Class of 1959

We, the Class of 1959, celebrated our 50th class reunion on April 24 and 25, 2009. This blog is about sharing memories of our class reunions and a long ago life at our Alma Mater's, S.F.X.A. and S.A.H.S. Good memories of days gone by but not forgotten! A gift to my classmates. ~Marian Love Phillips ~

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Dancin' The Boogie


This is a pianist from Switzerland who plays some of the best Boogie Woogie anywhere. He is very BIG over there. They hold a week-long Boogie Woogie contest every year and all the best players in the world
are invited. In this video he is joined by two amazing dancers.  Enjoy!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Late Nite Catechism

Here is a really good video staring an actual Roman Catholic Nun, who is also an absolutely hilarious comedian. She surely has a "ministry of laughter."  It was sent to me by a friend, Dennis, in Port Gibson, MS.  Enjoy!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Alabama Chapter Meeting

I received a message, with picture above, from Phillip yesterday and he was telling me that the Alabama Chapter held its latest meeting at the All Steak Restaurant in Cullman, AL. Phillips stated, that in the picture from left to right is Dickie Matherne, Phillip Doiron, and Walter and Jane Little. We enjoyed our usual get together and laid plans for another meeting in September at a campground in Pell City on Logan Martin Lake. Presently we are planning on having a cookout. Also at that meeting we hope to have Phillip Little (Walter’s brother) who has moved to Birmingham.

Phillip L. Doiron
1311 Oakland St.
Weaver, AL 36277
Tele: 256-820-1255
Cell: 601-415-5404

"Often Tested, Always Faithful, Brothers Forever"

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Celebrating 150 Years


Come Home & Celebrate the Tradition!
Honoring the Sisters, the Brothers, St. Mary's and those who have been a part of the Tradition.

September 24, 2010
Mercy Day with
Mass Honoring the Sisters of Mercy
October 29, 2010 ~
Tours of the St. Aloysius High School,
Block Party & Home Football Game
October 30, 2010 ~
Tours of Our Catholic Heritage,
Sisters of Mercy Tea &
Mega Reunion Gala
And that is just the beginning...

Look for details soon!

Visit us on the Alumni Facebook Page or visit click edline to enter

Tuesday, June 08, 2010


In 1879, the Brothers of the Sacred Heart came to Vicksburg to establish a school for boys.  Dedicated to St. Aloysius, it offered elementary and secondary education and had a strong emphasis on business.  Many of the city's older businessmen give St. Aloysius credit for providing them the foundation for a successful career.

After St. Aloysius College, as it was originally called, was established, St. Francis served as an elementary and high school for girls, enrolling boys only in kindergarten through second grade, until 1968, when the Brothers relinquished the administration of their school.  Starting with the 1968-69 school year boys and girls attended grade school at St. Francis and high school at St. Aloysius.

The education provided by the Sisters has been valued since the very beginning, and generations of Vicksburgers, regardless of creed, have sent their children to "the Sisters' school."
Publication of this leaflet is financially assisted by the National Endowment for the Humanities through the Mississippi Committee for the Humanities.

Monday, June 07, 2010


St. Francis School continued to grow; the auditorium was built in 1885, and ever since has been the site of academic, musical, artistic, and dramatic exhibitions demonstrating the accomplishments of the school's students.

For a time several buildings across Crawford Street, including the Pemberton Headquarters and the Balfour House, were used to house boarding students.  In 1937, the building at the corner of Clay and Cherry Streets was constructed.  The last building in the complex, the O'Beirne Gymnasium, was completed in 1953.  That same year saw St. Paul's church destroyed by a tornado, and the gymnasium pressed into service as a temporary house of worship for the parish.  (To be continued)

Sunday, June 06, 2010


Mercy Regional Medical Center, 1986

In  1942, the Sisters of Mercy were asked to assume ownership of the Vicksburg Sanitarium, a hospital founded in 1900 by Dr. Donald P. Street and his two brothers and commonly known as the Street Sanitarium.  This they did on September 1, 1943, changing the name to Mercy Hospital - - Street Memorial.

The first administrator was Sister Mary Hildegarde Schuman, a native of Vicksburg.  In 1946 it became the official state center for the care of children stricken by polio.

The building at Monroe and Crawford Streets proved inadequate and ground was broken in 1955 for a new modern hospital on Grove Street.  This new facility opened on May 17, 1957.

Now known as Mercy Regional Medical Center, the hospital provides a wide range of medical services for wet central Mississippi and Northeast Louisiana.  (To be continued)

Saturday, June 05, 2010


In July 1878, the city of Vicksburg was quarantined in an effort to stem the side of an onslaught of yellow fever which was sweeping the South, but by August the disease was declared an epidemic In Vicksburg.

Once again the Sisters of Mercy answered the call, and three moved into the City Hospital.  Assisted by others who commuted from the convent, they nursed as many as three hundred patients a day, and four surrendered their lives.

For 27 years thereafter, the Sisters were active in nursing at the City Hospital, until it was rechartered as the Kuhn Memorial State Hospital in 1905.  They also served during the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1897 and the influenza epidemic of 1918.  (To be continued)

Friday, June 04, 2010


In May 1864, some of the sisters returned to Vicksburg, but four remained at Shelby Springs for another year.  In Vicksburg they found the convent occupied by the Federal government, and once again accepted the hospitality of the Genella family until influential friends in Washington could secure permission for them to return to the convent.

School reopened in September, with an enrollment of 200 and an educational program geared strongly to the liberal arts.  Music, drama, and art were essential, and the focus was on the preservation of the cultural heritage so strong in southern life and spirit. 

The school continued to grow, and on August 2, 1868, the cornerstone was placed for the large brick building which now stands at the corner of Adams and Crawford Streets.

Soon the sisters here were asked to help establish other schools in the state, the first two being St. Paul's School in Pass Christian and St. Joseph High school in Jackson, both founded in 1870.  (To be continued)

Thursday, June 03, 2010


In May of 1862 with the fighting in the Civil War drawing ever nearer, the sisters closed the school, knowing that there would be no return in September.  For their safety, Father Leray arranged  for them to go to Major Cook's plantation outside the city, but after a few days four of them returned to the city to care for the wounded soldiers who had been brought there.  Two sisters remained to each the black children living on the plantation but soon all were committed to nursing services for the duration of the war.

In Mississippi they served at Jackson, Mississippi Springs, and Oxford, and then traveled from Jackson by rail to Shelby Springs, Alabama in open cars with the wounded soldiers.  Traveling only at night, the journey took a week, and on one occasion wild cats and wolves, smelling blood, attacked the passengers.  (To be continued)

Wednesday, June 02, 2010


Sister M. de Sales Browne, first principal of St. Francis Xavier Academy, established the Sisters of Mercy in Vicksburg in 1860.



Sister Mary Callista Reddoch, R. S. M.

Perhaps one of Ireland's greatest gifts to humanity has been the worldwide ministry of the Sisters of Mercy.  This religious order, founded in 1831, originated with the work of a wealthy Irishwoman, Catherine McAuley, who used her inheritance to build and support a school and home in Dublin for impoverished young women.  Education and healing have always been the main concerns of the order, which came to the united States in 1843, two years after Catherine McAuley's death.  The first Mercy Foundation in Mississippi was established at Vicksburg, and its presence here has had a profound influence upon the community.


It was October 12, 1860.  Parishioners from St. Paul's Catholic Church gathered at the waterfront to welcome home their pastor, Father Francis Xavier Leray, from Baltimore, Maryland.

With him were six women:  four sisters and two postulants (candidates for religious life).  Extending his arms towards the crown he said, " I give you my blessing and God's gift to you, - - the Sisters of Mercy."  He introduced them one by one:  Mother de Sales Browne, Sister Ignatius Sumner, Sister Mary Vincent Browne (sister of Mother de Sales), Sister Mary Stephana Ward, and postulants Mary Madigan and Kate Reynolds.

They had come to Vicksburg to establish and staff a school, and lost no time in doing so.  For the first three days they stayed with the family of Antonio Genella, a Swiss immigrant and prominent local merchant.  On October 15 they took possession of the Cobb House on Crawford Street, which served as both convent and school.  On October 19 seventy boys and girls were enrolled at the first registration, and St. Francis Xavier Academy had become a reality.  The sisters had been in Vicksburg just one week.  (To be continued)
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