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THERE are not many charities in the City of St. Louis, or the State of Missouri, that can vie in length of years and weight of happy usefulness, with the German St. Vincent Orphan Society, now celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of its foundation. Seventy-five years of continuous effort and signal success in the cause of God's dearest, because most helpless children, the orphans, must, indeed, seem worthy of special record on one of the brightest pages of our City's annals. But here a difficulty arises, the lack of detailed information in regard to the inner workings of this truly charitable organization. The result is plainly visible: an orphan-asylum of magnificent proportions, with a history of unsurpassed efficiency, with a long line of eleven priests, ten venerable brothers and forty-three sisters of various religious orders given to the Church from among its pupils. That all speaks for itself. But the manifold acts of generosity, that made this result possible cannot be recorded here. The men that founded, supported and controlled the German St. Vincent Orphan Asylum neither expected nor desired praise from human lip or pen. Sturdy, self-respecting Germans and sincere Catholics as they were and are, they brought their gifts and performed their work from the sole motive of the love of God and God's dear children. As no record was preserved of many a noble sacrifice, it follows that no adequate history can be written of the society and institution. The better part of it is hidden with God; the historian can give but faint outlines, when he would like to give fulness of detail.
For the history of the first fifty years we have used the Memorial of the Society's Golden Jubilee, published in 1900. It is written in German and deserves great credit for its moderation in statement and lucidity of style. For the quarter-century just elapsed we had to rely on the annual reports of the Society, and other fragmentary accounts in the German newspapers of those years.
CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION.—CATHOLIC ORPHANAGES IN ST. LOUIS.
The City of St. Louis was founded in 1764 by Catholic Frenchmen from New Orleans, Kaskaskia and Cahokia, under the leadership of Pierre Laclede-Liguest. The eastern part of the Mississippi Valley had but recently come under English rule, whilst the western part had been secretly ceded to Spain by France. This territory was known under the name of Upper and Lower Louisiana. The governor-general resided in New Orleans. The old French Government remained in power some time after St. Louis was founded. The youthful August Chouteau, commissioned by Laclede to lay out the plan of this village, reserved one entire block for church purposes. It is the block in which the Old Cathedral is situated. The first canonical pastor of St. Louis, a German Capuchin, Bernard de Limpach, came from New Orleans in May 1776, and remained until November 1789. Then followed a period of political and religious disturbances. St. Louis became French once more, but only for a brief time, being sold with the rest of Upper and Lower Louisiana to the United States in 1803.
In 1818 came the newly consecrated bishop of Louisiana, Louis William Valentin Du Bourg, who took up his residence and established his Cathedral in St. Louis.
The care of orphan children was among the bishop's first thoughts. He had obtained a colony of the Ladies of the Sacred Heart from France, and now he entrusted to them a number of orphan girls, French and Indians. The first diocesan orphan asylum for boys was founded by Bishop Joseph Rosati in 1832. The home was on Walnut street, west of the Cathedral. Six Sisters of Charity from Emmitsburg had charge of a band of forty-six orphan boys and an equal number of day-scholars from the city. The orphan girls remained with the Madames of the Sacred Heart in their convent near the old French Market. Bishop Rosati states in one of his letters, that in 1832 a number of orphan boys were cared for at the Mullanphy Hospital. These, no doubt, formed the nucleus for the Orphan Home near the Cathedral. In 1845 the number of inmates was 72, when the new Home was built on Fifteenth and Clark. Mrs. Elisabeth Patterson was the munificent patron of this foundation. The erection of a diocesan orphanage for girls was deferred until 1843. Mrs. Anna Biddle donated a lot of ground on Tenth and Biddle, as well as a building fund of $3000.00 for this purpose. At the same time the generous benefactress of the Church assigned her commodious mansion on Broadway and Biddle for a temporary home of the sisters and orphan girls. It was here that the Sisters of Charity opened the girls' orphanage with twelve pupils. The new home on Twelfth and Biddle was dedicated January 22, 1845. When the new orphanage for boys on North Grand Avenue was completed (1840), the girls from the Biddle Street Home occupied the building on Fifteenth and Clark. In 1900 the present Girls' Orphanage on Florissant Avenue was erected chiefly through the munificence of an unknown donor, who contributed $85,000.00 for this purpose. Both orphanages were conducted by the Diocesan Orphan Board and supported by the Archdiocese through Church Collections and the net-proceeds of Calvary Cemetery. Here we have three great benefactors of the orphans, Mrs. Paterson, Mrs. Biddle and the unknown donor. The German St. Vincent's Orphan Home on the contrary, had no people of great wealth for its founders and supporters; but depended for its life and vigor on the generous spirit of the common.
CHAPTER II. FOUNDATION OF THE GERMAN ST. VINCENT'S ORPHAN SOCIETY.
The year 1849 became memorable in the history of St. Louis through two terrible visitations: the cholera that swept away five thousand lives, and a devastating fire. Unspeakable want and misery were caused by these calamities among a population of 60,000. Many a youthful pair that had crossed the sea with fondest hopes and expectations, fell a prey to the malignant disease, and died with this piteous appeal on their lips or in their eyes: "Friends, take care of our poor children". Friends and neighbors did what they could. But most of them were poor, and many were helpless. Houses were small, and conveniences limited. The diocesan orphanages were crowded. As about half of the Catholic population of the city consisted of German immigrants, the number of Catholic orphans of German parentage was very large. "Why cannot our German Catholics provide for the needs of the orphans of our race and creed?" "Yes, why not", said others. The German Catholic Clergy under the leadership of Vicar-General Joseph Melcher showed a deep interest in the plan. There were at the time only two German Parishes in the city, St. Mary's and St. Joseph's. Father Melcher was pastor of the former, with Father Simon Sigrist as assistant; St. Joseph's was attended by the Jesuit Fathers Hofbauer and Seisl. St. Vincent's served as a Parish Church for both the German and the Irish. SS. Peter and Paul's and Holy Trinity were in their initial stages. The German Catholics of St. Louis of that time were mostly young beginners. Not one could be called wealthy. But they possessed the two virtues, so characteristic of the pioneer age, generosity and strong faith; and these were sufficient to clear away all the obstacles they met in their pathway.
On the 12th day of June 1850 the following appeal to the German Catholics of the city was issued by a Committee of priests and laymen: - For a long time the Catholics of St. Louis have felt the need of a German Roman-Catholic Orphan-Home, and the wish to found such an institution has often been expressed by the charitably disposed. Such an institution would have certainly been established long since, if the necessary means could have been raised by individuals. Now, as the means of the few are not sufficient to carry out this difficult project of satisfying this pressing demand, it seems advisable to organize a society. The undersigned Gentian Catholics avow it as their intention to build a German Catholic orphanage, so that support and education may be provided for the helpless orphans of both sexes, and they entertain the hope, that their compatriots, both far and near, will join the society, or at least, give their support to the undertaking."
This appeal was signed by Very Rev. Joseph Melcher, Vicar General of St. Louis, and by three other members of the clergy, Fathers Hofbauer, S. J., Simon Siegrist, Michael Seisl, and the following laymen: Val. Reis, G. Eberle, Anton Schroeder, F. A. Stuever, Christ Pieper, Anton Holle, Franz Saler, John Mauntel, Peter Ludecke, Edward Buse and Charles Blattau.
The appeal found an immediate response. On June 14 a meeting of German Catholic men was held at the Rectory of St. Mary's Parish under the presidency of Vicar General Melcher, at which it was unanimously resolved, to organize under the name of the German St. Vincent Orphan Society. The following officers were elected: Frank A. Stuever, President, J. F. Mauntel, Vice President; Francis Saler, Treasurer; Charles Blattau, 1st Secretary; Edward Buse, 2nd Secretary.
A committee was appointed to formulate a Constitution and By-laws, and to report to the next meeting. After being submitted to Archbishop Kenrick and approved by His Grace, both were adopted. The Society numbered 82 members.
Within a month the President of the Society, Frank A. Stuever, died, and Valentin Reis was chosen to fill the vacancy.
The Society at once began operations. A plot of ground on Hogan Street be-, tween Cass Avenue and O'Fallon Street was bought for the Society by Father Elet, S. J., at a cost of $950.00.
Construction work was immediately begun. The contract was given to the Firm of Valentin Reis & Co. The price was $5980.00. The cornerstone was laid in September 1850. In May 1851 Archbishop Kenrick performed the ceremony of dedication.
On March 1st 1851 the German St. Vincent Orphan Society was incorporated by the State Legislature, with F. J. Heitkamp, B. Heidacker, J. Degenhart, F. Heitkamp, J. F. Mauntel, and F. Beehler as incorporators.
Five sisters of St. Joseph, from Carondelet, Angela, Febronia, Adelheid, Stanislaus and Ignatia took charge of the new Orphan Home on July 3, 1851. Mother Angela served as Superior of the community.
Archbishop Kenrick ordered that two collections be taken up annually for the German orphans in all the German Churches of the city. The first collection realized the sum of $369.05: from St. Joseph's Church, $116.25; St. Mary's, $87.50; Holy Trinity, $74.00; SS. Peter and Pauls, $64.80, and St. Vincent's, $26.50.
On July 25, 1851, the first orphan girl, Anna Schwerdt, was received into the Home; in the following week two boys, Andrew Schwartz and John Gehrig, were entered. Two months later the Home harbored 30 children.
The first Festival conducted for the benefit of the Orphan Home realized $1900.
The annual report submitted by Mr. Droege. the Secretary, gave the number of members in the Society as 200 and the total receipts as $1827.00. By the end of the year the membership had increased to 350. Nine Trustees, among them Matthias Backer and Anton Kreynest, had control of the funds.
CHAPTER III. THE SECOND CHOLERA EPIDEMIC—THE ERECTION OF A
CHAPEL — THE HOME.
During the first years of the Society the trustees experienced great difficulty in providing for the most urgent needs of the newly-founded institution. In this regard Anton Holle deserves special mention as a most zealous and successful master of ways and means.
As holy mass could not, for some time, be held at the Orphanage the Sisters were obliged to make daily journeys to St. Joseph's Church. A part of the way led through a stretch of primeval woodland. Of streets there were no sign:: tar and wide. Within three months, however, one room of the house had been fitted up and ornamented as a chapel. The Jesuits of St. Joseph's donated an old tabernacle, a rather primitive altar was constructed, at which Father Patshoski, S. J., was the first to say mass for the inmates of the German St. Vincent's Orphan Home.
How very primitive, not to say rickety, this altar was, may be guessed from the following event: One morning good old Father Wippern was saying mass with all fervor and devotion, when during a genuflection he felt a slight trembling of the altar, and then the thud of some solid article striking him on the head. It was the crucifix that had fallen from the tabernacle; fortunately it was not of metal but of wood, so that the good Father could continue his mass after the first surprise. Father Patshoski, S. J., was appointed at first to give religious instructions to the children, and to serve as chaplain and confessor of the Sisters. In November 1851 Father Weber, S. J., took his place, to be succeeded in 1855 by Father Niederkorn. In 1866 Father Tschieder received the appointment as chaplain and confessor of the Orphan Home. All these priests were members of the Society of Jesus.
In 1854 the Institution experienced its first calamity. It was that dread epidemic, that led to the foundation of the Home, the cholera. Within the brief period of two weeks, one sister, Ignatia, and fourteen children fell victims to the awful scourge. On one sad day six little corpses lay in the house; and for fear of contagion, the sisters had to lay them away in the old disused cemetery within the enclosure, until proper burial could be held.
The building at first contained but six, though rather large, rooms, and two rooms in the basement. In 1854 a brick building was added with sufficient room for laundry and bakery.
In the year previous to the outbreak of the cholera there were 40 boys and 30 girls in the Home. But through the havoc wrought by the plague within the city the number of orphans increased to such an extent, that they could no longer be properly accommodated. To provide for the newcomers, an addition was made to the building, to serve as chapel, the temporary chapel being vacated for other purposes.
The new chapel was dedicated by Father Patshoski on March 17, 1855. From this time on the Orphan Society held the anniversary celebration of its foundation in the Orphan Home.
Within a few years the constant increase of the number of orphan children, and of the sisters that were required for their proper care and instruction, urgently called for another addition to the building. In 1859 the south wing was erected, and dedicated by Father Niederkorn, S. J., on Easter Monday, 1860. This new structure was set apart for the girls, the boys remaining in the old place. The number of pupils was 110.
Up to this time Mother Angela had been Superior of the institution; now she was succeeded by Mother Theresa, and after an interval of two years, by Mother Martha. But, owing to declining health, she too was forced to retire, and Mother Angela returned, to the great joy of the Sisters.
The January assembly of the Society in 1869 adopted the new Constitution, by which the organization of branch-societies in the various parishes was authorized. The following were erected during the year 1869: St. Mary's in April, Holy Trinity in May, St. Joseph's in June, St. Liborius in July, St. Vincent's and St. Nicholas in December. The branch-societies of SS. Peter and Paul's was organized on January 1, 1870, and of St. Francis de Sales in 1871. The Orphan Society as a centralized society, had become unwieldy, by reason of numbers: From now on business was transacted by delegates from the branches who form what is called the Main society.
CHAPTER IV. LOSSES BY FIRE—THREE PUPILS OF THE HOME ORDAINED TO THE PRIESTHOOD.
The first great visitation the Orphan Home met during the second term of Mother Angela's administration was a destructive fire, that broke out in the second story of the building and completely ruined all (October 2, 1860). Fortunately the conflagration raged in the day-time. If it had occurred at night, many lives would, no doubt have been lost. But the material loss was heavy. The entire roof was gone, the upper story was burnt out, the basement was filled with water. Quick decisions had to be made. The spirit of charity was alive.
The children were placed partly in St. Mary's Orphan Home, partly with neighborhood families.
The Society took vigorous means to restore the building. Within six weeks the good sisters and their pupils could return to their partly renovated Home. The period between the fire and the complete restoration was, indeed, one of great hardship and privation for the sisters. Perhaps in consequence of this, Sister Nicholas succumbed to death within two months after the disaster. She was especially devoted to the smallest and most helpless of the children.
Scarcely had the marks of the first conflagration been obliterated, when a second and far more devastating fire broke out (October 28, 1867). The entire upper story was consumed by the flames, and, as fears were entertained that the whole building was doomed on account of the lack of water, everything that could be moved was carried out in breathless haste, and consequently broken and destroyed to a great extent. Thus the loss proved much heavier than on the former occasion.
A number of the children found refuge once more in St. Mary's Home. For the others Madame de Laak, a charitable lady living in the neighborhood, opened two rooms in her mansion. Mr. James Clemens also offered a part of his dwelling as a temporary home and even provided meals for the children.
Once more the German Catholics responded to the call of duty and furnished the means for rebuilding their Orphan Asylum.
On the first Sunday of the year 1867 a most auspicious event occurred in the Orphan's Home. On this day one of the children of the institution, the Rev. O. J. S. Hong celebrated his first holy mass in the Chapel. The Orphan Society attended the celebration in a body.
Monsignor Hoog, as he was known of late years, attained high distinction in the Church, as Pastor, successively of St. Peter's in Jefferson City, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, and at SS. Peter and Paul's. Archbishop Glennon honored him with the office of Vicar General of the Arch-diocese, and the Holy Father made him a Roman Prelate. Msgr. Hoog always showed a lively interest in the Orphan Home. He contributed the sum of $1000 to the new building. His death occurred April 4, 1925.
On April 22, 1870, Sister Clotilda, one of the teachers of the girls' department, entered her eternal rest, full of merits.
In the year 1872 the small-pox epidemic invaded St. Louis, and the inmates of the Orphanage were not spared its inroads. All through the summer months smallpox cases occurred, without fatal results, however. But in the fall of the year the Board of Health ordered four of the patients to the Quarantine Hospital. Of these four one child succumbed to the dread disease.
In 1873 one of the pupils, who had entered the Benedictine Order, Eugene Bode, received Holy Orders. In 1874 on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception another pupil, H. J. Erley, who had joined the Jesuits, celebrated his first mass at St. Joseph's Church. Two other pupils of the institution, J. F. Real and Martin Schmitt, likewise became priests, the one as a Jesuit, the second as a Benedictine. And as life always mingles sorrow with joy another sister was called away by death, Sister Josephine, the faithful teacher of the boys.
CHAPTER V. SILVER JUBILEE OF THE ORPHAN SOCIETY—THE SECOND QUARTER - CENTURY
The first quarter-century of the German St. Vincent Orphan Society had now closed; the Society was to hold its Silver Jubilee in the most solemn manner. It was indeed a memorable occasion, that Sunday, June 13, 1875. Three former pupils of the Orphan Home stood at the altar of the chapel to offer to the Almighty the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, Father Hoog as Celebrant, Father Erley, S. J., Deacon, and Father Bode, O. S. B., Subdeacon. Father Hoog also preached the sermon and, after mass, gave Solemn Benediction. For the afternoon festivities great preparations had been made. The members of the Society, and many friends of the orphans had come to do honor to the occasion; and in spite of intermittent showers, the result was really splendid. First came the parade, headed by a band, then the marshal and the officers of the Society. After them came the Knights of St. Joseph and then the various branch-societies of the organization from all the German Parishes of the city. A long line of carriages with the ladies and children closed the demonstration. The sisters and the orphan children, all in their Sunday best, awaited the parade as it approached the Home.
On the south side of the building a large platform had been erected and lavishly decorated. On this the children were seated. After a song or two the President of the Society, J. B. Schilling, delivered a brief address on the past, present and future of the German St. Vincent Orphan Society, admonishing especially the younger people never to forget their duty towards the orphans. Fred Arendes, the General Secretary, then read a well written historical sketch on the origin, and development of the Society. Among other things he stated that, during the twenty-five years of its existence, the Society had spent the large sum of $171,600.00 for the support of the orphans under its care. In conclusion Henry Spaunhorst exhorted the rising generation of Germans to continue the good work with all energy and zeal. After a few remarks by Fathers Hoog and Early, the festivities came to a close. At least two thousand visitors were present. The officers for the jubilee year were: J. B. Schilling, President; William Druhe, Vice-President; Fred Arendes, Secretary; J. H. Nuerre, 2nd Secretary; Joseph Hackman, Treasurer.
The 13th day of June thus most auspiciously marked the opening of the second quarter-century of the German St. Vincent Orphan Society. The Society was composed of eight branches with a total membership of 1000. The financial condition was satisfactory, though not exactly splendid. The value of its assets was estimated at $50,000.00.
The following description of the orphanage as it presented itself at the time of the Silver Jubilee, is translated from the German of the "Daily Amerika" of June 14, 1876:
"The building, situated on an elevated plot of ground on the west-side of 20th Street between O'Fallon Street and Cass Avenue, consists of the main building with the chapel and two wings. The south-wing is assigned to the girls, the north-wing to the boys. The central part contains the chapel. The interior is well arranged. Everything in the house is expressive of order and punctuality, scrupulous cleanliness and pleasant simplicity combined with good taste. The Orphans enjoy a Home in the true sense of the word."
On the 29th day of December the "Daughters of the Blessed Virgin of the Immaculate Conception," or as they are now better known, the "Sisters of Christian Charity" succeeded the Sisters of St. Joseph in the administration of the German St. Vincent Orphan Home. The Sisters of Christian Charity have their motherhouse in Paderborn. Their foundress, the venerable Mother Pauline Mallinckrodt will, it is justly hoped, right soon receive the honor of beatification. Driven out of Germany by the socalled Kulturkampf the Sisters came to America in 1873, and took up their abode, first in New Orleans, and then at Wilkesbarre, Pa., until several years ago when the motherhouse was removed to Wilmette, Ill.
Four sisters came, under Mother Theresa, as Superior to assume the duties of the German orphanage at St. Louis. Ere long two others were added to the little community. They found 141 children placed under their care; and still the number continued to increase. More room had to be found for them. The Society began to discuss ways and means. Some thought it was about time to remove the institution to the country, or at least to some location beyond the city limits. In the spring of the year 1890 a general meeting was held under the auspices of the Board of Trustees. The officers were present, likewise a goodly number of the clergy and a sprinkling of other members. After the purpose of the meeting had been announced and the question thoroughly discussed, it was moved to inspect the building and then to decide what should be done. It was declared as the sense of the meeting that all necessary improvements and additions should be made at the old place. The times were not favorable to a removal. The result was a new beautiful building and various improvements on the old one at a cost of $22,000.00. The new building was the three story brick structure to the north of the institution, 78 by 50 feet, with a basement containing dining-hall and play-rooms. The three stories were occupied by the orphan boys. In addition to the original branches of the Society, the following were organized during the quarter-century:
St. Boniface 1876; St. Augustine 1882; St. Mary of Perpetual Help 1882; St. Bernard 1882. St. Agatha 1883. St. Henry 1889; Holy Ghost 1890; Holy Cross 1891; St. Aloysius 1899; St. Engelbert 1889; St. Barbara 1899.
The report for 1899-1900 gives the following interesting statistics:
Receipts during 1899 $10,921.91
Number of children in Institution, January 1, 1900 198
Number of Sisters in Institution 19
Number of Members of Society 1864
Amount of Dues paid 4,252.50
Amount of Church Collections 2,731.25
To round out this chapter we would subjoin the list of officers of the Jubilee Year :
Officers of the Jubilee Year 1900: President, Bernard Koesters; Vice-President, Charles J. Wangler; 1. Secretary, John Kotte; 2. Secretary, Charles Franck; Treasurer, Charles Hezel; 1. Marshal, H. Ruesken; 2. Marshal, Wm. Schlingmann.
The Board of Trustees: Louis Wessbecher, Chairman; George Willrnering, Secretary; Henry Haneklau, Jacob Albrecht, Carl Gerber, Edward Hilke, Gerhard Kersens, Casper Todt, Christ. Muckermann, Bernard Willrnering, Alex G. Reis, Joseph Grelle, August Brockland, Henry Brockland, Edward V. P. Schneiderhahn, John Frewer, Theo. Fehlig, Max Fritz, G. A. Woesthaus and Gerhard Boekers.
Receiving Committee: Chairman, A. N. Schwalbe; Secretary, Alois Jobst, Jr.; St. Agatha, Wm. Bollwerk and Henry Liethegener; St. Aloysius, Wm. Kemper and Ignatz Kopff; St. Anthony, Louis Schmidt and John R. Rolfes; St. Augustine, A. N. Schwalbe and T. E. Hacker; St. Barbara, Mathias Fellenz; St. Bernard, Alois Jobst, Jr., and B. J. Brinkmann; St. Boniface, Anton Todt and John J. Bergn-iann; Holy. Trinity, Wm. Herkenhoff and Conrad Westerheide; St. Engelbert, --; St. Francis de Sales, Bernard Wegener and Bernard Scheer; Holy Ghost, Clemens Hess and J. G. Moritz; St. Henry, C. A. Mueller and G. Wellerdick; St. Joseph, B. A. Osterhoff and J. H. Janssen; Holy Cross, Fr. Kassel and Fr. Overmann; St. Liborius, Louis. Juergens and John H. Woltering; St. Mary's, John Stenzel and M. T. Schneider; Perpetual Help, Henry Wurm and B. J. Funke; St. Nicholas, John Fehlig and T. J. Kastner; SS. Peter and Paul, Ben Luig and Bernard Schulte; St. Vincent Ben Bulte and Fred. Wetzler.
CHAPTER VI. THE GOLDEN JUBILEE OF THE SOCIETY AND ORPHANAGE.
Fifty years had now elapsed since the Fathers had laid the foundation of this noble enterprise. God's blessing had been made manifest in its long course of Christian charity. It seemed proper to the new generation that a day of thanksgiving and praise should be held. The fifteeth anniversary of the Society's foundation was to be kept with a Golden Jubilee celebration. The highminded Archbishop. of St. Louis, Most Reverend John Joseph Kain, gave his hearty approbation in glowing words of praise and encouragement. We cannot forbear to give his letter just as it came from his generous hand and heart:
"As I shall not be home to take part in celebrating this event on the 24th of next June, I wish to express the deep interest I feel in the celebration. The great good accomplished by this Society in the past fifty years deserves a solemn commemoration, and no one should enter more heartily into this commemoration than the Bishop of the diocese, which this Society has so well served for half a century.
I learn that St. Vincent's German Orphan Society was founded in the year 1850, when many children were bereft of their parents by the awful scourge of cholera that decimated our city. It owes its establishment chiefly to the zeal of the Very Rev. Joseph. Melcher, Vicar General of the diocese, and afterwards Bishop of Green Bay, Wis. During the fifty years of its existence it has cared for nearly two thousand children, providing for these all the comforts of home, and preparing them to be both edifying children of Holy Church and useful members of society.
In the accomplishment of this noble, Christian work, the Society, charged with the management, of its Asylum, has received pecuniary assistance from the various German parishes of the City. In each of these parishes, a branch of this Society is formed,, the total membership now aggregating nearly two thousand, each 'member contributing twenty five cents a month for the maintenance of the Asylum. The immediate supervision, and care, and training of the orphan children are entrusted to the Sisters of Christian Charity, (Wilkesbarre, Pa.), who are known to watch over their young wards with truly maternal solicitude.
When these children have made their First Communion, they are placed with good Catholic families, and are thus provided with comfortable homes until they reach their majority. From their number both the Sanctuary and the Cloister have received worthy members, whilst hundreds of others gratefully attribute to the training received in St. Vincent's Asylum, the precious blessings of Catholic faith which they and their children, and even their children's children are happily enjoying.
Shall this good work go on and even increase its sphere of usefulness? This is a proper question to ask on the Golden Jubilee of the Organization, which has done so much good in its past history. But the answer to this question may, I am sure, be read in the happy faces of the many friends and benefactors of the orphans, who enter with so much zest into this celebration. The success of the past fifty years is an augury and a guarantee of even still greater success in the years to come.
Let this then be the resolve of all the Patrons of St. Vincent's Asylum. Let them work together in harmony for the attainment of this end. Let them as members of the Society, which supports this Asylum, be faithful in paying their monthly dues, and let them, when disposing of their worldly goods at the approach of death, be mindful of this most worthy charity. Let us all remember that our Divine Lord has promised the unending joys of heaven to those who show mercy to Him in the person of the least of His poor.
That St. Vincent's Asylum may continue to prosper, and that its kind patrons may receive us their reward the blessings of God both in this world and in the next, is my most sincere and heartfelt wish".
We shall see how beautifully the hopes and wishes of the noble Archbishop were realized in the following quarter-century.
The Committee, appointed to make all arrangements for the Jubilee Celebration consisted of one member each from the branches of the Society, with the President of the Association as Chairman. It certainly did its work faithfully and well. The beautiful Souvenir remains as a signal proof of their loving care. The Church celebration was held at St. Joseph's on Sunday, June 24, at 9 A. M. Bishop G. Montgomery of Monterey and Los Angeles pontificated, Msgr. Henry Muehlsiepen acted as Presbyter Assistens; Fathers Hoog and Early as Deacons of Honor, and Fthers Real and Bode as Deacons of the Mass. Father Francis Goller preached the sermon. After Benediction and Te Deum, the afternoon was spent pleasantly on the Orphan Home Grounds. Speeches were made by the President Bernard Koesters, and the visiting clergy, among whom were a number of former pupils of the Home.
Among the happy events of the month of June 1902 was the ordination and the First Holy Mass of one of the former pupils Father William Walther. On the anniversary Sunday, June 22, the good Sisters had the great joy of listening to the first sermon of their one-time scholar.
The period from 1902-1911 was not marked by any events of larger import to the development of the Society. The Annual Report for 1907 states that instruction is given in both English and German: that the Jesuit Fathers Krier, Morfeld and Bill teach the Cathecism and that on Sunday the larger pupils, in company with the Sisters, attend Highmass at St. Joseph's or St. Nicholas Church.
The order of the day in the Home is as follows: 6:30 Morning, Prayer and Holy Mass; 7:30, Breakfast; 8:30-11:45, Classes; 12, Dinner; 1:15-4, Classes; 4:6, Lunch and Play-time; 6, Supper; 6:30, Home Study; 7, Night-Prayer. To Bed.
Among the losses of the Society the report chronicled the death of Henry J. Spaunhorst, onetime President of the Association.
The President Charles H. Franck announced a special message in regard to the necessity of removing the Orphan Home to some other location. The membership on January 1907 was 2136, on January 1908, 2244; a gain of 108 within a year. The number of children was 229.
Financial Secretary Jos. F. Wich showed receipts of $20,593.18 against an expenditure of $12,763.81, leaving a surplus of $7,829.57.
Thus every year added a substantial sum to the building fund that was eventually to pay for the new Home, looming up as the one thing necessary before the advent of the Diamond Jubilee.
On December 20, 1909, President Wilimering and two orphan boys waited on Archbishop Glennon at his residence and presented the congratulations of the Association, of the Sisters and the Children, to His Grace on the occasion of His Silver Jubilee.
CHAPTER VII. DEATH OF MOTHER THERESA—FIRST CONFIRMATION SERVICES — BUILDING OF THE NEW HOME
In the beautiful month of our Lady on the 18th day of May, 1911, Mother Theresa, Superior of the Orphan Home for twenty-three years of mingled joy and sorrow, was called to her eternal Home. She had been an ever kind Mother to the orphans, as well as a prudent and sympathetic superior to the Sisters. Thousands came to view the earthly remains of Mother Theresa, and to breathe a heartfelt prayer for her gentle loving soul. Vicar General Hoog celebrated her Requiem. The burial took place on Monday, May 18, from St. Joseph's Church. A large number of priests were in the sanctuary. Father Sommerhauser, S. J., spoke touching words on the beautiful life of the departed religious. The Church was crowded with friends of Sister Theresa. Mother Theresa was soon after followed into eternity by Sister Claudine in 1912. In the Report for 1912 we find a number of country Parishes as contributors to the collection for the German Orphan Home.
The year 1913 opened with a decline in the membership, occasioned by a somewhat greater energy in the collection of back dues. For the first time in the history of the Orphan Home the sacrament of Confirmation was administered within its walls. Archbishop Glennon expressed his high regard for the excellent work accomplished by the Society and by the Sisters in charge. His Grace kindly accepted the Honorary Membership conferred upon him by the Society.
Mother Fidelis was now Superior of the Institution, assisted by twenty Sisters. The number of children was 221.
The idea of building a new and up-to-date Home for the Orphans had been agitated in the meetings as well as in private conversations for a number of years. In fact a large plot of ground near Kirkwood had been bought for this purpose. But this location proved unacceptable to a number of influential members and in the April meeting 1914 the motion to sell this property was adopted by a large majority. At the same time a Committee of five was appointed for the purpose of selecting a new parcel of ground for the future Home. After a great deal of investigation the committee united on a tract of 20 acres in Normandy one and one-half miles from the city limits. The land was ordered purchased for $18,000.00. The deal was closed, yet the old tract near Kirkwood remained unsold. President John J. Rheinheimer urged the appointment of a Building Committee. The question of raising funds seemed to be most urgent, hence the following appeal was immediately issued in 1914:
"The German St. Vincent Orphan Association, an incorporated body, founded in 1850, has since that time successfully conducted an Orphan Home at 1421 Hogan Street.
In later years these premises and buildings have become inadequate and unsuitable for their purposes, and the necessity of erecting a new Orphan Home in more suitable surroundings became more urgent from day to day.
After a painstaking and careful search for a suitable site by a Committee appointed for that purpose, a plot of ground in Normandy Park was accepted and purchased by the Society.
As we shall erect in the near future a New Orphan Home on this site, we now appeal to our charitable people for funds, assuring all donors that their generosity will ever merit God's choicest blessings and the prayers and gratitude of our dear orphans".
The Archbishop gave his approval in the following:
"I approve of the proposed change; and the proposed building; and commend the Association to the charitably disposed in the community in its efforts to obtain funds for the erection of the buildings.
It will be, however, proper in collecting that the Association should also have the approval and permission of the pastor in whose parish it desires to collect".
The pathway was now clear. Each branch-society was, authorized to elect one member for the Building Committee and one member for the Finance Committee. This general committee then chose from their number the Special Building Committee: John R. Rolfes, George Bothe, Frank Fehlig, Bernard Stock, Henry Stoltmann, Ben Luig and Joseph J. Gruender.
Joseph Gruender, Secretary. John Rolfes, Chairman.
Three of these gentlemen dying, Theo. Jennemann, Henry Walchshauser and Wm. Rosenthal was substituted.
Special Finance Committee:—Jacob Albrecht, Joseph Gruender, Theodore Jennemann, Henry Stoltmann, Louis C. Ebeling.
The Special Building Committee did most efficient work, planning, comparing, consulting. Many months were thus consumed before coming to a conclusion. The final report of this Special Building Committee was submitted to the General meeting of the Association held at the Holy Ghost Hall, October 3, 1915. The report recommending the acceptance of Wessbecher and Hillebrand’s proposals for the new building, and of raising the limit of cost from $150,000 to $200,000 was accepted without a dissenting voice. We well remember the astonishment expressed by the staunch defender of what he considered was right and just, Frank Fehlig, at the unanimous and sonorous vote of "yes!" Mr. Wessbecher, who was present at the meeting at once received, the commission to finish all necessary plans and specifications for the building. Grading of lot was commenced at once.
After the completion of the plans the Building Committee asked for bids from a number of building firms. The lowest bid was submitted by the Rattermann Construction Company. It was $191,304.00. At the Special meeting held at St. Henry's Hall, Sunday, February 20th, 1916, this report was submitted and unanimously approved. The Special Building Committee was ordered to proceed and awarded the contract to the Rattermann Construction Co., as the lowest responsible bidder.
CHAPTER VIII. COMPLETION AND DEDICATION OF THE NEW HOME.
Mother Fidelis was now Superior of the institution. In May, 1915, one of the former pupils, Anna Noeth, as Sister Vincenza, made her profession as nun of the Congregation of Christian Charity. Health conditions were excellent, thanks to the ever watchful care of Dr. Guhman and his associates. The Jesuit Fathers from St. Joseph's and the University attended to the spiritual needs of the little congregation of St. Vincent's Home. The number of children was 218. The Society numbered 2127 members. Only four branches showed any increase in this regard. The Finance Committee was making every effort to raise funds for the building that was now in progress. An automobile contest brought good results; a number of euchre and lotto parties, the picnic and the Anniversary Day Celebration all brought in sums of money to swell ace building fund. The building of the basement was making rapid progress and at last the day of laying the corner stone of the New St. Vincent's Orphan Home had to be set. It was Sunday, June 25, 1916, that was selected for this memorable occasion. Archbishop Glennon personally conducted the ceremony. A magnificent parade was held by the German Catholic societies. Father Nieters was the orator of the day. A vast concourse of Catholics witnessed the proceeding with deep interest.
The last Anniversary Celebration at the old home developed into a grand reunion of all the former children and all the friends of the orphanage on Hogan street. July 31, the first moving van appeared before the Home. Fifty-eight trucks were furnished gratis by the business people of St. Louis, so that the transportation of all the furniture could be accomplished within one week. August 8 the children were brought out to the new home.
Mingled feelings of joy and sadness were ours,"writes one of the sisters "when the doors of the old homestead were closed and locked, the chapel stripped of its ornaments. The children ran to all their old haunts., in playroom, class-room, and garden and took leave of the spots that had become dear to. them. A final visit was . made to the chapel and the grotto. Finally at 3 o'clock the cars stood ready. Bidding farewell to neighbors and friends, the children soon forgot the sorrow of leave-taking in happy anticipation of the things that were to come. An hour's ride brought them to Normandy, where several Sisters and the smaller children, who had come out in autos earlier in the day, stood ready to welcome them. They were first led into the chapel, where they all joined in the solemn Te Deum entoned by Mr. Jacob Albrecht. In three days all the furniture had been unpacked and placed so that on Sunday, August 12, the chapel could be dedicated and the Home opened
to visitors." For on that day the chapel of the Home was to be dedicated by the Archbishop. More than thirteen months had passed since the cornerstone laying. Now the building stands complete and beautiful on its eminence, a lasting monument to the generous spirit of the German Catholics of the city. But the following Sunday, August 19, was to shed the brightest splendor on the St. Vincent's German Orphan Society and it magnificent work. We gladly insert a well written contemporaneous account of the solemnity.
Ten thousand persons attended the dedication of the new St. Vincent's German Orphan Home at Normandy, last Sunday afternoon, August 19, at which His Excellency, Msgr. Bonzano, Apostolic Delegate to the United States, came all the way from Washington, D. C., to officiate.
The ceremony of dedication was a part of the program of the German Catholic Central Verein, in its sixty-second annual session, in St. Louis.
In a brief address the papal delegate said in part: "I am very much pleased to witness such a magnificent spectacle of faith, generosity and solidarity as is shown in this building. Here, under the sky, before God and before man, before the Catholic population and the non-Catholic, you have built this orphanage, to help the poor, abandoned children of your nationality and faith. By doing that you have done a great service to the Church and to the State.
"If they ask for more evidence of your patriotism, point to this building. Here his voice for the moment was drowned by applause.
Continuing he humorously said: "Really I envy your great Archbishop in'this great work in his archdiocese, and I confess I should like to stay here if you would send him to Washington." After which he imparted „the papal blessing to the devout throng.
Archbishop Glennon addressed a few words to His Excellency and he surprised a great many by speaking in the German language in his salutation.
"While our Holy Father," he said, "is speaking to all the warring nations in the world today, his distinguished representative speaks today to all the worthy people of St. Louis.
"It is gratifying to note how Catholic institutions are flourishing and his Excellency knows something of St. Louis from his previous visit last year, for he wrote afterwards, saying that he did not know of any American city so elegantly finished in its hospitality and good works."
Christian charity, as based on the love of God, was the theme of the sermon of the day, given by Bishop Joseph M. Koudelka of Superior, Wis., who spoke in German, although himself a Bohemian. He described St. Vincent's Orphan Asylum in beautiful phrase, telling the delegate that "Here the flowers of charity, the roses . of St. Elizabeth, bloom and bloom and bloom." Such charity gave a consoling interlude the Wisconsin prelate declared, to the war reign of hate and self-seeking and national pride, and helped "to heal the wounds from which almost the entire world suffers today."
Joseph Frey of New York City, president of the Central Verein, made a brief address, defining the aims of the organization.
"We stand for good citizenship," he said, "If anyone approaches you demanding some tangible evidence of your patriotism, tell them, 'I am a Catholic.' That is sufficient for all.
At the invitation of President Frey, three cheers were given for the papal delegate and the Archbishop. A chorus of 500 voices rendered selections, with orchestra accompaniment, concluding with "The Star Spangled Banner."
Very Rev. M. S. Ryan, C. M., president of the Kenrick Seminary accompanied the Delegate and Archbishop Glennon, while visiting prelates who are delegates sat also in the pavilion. Michael Deck of St. Louis presided.
The priests assisting at the dedication ceremonies were Rev. F. X. Wilmes of St. Charles, assistant priest; Rev. Francis J. Vallazza, S. J., and Rev. H. Kister deacons, and Rev. V. Stepka, master of ceremonies.
It would now seem proper to give a description of the new Home of the orphans, but the beautifully finished picture tells us more than any number of words could tell. I will content myself with a brief outline. The building is three stories high and the front measures 308 feet. Two wings, each 53 feet wide and 118 feet deep are connected with the central building by two links, 77 feet long and 52 feet wide, containing each two flights of rooms and a corridor. The chapel, a real artistic gem, is situated in the central part of the structure under the tower. The interior arrangement is in a manner perfect. The building is of brick with stone trimmings, and makes an imposing appearance.
CHAPTER IX. THE INFLUENZA VISITS THE HOME—VARIOUS LARGE
DONATIONS—MANY IMPROVEMENTS IN THE HOME
On March 1919 the influenza broke out in the Home. More than one hundred children were afflicted, two Sisters and four children were claimed as victims by the disease.
On the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of the S. S. Peter and Paul's Branch of the Society, the children of the Home gave an entertainment in Goller Hall for the benefit of the Orphan Home, April 11, 1920. It was, of course, well attended. The children won the admiration of the great assembly.
On Sunday, July 3, 1921, at the Anniversary Celebration, Reverend Joseph Matoushek, S. J., a former pupil and newly raised to the priesthood, was celebrant of the mass. Sister Febronia died September 1 7th of the same year. She had taken up the collections at the Market for over twenty-five years.
A special donation fund called The Decorating Fund was inaugurated in 1822. According to the report of Secretary L. G. Poelker -one friend of the orphans gave $5,000 and another $2000, the former for new art glass windows, and the later for decorating the Chapel, and in each instance withheld their name. Besides, a number of other friends contributed $1,400 to complete the decorations, and in so doing, making the Chapel in the Home second to none".
It is also noteworthy that during 1922 the Society received $18,278.39 from the picnic, euchres, and Xmas fund, which shows a great many attended the celebrations given for the benefit of the Home and that bequests showed a total of $6,496.40.
At the close of the year, thanksgiving services were held at the Home. The Archbishop graced the occasion by his presence, Father Holweck preached the sermon, and St. Anthony's Choristers sang the Highmass.
Many improvements of minor importance, yet all contributing to the health and comfort of the Sisters and children, were made within the last few years, in the installment of which the Board of Directors took a leading part. As to mention, but a few: Playground cemented and equipped with swings, turning poles, pavilions, tree-benches, etc.; cellar and cold storage plant installed; grotto built and grounds laid out; floors in corridors, chapel, kitchen, Board of Directors room covered with linotile; lockers, tables in diningroom and playrooms, beds and mattresses supplied.
The Grotto was built as a memorial of the foundation of the Order of the Sisters of Christian Charity seventy-five years since, and of the fiftieth anniversary of their arrival in the United States.
All in all, the German St. Vincent Orphan Home has become a model institution, a real Home for the children, lacking nothing to make childhood happy, than the Toying care of mother. Yet, even this is graciously supplied by those noble ladies, the Sisters, who stand in place of the lost mother to each child within the Home.
We have to add a few words here in regard to the Ladies' Auxiliary Branches of the Association, that have increased so admirably in number of members, as well as in efficiency. From the start women and children were welcome as contributing members. But the ladies felt that they could do more for the cause if they were banded together in separate auxiliary branches. The agitation for these auxiliaries came from members of St. Boniface branch. St. Anthony's parish led the way, SS. Peter and Paul's and St. Joseph's followed in 1916. Almost every year since that time witnessed the formation of one or more Ladies'Auxiliary, until today there are eleven such branches with a total membership of 1441. In the remaining parishes women and men enjoy equal rights in the original branches. The membership dues are $1.00 per year. In the original parish branches the dues are $3.00 per year.
The German-American parishes outside of St. Louis contributing at least a part of their Orphan Church Collections to the German St. Vincent's Orphan Home are: Apple Creek, Mo., Rev. A. H. Toebben; Augusta, Mo., Rev. A. T. Strauss; Bonnots Mill, Mo., Rev. Casimir C. Schmidt; Bowling Green, Mo., Rev. H. Minges; Cape Girardeau, Mo., Rev. E. Pruente; Dutzow, Mo., Rev. 'Wm. J. Dames; Flint Hill, Mo., Rev. Jos. P. Fitzkam; Florissant, Mo., Rev. S. Hoehn, S. J.: Freeburg, Mo., Rev. G. Fick; Hermann, Mo., Rev. Cyriac Stempel, 0. F. M.; Illmo, Mo., Rev. B. Groner; 1Vlartinsburg, Mo., Rev. H. Freese; Meta, Mo., Rev. H. Wagener; Morrison, Mo., Rev. J. J. Noelker; New Haven, Mo., Rev. F. H. Schiller; Old Monroe, Mo., Rev. Wm. J. Reef; Oran, Mo., Rev. M. Helmbacher; Perryville, Mo., Rev. J. M. Huber; Portage des Sioux, Mo., Rev. L. Puffer; Rich Fountain, Mo., Rev. C. Winkelmann; St. Charles, Mo., Msgr. F. Wilmes; Spanish Lake, Mo., Rev. Wm. S. Kempf ; Vienna, Mo., Rev. J. Fugel. The total contributions for these parishes were for 1923, $406.35 and for 1924, $548.99.
Presidents from 1900 to 1925: 1901-1902, Louis Wessbecher ; 1903-1904, Christ Hike ; 1905-1906, George Willme ring ; 1907-1908, Charles H. Franck ; 19091910, Michael Deck; 1911-1912, George Korte ; 1913-1914, John P. Rheinheimer ; 1915-1920, John D. Stegmann ; 1921-1922, Joseph J. Gruender ; 1923-1924, John Kahlmeyer; 1925, Fred W. Guetgemann.
CHAPTER X. CONCLUSION—RESULTS--THE DIAMOND JUBILEE
HOPES FOR THE FUTURE.
A mighty tree has grown up from the small seed grain of seventy-five years ago. Far more than three thousand and three hundred orphaned children has the Society been both father and mother. Many thousands of dollars were cheerfully given by the German Catholic people of the diocese for the temporal and spiritual good of the orphans. With real christian charity have gentle sisters given their consecrated lives to the noble purposes of the Orphan Society. Truly wonderful results have been attained. Many of the pupils hold or held distinguished positions in the world and in the church. Of Monsignor Hoog we have already spoken, his success in life is known to all. But it may not be so well known that the German St. Vincent Orphan Home has given eleven priests to Holy Church, four of them members of the Society of Jesus, three Benedictines, one Franciscan, one Capuchin and two of the diocesan clergy.
Then there are ten boys of the Orphan Home that chose the service of God in some religious Congregation; and forty-three girl pupils who entered some Sisterhood, as the Order of St. Joseph, of St. Francis, of the Precious Blood, of St. Mary, and of Christian Charity.
Such results as these spiritual vocations sufficiently characterize the excellent spirit of the Home, and the high ideals cultivated in it. These results would amply repay all the labors and sacrifices expended by the members of the Orphan Society during the seventy-five years of its history. We subjoin the Roll of Honor:
Former Pupils who have become Priests: Rev. Hugh Erley, S. J.; Rev. Joseph Real, S. J.; Rev. Charles Bode, O. S. B.; Rev. Martin Schmitt, O. S. B.; Right Rev. O. J. S. Hoog; Rev. William F. Walther; Rev. Aemilian Zumkeller, O. F. M.; Rev. M. Alberic, O. C. S. O.; Rev. Joseph Ma toushek, S. J.; Rev. Timothy Eck, O. S. B.; Rev. Michael A. Schaefer, S. J.
Former Pupils who have become Religious: Rev. Brother Constantius Grahn; Rev. Brother Aggeus Rechtling; Rev. Brother Ladislaus Ritter; Rev. Brother Baldwin Von Witzleben; Rev. Brother Alphons Liguori Grote; Rev. Brother John Edwards Henricks; Rev. Brother John of Ma tha Valenta; Rev. Brother Anselm Kleinknecht; Rev. Brother Frank Perk, S. M.; Rev. Brother John Strich, S. M.
Former Pupils who have become Sisters: Sister Appolonia Sunder; Sister Bertha Real; Sister Leocadia Schlingmann; Sister Callista Ellemann; Sister Clara Dierker; Simplicia Kunz; Sister Berchman Reiss; Sister Dominica Stratemann; Sister Franziska Hasenmueller; Sister Carolina Schwert; Sister Franziska Priest; Sister Dorothy Moritz; Sister Amandina Kanne; Sister Henrietta Eichhorn; Sister Rebecca Eichhorn; Sister Sacred Heart Lay; Sister Angela Lammers; Sister Georgiana Koch; Sister Lumina Offner; Sister Linus Wilhelm Sister Rosa Gubri; Sister Sybilla Woelfle; Sister Ludwigis Menke; Sister Speciosa Grote; Sister Michaele Siemers; Sister Manetta Meyer; Sister Albina Voellinger; Sister Dolora Herman; Sister Theresine Link; Sister Joselda Steinhaeufel; Sister Killiana De Rooze; Sister Vincenza Noeth; Sister Borromea Stottmann; Sister Baptista Labonta; Sister Mary Louise Perk; Sister Vincentina Noeth; Sister Ernesta Gander; Sister Michaele Hoppe; Sister Stan-isle Kleinknecht; Sister Loyolis Gander; Sister Reynold Gander; Sister Alexa Englerth.
One word more. The German St. Vincent Orphan Society is the result of German energy, zeal and patience. In its manner of organization it is thoroughly American. As in our country the various self-governing states are combined to effect a Central government, so also the various Parish Societies for the Orphans are combined together to form a general association, the governing body of which is created by the representatives of the individual branches. As the purpose of the Society is Catholic and all the members are Catholics, the influence of the Church is, of course, paramount; but the Church authorities do not interfere with the workings of the Society, save by advice and consent. Priests are eligible to membership, under the same conditions as laymen. The Pastor of the Parish is, ipso facto the Spiritual Director of the Branch. The Catholic spirit animating the members gives sufficient assurance that all is well with the activities of the society. Laymen are in control, and the Church leaves —well enough alone".
It may be worthy of notice that there are no salaried positions in the German St. Vincent Orphan Society. All duties are performed free of charge. Even the Actuary who might claim a small salary under the constitution accepts no recompense. The physicians likewise decline any renumeration. The approval of a good conscience, and the sincere gratitude of the Sisters and the Society are accepted as sufficient reward for their watchful care and eminent skill. The spirit of the entire organization and all its activities is Christian charity pure and simple.
During the last 25 years the total disbursements amounted to $384,773.90.
The following devoted Sisters of Christian Charity are stationed at present in our Orphan Home: Mother Theobalda, Sister Sebastian, Sister Onesyma, Sister Celsa, Sister Theodosia, Sister Justa, Sister Cortona, Sister Gutberta, Sister Gisberta, Sister Medardis, Sister Elisenda, Sister Theresa, Sister Wendolina, Sister Bernardine, Sister Beninga, Sister Enlodia, Sister Euphrasia, Sister Orontia, Sister Amabilis, Sister Benvenuta, Sister Flaviana, Sister Eventia, Sister Irmentrud, Sister Theonia, Sister Theresina, Sister Ina, Sister Thiadildis and Sister Stylia.
The Spiritual Direction of the Orphan's Home which was so long in the hands of the Jesuit Fathers of St. Joseph's is now committed to the care of the Passionist Fathers of Normandy. Father Simon is in charge, and well does he fulfill his office.
In conclusion we would give the names of the general officers of the Diamond Jubilee Year 1925: President, F. W. Guetgemann; Vice-President, Geo. Wanstrath; Secretary, M. A. Wohlschlaeger; Financial Secretary, Edw. J. Faulhaber; Treasurer, Chas. M. Eith; First Marshal, Wm. Thiemann; Second Marshal, Wm. Kemper, Sr.; Banner Carrier, Louis Spinner; Actuary, Frank L. Rogles.
Great preparations have been made for a worthy Diamond Jubilee Celebration. May it be a signal success, shedding lustre on the beautiful years of the past and auguring a long series of equally zealous and successful years of the future. May the rising generation take up the work from the hands of their fathers, and carry it on in the same old Catholic spirit of love and generosity. A gradual change in language and manners has come over us during the twenty-five years since our Golden Jubilee: this change will continue for some time to come until perhaps, the last vestige of our German speech have vanished. But the work must go on, not only for another quarter-century, but for all time to come. May God prosper our dear German St. Vincent Orphan Society of St. Louis, may God bless all its members and benefactors.