Letter from a saint: to Rev. J. Bouvier
(The Most Rev. J. Bouvier was the Bishop of Le Mans, France. This letter was dated Jan. 6, 1854.)
“Our boarding school here at Saint Mary’s is also well attended — seventy-eight pupils. But what most consoles us is the good that is being done here. Not only are there always several receiving instruction for Baptism, but there are many Catholics who are learning to know and serve God. The Catholics of this locality have for the past thirty years seen a priest only once a month, in passing, and some even only once a year. They are Christians, yet for the most part, very ignorant, scarcely knowing what is absolutely indispensable. Their daughters, brought up in our school where there is, I may say, a good spirit, return home like little apostles. They are listened to so much the more willingly because they are greatly loved. You would be consoled could you see the fervor and piety of these young girls. At the great feasts they prepare themselves for the reception of the sacraments by a retreat which they make with as much regularity as the Sisters do. This year we have over thirty Catholic boarders, which shows you the prosperity of the country. Ten or twelve years ago there were not ten Catholics in Indiana who could pay for the board and tuition of their daughters, even for six months; at present a large number are able to give then a good education.” (“Journals and Letter,” p. 363)
To view some historical sketches of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, click here.