Bear Mountain Mission: To Heal the Body; To Save the Soul

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Bear Mountain Mission: To Heal the Body; To Save the Soul


In an article titled "Bear Mountain Mission: To Heal the Body; To Save the Soul," published in the Southwestern Episcopalian in 1923, an unidentified writer describes the medical work being done among Monacan Indians at Saint Paul's Mission in Amherst County.


The Southwestern Episcopalian


Monacan Indian Nation




Courtesy of the Southwestern Episcopalian


Amherst County
Bear Mountain

Document Item Type Metadata



To Heal the Body; To Save the Soul


                When the first Church hospital (St. Lukes’ in New York City) was established in this country, its founder, the Rev. Dr. Muhlenberg, selected as the motto of that hospital, “Corpus Sanare, Animam Salvare”—To heal the body : To save the soul. This double message of healing and saving is being carried about, not only as a motto on a brooch, but in very truth to the cabins about Bear Mountain Mission.

                All the activities of the Mission might be listed under such a motto; but as Dr. Muhlenberg referred particularly to the medical work of healing the body, I shall speak only of the opportunities of the Church for service in the field of medical and nursing work.

                With no doctor nearer than five miles, with rough, steep roads, and because our people have little money to pay for medical attention, many of the sick have to depend entirely upon the scanty knowledge of their own uninstructed families or upon the conflicting advice of neighbors and friends.

                The news has spread among them that at the Mission there is, as one man said, “some sort of a nurse.”

                So the calls come in for help: “Mother wants to know what to do for the baby’s sore eyes.” “The baby has ‘thresh’; what shall we do?” A father brings word, “My little girl has a fever; can you come to see her?”

                Or more serious things: a school-girl cuts herself severely with an axe. The doctor examines the wound once and then leaves it to the care of the Mission for the many dressings, thereby saving the family a debt which could only be met with great difficulty and with hardship to the whole family.

                First aid work is frequently called for. “Is this arm broken? Must I go to the doctor?” So a young man asks before breakfast is served at the Mission cottage. Splints are adjusted and a sling is put on. Toes and fingers of the school children need dressing and bandaging more often than one would think.

                Many mothers were instructed in the proper care of their sick babies during the hot weather. The loan closet of hospital supplies was drawn on freely for these little patients and the mortality list of Amherst County was without doubt lowered by this service.

                Preventive work for the school children; an active campaign for better babies; classes in Home Nursing for the women of the Mission; and classes in First Aid to the Injured for all adults who may care to attend—these are some of the special activities planned for the coming year. On the teaching, along with the bedside instruction, lies the point of contact which should prove invaluable to the main purpose of the Mission.

                To heal the body: To save the soul. Is not this the goal of a Christian mission?

Is the Church’s Program Worth While?


1923, The Southwestern Episcopalian 001.jpg


The Southwestern Episcopalian, “Bear Mountain Mission: To Heal the Body; To Save the Soul,” Virginia Indian Archive, accessed May 29, 2022,

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