The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 86, July 1982 - April, 1983

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

has been ignored. The result is the first comprehensive treatment of
the history of rainmaking in all its varieties. Clark C. Spence has done
a masterful job and encased the results in his clear, delightful prose.
Central State University of Oklahoma DONALD E. GREEN
Mother Angelique Ayres, Dreamer and Builder of Our Lady of the
Lake University. By Sister Generosa Callahan, CDP. (Austin: Jen-
kins Publishing Company, 1981. Pp. 192. Introduction, preface,
photographs. $17.)
For close friends of Mother Angelique Ayres and Our Lady of the
Lake University in San Antonio, Texas, this brief account will no
doubt recall mostly pleasant memories, but for those unfamiliar with
the woman and her university it will prove less satisfying.
Mother Angelique Ayres (1882-1968) was the first American-born
superior-general of the Sisters of Divine Providence and the dean of
Our Lady of the Lake University for nearly fifty years (1913-1960).
Her lengthy academic tenure was characterized by an awareness of the
need for sisters who taught to be formally trained and by the related
desire to secure the highest accreditation for Our Lady of the Lake
University from state and national educational authorities. This part
of her story is told in a straightforward if unimaginative style, but in
the process the personality of Mother Angelique is lost.
The reader is left in the air about such vital questions as why the
fourteen-year-old granddaughter of a Mississippi slaveowner decided
to become a Roman Catholic nun, and why Sister Angelique had such
infrequent contact with her father, even failing to attend his funeral.
Did Mother Angelique, who headed the Congregation of the Sisters of
Divine Providence from 1943 to 1955 as superior-general, have a domi-
nating personality? Apparently. After noting that she was loved and
esteemed by her sisters,' the author adds that once mother had made up
her mind, "no one dared to question her; there was only obedience" (p.
155)-
Then, too, there are larger issues raised but not pursued. Mother
Angelique is said to have had an interest in training "Mexican-Ameri-
can young ladies" (p. 144) to do social work among San Antonio's poor.
Did this contribute to the establishment in 1942 of the Graduate
School of Social Service at the university? Again, the author credits
Mother Angelique with "work[ing] for the education of blacks" (p. 173)
long before the desegregation crisis of the 1950s. What exactly did she
do? Was Our Lady of the Lake University in the forefront of the inte-

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 86, July 1982 - April, 1983. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101209/. Accessed November 25, 2014.