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 ~

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Prayers Needed For Dot Cunningham & Classmates

Our classmate Ivan Cunningham's wife, Dot, suffered a stroke last Thursday and is in St. Dominic's in Jackson, MS.  As of yesterday, she was doing better but please continue to keep Dot in your prayers as well as Ivan.  

Also, keep our class classmate, Ina Lott Whittington in your prayers.  She is still a patient in Heritage House Nursing Home in Vicksburg but may have to have her 3rd surgery on her hip early January 2018.  

Classmate, Theresa Martin Kitowski needs your prayers as well with her ongoing health issues.  

I will keep you updated as I get the information on their condition.  

Sunday, November 12, 2017

1959 Class Ring

I'm proud to say that I still have my S.F.X.A. 1959 Class Ring.  

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Obituary ~ Laura Alice Guchereau Portwood

Laura Alice Guchereau Portwood, 78, died peacefully in her home surrounded by her loving family on Monday, Oct. 30, 2017.

Visitation will be held at Riles Funeral Home from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2, and from 9 to 10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 3, at Riles Funeral Home.  Burial will follow at Cedar Hill Cemetery.
Alice was born Sept. 24, 1939, and was a life-long resident of Vicksburg. She graduated from St. Francis Xavier Academy in 1957 before attending the University of Mississippi where she was voted “Campus Cutie”.
She was a loving mother to three children, five wonderful grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
Alice hosted every family Christmas and Thanksgiving gathering in her home for more than twenty years.
For decades, Alice worked as the office manager for the City of Vicksburg Water and Gas. She was an active member of Hawkins United Methodist Church and the Vicksburg Art Association.
Like her mother, Alice loved to paint and was wonderful with oil paints. She enjoyed playing bridge and golfing in her younger days.
Alice was deeply rooted in her Vicksburg heritage as the great-great-granddaughter of Dr. William T. and Emma Balfour, John Alexander and Elizabeth Klein, who were instrumental in establishing Vicksburg as a thriving community.
She is preceded in death by Laura Russell Guchereau Jacobson, Charles Miller Guchereau and Bob Portwood.
Survivors include her sister, Pamela Guchereau Melsheimer of Vicksburg; three children, Pamela Portwood McFerrin and her husband, Elvin of Vicksburg, Robert Portwood and his wife, Leigh of Clinton, and Jeff Portwood and his wife, Tracy of Lufkin, Texas; nephew, Ross Melsheimer of Brandon; grandchildren, Barry Barnett and his wife, Beth of Vicksburg, Katie Barnett of Smyrna, Ga., Shelby Portwood of Dallas, Texas, John Portwood of Lufkin Texas, and Marleigh Portwood of Clinton; and great-grandchildren, Hali Klein Barnett, and Lexi and Lili Kistler, all of Vicksburg. 
Pallbearers will be Barry Barnett, John Portwood, Ross Melsheimer, Mike Gatti, Rusty Davis, and Michael Castelane.  
Honorary pallbearers include Windel Wilson, Alice Daniels, and Janice Harrison.  
The family would like to give special thanks to Private Home Care caregivers, Delta Dialysis, and Camellia Home Health and Hospice. 
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that a donation is made in Alice’s name to the Vicksburg Warren Humane Society or Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Prayers For Classmate & Prayer List

Please keep our classmate, Ina Lott Whittington in your prayers.  She will be having another hip replacement next Tuesday.  She had her first one in 2010 and her second one a few weeks ago.  A part had to be made for her upcoming surgery because the last one failed.  Ina is resting at Heritage House Nursing Home in Vicksburg and will be returning there after her surgery to recuperate. 

 UPDATE on Ina Lott Whittington. She is through hip surgery and there was not much bone to work with so she will have to heal for 6 weeks before she can try to walk to let some bone heal around what they put in per her daughter, Rhonda. Thanks for all the prayers and please continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers while she recovers.

Prayer List:
Also, for classmates, Florence Murphey Boren, Theresa Martin Kitowsky and myself, Marian Ann Love.  We are having some health issues as well and for all our classmates who need prayers.  Please contact me at and will add you to our prayer list. 

Monday, October 02, 2017

Prayers For Our Classmate, Ina Lott Whittington

Our classmate, Ina Lott Whittington is having hip surgery again today in Jackson.  Please keep her in your prayers.  I will be updating you on her progress.

Prayers for all our classmates who are suffering from health issues as well.   May God bless and heal you! 

Update:  10-4-2017 - I talked to Rhonda, Ina's daughter and said the Dr. could not repair her broken hip and had to put in a new hip implant.  She is resting well and will be going to a nursing home in a few days to continue her recovery.  Please continue to keep our classmate in your prayers.

10-7-2017 - Ina was moved to The Bluff Rehab & Healthcare by ambulance from Jackson to Vicksburg.  If you would like to send get well wishes, please send to her home address at 109 Colonial Drive, Vicksburg, MS  39180.  She is recovering well and in good spirits.  

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Paranormal Investigation Fundraiser Event

Mississippi Paranormal Society will be co-hosting a paranormal investigation fundraising event with the Southern Cultural Heritage Center on Saturday, October 28th at the Southern Cultural Heritage Center from 7pm-2am.

Tickets are $50 per person. There will be a limited number of tickets available, and you must purchase tickets in advance! All proceeds will go to the Southern Cultural Heritage Foundation/Center.

Event details include:
~ 7pm: Meet & Greet to kick things off
~ An introduction to paranormal equipment
~ A Halloween costume contest
~ A full hands-on paranormal investigation with the MPS Crew
~ A raffle
~ Cash bar
~ Snacks will be provided
~ We may add a few more things to the event so we can try to raise more money, so BRING YOUR CASH!

This is a HUGE event! Huge as in investigating 3 buildings that take up an entire city block! This is the paranormal event you do not want to miss!

#MsParaSociety #SouthernCulturalHeritageFoundation #Paranormal#Ghosts #Vicksburg #Mississippi #GhostHunting #Fundraiser#HalloweenEvent

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Sister Margaret Ann Clearing the Roadways After IRMA

Miami-Dade Police Department added 2 photos and a video.
One of our off duty officers was happy to find Sister Margaret Ann of Archbishop Coleman F. Carroll High School pitching in by cutting trees to clear the neighborhood roadways. As we recover from #HurricaneIrma, these acts of kindness remind us all that we are #OneCommunity in #MiamiDadeCounty🙏 Thank you Sister and all of our neighbors that are working together to get through this! #MiamiDadeStrong

Way to go, Sister Margaret Ann!

Monday, September 04, 2017

An Update On Classmate and Cousins

I just talked to Theresa and she said that Chuck made it to their lake house fine driving three hours from their home in Katy.  All the homes in the neighborhood had gone under water but their house was saved. She said it came up to the lip of the back door.  Only one of their vehicles got water in it. The neighbors are putting all their wet furniture out of their lawns.  A horrible sight to see!  I have been there years ago when our home went under water with three feet.  We finally moved out of the Hamilton Heights subdivision closer into town and FEMA bought the house and tore it down.

In my cousin's own words - John has been working very hard along with his son doing rescue. Finally gets to bring his wife and child back to their home (Cullen Park & Estates) which had very little mishap but he is having some problems with his feet from being in the water so much and it worries me. I've told him to go see an army medic at one of the setup evacuation centers ASAP to get it checked out because not all doctors are available. Many even have been flooded. Pray hard for all those in harm's way with waters from the dam still coming.

The Addrick Reservoir and the other is the Barker Reservoir both on the west side of Houston. My son lives near the Addrick's Reservoir which would be above him and the Barker is slightly below his home they are both releasing water to get the levels down in the event of future rain and said this say can go on for anywhere from another 2 weeks to a month or more. So a large area on the west side is still flooded and everything is emptying into the Buffalo River. You can check on Houston news live to see exactly the areas flooded.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Prayers For Classmate, Cousins & All Affected By Hurricane Harvey

Sending out prayers for our classmate, Theresa Martin Kitowski and her husband, Chuck who lives in Katy, TX and involved in the flooding from Hurricane Harvey. I spoke to Theresa who was at their lake house at Marble Falls, TX on Lake Travis and she was alright but Chuck was at their home in Katy and the water was all around their home and right at their back door.

Also, my cousin John Peters who lives in Houston, TX and his mother, Gretchen who lives in Louisiana, had this to say about her son's situation.....He had no water in his house as of this morning but water from the dam (the reservoir near his house) is still being released and they say it could be as long as a week before the levels get back to normal and until then there's a chance that those who have not flooded could still get water in their homes. We have friends along Buffalo Bayou also who are praying that water will not come into their is close very close, so now it's wait-and-see...just keep praying for everyone. My son's family has evacuated to College Station, TX and he went back to Houston to help.

Please keep Theresa, Chuck, my cousins in your prayers and everyone affected and displaced by this terrible catastrophe that has hit our homeland and our loved ones.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Bertha Dearing Hull ~ Obituary

Bertha Dearing Hull, long time resident of Vicksburg, passed away Friday, Aug. 11, 2017, in her home surrounded by her family. She was 74.
She was born Nov. 4, 1942, in Mobile, Ala.  She moved to Vicksburg as a young girl, attending and graduating from St. Francis Xavier Academy in the Class of 1960.  
She married Greg Hull July 16, 1960. In their 57 years of marriage, they had four children, Greg, Denise, Charlotte, and Billy.
She worked at Merchants Bank and then moved to the Bank of Vicksburg, where she became the first female branch manager in Vicksburg.  Although she had various occupations through the years, her most treasured role was being a loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
She was a long-standing member of St. Michael Catholic Church serving on several church committees through her years as a parishioner.
She is survived by her husband, Greg Sr.; her children, Greg Hull Jr. (Suzanne), Denise Thompson (Chuck) and Charlotte Coulter, all of Vicksburg, and Billy Hull (Kimberly) of Springdale, Ark; 10 grandchildren, Haylee Hull Nix (Andrew) of Gluckstadt, Hannah Hull Bonelli (Joey), Cheyenne Coulter McKnight, both of Vicksburg, Kayla Coulter of Prentiss, Shelby Hull of Springdale, Anna Marie Thompson, Meredith Hull, Brandon Thompson, Maddie Hull, all of Vicksburg, and Hayden Hull of Ark.; three great-grandchildren, Halle Grace Bonelli, Calvin James McKnight, both of Vicksburg and Emma Ryan Nix of Gluckstadt. 
The family would like to express a special thank you to Dr. Russell Barnes, Dr. Murray Whitaker, Dr. David Halinski and the staff at St. Joseph Hospice, especially nurses Stephanie Lumpkin, CeCe Cobb, Kim Kittrell, Haley Kirby, as well as the Hometown Medical staff.
The family will honor Bertha with a memorial service at St. Michael Catholic Church. Visitation will be 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 19, with the memorial service following. After the service, everyone will gather in the parish hall for a luncheon.
In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes donations to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in her name. Donations can be made online at or mailed to P. O. Box 1000 Dept. 142, Memphis, TN 38148-0142.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Brothers' School

St. Francis Xavier Academy, Vicksburg, Mississippi

(Click on pix to enlarge)

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Memorial Service For Bertha Dearing Hull

Visitation from 10:00 A.M. - 11:00 A.M.
Mass at 11:00 A.M.
Luncheon to follow in Parish Hall

Friday, August 11, 2017

Two 1960 Classmates Die Within Two Days

The sad news was reported today by Pat Millett that two of her classmates, Bertha Dearing Hull (SFXA-1960) and David Kinnebrew (SAHS-1960), had passed away in the past two days. 

We have reached an age where such news should not come as a shock, but it does, she said. Our thoughts and sincerest condolences for the families of both.

David C Kinnebrew ~

David Clark Kinnebrew, 75, went home to our Heavenly Father on Tuesday, August 8, 2017. Visitation is 5-8 pm Thursday, August 10, 2017, at Ott and Lee Funeral Home in Brandon. Services are 12:30 pm Friday at Ott and Lee Funeral Home in Brandon with a 3 pm graveside in Greenlawn Gardens in Vicksburg. Rev. Steven Clark will officiate.

David was a native of New Orleans and has been a longtime resident of Pearl. He was an Army Veteran and was an active member of Skyway Hills Baptist Church in Pearl. David retired as a supervisor from the U.S. Postal Service in 1999 and was currently working with Mississippi Mortuary Service in Pearl. 

Survivors include his wife, Diane Lawrence Kinnebrew of Pearl; sons, Wesley E. Kinnebrew (Kelly) of Denham Springs, LA and Hal Kinnebrew of Walker, LA; daughter, Patricia Lee Kinnebrew of Jackson; sister, Joan Reynolds of Greenville, AL and grandchildren, Dylan Earl Kinnebrew, Leah Diane Kinnebrew, Hailey Jade Kinnebrew and Levi Garrett Kinnebrew. David was preceded in death by his parents, Harold and Veda Kinnebrew, and daughter, Cynthia Ann Kinnebrew. 

Bertha Dearing Hull ~ 

Visitation from 10:00 A.M. - 11:00 A.M.
Mass at 11:00 A.M.
Luncheon to follow in Parish Hall

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Alley Of The Poor

Sisters of Mercy:  Their cloister was "the alley of the poor" by Patrick McNamara, Ph.D. ( 

“God knows I would rather be cold and hungry than that His poor should suffer want.”
— Venerable Catherine McAuley (1778-1841)

Pamela Mahoney Cook (Class of 1960) ~ Hopefully, I will be able to share this with Facebook friends who attended S.F.X.A. and loved the "sisters" who helped shape our young lives.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Class of 1961 Mercy Babes

Great weekend with this great bunch of girls. St. Francis Class of 1961. I think these Mercy Babes look awesome.
L to R: Cathy, Helen, Joan, Sandra, Lucy, Nina, Judy, Barbara, and Susan.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

SFXA Graduate ~ Carolyn Ellis Staton Dies

Vicksburg native, graduate of St. Francis Xavier Academy in 1964.

First UM Female Provost, Carolyn Ellis Staton, Passes Away At Age 71 -

Carolyn Ellis Staton, 71, died May 19, 2017, at her home in Oxford, MS. A memorial service will be held Monday, May 22, 2017, at 11:00 a.m. at Paris-Yates Chapel on the Campus of the University of Mississippi in Oxford, MS (parking will be available in the circle). Visitation will be held Sunday, May 21, 2017 from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. at Waller Funeral Home. In conjunction with her easy-going spirit, the family welcomes casual clothing.

Born in Vicksburg, MS, to the late John and Marguerite Shibley Ellis, Mrs. Staton received her Bachelor’s degree at Tulane University, her Master’s degree at Columbia University and her Juris Doctor at Yale University. At the University of Mississippi, she served as a Law Professor, Interim Dean at the Law School, Associate Provost and retired as Provost in 2009. Staton became the first female to hold the title of Provost at the University of Mississippi. As Provost, she facilitated the creation of the University of Mississippi residential colleges and the Croft Institute. She expanded on the ideas of others in the creation of the Honor’s College.

She was a dedicated and loving wife of 33 years and a loving mother to three boys. She found great joy in her travels overseas and prided herself on enabling her children to travel. She was a veteran of the United States Army Reserve JAG Corps where she achieved the rank of Captain.  She served on the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Service in the 1990s at the Pentagon.

She is survived by her husband William Staton of Oxford, MS; sons, William “Will” Staton and his fiancé, Katrina of Washington, DC, Thom Staton of Asheville, NC and Michael Staton of Hooksett, NH and brothers, David Ellis of Hilton Head, SC and Robert Ellis of Memphis, TN.

Memorial contributions in Mrs. Staton’s memory may be made to the Carolyn Ellis Staton Scholarship in Law Endowment, University of Mississippi Foundation, 406 University Avenue, Oxford, MS 38655 in lieu of flowers.

Monday, May 01, 2017

SFXA Class of 1957 ~ 60 Years

Alumni Banquet of St. Al/St. Francis Catholic School in Vicksburg, MS.  Class of 1957 who were 60 year graduates. Left to right: Rad Styron and wife, Linda Jones Styron, Shirley Farish, Paula Brichetto Noble, Mary Nell Garvin McMaster and her husband, Wayne McMaster.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

2017 St. Aloysius/St. Francis Alumni Banquet

(Click on pictures to enlarge)

~50 Year Graduates~

~Class of 2017~

Banquet held at Farrell Hall.

Pretty table arrangements.

Only three Class of 1959 graduates attended the 2017 annual alumni banquet.  Left to right, Myrtle Loviza Alvarado, Marian Ann Love and Sue McNamara Fowler.  No classmates from St. Aloysius High School attended.

Mrs. Lauderdale, her daughter, Jane Lauderdale Flowers and daughter Christin Flowers Matthews sat with us at the table.

Mrs. Lauderdale getting a big hug from Father P. J. Curley.

Peter Pikul speaking at the banquet.

Roll Call of Classes by Lindsey Doyle Bradley, '02
Secretary/Treasurer, Alumni Association

Introduction of the Class of 2017 by Chesley Sadler Lambiotte, '96
Senior Sponsor, St. Aloysius High School

Message from the Class of 2017 by Olivia Curtis
President, Class of 2017

Remarks from the Class of 1967
by Tricia Guider Sadler ~ St. Francis Xavier Class of 1967
by Peter Pikul ~ St. Aloysius Class of 1967

Charitable Trust Presentation by Rob Amborn, '01
President, Alumni Association

Development Foundation Report by Ann Farrell Roberson, '94
Director of Development and Alumni Affairs
Vicksburg Catholic School

Benediction by Reverend P. J. Curley
Pastor, St. Michael Catholic Church

Saturday, April 29, 2017

58th Year of Graduation ~ Class of 1959

Our Class of 1959 from St. Aloysius/St. Francis Xavier Academy will be celebrating our 58th graduation year this evening with a 5:30 Mass at St. Paul Catholic Church and a social/banquet to follow at Farrell Hall. We had 20 classmates from SFXA and 19 classmates from SAHS.  I'm not sure how many of our classmates will attend tonight but here is a picture of us taken at our 25th class reunion many years ago at Maxwell's.

Attending were 23 of 39 classmates: Mickey Sullivan, Ivan Cunningham, +Walter Little, Theresa Martin Kitowski, Ina Lott Whittington, Sue McNamara Fowler, +Katherine Meyer Turcotte, Marlene Wilson Langston, Myrtle Loviza Curro, +Lynn Stegall Hauserman, George Evans, +Larry Miller, Robert Witty, Kay Hess Simms, +Vera Marshall Brown, Marian Love Boyd, Bill Adams, Louis Logue, Gordon Sutton, Eddie Habert, Johnny Hennessey, +Roy Turcotte, +Jackie Mackey and +Joe Lindigrin. (I'm to the far right with black/white trimmed dress with red tie.

Rest In Peace!  SFXA classmates:  Lynn Stegall Hausermann, Patricia "Patsy" McNamara LeBlanc, Margaret McCormack Tice, Marie Braun Yowan, Katherine "Speedy" Meyer Turcotte and Vera Marshall Brown.

Rest In Peace! SAHS classmates:  Franklin "Eddie" Crevitt, Alexander "Jackie" Mackey, Joseph "Joe" Lindigrin, Phillip Logue Doiron, Walter Pitts Little, Loren "Larry" Miller and Roy "Skeeter" Vernon Turcotte

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Survivor ~ Sister Mary Patricia, RSM

Sister Mary Patricia, a Religious Sister of Mercy, used to laughingly describe herself as a tourist attraction.

She was sacristan at St. Paul Cathedral for 36 years and at the Mercy Sister’s mother house on Barry Road. But many years before she came to Worcester she was involved in one of the great sea tragedies in history.

Her name was Ellen Mockler, before she became a nun, and her older sister lived in New York City. She said she decided to leave her native Galway in Ireland, and come to the United States “for the adventure of it,” she could not have imagined the adventure, and the tragedy, she was about to experience.

She and four of her friends, three boys and a girl, boarded the RMS Titanic in April 1912, for its maiden voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. It was a smooth crossing until 11:40 p.m. April 14, 100 years ago tomorrow.

Then the Titanic, one of the biggest ships ever built, a ship that was called “unsinkable,” scraped an iceberg that ripped a hole in its starboard (right) side. It later was said that if the damage had been confined to four or even five so-called watertight compartments, the ship might have survived.
But six compartments were torn open, and the Titanic was doomed. About 2 1/2 hours after the collision, the huge ship broke in half and sank. Of the 2,224 passengers and ship’s crew on board, 1,513 drowned or died from exposure  in the frigid water. Only 711 survived.

Ellen Mockler was one of them. She and her friends were cabin-class passengers.

This is the story she told The Catholic Free Press in an interview in 1953.

When the collision occurred, “I heard a slight noise above and a slight jar. Then there was a great deal of talking and shouting.”

She and her friends, along with many others, went to a public room on the ship and sat for about an hour.

“Most people didn’t know what had happened or, if they did, how extensive the damage was,” she said.

“One of the boys scouted about and learned exactly what had happened and then took us to the first class deck where there was all sorts of confusion, and where they were trying to lower the lifeboats.

“This same boy then knelt down and started the rosary. Most of the people around joined in, then two priests who were aboard gave absolution.

(She did not identify the priests and perhaps there were several on board the Titanic. What is known is that there was a priest on board named Father John Montvilas. He was Lithuanian and was on his way from Rome to be pastor of a new  parish in Athol which was to be opened for Lithuanian Catholics. He  did not survive the sinking.  The opening of that parish was the next year, 1913, when Father Francis Meskauskas from Lithuania arrived in Athol be the founding pastor of that new parish, which was named St. Francis after his patron saint.)

“I remember that someone very excitedly announced that a boat was coming to our rescue, and that this friend from Galway said calmly ‘we’ll finish the rosary.’”

She said she didn’t know how it happened, but she was put into the last lifeboat to leave the ship.“They didn’t let it down slowly by the pulley ropes, but cut the rope and let the boat fall into the water because there was so little time. We were in the water only 15 or 20 minutes when the Titanic sank out of sight.”

Three of her four Galway friends, all  the boys, were lost with it. She told The Catholic Free Press that the 10 or 15 passengers in the canvas lifeboat with her were afraid that they would be sucked  under water and drowned when the Titanic sank. They rowed frantically to avoid that.

Then, after a while, their lifeboat began to leak. A woman on board stuffed her hat into the hole.“Why she was wearing a hat, I don’t know, but it probably saved our lives,” she said.

They were in the lifeboat from about 1:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. when they were rescued by the passenger liner Carpathia, which had  heard the Titanic’s wireless calls for help, had steamed about 60 miles to the scene and pulled survivors from lifeboats and the water.

The wireless, invented by Guillermo Marconi, was in its infancy then and ships that had them did not keep their wireless rooms operational for 24 hours a day, and ships closer to the Titanic than the Carpathia did not respond to her CQD distress calls. CQ was code for “anyone listening,” and the D was code for “distress.” It later was replaced by the universal distress call, three dots, three dashes and three dots – SOS.

The fact that the Carpathia’s wireless operator was on duty and heard the Titanic’s CQD distress call was responsible for many lives being saved.

“They were wonderful to us on that ship,” she said. “There wasn’t nearly enough food to go around, they had picked up so many. But they shared everything with us.”

The Carpathia arrived in New York four days later. She was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York City and, two days later, was discharged. She said she never thought to let authorities know she survived the Titanic’s sinking, so her parents in Ireland and her sister in New York were grief-stricken when her name appeared on a list of the missing.

She said her sister refused to believe she was dead. She enlisted the help of her parish priest and they went to the hospital several times until they were able to locate her and her one friend from Galway who had survived. They sent cable messages back to her family and friends in Galway, assuring them that she was alive. But her name continued  to appear on lists of the missing for some time.

She worked for the National Biscuit Factory in New York for five years. Then a Jesuit from Worcester, Father Leo Butler, told her about the Sisters of Mercy in his hometown. She came to Worcester in 1917 and joined the Order. She died in 1984 at age 95 and is buried in St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Leicester.

Mercy Sister Frances Carberry and Mercy Sister Mary Regis Reardon both knew Sister Mary Patricia. Both said she had a delightful sense of humor and was very popular in her community. They said she would talk about her Titanic experience but didn’t dwell on it.

An article in The Mercy Word, a newsletter that was published by the Sisters of Mercy at Barry Road in 1979, said that “still full of life and joy, even in retirement, Sister Mary Patricia delights in her cup of tea and her regular Saturday trips to McDonald’s. Little did she realize as she reluctantly climbed into that lifeboat in 1912 that an order of fries would bring her joy in her old age. We, her Sisters, thank God for this life – a true gift of the Lord to the Sisters of Mercy and to the total Church.”

By William T. Clew

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Happy Trails My Friends


The young guns may not understand the meaning of this, but you should!
The Roy Rogers Museum in Branson, MO has closed its doors forever. The contents of the museum were sold at a public auction. Roy Rogers told his son, if the museum ever operates at a loss, close it, and sell the contents.
He complied. Note the follow-on article is truly the end of an era.
Here is a partial listing of some of the items that were sold at auction.
Roy's 1964 Bonneville sold for $254,500. It was estimated to sell between 100 and 150 thousand dollars.
His script book from the January 14,1953 episode of This Is Your Life sold for $10,000 (EST. $800-$1,000).
A collection of signed baseballs (Pete Rose, Duke Snyder, and other greats) sold for $3,750.
A collection of signed bats (Yogi Berra,Enos Slaughter, Bob Feller, and others) sold for $2,750.
Trigger 's saddle and bridle sold for $386,500.
One of many of Roy's shirts sold for $16,250 and one of his many cowboy hats sold for $17,500.
One set of boot spurs sold for $10,625. (He never used a set of spurs on Trigger).
A life size shooting gallery sold for $27,500.
Various chandeliers sold from $6,875 to $20,000, very unique and artistic in their western style.
A signed photograph by Don Larsen taken during his perfect game in the world series against the Dodgers on Oct. 8, 1953, along with a signed baseball to Roy from Don, sold for $2,500.
Two fabulous limited edition BB guns in their original boxes with numerous photos of Roy, Dale, Gabby, and Pat sold for $3,750.
A collection of memorabilia from his shows entertaining the troops in Vietnam sold for $938. I never knew he was there.
His flight jacket sold for $7,500.
His set of dinnerware plates and silverware sold for $11,875.
The Bible they used at the dinner table every night sold for $8,750.
One of several of his guitars sold for $27,500.
Nellybelle sold for $116,500.
A fabulous painting of Roy, Dale, Pat, Buttermilk, Trigger, and Bullet sold for $10,625.
One of several sets of movie posters sold for $18,750.
A black and white photograph of Gene Autry with a touching inscription from Gene to Roy sold for $17,500.
A Republic Productions Poster bearing many autographs of the people that played in Roy's movies sold for $11,875.
Dale's horse, Buttermilk (whose history is very interesting) sold below the presale estimate for $25,000. (EST. 30-40 thousand).
Bullet sold for $35,000 (EST. 10-15 thousand). He was their real pet.
Dale's parade saddle, estimated to sell between 20-30 thousand, sold for $104,500.
One of many pairs of Roy's boots sold for $21,250.
Trigger sold for $266,500.
Do you remember the 1938 movie The Adventures of Robinhood, with Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland?
Well, Olivia rode Trigger in that movie.
Trigger was bred on a farm co-owned by Bing Crosby. Roy bought  Trigger on a time payment plan for $2,500.
Roy and Trigger made 188 movies together.
Trigger even outdid Bob Hope by winning an Oscar in the movie Son of  Paleface in 1953.
It is extremely sad to see this era lost forever. Despite the fact that Gene and Roy's movies, as well as those  of other great characters, can be bought or rented for viewing,
today's kids would rather spend their time playing video games.
Today it takes a very special pair of parents to raise their kids with the right values and morals.
These were the great heroes of our childhood, and they did teach us right from wrong, and how to have and show respect for each other and the animals that share this earth.
You and I were born at the right time. We were able to grow up with these great people even if we never met them.
In their own way they taught us patriotism and honor. We learned that lying and cheating were bad, and that sex wasn't as important as love.
We learned how to suffer through disappointment and failure and work through it.
Our lives were drug free.
So it's good-bye to Roy and Dale, Gene and Hoppy, the Lone Ranger, and Tonto.
Farewell to Sky King and Superman and Sgt.Friday.
Thanks to Capt. Kangaroo, Mr. Rogers, and Capt. Noah and all those people whose lives touched ours, and made them better.
It was a great ride through childhood.
P.S. Don't share this with anyone under 50.....
they won't understand or care!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Prayers For Vera Ann Franco

Word was received from Vera Ann Franco's sister, Anna Marie, that on March 19, Vera Ann had a stroke on her left side and is in the hospital with high blood pressure, slurred speech and facial paralysis to a small degree.  No further updates since the 20th but will post Vera Ann's progress here and please keep her in your daily prayers and thoughts.   

Update on Vera in her own words.  Sent to me on April 2, 2017

I had a small stroke on March 19...but with 4 head injuries...not really surprising...the 12 tests were hell and no report on them... used my mobile alert button...but not fast enough so I called 911 myself...two EMT women were lovely...tho my hand and arm are a mess since they cannot do IVs easily...ever on me...lost my is back but hidden in feeling sick with chronic viruses I had in 2000.

4 days in hospital then nursing home--rehab--10 days...back today in condo...home health ---.still ill....on Coumadin blood thinner...hate how it effects me...but have to go with it...cannot afford the 350 a month.

Sisters of Mercy ~ Vicksburg Riverfront Mural

Dedicated:  January 17, 2004
SPONSOR:  Sisters of Mercy, St. Louis Region       

"A Century of Christian Service to Man and God"

The Sisters of Mercy have contributed to the health, education, and spiritual well-being of the residents of Vicksburg since the arrival of six nuns in 1860.

The Cobb House (c. 1830) became their first home and a school for 70 students.  During the Civil War, the Sisters closed the school to travel throughout Mississippi nursing both Union and Confederate soldiers.

After the war, the Sisters reopened the school and continued their ministry of nursing in the decades following, nursing the city's residents through several yellow fever epidemics. 

Their nursing contributions expanded over the years to include a nursing school and to culminate in the modern Mercy Hospital.  
The Sisters continued to expand their spiritual mission by building a convent in 1868 to house their ever-growing number of nuns, a building that is one of the best examples of Gothic Revival architecture in Mississippi.

The "Sisters School" also continued to expand with the construction of an auditorium in 1885 and an academy building in 1937.

The Sisters of Mercy have left a lasting legacy in Vicksburg.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Civil War Talk - Sisters of Mercy

I found this link by one of my friends, Robert Allen Jackson, on Facebook of a forum called Civil War Talk about Some Of Our Sisters - Sisters of Mercy with pictures.

Sister Cecelia

He said, The Cobb House (c. 1830) became their first home and a school for 70 students. The "Sisters School" also continued to expand with the construction of an auditorium in 1885 and an academy building in 1937.
   (Click here to check it out)

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Very First School In Vicksburg, MS!


In late 1860, six Sisters of Mercy, led by Sister Mary DeSales Browne, traveled half-way across the country from Baltimore to a tiny river city called Vicksburg, located near the border of Mississippi and Louisiana. Father F. X. Leray had called on them to educate the children of the city, who had no access to education – not even a public school. The Sisters opened the town’s first school less than a week after arriving.

In 1860, the Sisters founded the very first school in Vicksburg, St. Francis Xavier Academy.

Nearly two years later, the school was shuttered as Sisters and families fled into the hills to avoid the cannon fire of the Civil War. After about a month, the Sisters returned to find their former school filled with sick and injured soldiers. They immediately began providing nursing care. During the heaviest battles, the injured were removed to areas of safety and the Sisters accompanied them to continue their care.

In 1864, Mother Mary DeSales Browne returned to Vicksburg and reopened the school with 200 students and only four Sisters.

In 1878, when a particularly harsh epidemic of yellow fever broke out in Vicksburg, Mother Mary DeSales Browne took over City Hospital, where the Sisters nursed as many as 300 patients a day.
In 1943, the Sisters assumed operations of a hospital, which they renamed Mercy Hospital. During their 48 years of service, it was designated a Regional Pediatric Polio Center and treated victims of numerous natural disasters. The Sisters served there until 1991, when Mercy sold the hospital to Quorum Health Care.

Today Mercy ministers in Mississippi through the Mississippi Health Advocacy Program (MHAP) in Jackson, Mississippi. MHAP was started in 1992, at the urging of Sister Cyrena Harkins, RSM, to be a collaborative effort aimed at improving health policies, practices and funding in Mississippi, especially for the poor and needy.

(Sister Mary Cyrena Harkins was our first grade teacher in the Class of 1959)

Monday, March 20, 2017

Class of 1957~ SFXA Classmates Gathering

Gathering at Toney's recently with classmates of Sister School Class of '57 (SFXA). Left to right--Mary Nell Garvin McMaster, Shirley Farish, Paula Brichetto Noble, Mary Pat Booth Fulton, Frances Smith Jowers, Judy Hale McCollum and Linda Jones Styron.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

2017 Alumni Banquet and/or Charitable Trust

(Click on link above)

The 2017 Alumni Banquet will be Saturday, April 29, starting with Mass at 5:30 at St. Paul Catholic Church, and the social and banquet will be held at Farrell Hall immediately following Mass. We will be honoring the St. Aloysius and St. Francis Xavier Classes of 1967, as well as the St. Aloysius Class of 2017.

The Annual Alumni Banquet is also a time when we reach out to our alumni to support the Charitable Trust. The Charitable Trust was established in 1983 by the St. Aloysius/St. Francis Alumni Association to benefit the operations of Vicksburg Catholic School. Every year a check is presented to the school during the Alumni Banquet. Last year, the Alumni Association contributed $2,335 to be invested in the Charitable Trust.  Thank you for your generosity.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Monday, February 06, 2017

Prayers For Classmates Daughter, Rhonda!

Our classmate, Ina Carol Whittington's daughter, Rhonda, is having a lot of health issues now and asking for your prayers for her and for the family at this time. 

March 30, 2017 - Prayers have been answered and it's good news.  Rhonda still has other health issues but at least this one had cleared up.  Thank you, Jesus!
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