Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Genevieve Garvan Brady

Genevieve Garvan Brady - Spouse of Tycoon Nicholas Frederic Brady; Founder o/t Carroll Club; Board Chairman o/t Girls Scouts of America; Vice President of the Welfare Council of New York

Genevieve Garvan of Hartford, Conn., comely sister of Francis Patrick Garvan (Chemical Foundation), in 1906 married Nicholas Brady, son of a family whose transit and utilities fortune at one time was among the greatest in the U. S. To them both, their wealth became a means by which to serve their Church. In 1920 a Cardinal, His Eminence Giovanni Bonzano, Apostolic Delegate to the U. S., dedicated "Inisfada." The Bradys, indifferent to decorators, had spent 20 years traveling the world buying furnishings for it. Tycoon Brady, who confessed his sins in his last years to a bishop, his friend the Most Rev. John Gregory Murray (now Archbishop of St. Paul), was a trusted lay adviser to the Church, became the second U. S. Catholic named Papal Chamberlain and was made a Papal Duke in 1926, by which time he had given the Vatican more than $1,000,000.

Goodness once was viewed as woman's chief end. In a time when women compete with men in politics, business and badness, goodness and piety are seldom seen practiced on a grand scale, or recognized as such by the Press. Moreover, Papal Duchess Brady is shy, extremely apprehensive of publicity. Yet she is the foremost member of her social class in a faith which demands completely public acts of faith of its people. While her husband was living, Mrs. Brady—Dame of Malta, Dame of the Holy Sepulchre, holder of the Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice—founded the Carroll Club (for Catholic business girls), visited and gave money to Catholic hospitals, orphanages, homes for the aged. She succeeded Mrs. Herbert Hoover as board chairman of the Girls Scouts of America. Her husband dead (in 1930, leaving her $50,000,000), she accepted Notre Dame's Laetare Medal as the most notable U. S. lay Catholic of 1933, and began thinking of giving "Inisfada" to the Jesuits.

In recent months black-clad Jesuits have been seen about the estate, while a famed Jesuit, Very Rev. William Coleman Nevils, onetime president of Georgetown University, acted as negotiator of details with Mrs. Brady. To North Hills, the village (339 population) in whose boundaries lies the $8,000,000 Brady property, on which it has levied taxes for 16 years, last week's announcement was a shock. In a quandary was the village's Mayor Malcolm Pratt ("Mac") Aldrich.

Nicholas and Genevieve had given over one million dollars to the Vatican by 1926. Nicholas was the
personal friend of three Popes. He took a leading part in the organization and development of Catholic
Charities of the Archdiocese of New York under the leadership of Cardinal Hayes. The following honors
were conferred upon Nicholas: Knight of Malta (he founded the American chapter), Knight Commander of
St. Gregory and Knight of St. Gregory, Knight of the Supreme Order of Christ, Papal Chamberlain and
Papal Duke.

Nicholas and Genevieve were leading Catholic laypersons in the world. Genevieve received a Doctor of
Laws from Georgetown University.
Genevieve was awarded the following honors, a Laetaere Medal from the University of Notre Dame; Order of the Knight of the Crown from King Albert of Belgium; Cross of Malta; French Academy Award; and Papal Dutchess. Genevieve succeeded Mrs. Hoover as Chairperson of the National Girl Scouts of America and was Vice President of the Welfare Council of New York. By 1930, the Brady’s had given more than 2 million dollars for the buildings and grounds of the Jesuit Center in Wernersville, PA. Just two months before the Jesuit Center opened, Nicholas Frederic Brady passed away in his New York residence on March 27, 1930. A Requiem Mass was celebrated at the
Church of St. Ignatius Loyola on March 29, 1930. Nicholas is buried in a crypt beneath an altar in the main
chapel at the Jesuit Novitiate at Wernersville, PA. His Eminence Patrick Cardinal Hayes issued a
statement in the public press which reflects his personal attachment and keen sense of loss: “Church,
country, and city may well lament the passing of Nicholas Frederic Brady, a lovable personality whose
sublime Christian faith, unbounded charity, inspiring family life, notable citizenship, and sensitive fidelity to high ideals in business relations leave an impress long to be remembered and cherished by a host of friends who deeply mourn their personal loss.” Genevieve Garvan Brady died in 1938 and is buried in a
vault next to her beloved - Nicholas.

http://www.stignatiusloyola.org/pdf/nursery/nursery_history.pdf (Proof Positive)

After the death of her husband, Genevieve donated Inisfada in 1937 to the New York Province of the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits. By 1963 Fr. John Magan, S.J. converted it into a retreat house. What was formerly a summer refuge for the wealthy eventually became a spiritual oasis for all. The long paned windows on the southern exposure of the main chapel, once the living room, gently filters in the daylight of each season upon the altar and pews to enhance your quiet.

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