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1924 - "Unity of Purpose"

After a beautiful, congenial Christmastide, school reopened on January 7. As we could now take boy boarders, St. Mary's personnel was increased by the arrival of four boys.

Our two lay teachers for dramatics and voice culture arranged a pleasing evening program for the entertainment of friends of the school, the Sisters, and the pupils. It was an exhibition of the progress the pupils had made in the above named studies. A very interesting playlet, "The Ninth Promise of the Sacred Heart," was carried out on February 14 by the pupils of the Junior class.

A change was made in the community in February when Sr. Cyrilla was transferred to the East. Sr. Etheldreda Brackin who was now qualified for high school, took charge of the Junior class. Sr. Augusta Hoefling came from Columbus for the fifth and sixth grades. On February 17 the children's retreat began and was given by a Redemptorist Father, Reverend G. Sunday. He requested that grade children including fifth and sixth grades should participate in the retreat.

Every Tuesday evening, during Lent, our chaplain gave a Lenten sermon for Sisters and children in the chapel.

An Operetta which was to be given by the grade children on St. Patrick's Day, March 17 had to be postponed as the majority of the children were down with the measles. A very interesting lecture on the works of Canon Sheehan was given here on March 25 by Miss Kathryn Hennessey. The lecture was well attended by the people of the city.

On three afternoons in April Judge Dickson, District Judge, gave lectures to our pupils on the following theme: "Which are the outstanding features of our government based on the U. S. Constitution?" His motive was to instruct the pupils so that they could take part in a prize contest on this subject. One of our pupils won the prize in our dis­trict and received a gold medal from Judge Dickson.

Sr. Laurentine, who had long been ailing, became unable during Holy Week to continue at her work in the kitchen. Most generously, Sr. Angelica offered to take her place dur­ing Easter vacation. At its close Sr. Thea and Sr. Rolanda shared the work of the kitchen.

Forty Hours Devotion was conducted by the Redemptorist Father, Reverend Schott, during April. The attendance was unusually good. On May 9 the Operetta which had been postponed on March 17 was presented most successfully. In spite of down pouring rain, all seats were filled and the audience was more than delighted. At the beginning of May, we celebrated the eightieth birthday of our dear old Sister Euphrasia. It gave her great pleasure.

Our lay teachers surprised us with an evening entertainment which was very pleasant and interesting. They, themselves, did the acting, singing and playing, all of which was excellent. We heard exceptional recitations, songs, piano selections, and the excellent playing of our violin instructors. The usual events at the end of the school year—class play, alumnae ban­quet, etc. had to be interrupted for the First Communion of our little boys and girls. The real close of high school was on June 11, when 20 young ladies received diplomas for having completed the required courses.

Hardly were these busy days over, when trunks and suit cases had to be packed. Sr. Angelica Thimmes was transferred to St. Leo's, Columbus, Ohio, Sr. Kostka to St. Joseph's Hos­pital, Alliance, Sr. Lambertine Rohr also to St. Joseph's, Alliance, to be under the doctor's care, Sr. Etheldreda Brack­en to St. Agnes, Alliance, to be one of the teachers of Sum­mer School, and Sr. Dolores Disch went to the Catholic Uni­versity at Washington D. C. for a special course.

The month of July passed pleasantly as a real vacation, but vacation days were not over yet when more sacrifices were demanded. Sr. Leontine went to Buffalo and Sr. Thea to Stella during the first week of August. They were called away during the retreat of the Sisters. Without further disturbance, we finished our retreat which was conducted by Father Justin, 0. F. M. of Denver. A few days after the close of retreat, Sr. Austin King left us to take up her work else­where. Before the opening of the new school year in September, the vacancies had been filled by newly arrived Sisters. The new teachers were: Sister Lydia Fernbach, Sr. Roberta Clouter, Sr. Humiliata Penry, and Sr. Serafia Strot. Sr. Assissia came to take charge of the children's dining room and the sew­ing room, and Sr. Alexandra Haller came as our new cook.

On September 9 school opened with 243 children, 65 of whom were boarders. A good spirit reigns among the pupils and they apply themselves to study with great zeal. So far, we have not had to engage any lay teachers which aids great­ly in unity of purpose and achievement. It is a source of regret and worry that the authorities in Lincoln are not willing to accept credits from other states. On this ac­count, mother Justine had to take charge of the ninth grade until Sr. Serafia had obtained her Nebraska certificate and could release her.

At the beginning of September, considerable repair work; had to be done on the ground floor. The large room adjoin­ing the bakery, which had formerly been the furnace room and later the room containing apparatus for lighting by gas, was turned into a lunch room for the country day pupils who remained here at noon, bringing their lunch from home. In the bakery, the unreliable benzene motor was replaced by an elec­tric motor. Mother's name day closed the eventful month of September, but we must add that the children's retreat opened on September 28 and closed on October 2. It was given by Father Carr, 0. F. L. of Denver. It was the first time that a Franciscan had given our Sisters a retreat, and as he was an experienced missionary who had been in the World War as Chaplain on the field of action, his lectures, coupled with his dignified appearance, could not fail to make a lasting impression on the pupils. During this month of the Holy Rosary we had daily recital on the rosary in chapel, followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. November passed uneventfully except for a zealous preparation for Christmas.

Under the direction of Sister Humiliata several bas­ketball teams have been formed and this affords the girls ample physical exercise.

On December 8 reception was held for new members of Our Ladies Sodality. It was a source of regret that the party planned in connection with it could not be held, ow­ing to a severe snow storm which lasted several days.

We had Midnight Mass again in our chapel, and our ex­ample and zeal for this permission worked so well that Midnight Mass was held also in the parish church for the first time in its history.

The health of our Community this year was good except that of Sr. Lambertine who was in bed for a long time, but our boarders had the usual children's ailments, croup, measles, etc. The garden vegetables, potatoes, etc. were abundant and our cows and pigs were all that could be de­sired of them.

St. Mary's has 21 Sisters, 68 boarders, 2 hired men and a hired girl. We bring this year to a close with deep­est thanks to the good God for all His loving care of us and hope and pray that He may continue to shower His blessings on us in the coming year, especially, as this is the Silver Jubilee of the house.

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