June 22, 1895 – The three missioned sisters traveled from Rome to Antwerp, Belgium to embark on the Westernland steamer bound for the USA. They departed Antwerp on June 22 and arrived in New York, N.Y. on July 2. Out of 834 passengers, the three sisters and two Brothers of the Christian Schools were the only religious on board.
The massive steamer was unlike anything the self-described “unsophisticated” sisters had ever seen. They were unfamiliar and slightly uncomfortable with the glamorous ship, which Sister Raphaela characterized as “bawdy.” At full capacity, the Westernland first, second and third class accommodations could hold 1,340 passengers.