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The School Day   Music   Having Fun and Getting in Trouble   Learning   Praying   The School Song


“A typical day in early years began with low mass, communion, and a dash home after for cocoa and toast and back to class before the bell rang. It was easy because I lived right across the street from the church.” Patricia Farrell Widrig, 1939-1947

"If early to school (before 9 a.m.), we would go into the Cathedral through the south side door and sit with our class for the remainder of the 8:15 Mass, then march to school. No talking in hall, lower grades upstairs. Morning offering and pledge of allegiance, Angelus at noon, Regina Caeli after Easter. Prayers before dismissal at 3:30. Music lessons (piano) and practice in rooms on main floor. Morning, noon, and afternoon recesses on top-floor open-air playground for lower grades. Lunch room downstairs, shared in shifts with O’Dea boys. Being connected with the Cathedral, school children attended all special ceremonies, which could be LONG but wonderfully solemn and awesome, especially with Bishop Shaughnessy, who was impressive. Boys and girls had choirs and participated in processions. Holy Week and Christmas time were especially wondrous." Patricia Plumb Bulzomi

“In the morning we said prayers, pledge of allegiance, and then recited poetry. Every day we added more poems so that we could recite one poem after another. We recited for 20 minutes (but could have gone on for an hour). The poems multiplied quickly. For years I recited those poems to myself. Some were funny. Some were serious. I loved Evangeline.” Barbara McCurdy Olsen, 1945

The whole school gathered at the entrance on Terry Avenue, 1962.

“School started at 9:00. Every class had a cloak room where we put our coats, lunches, etc. We always said prayers and pledge of allegiance. A nun taught every class I was in. We always ate lunch in the lunchroom downstairs. You could buy lunch. The only drink you could buy was milk or orangeade. Recess was in the street if the weather permitted or on the top floor of the school on rainy days.” Santilia M. Bertuccia Frasca, 1943-1951


“Music was an important part of the curriculum and I looked forward to singing class 2 or 3 times a week. Girls in grades 4 through 8 formed the children’s choir. We sang at most of the requiem masses and, of course, on special occasions, one being the 3 hours on Good Friday (I did NOT look forward to that—mighty long hours for us at that age).” Hannah Hirabayashi, 1953

“During the school year we sang for the Masses of the Dead. The only lights that were on in the whole church were up by the altar over the casket and the few people present. We marched in a line around the back half of the Church—down the center aisle, coming up the sides, and back again. As I said, it was dark, it usually was raining. We sang the Dies Irae—marching like the monks of the Middle Ages. I knew at the time it was a strange thing for a seventh and eighth grader to like, but I knew I loved it.” Barbara McCurdy Olsen, 1945

“I remember practicing to sing in the choir for Christmas and being very enthusiastic and ‘loud of voice’ and Sister Mary Emmetria saying to me—‘Patricia, please mouth it.’ Luckily my ego was sufficient to withstand this reprimand, and I think it’s saved me from embarrassing myself with vocal efforts—I really can’t carry a tune!” Patricia Nordquist Williams, 1953

"Since I was assigned to teach music in 1947 (I was 19 years old) my typical day consisted of teaching singing classes in all grades and particularly the Girls’ Choir. I accompanied Masses in the Cathedral from the west gallery organ. Sister Anne Magdalene directed the Boys’ Choir. I also taught Piano lessons to students during the classroom study period times." Sister Pat Baxter (formerly Sister Mary Emmetria)

“I sang in the choir at mass, in the west gallery overlooking the congregation; the boys choir sang behind the altar area out of sight. Those were the days of Latin Mass and Gregorian chant. Girls frequently sang in the many beautiful processions at benediction, sometimes throwing rose petals as they sang and walked around the church.” Patricia Farrell Widrig, 1939-1947

Scene in School Library, 1921

"I remember when Archbishop Connolly was going to record to the combined boys’ and men’s choirs singing; I believe it was Easter Sunday 1949. The next day he said the machine was not properly turned on. I often wondered if it just did not sound that good!" Patrick Burns

“I sang in the choir, served as an acolyte for high Sunday and Holy Day masses, and one night (Christmas Eve), with my Mom, Dad, and brother James in the congregation, I had the assignment to sing a solo part of ‘Adeste Fideles’ in front of the crèche with baby Jesus, mother Mary, St. Joseph, the Angels, and Shepherds. Just as I reached a high note my voice changed and the choirmaster (Mr. Sanger) hastily directed the rest of the singers to sing to drown me out! My Mom said I sounded like Bing Crosby but she was being kind.” Jack Gordon, 1935

“One of my favorite memories is being in the school choir and singing for Midnight Mass. Everything was so beautiful and festive and our singing seemed magical truly special for the newborn Holy Child as we processed through the long aisles of the Cathedral with the bells ringing and our voices echoing up to the vaulted ceiling.” Sister Dee Marie Reeder, SNJM, 1953

“The most memorable thing that happened while I was at Cathedral was the remodeling in 1950. The school choir sang Christmas Eve then, as in every other year, and my brother Phil Lofurno sang solo around the crib; his voice was most beautiful. The Christmas Eve carols were broadcast to the outside to commemorate the remodeling. The choir experience was my favorite; Sister Mary Ann Magdalene was exceptional in her abilities. We were quite good!” Frances Lofurno

"A favorite memory was encouraging creativity in music classes. Since I had a strong devotion to our Foundress, Mother Marie Rose (Eulalie Durocher), I encouraged dramatizing episodes of her life. Particularly her early life as a playful child riding her horse, Caesar." Sister Pat Baxter (formerly Sister Mary Emmetria)

The Cathedral School celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 1962.  The children put on a lavish play celebrating school history.  (The girls are dressed in the habits of various religious communities Cathedral School alumnae had entered.) Bishop Gill is looking on from the front row.


“Once when I was sent to the cloak room for talking in class, I went home instead! My mother brought me back (by the ear) and presented me to the Sister Superior. I was given a big assignment—a book review to write on a very big book—I think I cried. Sister Superior admitted me to my class—and she smiled when the whole class applauded!” Jack Gordon, 1935

“Is there anyone who does not remember the enclosed open-air (but dark) play area on the fourth floor?” Hannah Hirabayashi, 1953

“Another happy memory was a picnic and games at Juanita Beach on Lake Washington at the end of each school year. Charted buses carted us, singing happily, around the lake. Foot races, potato sack races, hot dogs, and beans. It didn’t matter if it rained. The nuns had fun, too.” Patricia Farrell Widrig, 1939-1947

“A special day was our all-school picnic. I remember Monsignor Gallagher playing baseball. He was a wonderful, charismatic man, whenever he entered the school or came to watch us during recess, we all rushed to surround him and get his special greeting. He was an integral and important part of the Cathedral School.” Patricia Nordquist Williams, 1953

“My sister Barbara and I would always go trick-or-treating at the nuns’ house first. We lived right across the street (on the corner of Boren and Marion—the ‘Lowman Mansion’ then). The nuns would all come out on the porch to see our home-made costumes and make like they didn’t know who we were. It was always fun!” Karen Wittmack Harris, 1949-1952

A favorite joke: “A man went to a psychiatrist and brushed him arm with his hand. He said, ‘Doctor, I’ve got cooties.’ The psychiatrist brushed his own arm and said, ‘well, don’t brush them on me!’ So everyone went around brushing their arm and saying, ‘don’t brush them on me!’” Barbara McCurdy Olsen, 1945

“The most traumatic thing that happened to me at Cathedral was my being punished for not eating my lunch and having the plate (spaghetti) with me all through lunch recess upstairs. (It may still be up there!) I got even in the 8th grade by eating some of everybody’s lunch while banished to the cloakroom for misbehaving in class.” Phil Lofurno, 1954

Golden Hair and the Three Bears, 1932-1933

"The Dwarfs" 1932-33
School wasn't all hard work!

“After school one day, Msgr. James Gordon Stafford took me as his guest to the Barney O’Connor Drug Store and Soda Fountain at Terry Avenue and Madison and bought me MY FIRST ROOT BEER FLOAT! Monsignor was pastor of the Cathedral and I had helped him on a couple of occasions as he checked the altar and the veneration areas of the statues of the Sacred Heart and the Blessed Virgin Mary. I have always remembered that special treat and pray for Msgr. Stafford and all the priests and sisters at the Cathedral. Our family was hard hit by the Depression in those years and I’m sure ‘treats’ were very rare events in the lives of many children.” Jack Gordon, 1935

“On Saturdays, about six of my neighborhood friends would love to lie on the green grass on the Marion Street side of the Cathedral, or stand on our heads, and eat our lunch or snacks. At 3pm it was our ritual to go to confession—and out to play after we were done.” Gloria Guarin Mamon, 1947-1949

“I had an aunt—Cecelia Kinney—who attended Cathedral and got in all sorts of trouble for climbing up into the towers. I was absolutely forbidden to think of doing any such thing. My Aunt Cece was a legend in our family.” Patricia Nordquist Williams, 1953

“When I was in the fourth grade the nun was telling us God made us very special. We were the only creatures on two legs. Romero Moyumeh, a classmate, responded, ‘so does a chicken stand on two legs.’ The nun took him into the cloakroom and spanked him! Romero became an outstanding police officer and when he died of cancer the city flags were put at half mast!!!” Santilia M. Bertucci Frasca, 1943-1951

“We were on stage rehearsing for the Spring Recital and were told by Sister Julia Mary, the music teacher, to put expression in our songs. My best friend and I barely heard her. We were too busy squeezing hands and basically goofing off. Sister Superior stopped everything and had us two come down in front of everyone. We were horrified. But to our amazement she congratulated us on our facial expressions and told everything this is what she was looking for. We received holy cards!” Carol Ann Nezat, 1959

"When I was in 8th grade, Sister M. Nadine asked me to be Mother Goose for the primary grades’ music recital. It was all in costume as nursery rhyme characters. After a short dialogue, each child would perform. Fifty years later a man approached me at a funeral and identified himself as Tom the Piper’s Son. Out of nowhere came my line to Tom as I pulled his ear: “Now, Tom, was that such fun, to steal a pig and away to run?” Joyce Powers Ways


“The sisters were dedicated educators, excellent role models, and I always felt that the children came first.” Karin Wittmack Harris, 1949-1952

“For me the most special thing about attending Cathedral School was the closeness of the nuns to me. At that time I was non-Catholic and did not live in the area. But we were all a close group.” Carol Ann Nezat, 1959

Students in the classroom, 1960s.

“The school was special because of the Sisters who taught not only academics, but also taught us respect for and acceptance of each other. I like to think we were one big family. To this day many of us have remained good friends and get together several times a year.” Hannah Hirabayashi, 1953

“We loved the kind sisters and priests. They were our extended family. They were all good to us. The parish sponsored us to the CYO camps ever year, and the priests at St. James were instrumental in finding foster homes for all four of us children. Our family will be forever grateful to the parish for what they did for us. The priests and nuns were all so kind, generous, and loving.” Bill Douglas Breitenstein, 1949-1955

“Our favorite teacher was Sr. Rosemary Druffel (Adeline Mary) in 8th grade. She was full of good humor, always laughing, very kind and taught us folk dances. I loved this class! How she got the boys to participate was beyond me, but she did, and did demos with one of them as a partner. Also she got everyone of us interested to some degree in civics. We learned a lot and enjoyed our classes in the process.” Sister Dee Marie Reeder, SNJM 1953

“What was special for me was the acceptance by the class of a newcomer like me in the 7th grade. This was an entirely new experience from my previous two schools. Everyone seemed to be more of the same social standing, mostly poor, of many races—caucasian, Filipino, African American, Japanese, even a boy from South America who couldn’t speak much English. All of us were equal. no one was particularly singled out. We all studied and played together and made lasting friends. We all brought our brown bag peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or sometimes Spam for lunch. We were not far removed from the Ration Book Stamps of World War II.” Sister Dee Marie Reeder, SNJM, 1953

“We participated easily, unconsciously, and joyously in what has become the unwieldy project of ‘diversity.’ I treasure my truly liberal education at Cathedral and Holy Names Academy, and cherish the awareness it imparted that whatever direction I might take, religion was important.” Elizabeth Lonon Erickson, 1947

Crafts in the library, 1979

“I remember a strange and perplexing moment. It was eighth grade, and we were studying the Declaration of Independence. The term that ‘all men are created equal’ with equal rights to life, etc. I asked, is this really true? I’m sure the appropriate answer was given, but I knew in reality that it wasn’t true in the treatment of blacks, Indians, and Asians. Maybe that’s why I’ve always been slightly radical in my opinions about the workings of government and what it should stand for. All learned at St. James!” Patricia Farrell Widrig, 1939-1947

“I remember being Sister Nadine’s (the organist’s) companion while she played and practiced the organ in the Cathedral, and getting to pull out the stops occasionally for her. I remember being a companion for many sisters as they went to town on the bus for appointments, shopping, etc. I remember their scratchy lace gloves holding my hand.” Marylen Powers Fitzgerald, 1942-1947

"I remember all my teachers but my favorite remains Sister Alice Marie Power. She taught me in first grade but remained a lifelong teacher and wonderful friend. She continued teaching me in many ways by her actions and influenced my thinking on many issues as we talked during my adult years. She had great compassion and wisdom. Many prisoners in state prisons, particularly those on death row in Walla Walla received her daily prayers and consistent correspondence to assist them in understanding God’s love for them. She was a tremendously spiritual lady." Patrick Burns

“Father William Gallagher was our religion teacher once a week during our 8th grade year. One day Father announced that he would give us a test the following week. The week passed all too quickly, and of course we were not ready. During our recess we conspired to distract him from giving us the test by asking him as many questions as we could think of. Father graciously and patiently answered them all! The ploy was successful…. we never had that test—ever!” Hannah Hirabayashi, 1953

“In the middle of first grade I came down with pneumonia and was in the hospital for a month (through Christmas). Sister Alice Marie and another nun would come to visit me at Cabrini Hospital several times a week, bring homework, and tell me stories. She also gave me a beautiful crucifix which I still treasure. She helped me make it to 2nd grade.” Santilia M. Bertucci Frasca, 1943-1951

Karin Wittmack Harris carries the crown for Our Lady of Fatima, 1949.  Special thanks to Karin for the newspaper clipping.


“Sister Mary Joseph in fourth grade told us that when we hear a siren to get into the habit of saying a little prayer for the person in need of help. This still remains a habit of mine today. There are lots of sirens on First Hill.” Patricia Farrell Widrig, 1939-1947

“My favorite statue in the Cathedral was St. Joseph. I thought he didn’t get enough attention—Mary was everything. I thought the organ loft was closer to heaven than anywhere else in the church.” Marylen Powers Fitzgerald, 1942-1947

"Several favorite memories: Being allowed to go in the sanctuary at the Cathedral to fix flowers for the Blessed Virgin’s May altar. Playing piano in recitals and for visiting superiors. Playing for rehearsals for the annual school play. Going to the annual bazaar. Singing with the girls choir for all the early Masses on Christmas day and weekday evenings for May devotions. Being allowed to ring the big hand bell for recesses, because I had a wristwatch."  Patricia Plumb Bulzomi

"I remember that on First Fridays following Mass we all went to the lunch room for hot chocolate and cinnamon rolls or hot cross buns."  Patrick Burns

“I carried the Lady of Fatima crown during its world-famous pilgrimage down the aisle of St. James Cathedral in May 1949. I had just been baptized and had just made my first communion at that time.” Karin Wittmack Harris, 1949-1952

"A special favorite of all was the small statue of the Infant Jesus of Prague, which was dressed in special vestments which were changed for the various liturgical seasons. At Christmas, a life-sized Nativity scene was set up on the Sacred Heart side, which all visited many times. I liked to come into the church after school when it was dimly lighted and I often could sit and listen to the organist practicing on the great organ." Patricia Plumb Bulzomi

"Because of the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the fear that Japan would attack us here in Seattle, Bishop Shaughnessy requested first graders in our schools receive the Sacraments of Penance, Eucharist, and Confirmation. So in the spring of 1944 our class received Penance on Friday, Confirmation on Saturday night, and First Communion on Sunday morning." Pat Burns

“The thing I remember most is the month of May: gathering together in the halls and stairways and reciting the rosary and singing the songs to our Blessed Mother. I still love those songs.” Carol Ann Nezat, 1959

"A most memorable, strange, scary, and funny (after the fact!) incident happened during the 1949 earthquake. I along with other students was standing between the school and the church, where a car was parked. The car began to sway, touching my leg. When we all realized it was a quake through other students pouring out of the lunchroom, several of us bolted for our second floor classroom. Our purpose was to save the Blessed Mother’s statue which we had just cleaned but left precariously vulnerable to falling. The good news is “She” did not fall and all was well. Sister of course told us we were not the smartest to run into the school."  Patrick Burns


composed by Sister Claire Marie SNJM, 1944

Hail to our dear School, the School we love so well.
Hail to its dear halls where knowledge e'er doth dwell.
With joy and gladness we sing in happy strain,
Call on our schoolmates to join in our refrain.

Cathedral, Cathedral, the School we love so well!
Loyal to your trust, our deeds will ever tell.
Your School and my School, all hail Cathedral!
C - A - T - H - E - D - R - A - L.

Mary, our Mother, Immaculate is she.
Loving her children, we sing of her with glee.
Our childhood school days are bright beneath her rule.
Love for our Savior we learn in our dear School.

Facsimile of the title page of Benziger's Bible History, 1904.  These images became familiar to generations of Catholic schoolchildren.

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804 Ninth Avenue
Seattle, Washington  98104
Phone 206.622.3559  Fax 206.622.5303