The Story of the
Mary's College and Seminary
Mary E. Meline & Edward F.X. McSween
Published by the Emmitsburg Chronicle, 1911
Chapter 76 |
Chapter 77: 1908 The Centennial Year
Mary's College around the turn of
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
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
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
Right Rev. Henry
A. Northrop, D.D. Bishop of
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
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.
- Preacher, Rev. Wm. A.
Cunningham, LL.D., '79, Pittsburgh,
- Master of Ceremonies, Rev. M. M.
Hassett, ex-'91, D. D., LL.D.,
- 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.
- Acolyte, Mr. Jos. J. McAndrew,
- 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
After the sermon, Very Rev. Dr.
Flynn read the following letter, which
our Holy Father, Pope Pius X, had
authorized the Apostolic Delegate to
To the Sector, Faculty, Alumni and
Student Body, Mount St. Mary's
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
"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
"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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
As on Wednesday morning, the
clergymen assembled at the seminary
and marched in procession to the
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
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
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
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
"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
"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
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 -
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
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
"Our Cardinal," Robert B.
Biggs, LLD., '80, Baltimore, Md.
"Our Sister Seminaries," Rev.
Henry T. Drumgoole, LL.D., Rector
of St. Charles' Seminary,
"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
"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
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
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
"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
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
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
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 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,
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
"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
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.
Special thanks to John Miller for his efforts in scanning the book's contents and converting it into the web page you are now viewing.