Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Beginnings of Farewell

Probably a fire drill--exiting from west entrance.

As you may have read here before, the Sisters of Notre Dame have kept annals of their institutions and activities for over a century.  The early ones are sketchy, but by the time we reach the 1940s, they become much more detailed and helpful for our purposes.  Below are two entries that shed light on the final months at the 5th Street location.


“If it is true that great events cast their shadows before, then the marshaling of events and progress of our new academy foreshadow that the year 1963 will see our removal into our long-dreamed-of New structure on the Provincial House acreage, in Park Hills, Covington.  Here at our old Academy, memories hold us back, while the inexorable touch of wear-and-tear urges us to look forward to new, modern school and cloister.  We are now labeling many activities ”our last”: Our last Christmas (just past), our last Forty Hours’ Devotion, our last feastday observances, and so on.  Sometimes we live in the archives of memory; sometimes, in the dawn of a bright future; but most regularly we are pulled into the very important present tense with its joys, problem, and promises.  We thank our Dear Lord for this year 1963 open before us.  What will its pages record?  He knows.”

It isn’t known anymore who wrote that entry—there were several good writers among the Sisters on the faculty, but it is certainly poetic.  It’s striking also that the year 1963 had a few other and broader history-changing events—the election of Pope Paul VI and the assassination of John Kennedy.  They are a reminder that what significantly affects any institution very often lies far beyond its portals.

In the Music House.

An April entry gives us a peek at one of the many fund-raising events taking place during this period:

“The Card Party is one of the annual fund-raising activities of the Alumnae Association.  It is held at St. Joseph Heights.  Despite a heavy downpour, a great crowd poured in—a rewarding sight for the hard-worked committee members.  The activity netted $1453.99 toward the Chapel Fund, which is the alumnae’s building project. 
“Other social activities which are intended to bring the alumnae members together are various class reunions, a summer dance, and the formal Blue Grass Ball.  The Board also reaches more than 2300 members through the Alumnae Newsletter.”

Sounds like women on a mission here.  And indeed they were; with a mailing list this large, the Alumnae Assoc. created many donors for the new academy over the years just prior to 1963 as well as thereafter.  

Final photo: Gavel production.