labored, Father Schafers was well fitted to describe that life and work as he had seen it, known it, and admired it for many years.

In the afternoon, a varied program honoring the jubilarian was presented by the Sisters, and many beautiful and useful gifts were given to her.

Reference for next quote: Morris, Sr. Mary Mercedes. R.S.M. (1947) The Sisters of Mercy of Oklahoma 1884-1944. Dissertation submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences of The Catholic University of America in partial fulfillment of the Requirements of the Degree of Master of Arts. Washington, D.C. October, 1947. p. 49 “Two rural schools were opened in 1927 at Canuta, a town founded in 1902 by an independent townsite company. It had a small residential and business section by “sheet-metal cotton sheds and gin houses spread out on both sides of the highway indicate the town’s main industry, cotton ginning.” 38. Some long standing disagreement between the two German communities of Canute gave rise to two separate parishes, Holy Family near the town proper with the Reverend P. Schaeffer as pastor and St. Francis situated on the outskirts of the town with the Reverend Nicklas Schmitt as pastor. The group of sisters sent to Holy Family school consisted of Sister Mary Joachim Savage, superior, Sister Mary Bridget Monaghan and Sister Mary Clement Murray. A lay teacher, Miss Agnes Musshafen, also assisted the Sisters….Although the enrollment in both schools was small, the people were appreciative of the work done.

Letter from Mrs. John Marino, a former student. The date is unknown.

My memory takes me back to the Indian Territory days, when we first arrived to this small coal mining town from Austria. All the ways and customs were so very strange. We started (to) the Catholic School which was staffed by the Mercy Sisters and for which my mother was so grateful to receive a Catholic education here, as she feared this being a wild country, so she was very much amazed and very grateful.

My first teacher was Sr. M. Stanislaus and another helped at the first grade and what they called then, a chart class, then primer and first grade. The chart class was so very helpful to me because it had pictures and names, so we learned much faster to speak word by word and the dear nuns were so helpful and patient.

There were so many children in that first room; better word for it, we were crowded. I don’t know how the other rooms were. I can name a lot of the Sisters, but the one that taught me longest was dear Sister Mary Joachim. I loved her.

There were a lot of girls the Sisters have boarded. They also taught all kinds of music instruments, and they gave a lot of plays in five parts; also musicals.

Krebs at that time boasted an Opera House and that’s where the Sisters gave the exhibitions, as the Sisters called it, and I thought it was great. So many came they had a full house, standing room only,[and] only .50 [cents] for adults. It was very exciting. Everybody looked forward to that play. All the children marching two by two and so very orderly; no one talking on the way.

Once I remember the Sisters had to close school about six or more weeks before the vacation on account of scarlet fever epidemic. One of the boarders got sick. Her name was Rose Schialabi and so the convent was quarantined. Later, she became a good singer and was on a stage in St. Louis. I am not sure if she went any other place.

The graduation was a big event here also. They graduated with honors and later taught in the public schools.

I only wish that the Sisters remained long enough so as to teach my children, but to my regret, they turned the school over to the Benedictine Order and so it is still, but a different school. Gone are the convent and the old school house replaced now by a brick structure.

But I know that the dear nuns of Mercy are well remembered by many old timers that still live here and talk of the old days and Sister Mary Francis and Sister Mary Mercy; also Sister Mary Gertrude. If you ask them where they went to school, they all say, “I got my start at St. Joseph’s old school, taught by Sister Mary Francis. Also they conducted a night school for many boys that had to work in coal mines at an early age, and they furthered their studies to better themselves. Excuse my scribbles, hope you can make it out. God love you, Sisters of Mercy. Signed by Mrs. John Marino


1895-1900 Krebs, OK St. Joseph School Teaching Grades
1900-1905 Sacred Heart, OK St. Mary Academy Teaching Grades
1905-1910 Shawnee, OK Convent of Mercy Teaching Grades
1910-1914 Sacred Heart, OK St. Mary Academy Teaching Grades
1914-1915 Oklahoma City, OK St. Joseph School Teaching Grades
1916-1918 Krebs, OK St. Joseph School Teaching Grades
1918-1923 Krebs, OK St. Joseph School Teaching Grades & Superior
1924-1925 Oklahoma City, OK St. Joseph School Teaching Grades
1926-1928 Canute, OK Holy Family School Teaching Grades & Superior
1929-1930 Oklahoma City, OK St. Joseph School Teaching Grades
1930-1932 Oklahoma City, OK Sacred Heart School Teaching Grades
1932-1935 Elk City, OK St. Joseph School Teaching 6 & 7th Grades
1935-1956 Oklahoma City, OK Mt. St. Mary’s Academy Convent Off duty

Relatives of Sr. Mary Joachim and Sr. Mary Monica as of October 1941 were:

Mrs. W. B. Cobb
120 Oakland Terrace
Newark, NJ.
% Mrs. L.M. Leighton

The degree of relationship is not indicated on the Sisters of Mercy Archives Record.

Indian Tribes sending children to St. Mary Academy at Sacred Heart , Indian Territory
- Pottawatomie Morris Reference 1947

- Chickasaw

- Seminole

It is anticipated that there were Indian children enrolled in all of the schools in OK.