Saturday, August 22, 2009
Mary Ann Hardey's first years in Louisiana
Mary Ann's uncle was proud to show his home to his brother and to point out the site that would be for Frederick's family home. This was quickly built for them and they just had settled into this new home when the older brother, Charles Anthony, died. He left all his estate to Frederick.
Sarah visited Saint Landry's and talked to Father Rossi. She learned that there was a school supervised by him and soon Ann and Mary Ann were enrolled. Ann was ten now and admitted to the First Communion class; Mary Ann was too young, but insisted on attending. One day, when the rest of the students could not answer Father Rossi's question, Mary Ann came forward and spoke with such clarity that Father Rossi took her aside afterwards and then decided that she should make her First Communion with her older sister.
Soon the family circle was enlarged to five girls and three boys. Charles Anthony was born in 1819, George Raphael in 1820, and the other boy was Siebert but there is no record of his birth; we do not know the names of the other two girls.
The plantation was a world in itself. Slave-quarters stretched in long rows behind the main house and every night all gathered for evening prayers led by Mary Ann's father. It was a happy family life and Mary Ann learned very early how to help her mother manage the large household.
I will continue later with more of Mother Hardey's life as she had so much influence on Catholic education in the United States. On Monday, we will look at her own education in Grand Coteau, Louisiana.