Thursday, August 16, 2012

50 Years? Already?

Memories, like birds—fleeting.  One must grasp and hold in heart hands.

Hey, a new look!
Yes.  Do you like it?  Let blogger know.

Apologies are in order, blogger supposes, to all readers who have evinced interest in this blog and have found that it has not been updated for a very long time.  One can update history, blogger must remind herself.
Having said that, she asks herself, “What next?”  To which she responds, “What do you mean, what next?  You have a whole closet + crammed with the school’s history.  Get on it, girl!
Having scolded herself sufficiently by this time, she goes about trying to make up.  Let’s see.  Well, we’ve been on Hilton Dr. for nearly 50 years.  Imagine, those of you who were part of that historic move—50 years!  Maybe the place to start this posting would be to take a look at some of the events surrounding that momentous move.  Hmmm.

Here’s what the CHRONOLOGY looks like, edited to reveal the events around the new academy with a few (historical notes).

Mar 1st:  Sr. Mary Agnetis writes her first letter to Conrad Hilton, the hotel magnate, eliciting his interest in contributing to the building of a new school to replace the 5th St. building.

(Jan. 23rd: Covington Catholic High School dedicates their new building on the Dixie.)

April 16th: Ground breaking takes place for the new school on Hilton Drive, on the St. Joseph Heights property in the south pasture.  The Lourdes grotto has been removed by this time (roughly where the foyer of the new building will be).

Aug. 10th:  NDA Boosters Club forms to aid in the building fund campaign.  Members are from the original campaign and from the PTEL.

Jan. 22nd:  NDA receives word that the state is granting a no-tax status for items for the new building since it will be a not-for-profit institution.

Drives are carried out in the course of this year to earn money for the building campaign: chocolate sale--$2,250; Pepsi cap col.--$516.50

Ap. 4th:  Photo-Reflex of Cincinnati presents the school with a large sepia portrait of Conrad Hilton in a classy Closson’s frame—for the new school’s foyer.

July 2nd:  Friends of NDA (FONDA) is first announced—a fund raising group for the new academy (Friends of Notre Dame—a fundraising group of loyals).

Sept.18th:  The corner stone is laid for the new NDA on Hilton Drive.  See Sisters’ Annals for contents.

(Oct. 11th:  Opening of the Twenty-First Ecumenical Council in Rome.— NDA will not be discussed at the Council.)

Dec. 27th:  Final Open House at 5th Street for the Sisters.  This was the first provincial house well within the memory of many Sisters.

Dec. 30th: Introductory meeting for the FONDA (Friends of Notre Dame).

June 3rd:  Last graduation from the Fifth Street NDA is held at Mother of God Church.
(Also on June 3 Pope John XXIII dies, age 81, having reigned four years, seven months and six days as the 261st pontiff. June 21st:  Pope Paul VI is elected.)

Oct. 14th:  Wrapping up is a two week home study period declared in order to give the Sisters a chance to clean the new facility on Hilton Dr.  The cleaning is completed and the first Mass here celebrated on Oct. 27th Feast of Christ the King.

Oct. 15th:  The first day of school on Hilton Drive--the faculty and students move from 5th St. in Covington to Hilton Drive.

Nov. 13th:  The Stations of the Cross in the new chapel are blessed.

(Nov. 22nd:  President John F. Kennedy is assassinated.  This and subsequent civil unrest and assassinations will affect the mood of the nation which, in turn, will affect the outlook of students well into the ‘70s.)

Dec. 7th:  The Sisters have the first Holy Mass in the 4th fl. chapel which is dedicated to the Infant of Prague.

Dec. 9th:  The final papers for the sale of the old academy are signed.

Dec. 12th: PTEL holds it first meeting in the new building.

Dec. 29th:  Open House for FONDA members and their families is held in the new building.
(Jan. 12th:  Three seniors, among them the future Sr. M. Ethel Parrott, appear on the “It’s Academic” show, and achieve second place.  Prize: set of books Gateway to Great Books.)

Feb. 2nd:  Sr. M. Immacula organizes the group Home Room Mothers.

Feb. 19th:  The school, like many in the area at this time, experiences its first vandalism with the breaking of windows and entrance doors.

Feb. 22nd:  Open House for SNDs and other religious in the diocese.

Mar. 1st:  Formal dedication of the new school takes place.

Aug. 17th:  The property on 5th St. having been sold, demolition of the old school building begins.  Only the chapel building will remain standing and will be used for offices and storage of a car dealership.

(Nov. 29th:  The new Liturgical Reforms are inaugurated, much to the delight of all here.  The Mass will now be said in English among other significant changes.)

Later, of course, the chapel building will come down and two SNDs will be there to rescue the cornerstone of that structure.  The cornerstone can still be seen in Heritage Hall to your right as you enter Hilton Dr. NDA.  In a latter blog posting we will get a glimpse of Sr. M. Agnetis’s first letter to Mr. Hilton—quite interesting and telling.

This is all for now.  Blogger hopes memories were stirred, curiosity piqued, and interest held.

True to our German roots, blogger bids you "auf wiedersehen" (until we meet again).