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1915 - "The Best That is in You."

Sister Antoinette and Sister LevinaThe year opened propitiously for St. Mary's and now, at the close of the year, as we look back over the course of events, our hearts are filled naturally with deepest gratitude to the loving care of Divine Providence. At the beginning of the year, the number of boarders was 85 and that of day pupils 255.

One of the most important events of the early part of the year was the annual retreat for the high school pupils. It was conducted by Reverend J. B. Theiss. S. J.  The Sodal­ity presented a statue of Our Blessed Lady and it was solemnly erected at the close of the retreat.  In April one of our sodalists in company with Mother Leonie left for Stella Niagara where the former entered the novitiate.

The patronal feast of the parish St. Patrick's Day had a unique program. Miss Loretta DeLone, a guest at the Academy, and a renowned harpist, entertained the parishioners in the afternoon on St. Patrick's Day with selections on the favorite musical instrument of Ireland, the harp.

The annual May procession and crowning of Our Blessed Lady was beautiful and inspiring.  It was a fitting close to the May devotion which the pupils of the Academy hold annually.  On the same occasion, the new officers of the Sodality were installed.  At the beginning of June, 54 tots received their First Holy Communion. The day on which they received was exceptionally bright and beautiful, in keeping with the great and solemn occasion.

On Friday before Pentecost, we had the great joy to welcome the Most Reverend Bishop Scannell.  He celebrated Holy Mass in our chapel and the Sisters and children re­ceived Holy Communion from his hand.  In the afternoon he entertained Sisters and children in the most kind and fath­erly manner.  On Pentecost he administered the holy sacrament of Confirmation to over two hundred people.  It was an excep­tional grace to receive this holy sacrament on Pentecost.

In June school closed the 15th Commencement and the completion of fifteen years of our work in O'Neill.  On this occasion twenty-two young ladies received their diplomas.  The address was delivered by Reverend Father Quinlan, S. J. of Creighton University. He spoke of the importance of Catholic education and closed with these beautiful words, "Give to the world the best that is in you and the best will come back to you."

A special feature of the year's events is the fact that on the same day that our school closed, June 17, two of our Sisters received their degrees, M. A. from the Catholic University at Washington, D. C.  Sr. Antoinette, the Directress of our Academy, was one of them.  She completed her studies at the University in January and returned to St. Mary's at the beginning of February.  Her theme, entitled "A Educational Anthology" from the writings of St. Chrysostom, appeared in March, April, and May numbers of the Catholic Educational Review.  Immediately after the close of school, Mother Leonie and five Sisters went to Creighton University for the Summer Session to pursue higher studies.  They rented a small furnished house near St. John's Church, so that they were able to hear several Masses and receive Communion daily.  The pastor of the church considered it an honor to help the Sisters in every way.  He appointed a special time for them to have Holy Hour and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.  In all truth, everything possible was done for mind and soul.  When the Sisters returned, from Summer School we had our annual retreat.

On August 12, Mother Leonie celebrated her Silver Jubilee and as that was the close of the retreat, the Sisters enjoyed a special blessing in being able to renew their vows at the same time with Mother Leonie.  Former students and the mem­bers of the Alumnae gave Mother a beautiful present.  Other­wise the celebration was plain and simple, but a day of real joy for everyone.  On the feast of the Immaculate Conception, December, eight new candidates were received into the Sodal­ity.  On August 18, Sister Alice was transferred to Columbus, Ohio, and was replaced by Sr. Henrica.

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