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1930 - "Fairy Palace"

The New Year was ushered in by zero weather, and many cases of severe illness among the people.  Thanks be to God, the Sisters as well as the children were spared to a great extent.

As in past years, a Red Cross Nurse visited our school every afternoon during three months. During, this time she examined the children and also gave instructions on First Aid to the Juniors and Seniors.

In the course of several weeks we had the honor of two visits from our Right Reverend Bishop Rummell. He was making a tour through his diocese for the purpose of collecting funds for the completion of the Cathedral of Omaha. H received a very substantial sum here in O'Neill.

On February 11 we celebrated the Silver Jubilee of Sr. Alexandra Haller. During the latter part of the month Reverends C. E. Schultz, S. J., of Kansas, conducted a retreat for our children.

On March 17, the Feast of St, Patrick, the pupils of the High School presented the drama "Innisfail.” It represented the time of the conversion of Ireland by Saint' Patrick. The play met with success.

April 1, Mr. J. Donohoe, attorney of this city, gave a very interesting lecture on his trip through Palestine. Easter Sunday was ushered in amid rain and rain. For several weeks this weather lasted with but few interruptions.

In April 17, 34 Sisters of other Communities representing eight different schools, and five priests attended the meeting.  Reverend Father Ostdiek presided. Sister Jolenta Troshynski demonstrated the unit method of teaching American History and Sr. Ascensia Popp gave a demonstration of primary reading. An exhibit of the school work of our children was arranged in each classroom, and one room was set aside for work brought by the visiting Sisters.

On April 18, we had the great joy and pleasure of welcoming our dear Reverend Mother Aloysia and Sr. Dionysia. The recreations that followed are best described by the word “gemutlich,” though we may safely add instructive, profitable to mind and heart. How happy one feels to be the least in the house and family of God when so much is done by our Sisters for the salvation of souls. Dear good Reverend Mother Aloysia—who can ever forget her great kindness, and who can resist or refuse cooperation in the great work of perfection with such a mother as leader, guide, and counselor? Our dear Sisters left St. Mary's on April 25. Reverend Mother invited our Mother to accompany her to St. Francis Mission.

The beautiful month of Our Lady was ushered in with procession, song, and prayer. The Alumnae banquet was held on Sunday, May 21. It was well attended and one of the most pleasant reunions we have had. Sister Pauline Russ and Sr. Albertine Page left that afternoon to conduct the religious Vacation School at Spencer.

The Senior Class Day Exercises were held on the evening of Monday, June 1. The following morning our Right Reverend Bishop Rummell officiated at the Commencement Exercises held in St. Patrick's Church. Thirty-three boys and girls were graduated from the High school, and seven from, the eighth grade. The Sisters retreat, conducted by Reverend Father Cummins, S. J. from June 14-21, was a very practical and prayerful time. At its close Sr. Winifred Sweeney left for St. Francis Mission for a much needed rest. A quiet and restful month of vacation now intervened.

On the eve of Portiuncula we ushered in the feast day of our dear Mother Alphonse.  The name day was one that will long be remembered, a day of joy, love end prayer, the last of our dear Mother here at St. Mary’s. On August 6, Sr. Denis Pryor was transferred to Columbus, Ohio, to the Shrine of The Little Flower. August 12 brought with it the call for sacrifice. Our dear Mother Alphonse left to attend the retreat of the Superiors at Stella, followed "by the Provincial Chapter. Mother Alphonse was appointed Superior of Sacred Heart Academy in Eggertsville.

"April showers bring May flowers.”!   This proverb was verified, for never before was the month of May so beautiful and balmy. It seemed Our Blessed Mother Mary was preparing us for the intense hot summer months. The elementary classes were dismissed on May 23. On the feast of the Ascension of Our Lord, our little boys and girls received their First Holy Communion. May 25 witnessed the annual Alumnae Banquet together with the exhibition of the work of the pupils. All ended satisfactorily.

Commencement Exercises took place on June 5; it was conducted by our Right Reverend Bishop Rummell of Omaha. Two of our Sisters, Sr. Pauline Russ, and Sister Albertine Page went to Spencer to instruct the children in Catechism and Bible and to prepare them for their First Holy Communion. Sr. Etheldreda Bracken and Sr. Serafia Strott went to Atkinson for the same purpose. During this month work was begun to install new boilers for the heating system. Very Reverend Msgr. Cassidy had already taken up subscriptions among the parishioners to defray the cost of this work.  Some difficulties presented themselves in the course of construction, but by the end of July all was satisfactorily completed. The estimated cost was $10,000. June 18, Sr. Dolores Disch went to Chicago to assist at the Sodality Convention.

The month of July brought with it an intense heat. The thermometer rose to 109° in the shade. Fields and meadows dried up and cattle could scarce find sufficient pasturage. The crops naturally were poor and the farmers suffered much. July 25 we celebrated the Silver Jubilee of Sr. Etheldreda Bracken. All festivities of the day were enjoyed by each and every one.

August 21, we celebrated the first nameday of Reverend Mother Alphonse here at St. Mary’s. Several Sisters arrived from St. Francis Mission to make their annual retreat here, which opened on August 5. It was conducted by Reverend Henry Hermans, S. J. of St. Louis. During the retreat Sister Alacoque Rohr arrived here to take charge of one of the classes in the High School. Sister Scholas tica Schaller was transferred to Buffalo, N. Y. and Sister Ledwigis Streicher came to take charge of the boys’ dormitory and the Community refectory. Sr. Salome Scholtes was transferred to Holy Rosary Mission; she was replaced by Sr. Denis Pryer. Sr. Josaphat Grady was transferred to St. Agnes Academy, Alliance.  Her class was taken over by Sr. Jolenta Troshinski. Finally Sr. Georgia Dunne arrived to join the staff at St. Mary’s Academy.

September 2 was school opening.  We registered 55 boarders and 180 day pupils. Dr. Gilligan, a friend of St. Mary’s Academy, died a happy death after becoming a convert to Our Holy Mother the Church. R. I. P.

On the feast of Christ the king our pupils presented a short religious play in honor of Our Heavenly king. The last weeks of October, Mother Alphonse Kampschoff left for Stella Niagara to join Reverend Mother Gerard, mother Dorothy, and Mother Henrietta to meet Reverend Mother Aloysia Hellweg, who came on her visitation to the United States accompanied by her companion, Sr. Dionysia Schramm.

Fierce snow storms broke forth during the month of November. Everything was covered with ice and snow, and when the sun shone again, our little town of O’Neill resembled a Fairy Palace. After this outbreak the weather became mild and warm and remained thus until Christmas.

December was more like spring than winter we were grateful for this as it meant a great saving of coal. Though we were not blessed with an abundance of earthly goods during this year, we nevertheless experienced God’s wonderful Providence day by day. Kind friends remembered us very often by sending generous gifts of money, linen, and provisions. In general the health of both Sisters and children was good, with a few cases of measles and colds.

With gratitude to God we look back upon the days which have glided by and look forward to the year 1931 with renewed courage and confidence. Personnel at the end of the year is as follows: 22 Sisters, 63 Boarders, 193 Day Pupils.

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