Saturday, September 23, 2017
Dedication of the St. Charles Borromeo Church
Continuation of the account of arriving to assist at the dedication of the Church and re-open the school.
Here is the first person account of the first days:
"We commenced first by sweeping the part destined for the recitation of prayers, then, little by little, all the house. But cleaning up, on the other hand, we fell into a new embarrassment, for the rats (who in such filth found an abundance of food) gave us no peace. They walked abroad in our midst in full daylight and came at night to give us sweet kisses.
As to our furniture, it was in harmony with the house; we had no beds and were obliged to sleep on the floor. We took an old carpet from the Church to serve as bed covering; but the dust and the fleas which which it was filled did not allow us a moment's rest."
The day after the nuns' arrival was to be the consecration of the new church. The bishop and twelve priests said their holy office in the nuns' log cabin the night before the dedication since they could not enter the church until it had been consecrated. The next morning Mass was offered nine times in the cabin. Mother O'Connor had all she could do chasing rats all the time she was serving Mass!
When the consecration of the Church began at 10:00 all the townspeople were waiting in the churchyard for the procession to begin. There were several awkward things that occurred - one priest asked for a bit of cotton and he was given a knife ( the French word for knife is similar to cotton); then the priests noticed that in place of wine, the cruet had been filled with vinegar. After the ceremony, the bishop and dignitaries all came to the log cabin for breakfast. Mother Duchesne, wanting to sweeten the cup of coffee served to the Bishop, put two large spoonfuls of salt into it. The other nuns realized immediately the mistake as they had no sugar!
Still to be continued on Monday as Sunday blog is always special.