Msgr. Dooling is seated with the graduating class of 1955.
had not been cut through. The children came to Sunday school at nine o'clock and were taught by the Sisters of Charity from St. lVIichael's, who, in turn, were helped by eight lay instructors. The people were nearly equally divided between Irish and German families. Very few Italian families came to St. Francis in those early days. There was little parish social activity in these primitive times, but the Holy Name Society had been formed and flourished in a small way. The men met on the second Tuesday of every month. Mr. Moorman, the uncle of our present president, Joseph Mulcah y, was the first president. A Frenchman, Mr. Dehoux, a pious parishioner,
used to read to those first Holy Name men from the Bible or from some classic spiritual work. The society went to the Holy Name parade each year with at least 60 men in the line of march.
Hardy children lived in the parish in those days. In September they would walk to the mother church of St. Michael on Broadway three times a week, to prepare for their First Communion and Confirmation (made on the same day) from six-thirty to eight o'clock. Since Confessions were heard only at St. Michael's, the children
had to walk that same distance, along with their elders, to receive the Sacrament of Penance.
These were the golden years of our nation, the years before the First World War, when Theodore Roosevelt's powerful and popular presidency had brought the United States to a position of worldwide prestige. In Rome, a saint- St. Pius X - was nudging the Church toward a revitalized Catholic Life. It was in such times that we had our roots planted firmly in the good earth of the Lord's Vineyard, and were established as a parish and a people-with a House of the Lord as our own spiritual home.
THE PASTORATE OF FATHER LOPONTE
The New Parish
The priests who labor in a parish enrich it beyond measure by their work as priests, because the power of their work is supernatural; it is linked to the power of Jesus Himself, Whose unique priesthood they share in and extend to the people of God. For this reason the history of our parish deals mostly with its priests. What they have done in the way of organization and administration, what they built of brick, wood and plaster, all hat they did or failed to do as human beings has long ago been interred with their bones if they are dead, or it has passed into the near oblivion of all past human events if they still walk the earth. But the.Holy Masses that they celebrated or still celebrate, the Baptisms they administered, the Confessions that they heard, the sick and dying who they strengthened with the Holy Oil, the prayers they silently whispered to the Lord Jesus in the Tabernacle for the sins of their people and for the favors that their flock needed - these endure.
Our parish has long been justly proud of the excellent quality of entertainment provided by its parishioners. Here we see the cast of a parish show performing in the 1950' s.