We came across a Hermes 3000 typewriter case that bore the original owner's name. Intreguied, we opened the case and found the original sales receipt showing that the typewriter had been a "gift" for the sister. After some research on the name, it appears that the original owner passed in 2001. As such, I felt the call to research some more and write this blog in memory of the late nun. Please bear in mind that I did not know the original owner, so this information is conjecture built on the owner's name and the address on the sales receipt, aided by some research.
Sr. Theresa Costantini, M. P. F., was born in 1914 (Reilly, 2006). The initials after her name, M. P. F., stand for Maestre Pie Filippini, Italian for Religious Teachers Filippini. Founded in 1692 by St. Lucy Filippini, the Sisters of St. Lucy Filippini is an order of Catholic Nuns whose vocation is to educate. (Religious Teachers, 2016) Not surprisingly based on her order, it appears that Sr. Theresa Costantini was a teacher who began working at a school associated with St. Rocco's Catholic Church in September 1950 along with 5 other nuns and a mother superior. A convent was built near the church and school where she lived. (Fisher, 2016)
The founder of the order, Lucy Filippini, had a vision to bring not only religious teachings to girls and women, but also reading and writing to the poverty-stricken (Religious Teachers, 2018). What could be a more perfect gift for a sister of such an order than a "modern" machine that facilitates writing? The sales receipt shows that this 1963 Hermes 3000 was given to the sister in the same year of manufacture, December 1963, perhaps as a Christmas present. Also a perfect gift in such a climate for religious sisters where, earlier that same year in the same state, a newspaper article came out showing how sisters were modernizing their habits (pun intended)!
The gift was purchased at the Eastern Typewriter Exchange in Perth Amboy, NJ.
It is interesting to note that the address listed on the receipt, 301 Barclay St., Perth Amboy, NJ, is Most Holy Rosary School (Google Maps, 2015). Sr. Theresa is not listed as a former employee (Bizstanding, 2018), so it is difficult to tell if this address was Sr. Theresa's, or the person who gave the typewriter to Sr. Theresa.
Most Holy Rosary School is about 2.25 hours from St. Rocco's church of Pittston, PA. In 1966/67, the old convent was destroyed and a new one built to house the sisters. The grade school closed in 1971, and along with it, the sisters of the order of Filippini left the school. (Capitano,1995) St. Rocco closed as a Catholic church in July 2012, to be purchased by a Russian Orthodox church in September 2015. (Fisher, 2016)
As is said in the Catholic church, Sr. Theresa obtained her eternal reward in 2001, and was buried in the Villa Walsh Convent Cemetery in Morristown, New Jersey (Reilly, 2006). Her memory now lives on through her typewriter, which is now being put to good use with another happy owner in the US.
If anyone knows of the late sister or how she came to acquire this typewriter, I encourage you to write in the comments below any updates that can improve upon the accuracy or detail of this article.
Bizstanding. (2018). Holy Rosary School, 301 Barclay St, Perth Amboy, NJ 08861. Retrieved from https://bizstanding.com/p/holy+rosary+school-60612820 Capitano, K. (1995, October 22). St. Rocco's Church Marks 75th Anniversary Today. Sunday Dispatch. Page 2 (46). Retrieved from https://www.newspapers.com/image/428503610/?terms=St.+Rocco%27s+Church+Marks+75th+Anniversary+Today
Fisher, J. (2016, January 13). St. Rocco's Church in Pittston Reopens as St. Irene Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Times Leader. Retrieved from https://www.timesleader.com/news/503281/st-roccos-church-in-pittston-reopens-as-st-irene-russian-orthodox-outside-church-of-russia Google Maps Street View. (2015, August). [Picture from the street view of the address, 298 Barclay St, Perth Amboy, NJ, taken August 2015]. Google Maps. Retrieved from https://www.google.com/maps/place/301+Barclay+St,+Perth+Amboy,+NJemail@example.com,-74.2728097,3a,75y,187.74h,110.95t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1scyL90btn7MrteZpd-Mf_eQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!4m5!3m4!1s0x89c3ca78e3569a77:0xeb20d95d7a627676!8m2!3d40.5161936!4d-74.2729741 Maloney, E. B. (1963, Feburary 16). Centuries-Old Garb of Nuns is Changing. Asbury Park Evening Press. pg. 12. Retrieved from Newspapers.Com, https://www.newspapers.com/image/144760621/?terms=centuries%2Bold%2Bgarb%2Bof%2Bnuns%2Bis%2Bchanging
Reilly, C. (2006, May 18). Sr. Theresa Costantini. Memorial # 14322001. Retrieved from Find a Grave: https://old.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=14322001
Religious Teachers Filippini. (2016, September 30). In Wikipedia: The Free Online Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_Teachers_Filippini
Religious Teachers Filippini. (2018). History. Retrieved from http://www.filippiniusa.org/index.php/charism/history