California State University, Long Beach

McNair Scholars Research Journal Vol. 16


Cover photo used with the permission of the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.


Mother Teresa Comerford arrived in San Francisco in 1854 from Ireland and was soon after named superior of her Order, the Sisters of Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Mother Teresa Comerford and her Order made major contributions to the development of social welfare institutions in the rapidly growing Bay Area. Mother Comerford along with many other brave women traveled vast distances and sacrificed everything in order to aid the growing poor and impoverished populations of San Francisco during the Gold Rush and helped to bring stability to a chaotic, unstructured city. An article in this volume discusses how these women overcame these obstacles using their identities as a source of empowerment.

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