Photo Collections


1933 - "Msgr. Cassidy RIP"


One of the first and most important events of the year 1933 was the visit of dear Mother Gerard, to spend a week, at St. Mary’s just at the close of the students’ retreat which was conducted by Reverend Father Martin of St. Francis Mission. Mother Gerard does not reach the Midwest every year so she was doubly welcome. During the winter months the Alumnae and Sodality members presented several plays, the proceeds of which were to help the Catholic Daughters of America provide a fund for a new oil range in our kitchen. Thanks to their assistance, the range was installed during summer vacation. It is cleaner than the coal range, and, better still, more economical.

During the basketball season our boys won a sufficient number of games to make them eligible for the tournament at Butte. They returned as victors having earned a very beautiful trophy, and leaving behind them a fine record of good sportsmanship, courtesy, and training worthy of St. Mary’s. Early in March Sr. Jolenta received the sad news of her dear Father's death. R. I. P. At the annual spelling contest held in 0’Neill, St. Mary’s succeeded in carding off a number of the honors.

Right Reverend Msgr. Cassidy arranged for a Mission to be conducted in the parish from May 14-21. To Jesuit Fathers, Reverend R. Talmadge, S. J., and Reverend F. Walsh, S. J. were in charge. It was a wonderful success. On the last Sunday of May, 19 boys and 14 girls received their First Holy Communion.

The Commencement Exercises were held on June 6. The Right Reverend Bishop Rummell presented the diplomas and delivered a very practical sermon on the occasion. The Class Day Exercises and the Alumnae banquet were as usual very successful and well attended. Even before school closed, some of the Sisters had left to teach vacation schools in the rural districts. Sr. Adelaide Bihler and Sr. Etheldreda Brackin instructed 35 children at Spencer, Nebraska. Sr. Lina Metz and Sr. Marciana Strauss had an attendance of 76 children at Deloit, Nebraska. On August 15, one of our senior boys, Ralph Shaw, entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Florissant, MO. One senior girl and one freshman entered the Novitiate of the Milwaukee Sisters. A second summer session was held at the Normal School in Buffalo and Sr. Dolores Disch was again a member of the faculty. The Sisters' retreat was held in July. Reverend Father Rueve, S. J., conducted it.

The summer brought with it many changes. Sr. Winifred Sweeney, Sr. Antonia Binnlnger, Sr. Etheldreda Bracken, Sr. Magdala Lampe, Sr. Armella Orlowsky, Sr. Albertine Page, and Sr. Lidwigis Streicher left St. Mary's and were replaced by Sr. Edmund Dorgan, Sr. Teresa Simmons, Sr. Alma Clark, Sr. Arnulfa Trapp, Sr. Marina Egger, and Sr. Lucretia Figol. Sr. Louise Gittere came to take charge of the kitchen as Sr.Alexandra's sight was failing.

School opened on September 5, with an enrollment of 242, 45 of them boarders. On October 2, our dear Mother Claver slipped on a rug and fell and broke her left am. The fracture has not yet healed entirely.

On October 6, the children surprised Right Reverend Msgr. Cassidy on the occasion of his 55th Anniversary of the priesthood, with a program befitting the occasion. It was the last time he was to be around his children. On Sunday the parishioners honored him with a large attendance at Holy Hour, reception at the Rectory, and presentation of a purse. The following day he left for Omaha to attend a meeting of the priests of the diocese, and also to take treatment for a severe cold from which he was suffering. God so willed that he should not return to O'Neill. His niece, Mary Cullen, who has made her home with him since childhood, was with Monsignor till the last. He died peacefully at St. Catherine's hospital in Omaha on the evening of Friday, Dec. 1. His body was brought to O’Neill on Saturday. On Monday his body lay in state in the church he had built and cared for during 47 years. He is mourned by all, not only his parishioners, but by friends all over the country. The poor have lost in him a kind father and friend. The children and the various Confraternities took turns as guard of honor all through the night. The funeral took place on Tuesday morning. Right Reverend Bishop Rummell of Omaha was the Celebrant of the Solemn Requiem High Mass. The priests' choir sang the Mass. About five hundred cars followed the remains to the cemetery. He lies buried at the foot of the large cross in the center of the cemetery. In the shadow of the cross may he rest in peace. St. Mary's Academy has lost a true friend, but has found an advocate in heaven. According to his wish, his library of about 500 volumes was transferred to St. Mary's library, a lasting remembrance of one who loved and appreciated our sisters and the work done by them. Msgr. Cassidy was the second great benefactor St. Mary's Academy lost during 1933. On January 26, 1933, J. F. Gallagher, known to all as Uncle Jim, passed to his eternal reward. He remembered the Academy in his last will by bequesting to it the sum of $1000 cash and the remainder of his estate after all other bequests had been taken care of. It is needless to say that he too receives a daily memento in our community prayers.

Christmas was as usual happy and blessed time, although the shadow of our recent great loss hovered around, everywhere. On December 31, we had the great privilege to have exposition of the Blessed Sacrament all day in our chapel.  As it was also retreat, we made the best use of every minute of the last day of 1933.

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