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1903 - "Achievements."

Another year has rolled by in the annals of St. Mary's convent.  With great courage and confidence in Divine Prov­idence which had shown such visible care towards us, we en­tered the New Year, trusting that this Divine guidance and care would continue to be ours.  We have not been disappointed and can truly say that when we look back over the past months we are assured that our work in the education of youth, thanks be to God, has been more than satisfactory.  However, dur­ing the month of March, we had to suspend school attendance for one week, owing to a contagious disease which had ap­peared but which, happily, did not spread and school attend­ance was resumed after a few days of intermission.  The school year otherwise had nothing exceptional to note other than that seven young ladies received their diplomas of gradua­tion from high school.  This first graduation was a unique celebration being the first of its kind in the only Catholic school of the town, and sending out seven young ladies, equipped to battle their way through life.  Many had looked forward anxiously for this event, being under the false im­pression that a Catholic school was not capable of achieving the success attained by the Public School.  On graduation day, the City Hall (rink) was decorated gorgeously in the class colors of the Senior Class — blue and white, in honor of our Blessed Lady, patroness of the Academy.  In the evening be­tween seven and eight o'clock, the program, consisting of songs, instrumental music, elocution, and addresses began and proved so well selected and entertaining that the audi­ence was held in closest attention throughout the evening. At the close Reverend M. F. Cassidy presented each graduate with her academic diploma and a gold medal was conferred on each.  On the following day, June 20, the pupils of the grade school had their closing exercises which were also proof of many achievements and were appreciated by everyone.  Six of the high school graduates passed their state examinations a few months later and are now teaching, while the seventh oc­cupies an equally important position.  On the feast of the Ascension fifty of our children had the great happiness of receiving their First Holy Communion.

Vacation lasted from June 19 till September 1 when school reopened with 200 children in attendance and the en­rollment soon showed 250 present, the largest number ever attained so far.  The number of boarders was 40, but after Christmas "the number was increased, as most of the boarders are farmers' children, and the many duties of the harvest time will not permit them to come earlier in the year.

In November, a bazaar was held to provide funds for a free school in the grades.  Be it said to their great praise, that the good ladies of the town all contributed generously to the success of the bazaar and it turned out beyond their greatest expectations.

Twice during the year we were honored by a visit from His Excellency, the Bishop of Omaha, and the second visit was made specially to confirm our boarders.

On October 8, our pastor, Reverend M. F. Cassidy, cel­ebrated his Silver Jubilee in the priesthood.  At his ex­press desire, there was no formal pomp or ceremony except a Solemn High Mass in the parish church.

During the year, several Sisters were changed to other convents, Sr. Eberharda to New Lexington, Sr. Mathilda to Milo, Sr. Sophie to Charleston, and Sr. Cornelia to St. Francis Mission.  To replace them, the following Sisters came to St. Mary's:  Sr. Lugardis, from Holy Rosary Mission, Sr. Adelgonde, from St. Francis Mission, Sr. Ameliana, from Columbus, Ohio, and Sr. Antoinette, from Buffalo, N. Y.

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