ANNE AYRES Biography - Religious Figures & Icons


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Name: Anne Ayres                                                                       
Born: January 3, 1816                                                                 
Died: February 9, 1886                                                                 
Anne Ayres (January 3, 1816-February 9, 1886) was a nun and the founder of the         
first Episcopalian religious order for women.                                         
Born in London, she emigrated to the United States in 1836; settling in New York       
City. She tutored the daughters of wealthy families, and in 1845 she decided to       
follow a religious life, after hearing a speech by Episcopal clergyman William         
Augustus Muhlenberg.                                                                   
There were no religious orders specifically for women in the Episcopal Church so       
Ayres was consecrated a “sister of the Holy Communion”. She gathered other women   
as teachers at a Parish school and as charity workers, and they formed the             
Sisterhood of the Holy Communion in 1852.                                             
The order opened an infirmary in 1853, before moving to St. Luke's Hospital.           
Ayres helped found St. Johnland, a charitable refuge on Long Island.