Mass to honor Mother Kaupas set for Friday
MOUNT CARMEL - A Mass to commemorate Mother Maria Kaupas and the founding of the Sisters of Saint Casimir will be held at 7 a.m. Friday at Divine Redeemer Church, Avenue and Poplar Street.
Kaupas moved from Lithuania to Scranton in 1897 to work as a housekeeper for her brother, the Rev. Anthony Kaupas. She sought to enter a congregation but was tasked to lead a new congregation of women to provide Catholic education to Lithuanian immigrants. She studied for three years in Switzerland before the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Casimir was founded in 1907 in Pennsylvania.
Kaupas oversaw the opening of the former Holy Cross School, Mount Carmel, in 1908, which was the first Lithuanian Catholic school in the U.S.
The sisters' motherhouse opened in Chicago in September 1911. A congregation was launched in Lithuania about 10 years later. The sisters also opened Holy Cross Hospital in Chicago in 1928 out of response to the deadly influenza outbreak the decade prior.
Kaupas served as general superior until her death in 1940. Pope Benedict XVI declared her "venerable" in 2010, placing her on the path toward beatification and eventual sainthood.
A shrine honoring Mother Maria is at the St. Pauline Visintainer Center, Kulpmont. Sisters of St. Casimir forwarded some of Kaupas' personal effects for display there.