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The Story of the Mountain
Mount Saint Mary's College and Seminary

Mary E. Meline & Edward F.X. McSween

Published by the Emmitsburg Chronicle, 1911

Chapter 76 | Chapter Index

Chapter 77: 1908 The Centennial Year

Mount Saint Mary's College around the turn of the Century

The press, National and State as well as local, gave much attention and space to the centenary, but the following account is from the columns of The Mountaineer.

The hundredth anniversary of the founding of the College was celebrated with befitting ceremonies on Wednesday and Thursday, October 14th and 15th, 1908. The days chosen for the celebration, marking the rounding-out of one hundred years of toil and labor in the fields of education, were indeed days of joy and thanksgiving for the hundreds of loyal Mountaineers, who came from all parts of the land to pay homage to alma mater.

A scene more beautiful than the one presented by the Mountain in her gala attire can hardly be imagined. Nature and art vied with each other in creating a setting suitable for the festive days. The weather was perfect. The oaks and chestnuts, tall monarchs of the groves and hills, their leaves tinted with the first autumnal glory, flashed brilliantly in the mellow splendor of Indian summer days. Overhead hangings and pennants wantoned in the playful breezes; the college buildings were draped with the Papal, Cardinalitial, Episcopal and college colors, and from the top of the tall flagstaff on the terrace "Old Glory" waved in starry splendor.

In the time between the exercises the students and visitors roamed at will over the old and the new buildings, about St. Anthony's Lake, up to the Grotto and the Lookout, over to St. Joseph's and the town, through the forest paths and along the roads, some making the "grand tour" of the Mountain.

Night was transformed into a bewildering, glittering fairyland. Thousands of Japanese lanterns, strung through the groves and terraces and up the mountain path to the Grotto, glittered like great glowworm. Dazzling calcium lights distributed throughout the grounds, the brilliantly lighted archway at the College entrance, the great searchlight in the tower of the seminar}' building, the towers and crosses of the College and Seminary studded with incandescent lights vanquished darkness and filled night with the glory of day.

Monsignor Duffy, of Rensselaer, N. Y., was the first of the alumni to reach the College, and he was closely followed by Rev. Father Saunders, of Somerville, Mass., and A. V. D. Watterson, LL.D., President of the National Alumni Association.

At the students' Mass on Sunday morning, October 11th, Msgr. Duffy preached an able sermon on "The Catholic Collegian's Place in the World." He spoke of the great power for good or for evil the Catholic layman wields, in consequence of which the duty of leading souls to God both by word and example should be early inculcated. The right reverend preacher concluded by saying that "A well educated Catholic layman has more influence with men of the world than half a dozen priests."

In the afternoon both Father Saunders and Mr. Watterson addressed the members of the College Temperance Society at their monthly meeting. Both speakers created favorable impressions by their well-timed remarks and were greeted with hearty applause.

Sunday evening, Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament was given in the College chapel by Father Saunders.

Monday morning, Very Rev. Dr. Flynn, President of the College, addressed the students relative to the coming celebration, and at the conclusion of his remarks announced that classes would be suspended for the week.

Right Rev. Henry A. Northrop, D.D. Bishop of Charleston, S.C.

On Monday evening arrived Rt. Rev. Wm. George McCloskey, ex-'48, the senior of the American Hierarchy, who was for many years Director of Mt. St. Mary's Seminary and afterwards the first Rector of the American College at Rome. With him came Rt. Rev. Bishop Northrop, '60, Charleston, S. C., and both were received with all the welcome and hospitality for which the Mountain is so justly famed.

Tuesday evening, His Eminence, Cardinal Gibbons; His Excellency, Archbishop Falconio, Papal Delegate to the United States: Bishops Alien, of Mobile, Ala.; Chatard, of Indianapolis, Ind.; Keiley, of Savannah, Ga.; O'Connell, of the Catholic University, Washington, D. C.; and Monaghan, of Wilmington, Del., in company with several hundred members of the alumni, both lay and clerical, made their appearance on the historic terraces of the College and were royally welcomed by the Faculty and students.

Cheers were given for the Cardinal, Papal Delegate, the Bishops, sod several of the priests who were at some time connected with the College.

Wednesday, October 14th

Wednesday morning the celebration commemorating the hundredth anniversary of alma mater was auspiciously opened with Solemn Pontifical Mass of Thanksgiving for all the blessings bestowed upon Mt. St. Mary's College. The Mass was celebrated in the auditorium of the gymnasium, which had been converted into a chapel, and handsomely decorated for the occasion.

The officers of the Mass and the visiting clergymen assembled at the new Seminary and marched in procession across Echo Field to the gymnasium. The Cardinal in his red robes, the Papal Delegate in the gray of his order, the officers of the Mass in beautiful vestments, and the long line of priests in cassock and surplice presented an imposing spectacle and one long to be remembered.

At ten o'clock Mass was commenced, His Eminence, the Cardinal, being the celebrant. The other officers of the Mass were as follows:

  • Assistant Priest, Rt. Rev. Msgr. Byrne, D. D., '59, Boston Mass.
  • Deacon of Honor, Rt. Rev. Msgr. Duffy, LL.D., '60, Rensselaer, N. Y.
  • Deacon of Honor, Rt. Rev. Msgr. Kearuey, '63, New York City.
  • Deacon of the Mass, Rev. M. F. Dineen, S. S., D. D., Baltimore, Md.
  • Sub-Deacon of the Mass, Rev. Chas. Macksey, S. J., Georgetown, D. C.
  • Preacher, Rev. Wm. A. Cunningham, LL.D., '79, Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Master of Ceremonies, Rev. M. M. Hassett, ex-'91, D. D., LL.D., Harrisburg, Pa.
  • Assistant Master of Ceremonies, Rev. Jas. F. McKeever, A. M., '05.
  • Master of the Book, Mr. B. J. Hillen, A. M.
  • Master of the Candle, Mr. M. J. Dougherty, A. B.
  • Master of the Crozier, Mr. J. C. Carr, A. B.
  • Master of the Mitre, Mr. Jas. J. Kerrigan, A. B.
  • Master of The Thurible, Mr. Jas. O'Brien, A. B.
  • Acolyte, Mr. John J. O'Neill, A. M.
  • Acolyte, Mr. Jos. J. McAndrew, A. M.
  • Master of the Gremial, Mr. John J. Starr, A. B.

The sermon preached by Father Cunningham was a masterpiece of composition, and traced the development of the College from the time of Dubois to the present day. The reverend speaker dwelt at length on the superiority of Catholic education, and proved its advantages over all other systems.

After the sermon, Very Rev. Dr. Flynn read the following letter, which our Holy Father, Pope Pius X, had authorized the Apostolic Delegate to write:

To the Sector, Faculty, Alumni and Student Body, Mount St. Mary's College,

Emmitsburg, Md.:

Upon this auspicious occasion, when one hundred fruitful years have passed, our Holy Father, Pius X, commissions me to say, in his August name, his words of thanksgiving and praise to the Rector, the Faculty, the alumni and the student body of Mount St. Mary's, Emmitsburg.

In the sacred cause of education the name of Mount St. Mary's has ever been pre-eminent. When trials and difficulties threatened her very life and made the way of progress hard, the heroic band of Christian educators, true to the ideals and principles of their saintly founder, pressed forward undaunted.

Now that the way lies open and success crowns the early toils and labors, we are happy to find the same lofty ideals, the same guiding principles, the same devotion and sacrifice among the sons of Mount St. Mary's as in the days of old.

A wonderful career has been vouchsafed to this venerable seat of Christian culture. We find her sons in every walk of life. Whether we read the story of the first American Cardinal, whether we turn to the blessed labors of archbishops and bishops who acclaim Mount St. Mary's as alma mater, whether we follow the devoted priests who have left these hallowed walls and who with fearless step have carried the cross into almost every diocese of the United States, or whether, in fine, we look to her sons among the laity of every profession and every degree who bear the stamp of true Catholic manhood on every side men rise and call the college blessed.

Truly, then, is this life history of Mount St. Mary's an honor to our holy church and a glory to our country. Truly it is a joy and consolation to the paternal lore of our supreme Pontiff", Pius X, in his days of sorrow, to look upon this flourishing product of Catholic life, which breathes love and devotion to the See of Peter as the very watchword of its existence.

It is my privilege to convey these words of encouragement and congratulations to the Bettor, Faculty, the alumni and student body of Mount St. Mary's College by fired command of the Holy Father. I do it with a degree of happiness not ordinary, for I know the great things which the College has done for God and the holy church.

As a further mark of his sovereign pleasure our Holy Father has authorized me, as his personal representative, to bestow on the College, the Rector, the Faculty, the alumni, the student body, the friends and benefactors the apostolic benediction a duty which I shall acquit myself of on the joyous centennial anniversary.

Sincerely yours in Christ, D. Falconio, Apostolic Delegate. Washington, September 29, 1908.

When the letter had been read, Archbishop Falconio, in accordance with the command of our Holy Father, solemnly bestowed the Papal Benediction.

Orators of the Centenary Top: Rev. P. L. Duffy Right: Richard M. Reilly Bottom: Rev. William A. Cunningham Left: Rev. Henry C. Semple.

At three o'clock in the afternoon an academic meeting was held in the gymnasium. The College orchestra, under the direction of Prof. Braun, opened the exercises with a beautiful rendition of Verdi's "Aida." Very Rev. Dr. Flynn made a short address of welcome to the alumni and visitors, after which the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws was conferred upon forty-five gentlemen.

Then the degree of Doctor of Letters was conferred for the first time by Mt. St. Mary's College. Rev. Patrick Laurence Duffy, LL.D., '75, of Charleston, S. C., the scholarly Southern poet-priest, and author of the "Centennial Ode," was the recipient of this great honor.

The degree Master of Arts, in course, was conferred upon eighteen candidates.

The Centennial Oration, a masterly effort, replete with eloquence and expression rarely equaled by speakers of the present day, was delivered by Mr. Richard M. Reilly, LL.D., '80, of Lancaster, Pa.

The College Glee Club rendered "Ad Vesperas," a beautiful song of college life here at the Mountain, composed especially for the Centennial by Rev. D. Brown, '86, of the Faculty.

Then came the reading of the Centennial Ode by its author, Rev. Patrick L. Duffy, LL.D., Litt. D., '75, who a short time previously had been so signally honored by his alma mater. Full well was it worthy of the great event which it commemorated. The ode contained a weight of thought, a beauty of imagery, and a witchery of expression which stamped it as a masterpiece. Time and time again during his reading the gifted author was interrupted by bursts of applause from his delighted auditors.

After a selection by the College orchestra, the Cardinal arose and made the following short, well-timed address:

"I could not restrain myself from making some little address to you. Thrilled as I am with the glory of this great centennial, I feel that I must add my voice to those who have already extolled this college.

"I consider Mount St. Mary's College one of the very best Catholic institutions in America. The Faculty is not only composed of brilliant scholars, but they are also earnest workers in God's vineyard, and they mingle His teachings with those of man in a manner that must be pleasing to God himself. They live in harmony and peace and strive together to promulgate the faith and make good citizens.

"The men who have graduated from this institution as clergy or laymen have made good Christian American citizens. The men who hold this college as their alma mater have always stood in the front rank in the army of our Lord and have ever been ready to defend the church from attack no matter whence it came.

"Her sons have been loyal to the State as well as the church, an important thing in my mind, for I believe that any man who is a traitor to his civic duty is a traitor to his God."

Archbishop Farley, of New York City, with his retinue arrived Wednesday evening. A most hearty welcome was extended to His Grace and his party by the Faculty, visitors and students.

At eight o'clock a formal reception and entertainment to the alumni and visitors was held in the gymnasium, and a program of unusual merit carried out by the students.

The orchestra opened the entertainment with a stirring rendition of "Fest March."

The militant Catholic hymn, "Long Live the Pope," was then sung by the glee club. The large audience stood up while the hymn was being sung and assisted in the singing.

Representing the students of the Seminary, Mr. Jas. Burke, '06, delivered an address of welcome to all. His remarks were well adapted to the occasion, and he was greeted with much applause.

After an overture by the orchestra, Mr. Frank L. Devine, '09, in behalf of the students of the College, delivered a salutatory address in effective style. His glowing tribute to alma mater roused the enthusiasm of all who heard it.

The glee club sang "Shamrock Alley," a song replete with local color, composed for the occasion by Rev. D. Brown, '86, of the Faculty.

Mr. Thomas A. Lenahan, '09, then read an original Latin ode, "Festum Saeculare." In the polished and classic style of Horace, Mr. Lenahan lauded the Mountain College.

After a selection, " The Chapel," by the glee club, Mr. J. Victor Golibart, '09, recited " The Gypsy Flower Girl" in his usual brilliant manner.

Very Rev. Dr. Flynn, President of the College, then an­nounced the Solemn Requiem Mass which would be offered the following morning. Dr. Flynn asked that all present in their prayers for the deceased members of the Faculty, alumni and the benefactors of the College remember Mother Seton and her noble band of nuns, who from the earliest days have been so closely allied with the College.

While the audience was leaving the auditorium at the conclusion of the exercises the orchestra played "Knights of Columbus March."

Thursday October 15th,

Thursday morning at nine o'clock, in the chapel in the gymnasium, a Solemn Pontifical Mass of Requiem was offered up for the repose of the souls of the deceased members of the Faculty, alumni and benefactors of the College. Rt. Rev. Bishop Alien, D. D., '78, of Mobile, Ala., a former President of the College, was celebrant of the Mass. He was assisted by the following:

Assistant priest, Rev. William L. O'Hara, LL.D., '83, also a former President; deacon, Msgr. McCready, LL.D., '65, of New York; sub-deacon, Msgr. Dunn, LL.D., '63, of Meadville, Pa, ; master of ceremonies, Rev. M. M. Hassett, D. D., ex-'91, of Harrisburg, Pa.

As on Wednesday morning, the clergymen assembled at the seminary and marched in procession to the gymnasium.

Under the direction of Father Brown the College choir sang the Gregorian Requiem chant. No sermon was preached.

At eleven o'clock a meeting of the Alumni Association was held in the auditorium of the gymnasium, President Watterson presiding. While the meeting was in session, Governor Crothers and staff arrived unexpectedly. They were received by Rev. P. A. Goad, of the Faculty, the other members being at the meeting, and a number of students who had not gone to dinner welcomed them with the Mountain cheer.

Mr. Watterson stated that the principal object of the meeting was to find out how much assistance the members were willing to render the College in the building of the new church.

Very Rev. Dr. Flynn then spoke of the improvements which had been made at the College during the last decade, and said that for the completion of those under way, and for the accomplishing of greater things in the future, the hearty cooperation and the financial aid of the alumni were necessary. He concluded by saying that the members of the Alumni Association had never been found wanting in the past, and that he was confident that their love for alma mater would now spur them on to greater efforts.

Rev. Dr. P. L. Duffy then made a motion to the effect that individual pledges be made, and that the secretary be authorized to register the names and the amount pledged, and that these pledges be considered binding.

The motion was seconded by Mr. Cashman, and was carried unanimously.

About $15,000 was pledged, which brings the total amount of subscriptions for the new building to $35,000. $100,000 is the amount needed to complete the church.

Election of officers was next in order. A motion was made, seconded and unanimously carried that all the incumbent officers be re-elected. (Cheers for Mr. Watterson.)

All those gentlemen who had received degrees from the College on Wednesday afternoon, and who were not members of the alumni, together with Rev. P. J. Tinan, Rev. E. Byrnes and Rev. J. Moore, were elected honorary members of the Association.

Immediately following this the Governor and staff were announced, and were received with a cordiality which more than made up for their somewhat unceremonious reception an hour before.

Very Rev. Father Flynn then in a few well-chosen words introduced the Governor, who made an extemporaneous address. In part he said:

"Dr. Flynn has said that it cost my staff and myself some trouble to come here to-day. If this is so we have been amply repaid by the honor of the invitation and the pleasure of being here. Personally it is a great pleasure and also a duty, for as the chief executive of the State I should be here, for the State realizes full well the value of this institution. It is also gratifying to recall the success worked out by the Catholic Church in the State. No history of Maryland would be complete without a history of the Catholic Church in the State. Why, the early history of the State was made, in part, by the Catholics, one of the Calverts proclaiming religious freedom throughout the State. The Catholic Church was not only honored, but all Christianity was benefited by this move, and it made Maryland the Mecca of all denominations. This freedom made possible the establishing of the Episcopal, Methodist and Presbyterian Churches in Maryland in perfect safety, and enabled all to worship peacefully.

"For good reasons I prepared no speech. Before I close, however, I want to tell you what I think of this great country about here. All the way up on the train I could not help thinking that anything that came out of this part of the country must be good, and that's what I think of this school. Where on earth could you find people more happy and contented than up here?

"I was met when I arrived here by the band of St. Mary's Industrial School at Baltimore, and while I am talking I want to tell you what a fine school that is. I paid an unexpected visit there some weeks ago, but everything was in perfect order and the discipline was magnificent. I tell you the State of Maryland gives no appropriation more freely than the one to St. Mary's Industrial School."

Speakers at the Centennial Banquet

  • Top Row: Left to Right - Robert B. Biggs, James E. Duffy, Henry T. Drumgoole

  • Center Row: Left to Right - Austin L. Crothers, Mr. Richard J. Malone, John Farley

  • Bottom Row: Left to Right - John N. Codori, D. W. Baker, Joseph Himmel

Governor Crothers was then elected an honorary member of the Alumni Association, and after a rousing cheer had been given for the Governor and staff the meeting adjourned.

At one o'clock the College dining hall was the scene of the crowning event of the Centennial the banquet tendered the alumni and visitors.

The room was magnificently decorated, the college colors, blue and white, predominating in the color scheme, while shaded lights, palms and flowers and table decorations added to the beauty of the scene.

The menu was a triumph of culinary art and skill, and was prepared by good Sister Daria. Needless to say it was eloquently discussed and appreciated. And right here it is only fair to register our appreciation of the almost superhuman work of the devoted Franciscan Sisters, who contributed an indispensable part to the success of the Centennial celebration.

Mr. Richard J. Malone, LL.D., '75, of Lynchburg, Va., was toastmaster. The following toasts were responded to:

"Our Holy Father, Pius X," Most Rev. John Farley, D. D., Archbishop New York.

"Our Country," D. W. Baker, LL.D., ex-'87, U. S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.

"Maryland, My Maryland," Hon. Austin L. Crothers, Governor of Maryland.

"Our Cardinal," Robert B. Biggs, LLD., '80, Baltimore, Md.

"Our Sister Seminaries," Rev. Henry T. Drumgoole, LL.D., Rector of St. Charles' Seminary, Overbrook, Pa.

"Our Sister Colleges," Very Rev. Joseph Himmel, S. J., Rector of Georgetown University, Washington, D. C.

"The Old Mountain," Rt. Rev. Msgr. James E. Duffy, LL.D., '60, Rensselaer, N. Y.

"Seminary and College Life at the Mountain," Rev. John N. Codori, A. M., '90, Lock Haven, Pa.

Replying to the toast "Our Holy Father, Pius X," Archbishop Farley said in part:

"I feel that I am a Mountaineer with the rest of you. I have been asked to answer to the toast to the Holy Father. I saw him many times during my stay in Rome and learned to understand him.

"The Holy Father knows this country better than most of us think. He is familiar with everything in our government, from president down to the lowest official, and he loves it. He knows our problems, he glories with us in our fights, and he blesses us incessantly. 'I love America,' he said to me. 'It is a place of glorious liberty. I love the church there and will always pray that it advance in its work of saving the souls of men. It is a free country in the noblest, truest sense of the word a country where men do not make concordats and break them to pieces. God bless America.' "

In reply to the toast, " Our Sister Colleges," Rev. Father Himmel, S. J., said in substance:

"Though I bring, I am sure, the felicitations of all the colleges, I will mention but the one I represent, and let it speak for the rest.

"The collegiate body of the Jesuits is represented in this country by about two thousand professors, teachers and masters, directly engaged in education as a life work not for pay, but by choice of vocation. After centuries of educational activity our appreciation may fairly claim attention. Now we bring today our admiration, esteem and best wishes to Emmitsburg on this great day of rejoicing. Allow me to add as a personal tribute for I am a Jesuit through the kindly interest of Father Sourin one of Mt. St. Mary's saintly sons that there is a bond between us that makes us more than adopted sister colleges we are blood relations.

"Emmitsburg has turned out some of the most notable American Jesuits. Father Early, my predecessor in the presidency of Georgetown, was a Mountaineer. In our needs we naturally turn to this college. There happened once after the death of Father Ryder, that we were without a pulpit orator. Mount St. Mary's gave us Father Hitzelberger, who for classic grace of utterance, piety and pathos, is still a household word amongst us. Another time we needed a keen mind with a wide historic knowledge and a diplomatic instinct, to represent us at Rome where could we find such a man among the good, simple-minded Jesuits? We naturally turned to Mt. St. Mary's, and found the scholarly Boursaud.

"Another time we needed a Bishop a Bishop peculiarly gifted, and we found that Mount St. Mary's had prepared Bishop Collins, president of Fordham University, for the very emergency. But why multiply examples, when you know our esteem and great obligation?

"There is an axiom that there is nothing in the effect that we may not find in the cause: now Mt. St. Mary's is called the 'Mother of Bishops,' and the bishopric is a perfect state; hence we find perfection in Mt. St. Mary's that is the envy and the despair of all other colleges.

"The secret of this is, I suppose, in the noble-hearted faculty which conserves and holds sacred the traditions of the saintly founders of the College. We tender today our heartiest congratulations to the Very .Reverend Eector and to the faculty. The sister colleges bow in homage to-day to beautiful Mt. St. Mary's, surrounded by her noble band of children, and crowned a queen of colleges with the golden diadem of a century."

In response to the toast to "Maryland," Governor Crothers reiterated in most part the speech he made earlier in the day, but added a tribute to Cardinal Gibbons and his church.

"Your Cardinal, who arrived home last week," he said, "is one of the sweetest and most lovable men I have ever met. His position in this country is one of highest honor, and the whole people of Baltimore, regardless of religious differences, called to welcome him home."

Dr. Drumgoole, of the Philadelphia Seminary, responding to the toast " Our Sister Seminaries," showed how the clergy were the first teachers in all races; the flower of Greek literature sprung from the sacred dramas of the temple; the priestly Numa was the author of Roman civilization.

"All the early universities of Europe," said he, "were of priestly foundation, and almost all of our American ones had a similar origin. Religion and civilization go hand in hand. Now the priest is trained in the seminary. Hence the seminary is the nursery of civilization and its preserver, for things are preserved by the same causes that give them origin. Mount St. Mary's is the second in point of age of our seminaries, and has had very much to do with diffusing and preserving civilization as well as religion in the Republic. A dozen other colleges and seminaries owe their origin to her. Overbrook, her younger sister, acknowledges her precedence and wider influence, and pays her due honor on this her Centennial birthday anniversary. Diu floreat vigeatque ad muttos annos! "

The other toasts on the program were well received, and the answers are printed in full elsewhere.

After the regular responses had been made, extemporaneous speeches were made by Father Flynn, '80; Bishop Northrop, '60, of Charleston, S. C., and Bishop Alien, '78, of Mobile, Ala.

Doctor Flynn expressed his thanks to all who had by their attendance contributed to the success of the Centenary exercises. He also thanked the members of the Faculty, who had made the visitors feel comfortable and at home.

Bishop Northrop said that it was a pleasure for him to be back again, even though for a few days; that his visit had renewed his youth, and that it had, if it were possible, attached him more strongly to alma mater.

As an alumnus and former President of the College, Bishop Alien said that he was gratified to notice the improvements that had been made and were in progress, and that he prayed that the future would show no retrogression, and that the alumni and friends of the College would give their hearty support to the present active administration in their work.

At seven o'clock, just as night with her sable folds enveloped the mountainside and valley, the student body, seminarians, clerical and lay alumni and officers of Benediction assembled on the rear terrace and marched in solemn procession up the mountainside to the Grotto, where in honor of the Immaculate Mother of God, the Patroness of the College, the closing exercises of the Centenary were held, making an unspeakably beautiful and affecting climax to the celebration.

The path up the mountainside, from the terrace to the Grotto, was illuminated with Japanese lanterns and calcium lights. Countless lights gleamed about the Shrine and brilliantly illuminated the somber forest. During the exposition and benediction of the Blessed Sacrament a vast concourse of devout people knelt upon the ground, under the starry dome of nature's great cathedral, and rendered homage to God. The music of the purling brook and the sighing of the night wind through the trees were a fitting accompaniment to the chanting of the choir.

The sermon was preached by Rev. Henry C. Semple, S. J., '71, Moderator of the Theological Conferences of the Archdiocese of New York.

As an introduction to his regular sermon, Father Semple said: "Personally and in behalf of all the visitors and Mountaineers of the past I wish to thank the Mountaineers of to-day for the hospitality and patience they have shown this week and the almost unbelievable things they have accomplished in housing and feeding the multitudes that have poured in upon them."

The officers of Benediction were:

  • Celebrant, Rt. Rev. Henry Northrop, D.D., '60, Bishop of Charleston, S. C.
  • Deacons, Rt. Rev. Mgr. Doran, V. G., LL.D., '76, of Providence, R. I.
  • Rev. P. L. Duffy, LL.D., Litt. D., '75, Charleston, S. C.

After the Benediction was given the entire congregation sang "Holy God, We Praise Thy Name," and the glorious Centennial Celebration was over.

Among the most welcome visitors at the Centennial celebration was Rev. Thomas J. Fitzgerald. A. M., '75, Brooklyn, N. Y.

During the darkest days of the Mountain's history Father Fitzgerald was the "man in the gap," and held the position till succor came. He was acting President for a time and so well did he perform his duties during those trying times that Rt. Rev. Mgr. Byrne, D. D., called him the "Savior of the Mountain."

One of the features of the Centennial which added a great deal to the enjoyment of the guests was the presence of the band of St. Mary's Industrial School of Baltimore. There are twenty members in the band, all boys ranging in age from 13 to 18 years. The playing of the boys excited the admiration of all who heard them.

The band reached the College on Tuesday evening and did not leave till Friday afternoon. Each day several concerts were given, which were very much enjoyed and which brought forth rounds of applause.

The boys presented a very neat appearance, wearing a military uniform of blue with red and white trimmings, and cap to match. They were under the care of Brother Pancratius, and enjoyed themselves to the full in woodland sports.

The scheme of lighting the grounds at night, and of decorating the buildings, which added so much to the gala attire of the Mountain, was worked out by J. Frank Eline & Co., of Baltimore, under the personal direction of Mr. Eline. To Mr. F. F. Scrivan, one of the workmen, special mention must be given for his untiring efforts. Indeed, the glory of the Grotto gave one some idea of what the Bible means when it speaks of the Shekinah and its more than mortal brightness and beauty. They who saw our Grotto that night will surely carry the sweet and holy impression to the very last day of their lives.

That the Centennial was the grand success it proved to be was to a great extent due to the unremitting zeal of Rev. Father Bradley, Vice-President of the College. Nothing, how­ever trifling, that would contribute to the comfort of the guests escaped his notice. He looked after the interests of each visitor in a way that excited wonder and admiration.

One thing that won the commendation of the Faculty and visitors was the hospitality, the willingness to work and the general good conduct of the student body. Every student of the College and Seminary took a personal pride in helping toward the success of the exercises.

The prefect force is deserving of unlimited praise for their tireless labors during the week.

Messrs. Dougherty, Bennett, Cawley, Eckenrode and Martin of the Seminary the committee in charge of the interior decorations are to be complimented for the manner in which they fulfilled their arduous duties. No one who saw the interior of the gymnasium, decorated with the pennants of every college, and draped in the Papal, Cardinal, Episcopal and College colors, will soon forget its attractive appearance. The College dining-hall was also tastefully decorated, as were all the corridors of the building.

The thrones of His Eminence, the Cardinal, and of His Excellency, the Apostolic Delegate, were artistically draped by Mrs. J. Hay Brown, and Miss Elizabeth Reilly, both of Lancaster, Pa.

One of the pleasant features of the week was the visits of former editors to the mountaineer sanctum.

During the week of the Centennial, "A Wreath of Ilex Leaves," a volume of poems by Rev. P. L. Duffy, LL.D., Litt.D., '75, was published by John Murphy & Co., of Baltimore. The first five volumes to come from the press were forwarded to Dr. Duffy while he was attending the Centennial and it pleased him beyond measure, to know that these volumes representing his first literary labors, found their way to the alma mater, which had trained him and which had inspired him with many of his best efforts. The first copy was presented by the author to Very Rev. Doctor Flynn, President of the College.

Mr. John C. Finney, of New Orleans, La., returned to the College to participate in the Centennial celebration. This was the first time Mr. Finney was at the College since he had been here as a student in 1858. Mr. Finney was proud to display several class medals which he won while here as a student, and a membership badge of the now dormant Carroll Lyceum. Several other gentlemen of ancient days were present, but Judge Garvin '44, Dean of the Alumni was detained at home.

Rev. Bernard J. Bradley

The officers of the alumni Association, re-elected for the coming year were the following: President, A. V. D. Watterson, Pittsburgh, Pa.; Treasure, Rev. B. J. Bradley, Vice-President of the College; Secretary, Prof. John J. Crumlish of the Faculty.

After the Governor and staff had returned to the parlors from the banquet hall, he and each member of his staff were introduced to the members of the senior class by Col. Keating. In a neat little speech the Governor complimented the members of the class upon their earnest efforts in the past, which had enabled them to reach the exalted position of seniors, and admonished them to keep in mind and to put into practice all the lessons which alma mater had labored so faithfully to instill into their minds after they left her protecting care and entered upon their lifework. Among other things the Governor said: "Young men, work. Let me urge you to work hard and unremittingly, for it is only in this way you will gain success in those fields of labor that you will select. Remember that the great men, the men who gained eminence, the men who have made history, the men who have done things worth while, were men of industry. The man of talent often fails because he lacks industry; the man of industry never fails."

The following letter, recently given to the press by the authorities of the College, was much and favorably commented on by the alumni. It has appeared in the New York Sun, the Baltimore Sun and many other papers, and runs as follows:

"Among the many colleges claimed by 'The Me her daughters, or at least grand-daughters, perhaps the renowned is the American Ecclesiastical College at which began with a majority of Mountaineers, and was far his first twenty years ruled by sons of the Mountain.

That illustrious Mountaineer, Archbishop Hughes, "22. of New York, had been particularly interested in the establishment of an American college at Rome; it had been his proposition in 1855, and he may claim chief place among its promoters for this also, that he was the first to take up a collection for it. In 1857 the Pope had purchased the ancient convent of the Umilta for $42,000, and given it to the American Church for this purpose. The American, bishops were required to furnish it and contribute to its support, but the students were to attend the classics of the Propaganda, as did those of the other national colleges. The only officers therefore would be a rector and a vice-rector, and the rector was to be chosen by the Pope from three candidates nominated by the Bishops of the United States. The Umilta being occupied by French troops, who were unwilling to leave it, much vexation and delay were occasioned.

First Students, North American College, Rome.

"At length, on the 8th of December, 1859, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Patroness of the United States, the new college was formally opened, Abbot Smith, of the Order of Benedictines, being pro-rector and Edward McGlynn prefect. The latter had spent ten years at the Propaganda, was now in the last year of his theological course, and had been sent to act as prefect and disciplinarian, possibly with a view to his becoming vice-rector. The first rector had been already chosen, but it was not till December 18th that he was notified by Archbishop Kenrick of his appointment: he was Rev. William George McCloskey, '52, professor of moral theology at the Mountain and director also of the seminary at his alma mater. Father McCloskey did not leave for Rome till February 1, 1860, the students at his parting presenting him a splendid testimonial. Six of the first twelve students of the new college were, like himself, children of Mount St. Mary's; they were Reuben Parsons, Michael Corrigan, Claudian Northrop, William Poole, Robert Seton and William Merriwether. The new rector chose Francis Silas Chatard, another Mountaineer, '53, for his vice-rector, waiting to fill that office till 1863, when Chatard, who was a student at the Propaganda, should be ready for ordination. The latter, in June, 1863, assumed the vice-rectorship under Father McCloskey, and succeeded him as rector (or president, as we say), when McCloskey in 1868 became Bishop of Louisville. Chatard was himself president till 1878, when he in turn was named Bishop of Vincennes, that diocese of which Father Brute, one of the founders of Mount St. Mary's, was the first bishop. The first president and the first vice-president of the American College still live and fill the sees to which they were appointed forty and thirty years ago respectively. The student who replaced Edward McGlynn in the prefectship was Michael Corrigan, a Mountaineer of the class of '59, and afterwards Archbishop of New York. The excellent article in Vol. 1, p. 423 of the Catholic Encyclopedia must be corrected to accord with this our statement, which is compiled from the Archives of this College and other historical data, and is supported by the Catholic Directories of the period covered.

"Edward McSweeny,

"Secretary. "Mount St. Mary's, Sept. 26, 1908."

Father Bradley, the Vice-President of the College, had struck a very handsome medal in commemoration of the centennial. The medal is of German oxidized silver and is circular in form, being two inches in diameter. The obverse side has the main college building in bas-relief and under it the dates "1808-1908." Encircling it is the inscription "Centenary of Mount Saint Mary's College, Emmitsburg, Md." The reverse side has the seal of the College in bas-relief. Announcement was also made that a history of the first hundred years was in process of completion by doctor McSweeny.

About 600 old students and other friends attended the three days celebration of the centennial. The capacity of the College was taxed to the utmost, and consequently guests were subjected to no little inconvenience and discomfort; but not a murmur of complaint was heard. A happier throng never gathered within college bounds; many were unable to attend and sent letters of regret expressing at the same time sincere congratulations and heartfelt Godspeed and their kind words are gratefully remembered.

Of all the letters however not one after that of the Vicar of Christ, touched us so keenly and sympathetically as that from our twin institution across the creek, for the same period saw our birth, we had the same father and in our childhood the same holy men instructed us in God's law and looked after our temporal interests.

May the bond that unites St. Mary's Mountain and St. Joseph's Vale last forever: may the union of Faith, Hope and Charity keep them always joined in Christian friendship. St. Joseph's too, like the alumni and many others, made a rich offering towards the furnishing of our new Sacristy, a suit of vestments recently brought over by the Mother from the beautiful city on the Seine, where St. Vincent three hundred years ago had founded the Sisters of Charity.

Chapter Index

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