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Saturday, March 18, 2006

Sisters of Mercy ~ St. Paul's School

St. Paul's Convent
Sister Mary Scholastica
Sr. Mary Salome
Sr. Mary Alban
Sr. Mary Raymond
Sr. Mary Luella
Sr. Mary Ethelreda
Sr. Mary Patrice
Sr. Mary Theodore
Sr. Mary Inez
Sr. Mary Fidelis
Sr. Mary Edmund

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sr. Salome used to give piano lessons. 50 cents a lesson. Mine were on Tuesdays.

Charles said...

Sr. Raymond, Third Grade Cathechism class: Why did God make you? God made me to know Him, to love Him, to serve Him in this life and to be happy with Him forever in the next.

Anonymous said...

At the corner of Locust Street and Monroe Street. There used to be a bar on the other side of the street.

Judy Murphy Harwood said...

I spent 5 years at St. Paul's - graduated 8th grade in 1955. Sr. Gaudencia - 4th grade, Sr. Etheldreda - 5th grade, Sr.Alban - 6th grade, 7th and 8th grade were unmemorable. I believe Sr. Protase was the Principal, Sr. Jane Frances - music. The nuns were Sisters of Mercy from the Altoona Diocese. They were strict but mostly caring and prepared us well for our highschool and futures.
Judy Murphy Harwood
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

Leah said...

I remember Sister Salome used to call us a bunch of sour grapes! Hahahaha!

DanC said...

I remember Sr. Scholastica ruled with an iron hand and she wasn't afraid to use it either. If you misbehaved at the 9:00 am Mass you felt her wrath.

Anonymous said...

Sister Luella was the sweetest looking nun I have ever seen. She taught me in the first grade.

Anonymous said...

My Aunt, Sister Mary Bertrand (maiden name, Florence Degnan), wrote the biography of Mother Mary Macauley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy. She traveled here quite often visiting my Mother and she stayed with her fellow Sisters at the Sisters of Mercy convent.

Jim Grolemund
Butler

Charles said...

Fr. John Dillon wrote saying: You may be interested in reading the obituary of Sr. Helen Marie Dumm, R.S.M., the former Sr. M. Luella who died on December 22, 2005 at the age of 91. Here is a link that will take you to an obituary published the Regional Community of Dallas:
Sr. Luella's Obituary

Fr. John Dillon said...

Other Sisters of Mercy that I remember from St. Paul's School:

Sr. M. Sebastian
Sr. M. Annette
Sr. M. Reginald
Sr. M. Priscilla
Sr. Miriam Rita
Sr. M. Jolitta
Sr. M. Ann Joachim
Sr. M. Stephanie
Sr. M. Dorothea
Sr. Norbert Marie
Sr. M. Avila
Sr. M. Giuseppe
Sr. M. Patrice
Sr. M. Stella Maris
Sr. M. Clotilde
Sr. M. Giles
Sr. M. Annrita
Sr. M. Campion
Sr. M. Wendelin
Sr. M. Cornelia
Sr. Paula Mary
Sr. M. Sophia
Sr. Marisita
Sr. M. Evangelista
Sr. M. Damian
Sr. M. David
Many of them have now gone home to the Lord. May they rest in peace.

Fr. John Dillon

Mary Vero Turner said...

We can't talk about St. Paul School and not talk about Msgr. Spiegel. The man lived and breathed that school. How many of us remember "The Panel"?

Beth Williams said...

I moved to Butler in 1986 and attended St. Paul's for 6th, 7th and 8th grade. There were only a handful of Sisters teaching at the school by that point, but there are two that I will always remember.

Sr. Avila was my 6th grade teacher. I will never forget her lecture on "Good timing is required" instructing us to empty our "buckets" before they are full. I now know that there was a bigger meaning behind her lesson, but at the time all I took away from it was that I should go to the bathroom when my bladder was full.

Sr. Edmund was another very memorable teacher that I came across at St. Paul's. She was the most feared of all. I had her for Math in 7th and 8th grade and resented every minute of it until I realized (later in high school) that she is the reason that I loved and excelled at math.

I called a number of cities and states home over the years, but I find myself drawn back to Butler for some reason. Thank you for these postings. They bring back great memories.

Beth Williams
Nashville, TN

Anonymous said...

Mary Vero Turner, my classmate, is right. Who could forget Msgr. Spiegel. As a priest and pastor, I marvel at the time that he put into the school. Every morning coming down to lead us in Morning Prayers, which was always the following (in this order): the Our Father, the Hail Mary, the Apostles' Creed, the Guardian Angel Prayer, the Hail, Holy Queen and finally the Glory be to the Father. After that would come the Panel Discussion. Who else remembers having to copy the lesson of the day in one of those Capitol Composition books with the multiplication tables on the back?

Fr. John Dillon

Judy Murphy Harwood said...

I remember the walks we took from the school for Mass at St. Paul's Church. Monsignor Spiegel always said the Mass.
Each May 1st we crowned the Blessed Mother's statue with flowers. Her statue was in the Fatima shrine to the right of the school. We all loved being in the May Procession!
Both my mother Mrs. Mary Grace Murphy and my sister Miss Alethea Murphy taught school there in the late 50's and early 60's.

Anonymous said...

Oh the May Crowning!!! I remember going to Jaffe's with my mom and getting a beautiful blue gown. That was way back in 1958.

Anonymous said...

Oh my...St. Paul's.8 years there. SPS: Spiegel's Private Slaves; the Peter Pan collar's; not being allowed to wear nylons; the "beanies"; the picnic pavillion at the playground; singing on the auditorium stage; going to the office on your saint day to get a holy card...after you answered a religious question; hot chocolate & toast as breakfast after going to chapel Mass
(I still have a taste for this); the green tunnel of bushes that was by the fence where you could go to talk or think; Miss Wigton, Mrs. Burman (?); Mrs. Kemper; Sister Mary David & her yardsticks; Sister Prisilla and her beautiful handwriting; hiding you veggies in the milk carton; the religious counter in front of the cafeteria; playing board games in the rooms on rainy days in place of going outside; the cozy library...these are a few of my favorite things. I have no regrets.

zeus said...

I remember having some great basketball teams in the 70s under the guidance of Joe Spino, Dick Ryder, Bob Cowaski, Harry Leyland and Duck Gallagher.

I also remember getting more than a few whacks with a ruler and a paddle from Sr. Fideles, Sr. Guisepe, Sr. Patricia Mary, Sr. Avila and especially Sr. Mary Ricardo.

Anonymous said...

I would like to say that the Sisters of Mercy instilled and nurtured our religious feelings and attitudes. Somehow as children we recognized that they were holy women, set apart and dedicated to God. It was a powerful good influence they had on us and I am ever grateful to them.

Anonymous said...

My favorite was Sr. Marisita. She was so small and so sweet. I had her in 3rd grade and my best friends had moved to California and she loved me that whole year while I missed them so much!! God Bless Her. I loved the egg fights with Msr. Spiegel at Easter time when we would take our hard boiled eggs in!! Wow the memories just come pouring in!!!

Anonymous said...

Great site. Calls back memories of my favorite school.

Anonymous said...

It's a defining experience to be educated by Catholic nuns. As I recall St. Paul's, there were some who were like angels and others who should have had no proximity to children. When I attended, it was Sr. Edwin (not Edmund) who ruled with the iron fist - and Sr. Carla who tortured the piano with one. Sr. Norbert was just plain out there. Sr. Ernestine used to saunter around St. Michael's swinging her rosary. Sr. Joseph was a no-nonsense principal who got results based more on respect than fear.

When I reflect on those formative years, on the people who introduced me to the world and made it a safe, happy place that I could participate in, I realize that my mother did me a great favor by entrusting my first days outside our home to the likes of Sisters Giuseppe and Avila. They understood the chaotic spirit of the young child and knew how to shape it without breaking it. Sr. Giuseppe further demonstrated her vocational commitment to early childhood education by bringing the Montessori method to Butler. What a blessing these women were.

Anonymous said...

Often over the years I have quietly thanked God for the education those nuns provided. Sr. Marisita, in particular, was a most patient, peaceful and loving 3rd grade teacher who knew how to get the best from her students. Sr. Rose Mary (Sr. Simeon, prior) was another smart, patient and loving teacher (6th grade) who worked tirelessly to bring up well educated and God loving children. Other sisters I had: Sr. Vincennes, Sister Maria, Sister Patricia Mary, as well a Mrs. Robinson in fourth grade.

Anonymous said...

The other kids in the dorms at the Jesuit university I attended used to swap tales about the cruel behaviors of the nuns who taught them in Cleveland, Detroit, and Chicago. In contrast, my first and second grade teachers (Sr. Paula Mary and Sr. M. Priscilla)were so gentile and kind that they could have starred with Bing Crosby in The Bells of St. Mary's.

Anonymous said...

My name is Tom Menchyk and I remember the panel with some anexiety but much fondness. I was a student at St. Paul School from 1955 until 1963. Having stood there in front of the Massive Monsegnior and his microphone with 2-3 other innocents, I recall the classic questions. How do we know Mary was the mother of God as well as several others. If you remember the answer to this question, and it is a tricky three-part answer, e-mail me your response. Send to tom@menchyk.com I am anxious to hear from you.

Anonymous said...

WOW! If you went to St. Paul School between 1964 and 1971, you surely remember Sr. Patricia Mary - sneakers and all! I had her in fifth grade - the harangues about how the Rolling Stones were the most evil fellows on the planet! Hey - how did she know about them? Anyhow - I had the chance to run into her while I was in college (circa 1974 - 75) and I must say she was just as spunky as ever - what a great personality and spirit she had! She surely is one of the most memorable of the Mercy nuns at St. Paul.

Anonymous said...

My memories of St. Paul's School are precious.
In 1st grade I had Sister Mary Lenore and she was wonderful. But my favorite of all of the nuns was a nun named Sister Mary Jocile. She was only there a short time, and she inspired me to become an English teacher. I love grammar because of her. There is nothing more challenging than diagramming sentences.

I made some life long friends at St. Paul's and
I still keep in touch with many of them. Colleen Tritch Miller was one of my closest friends, and we still talk from time to time. I have to say I dearly miss Katie Dillon, Father John's sister. We used to have great times together. I would go back in a flash and do it all over again.
What a wonderful childhood we all had, you could even walk home for lunch if you lived near by. Reno was my bus driver and his wife ran the cafeteria. I can still taste the sour kraut. I had the best childhood ever.

Mary Blaine Lemmo

Anonymous said...

memories or would you say nightmares!!! alot of these nuns were abusers! yes thats right. They beat children , they belittled them, they made them wet their pants and made then sit in their wet pants. they put fear into children about going to hell. I know adults who still have these nightmares about these nuns. Today they would be thrown in jail! what so called god loving person would do this to an innocent child? this was NOT love nor guidance, this was torture. pure and simple and they got away with it hiding behind a cloth and cross. You should never teach fear, shame, and in violence!

Anonymous said...

Knew a young lady whose proudest moment was popping a nun. Don't remember if she just used her fist or a book but it got her kicked out of St. Paul's and back in the public schools. Her parents were very prominent. She told me she hated the place. I have heard many "horror" stories of abuse by priests or nuns by those who attended parochial schools. Of course, the situation has gone the other way in schools today. No discipline at all.

pam slater said...

TO MARY BLAINE LEMMO - 8 YRS IN SPS - DID U GRADUATE ABOUT 1966. WHEN U MENTIONED COLLEEN TRITCH I KNEW IT MUST BE U. THIS IS PAM SLATER. REMEBER ME - I REMEMBER THE SLUMBER PARTIES, YOUR BIG BROTHERS, JOHN ROBINSON, DUKE SNYDER, MICHELE VERO, DIANE WEBER, ROBERT KELLY. I WAS LOOKING UP MONSIGNOR SPEIGEL AND ST PAULS HISTORY. WE DID HAVE WONDERFUL CHILDHOODS. HOW THE HECK ARE U? HOPE YOU'VE HAD A GOOD LIFE.

Anonymous said...

Does anybody remember Sister Jane Frances---she taught piano in the early 50's? What about Sister St. Clair---I think she was my 3rd grade teacher. I don't have fond memories of her--but I might have been a lulu---I spent a lot of time on my knees facing the blackboard---can't remember what I did but I paid the price--have flat knees to this day.

Anonymous said...

I remember Sister Jane Frances but not fondly. I think that Sister Evangilista was the greatest lesson giver of them all. She gave me the bad report card to teach me a lesson and it worked. All in all I have mixed feelings about SPS. They get high marks on teaching morality and so so marks on the RRR's but low marks on motivation, discipline and sex ed. All in all it presented a Catholic slant infused with "guilt" as a motivator - part of the era.

Colleen Kelly Laich said...

Oh,my! Not sure how I tumbled upon this site, but several names just cascaded down my memory lane. Sr. Edmund is a relative of mine and is now at the mother house, gregarious as ever! I just saw Francis Stutz (did not accost him!) when I was at a Mass for my dad on Saturday at St. Fidelis in Lyndora! Did he graduate with us from BHS or did he go elsewhere after St. Paul's? At any rate, the grammar, etiquette and all-around ethical behavior I received at St. Paul's served me well in the corporate world. Thank you to Msgr. Speigel (who terrified me), Sr. David (the principal -- I think -- while I was there), Sisters Sophia (1st grade), Hilda (5th, who also terrified me), Ita (who was wonderful and never understood why she received that name)and Miss Alice Schmidt, our music teacher in 3rd grade. God bless all of you for what you provided to all of us.
Colleen Kelly Laich

Charles said...

Sisters of Mercy

Cresson, Pa.

We went to the graveyard to find them
The nuns from grade school days
Lying beneath their crosses,
All there except one:
The delicate nun
We took music lessons from.

Alone then in the convent parlor
Bending over her piano
She played songs they sang together
And would hear herself humming
When standing out among the crosses,
Tearless, she said,
For having to wait so long.

She looked away then
But kept on playing,
Not lifting her eyes
From off her still soft fingers
Trembling lightly
Over tarnished ivory keys.

Anonymous said...

I really treasure my St. Paul days. However, there were only a few nuns that were really 'nunlike' most, unfortunately, were mean. You cannot expect them to be Mother Teresa, but they should be somebody to have, well, more compassion than others. I think many were probably frustrated from having to remain single, and took out their frustrations on the kids. Only three nuns are memorable for me in their kindness, their compassion. Siter guisseppe, sister avila and sister marisita.

sue wharton said...

I remember (very well!) "Spiegel's Private Slaves," the beanies, and the dreaded Panel. I remember that if we didn't answer well, there was hell to pay when you got back to your classroom. Also somebody mentioned Sr. Priscilla & her beautiful handwriting ... she taught us cursive in 2nd grade, and to this day I get compliments on my handwriting! She also looked (& acted like) an angel. I loved her. Then again there were some nuns that struck fear into the heart of a child - a couple of them gave me sleepless nights. To be fair though, I'm pretty sure a number of us caused them sleepless nites too. :)