In 1846, Fr Peter Forbes, the first Parish priest of St. Mary’s, visited the convent in Tourcoing. While there he appealed for some of the Sisters to come to Scotland where there was great need. His request was accepted by Sr. M. Adelaide Vaast, who was then the Sub-Prioress and Mistress of Novices. She had felt a strong call to serve in a foreign mission. Sr. M. Veronica Cordier also applied to the Archbishop of Cambrai for permission to go to Scotland.
The bishop advised them to wait for a year before granting them permission to transfer their obedience.
In June, 1847, they left Tourcoing and arrived in Glasgow twelve days later, having been held up in Liverpool because Fr. Forbes had failed to make arrangements with the ecclesiastical authorities in Scotland. On reaching Glasgow, they lived in a private house in Monteith Row for some months, where they learned English. They were accompanied from Tourcoing by a pupil-boarder, Constantine Marchand, who “defrayed their expenses”.
The Sisters’ first assignment was teaching in the Abercromby Street orphanage. They opened a school for paying pupils in Monteith Row. Sr M. Veronica contracted typhus while teaching in the orphanage, but recovered. However, in 1849 Mother Adelaide fell ill with cholera, which was then raging in Glasgow, and she died on the 17th February. Sr. M. Veronica was advised to return home, but she was loathe to abandon the new mission.
With incredible determination, she stayed on, undeterred by obstacles and disappointments. She had to give up the house in Monteith Row and was ousted from the orphanage. The Sisters of Mercy came from Ireland to take over this work. However, the Sisters of Mercy found the house provided for them in Charlotte Street unsuitable as a residence and instead opted to live in the orphanage in Abercromby Street.