THE

HISTORY

OF

ST. BARTHOLOMEWS CONVENT

1923 ... 1974


Archives
Sisters of St. Dominic

Compiled by:
Sister Redemptrice Mack, O.P.


AUTHORS PREFACE

History of St. Bartholomew is planned to please the detail seeker, the peruser, and the person in a hurry who just wants a definite date or item.

For the most part it is in six year periods---Superiorships 1923-1970 when that word became a no-no and coordinator was followed by contact Sister which resulted in 1970 to shared responsibility. The annals were begun in 1947 so the period 1923 to 1935 is hearsay: from 1935 to 1947 is mostly my memory as I was stationed there from 1935 to 1957. From 1947 to the present is from the Annals.



HISTORY OF ST. BARTHOLOMEW


St, Bartholomew parish began in 1906. Bishop McDonald appointed Rev. Jerimiah J. Heafy to establish a parish. The church was dedicated April 30, 1911. Prior to this the parishioners met in the Baptish Church on Whitney Avenue. Farther Heafy sent the receipts of all collections of Sunday, April 30 to the Baptist Church for their many kindnesses to him. Later, when the new church was built on Whitney Avenue this his first church became known as the chapel. Through the years many parishoners requested to celebrate their wedding in the chapel.

After the death of Father Heafy in 1914, Rev. William O'Hara became pastor. In his pastorate the land on which the convent, school and new church stood was purchased.

Father O'Hara, having passed on, Rt. Rev. Msgr. Uleau became pastor. When he started the St. Bartholomew parish school Msgr. Uleau gave the care of the children to the Sisters od St. Dominic whose Motherhouse is in Amityville.

Since the Diocesan Authorities wished it, Msgr. gave a part of the school for a two year High School course for girls also conducted by the Dominican Sisters.

The beautiful church standing on Whitney Ave. was built during Msgr. Uleau's pastorate. It was dedicated October 11, 1930, It accomodates 1200 people. There were 100 families in 1906, 3000 in 1956 when it celebrated its Golden Jubilee.



SISTER MANCINI


On August 24, 1923, Rev. Mother Augustine Fleck, Sister Seraphine, a council member, S. Mancini, who was to serve as first superior and S. Jordan who would teach in the High School arrived at St. Bartholomews for the opening of the first four Elementary Grades and the first term of the High School.

As in any new adventure there were misadventures as well as successes. Young and seasoned sisters toiled slowly but surely and soon St. Bartholomews developed into a well organized outstanding parish school. Gradually the annual School Opening Liturgy and ceremony, the first confessions and Communions, the Supervisors Visitations all becale routine annual happenings. During this time the experienced sisters aided and guided the younger ones in the art of putting on an annual entertainment ay schools end. Sodalities emerged as their need arose.



S. MAUD---S. Alexandrine


In 1925, S. Maud took over the superiorshipand the seeds S. Mancini had sown began to blossom and S. Maud continued to sow more good seeds. Although I never knew S. Maud I grew up in religious life thinking of her as the "Vocation Sister".

Sister Alexandrine took over the reigns in 1931. She was a very educated woman, an organizer and in today's parlance, a go-getter. It was during Sisters time that the quarters were becoming cramped and Msgr. had an extension put on the building, adding, on the first floor a large and beautiful refectory and a small music room. On the second and third floors four bedrooms and bath. The stairwell went from basement to roof.

In school, to assist her in her many duties, Sister had Louise Winkler, whose two children attended St. Barts. She has turned out to be a perfect secretary, not only to S. Alexandrine but to all who followed her in principalship. It is Louise Winkle who should be writing the History of St. Barts. Note in the "Personalle" that Louise acquired an assistant in 1973.

With a team like Msgr. Uleau, S. Alexandrine, Louise Winkler and a group of dedicated sisters St. Barts. grew to be the school of the area. About eighty percent of the children's parents were Professional people-too many were teachers, who cooperated in every way. The priests of the parish visited the classes weekly, their instructions being both enlightening and timely.

At the end of six years in accordance with canon law rulings a new superior was appointed but Sister stayed on as principal.



S. Theresa - S. Alexandrine


Sister Theresa, who ruled with her heart, became the next superior. As everything was organized there weren't any noticeable changes. It was in this period that S. Lambertina, a High School teacher and churtc sacristan died. In 1940 S. Theresa was transferred to St. Vincent's Home for boys---this was the environment she loved because she felt needed.

S. Alexandrine again became superior, still retaining principalship. Since Msgr. Uleau was more or less of the old school he held that all acivities, religious or lay had to have their origin in the home. A family should attend the same Mass, receive the Eucharist as a family, not at a certain age, or in the right grade etc.. Entertainment should be a family affair. He didn't readily consent to changing customs as school authorities were now doing. These were the World War II years. Tightening the belt-rationing-curfew. The World's Fair of 1939 was trying to teach us what the world held in store for us. People wewe living in one world, and hurting, and trying to peep into the future of a newly planned world. -1960 Panorama.. The beginnings of T.V., to the teachers and educators of this day an invitation or a mandate to make many visits to the local police station to learn through the medium of T.V. how to prepare for blackouts, raids, etc.

On February ninth, 1943 Msgr Uleau, due to ill health and advised by his doctor went to West Palm Beach, Cal. to try to restore his health. He developed pneumonia and died Feb. 28, 1943. He was buried from St. Barths on March 5, 1943. His body was interred in the family vault at St. John's. Newspaper accounts given elsewhere.

Father O'Shaughnessy was appointed acting pastor until Father Dwyer came in June of the same year. To those who lived it, it was a most interesting five months.

In the school there was much progress. The men in the parish who had served so quietly for so many years really became known to the sisters during the week of Msgr. Uleau's wake. They let us know that they were ready and willing to continue and service to the church and school that was needed.

In August of 1943 S. Alexandrine was transferred to St. Leonards, and S. Paul, a High School sister from St. Barts took over as superior.

It was also in 1943 that a community newsletter known as "Veritas" was inaugerated and St. Barts sisters contributed many articles such as progress made in awards; Namely: Fire Prevention Essays, Kiwanis Club contests. The winners, with additional information will be in another part of this chronicle. At this time S. Paul tells us that the High School was filled to capacity. Sister also observed that our Elementary School was outstanding in size, discipline, activities, scholarships and teachers. Msgr. Dwyer was very interested but adjustments were necessary as his philosophy was quite different from that of Msgr. Uleau, the previous pastor.

Now that S. Paul had filled S. Alexandrine's term she was free to follow her previous plans, e.g. to become assistant supervisor to Mother Chrysostom.



S. FLORIAN MARIE


S. Florian Marie-1947-1953. On August 16, 1947 the superiorship of St. Bartholomews passed from S. Mary Paul to S. Florian Marie. On the 24th Rev. Mother Anselma, honored us with her presence both at the solemn High Mass and the festivities in honor of St. Bartholomew's Feast Day. S. Florian Marie was installed as our new Superior.

Our usual annuals, such as Open School Day, Mission Sunday Rally, frequently St. Barts played host.

February 1949 saw the inauguration of our First Recollection Day. S. Florian Marie planned a Schedule of Holy Hours and Spiritual Reading and other exercises of Piety. All the sisters were glad to "shut out the clasor" of small things in order to find God in the depth of their souls.

A bazaar was held in our convent on March 27th Laetare Sunday of 1949 for the benefit of the Retreat House at Amityville. Some parishoners did come but it was mostly our own families and close friends. It was a hugh success and cleared $700.

On December 26, 1947 we had the worst snowfall and it brought us a lost wayfarer in the person of S. Aemelia Marie, S.C. from New York. Our Dominican hospitality was appreciated by Sister. On December 28th a priest from St. Gabriel's took her to the Sisters of Charity Convent in East Elmhurst, her original destination.

On February 1949 six of our sisters were among the pioneer occupants of Our Lady of Prouille Retreat House during the inter-term recess prtiod.

9-29-52 John Von Rask of 8B was fatally burned from climbing a high voltage railroad signal tower. His untimely death greatly impressed the school children and the Sisters.

A drive to check possible recognition of Communist China by our Government brought 4,000 letters to Congressman T. Vincent Quinn from our students, friends and relatives.

Msgr. McClancy personally visited S. Olympia to congratulate her because one of students won the Tablet Poster Contest.

The first termers (HS) did extremely well in the drive for the "Sign". The members of the "Tap and Ballet" held a recital which exceeded our fondest expectations.

In June of each year the Finishing exercises are held in the auditorium. The girls who completed the first two years are offically transferred to Bishop McDonnell High School.

A number of the fourth termers attended the first broadcast of the "New York Times Forum".

Each year many girls accompany the Blessed Virgin Sodality to Maryknoll. They are always deeply impressed.

On October 16, 1948 the students joined the nation in celebrating "U. N. Week". Several attended the Youth Form and joined in the discussion on "Can the U. N. Achieve World Peac?" Diebert Clark, New York Times correspondent was guest speaker. Each year sees Book week celebrated with more gusto, more elaborate displays in the library, in the corrrdors and on the stage of the auditorium all of which consumes hours of labor plus a "write-up" in the Elm.

In the fashion show at the Elmhurst Public Library, St. Barth's girls took part in commemorating the Golden Anniversary of Queens County. December 27, 28, and 29th found the Legion of Mary group visiting the sick, poor, and orphans with Christmas Goodies.

All the girls of St. Barth's High School visited St. John's University to witness exhibitions on Atomic Energy. The girls receive great benefits from the yearly retreats, sometimes conducted by Dominican priests.

The girls take their turn in hosting the zone contests for Public Speaking. Mary Ann Bartley delivered a winning speech which we like to remember in this particular year of 1975---Mother Elizabeth Seton, A Woman of Courage.

The Four High School Sisters and Student Body attended the New York Herald Tribune Youth Form. The sixteen representative students from the Far East were the main feature. All Catholics present were justly proud of President Romulo of the U. N.

Our receiving third place in Chaminade Speech Tournament was mainly due to Mary Lynn Sullivan. Ann Murphy won first prize in American Legion Priliminary contest held at Dominican Commercial High School.

Extention Magazine awarded Adelaide Powers a $50 prize for her article which appeared in "Career Corner" of its magazine. Margaret Clancy represented St. Barth's over Fordham Radio Station and in a Public Speaking contest she won first prize.



Sister Mary Joan...1953-55


In this period we find all the usual yearly incidents. The greatest change in this period was the arrival of the Franciscan Brothers listed elsewhere, who now supervise boys of the 6B to 8B grades. To make room for these spilt classes, arrangements were made whereby five primary attend school in two sessions, 7:45 to 11:45 and 11:45 to 3:45 P.M. So far the plan has proved satisfactory to teachers and pupils.

The Brother's Priory is located at 86-14 Elmhurst Ave. one short block from the school. There have been many evidences that the older boys profited by the smaller classes and all masculine influence.



Sister Mary Dominic-1955-1958


The usual annual school functions was added by the High registration required continuation of the part-time system in ten of the lower classes.

Oct. 31, 1955-- Having announced early in the month a campaign for a new school annex building with ten classrooms to ease our overcrowded classes, Msgr. Dwyer officially broke ground for the project beside the "old church". Parishoners have shown a wonderful spirit of enthusiastic cooperation to further the much needed extention.

Jan. 16, 1956- Our Church was host once again for the Eastern Rite Churches. It is the fourth year that many parishoners and students had the opportunity o participate most effectively in the Church Unity Octave.

Jan. 21, 1956-The High School orchestra and Glee Club successfully presented its first annual concert.

Oct. 14, 1956 St. Barth's Parish began the celebration of its Golden Jubilee by a Solemn Mass in which his Excellency, Archbishop Molloy, of revered memory presided. He died on Oct. 26, 1956.

March 11, 1957-Sister teachers of the fifth and sixth grade boys accompanied their pupils to Paterson, New Jersey, the head quarters of the Dominic Savio Club. Branches of the club in our school are flourishing wonderfully to the benefit of pupil's conduct and development of Catholic Character among our boys.

June 25-26, 1956-Our annual entertainment was very much enjoyed by the parishoners. Since the Golden Jubilee of the parish will be celebrated at the end of 1956, the theme of the show was "Music Through The Years". Our new system of having all the "A" grades on the first night and all the "B" grades on the second night was a welcome relief to all concerned, who have in other years suffered through twenty odd presentations, given in entirety both nights. Financial results of the entertainment were excellent since we received a net rweturn of $2,171.00.



Sister Rose Aquinas 1958-1964


Here we meet with a change of format. The September eight Mass was celebrated by Msgr. Dwyer who welcomed the new Sisters, Brothers, Lay Teachers and children. The customary annuals throught the next six school years were enhanced by some high lights. Mass was celebrated for Pope Pius XII. On March 8th Msgr. was rushed to St. John's Hospital with pneumonia. On March 19th the children formed a guard of honor for the Pastor's return from the hospital. November 18, 1958 was declared a holiday in honor of Brother Dominic's Silver Jubilee. February 5, 1958 first drive held in the History of St. Barth's for the Novitiate Building Fund. Also in February the flueresant lights were completed. The change was almost unbelievable. It cost the Pastor a fortune but the value of the children's sight made it worth the cost. April 1962, Father Evans began practice of the Dialogue Mass. May, 1962 began the 8:30 Dialogue Mass by children from the fourth to the eighth grades. The Nine o'clock Sunday Mass was also Dialogue. The annual June Play took place in "May" making all concerned happier.

March 6, 1963--First Demonstration lesson of a series given by S. Mary Patrick in group teaching for first garde. A group of thirty teachers, Lay and Religious of different communities observed S. M. Patrick's techniques and devices.

March 20, 1963 Second Demonstration lesson, observed by Rev. Joseph Bynon,assistant superintendent of schools.

February 4, 1963- Initiation of S. R. A. Reading Laboratory for grades 5 to 8.

February 8, St. Barth's was designated as a pilot school for the Diocesean Language Arts Program.

Oct. 19, 1960 Confirmation.

Other events and incidents concerning St. Barth's School can be found in the "Annals". They do not really belong to Convent History.