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Wednesday
Dec092009

1906 - "Mother Leonarda"

On the first Sunday of May, after a very careful preparation, between forty and fifty children received their First Holy Communion.  On the following day, St. Patrick's parish had the honor to see Host Reverend Richard Scannell in their midst.  His Excellency conferred the Holy Sacra­ment of Confirmation upon 200 children arid adults.  As vis­itation of the church was made at the same time, and the ceremonies of that and Confirmation are lengthy, it was 2:00 P.M. before the beautiful and impressive event was ended. Every­thing passed off happily and the good Bishop was very satisfied.  On this occasion, our boys sang Solemn High Mass for the first time according to the Holy Father's decree.  It was practiced by our Sisters.  His Excellency remarked that he was able to pray with devotion during the High Mass, some­thing impossible with other music, because this music edifies but does not distract one.  During his stay in O'Neill, he said Mass daily in our chapel, and gave us Holy Communion. He also gave us a Grand Recreation.

In June, Mother Leonarda came for visitation. Her travelling companion was Sr. Veronica (old one) who saw for the first time the beauties and wonders of the wild and woolly west.  To honor our guests, we made our first outing to St. Joseph's Villa, where refreshments for soul and body were provided.  The hours of pleasant recreation passed all too quickly.  St. Joseph's Villa consisted of seven acres of land, do­nated by a Catholic gentleman of the parish, Mr. T.B. Golden. It could be used for various purposes.  Three or four cows had an abundance of pasture, and quite a bit of corn, beans, cucumbers, etc., were produced for our use.

Commencement exercises were held on June 21, and Mother Leonarda and Sr. Veronica were our guests of honor.  Six young ladies received their diplomas and also state certificates as teachers.  They had passed the state examinations as honor students.  Five of them are now active as teachers.  In one of the classrooms an exhibit was shown of needlework and paint­ing, done by the pupils during the year.  An official of the Department of Education at Lincoln was present and showed great appreciation and satisfaction at the work accomplished, and begged for several pieces of art to be used at the State Ex­hibit. St. Mary's won the first prize.

During vacation, retreat was given for the Sisters by the esteemed eighty-three year old Pater Eustchius, 0.F.M. well known also in Germany.  The zeal and good example of this venerable man of God was a source of edification to all of us.

On September 10, after a Solemn High Mass in honor of the Holy Ghost, school opened with a very large number of pupils enrolled.  May Almighty God bless the work of this year.

The beautiful feast of the Immaculate Conception was celebrated with great solemnity.  Thirty-three young ladies were received into the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin with all the ceremonies usual on such occasions.  The Sodality now has 100 members.  All have the good will to be and re­main true children of Mary.

The feast of Christmas opened at Midnight for us with the solemn chanting of Office, followed by Midnight mass. At 6 A. M. our boys sang the High Mass in Gregorian Chant and received wide approval and praise.  The whole day was one of celebration.  Who could be otherwise than happy and joyous in such close connection with the Divine Babe of Bethlehem in His poorest of stables? We closed the last day of the year in retreat, followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament and a solemn Te Deum. Deo Gratias.



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