Laundry at Watrous New Mexico
Here Catechist Doyle is spending here free time on Monday doing the laundry at their mission center in Watrous, New Mexico. Note the iron kettle being used to heat the water for washing of their clothing. The clothes are soaked in hot soapy water in the washtub. They are then squeezed and rubbed against the ridged surface of the washboard. The Catechists had more than one habit. They would have an older one that would be considered a work habit, and a newer one that they would wear in public. However, they did not call it a habit. They referred to it as a uniform. In their early years Fr. Sigstein did not see the Catechists as a religious order, and hence did not wear a habit. He saw them a lay order of women who taught catechism classes. He referred to them as Catechists.
Washing machines were a luxury, along with running water and electricity. The Catechists supplied their own wood to heat the water. The wood might be purchased or donated, but the Catechists may still be required to split it. It would also be used to heat their living quarters when the temperatures dropped. On rare occassions they might find living quarters or classroom that was heated by coal. These are just some of the experiences that the early Catechists shared with the people that they ministered to.