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Excerpts from the House Chronicles

   Facsimile of the first page of the house chronicle (1911)

Click here for 'pre-Cathedral history' from the Chronicles of the Sisters of Holy Names Academy

New Cathedral School Opened.  Plans for the future Cathedral school were... formulated and the construction of an elegant up-to-date structure began.  In the meantime, classes continued to increase in the Broadway School under our Sisters' direction.  The building was pushed forward with so much earnestness that the classes were opened in April though much of the inside furnishings remained incomplete--it was not of a nature to impede the work of teaching.

September 5. Opening of School.  We opened school today, using four classrooms in St. Rose's Academy, awaiting completion of the new Cathedral School.  Thirty-seven boys were enrolled and fifty-nine girls.

April 15. Classes resumed.  After a pleasant Easter vacation, we again resume our classroom duties.  School reopened with an increase of twenty-six pupils.  All are delighted to be in the new school, and are happy to begin work.  The Reverend Pastors are most kind and attentive to all the needs of teachers and pupils.

September 3. Opening of School.  Having closed the last scholastic year with not more than 100 pupils, our surprise was great indeed when our new enrollment reached the number of 256.

September 23.  First Mass in New Home.  Feast of St. Matthew.  Holy Mass is celebrated for the first time in our little chapel today, by Reverend Father M. Mackie.

September 1.  Opening of School.  Today has been a busy day, but all feel encouraged at the outset, owing to the large enrollment of three hundred ten earnest boys and girls.  Reverend William Noonan, our beloved Pastor, after meeting the children with his accustomed fatherly greeting and welcome, had each class go from the auditorium to its appointed room.

January 4.  Visit of Bishop.  Right Reverend Edward John O'Dea paid us a pleasant New Year's call this evening in our community room.  Much kindly advice was given, the keynote of which was, "Live one day at a time; do not worry about tomorrow."

September 7.  Opening of School.  School was begun today after the summer vacation.  It opened with the largest attendance it has ever had.  The Second Academic, together with a course of Domestic Science, has been added to our curriculum.

February 2.  Cathedral Dome Falls In.  Shortly after the classes were dismissed this afternoon, we were startled by what we thought was a heavy snow slide, and upon looking out soon realized that the great dome of the Cathedral had fallen.  Priests and people were on the scene in an instant, and as usual in such cases, the priests risked their lives to save the Blessed Sacrament.  It was a touching sight to see them wade through the deep snow carrying our Eucharistic God to a safe abode in our little chapel.  As far as we know no lives have been lost, but that cannot be ascertained until the debris has been removed. 
    Viewed from within, the beautiful building of Italian Renaissance architecture looked like the scenes of destruction wrought by the cannons in Belgium. 
    The area roofed by the dome, eighty feet square, lay open to the sky, while on the floor beneath was a mountain heap of debris--masonry, twisted steel girders, terra cotta, and fragments of the benches.  The curtain walls of the cathedral surrounding the dome space are out of plumb and tottering.  The side walls are pronounced to be safe.  Through this jagged hole, blizzard poured its white clouds and rapidly drifts began to sift over sacred images and objects of great beauty in bronze, in onyx, and in marble. 
    Besides the dome itself, the falling debris smashed the heavy brass chandeliers, the pulpit of brass and onyx, and the marble communion railing.  The shock also forced out the large windows back of the main altar.  For a few moments after the cave-in it was feared that the high wall on the south side of the Cathedral would collapse and fall over on the Bishop's house.  Why this dome, designed by architects to be of the strongest principle of construction, collapsed is a question architects cannot answer.  The loss is estimated at about seventy-five thousand dollars.
    We have much to thank God and our Blessed Lady for almost miraculous protection as we knelt for Mass under the scene of the calamity only that very morning.  We all are in sorrow over the destruction of our beautiful cathedral in sympathy with our devoted Bishop and his assistant priests.

February 3.  Snow continues to fall.  The snow continues to fall.  Several of the sisters are helping to transform the school hall into the Cathedral chapel.

February 6.  Mass in School Hall.  Today, being Sunday, the parishioners assembled in the temporary chapel for the different masses which are said every half hour from six until eleven inclusive.  All are edified by the practical faith shown by the clergy in their resignation to the holy will of God and their thanksgiving that no lives were lost in the calamity.

October 6.  Outdoor Mass.  Because of the flu epidemic this morning found the steps of the school, across the street from our convent home, arranged as an out-door chapel for the celebration of the Holy Mass.  Along the narrow parkings in front of the school and in front of our house, benches and chairs were placed and our lawn was covered with seats improvised for the convenience of the crowds of people who assembled to assist at the Holy Sacrifice.  Seven Masses were celebrated and all were well attended, though after the second Mass a slight rain began to fall, obliging the worshipers to hold umbrellas.  This striking spectacle of the true Catholic Faith was very impressive and left memories with us of what depth the soul reaches in misfortune.  When face to face with the awful terrors of even a physical calamity how quickly we realize that our sole hope lies in Him "Who can save" and Who will always protect those who turn to Him in every need of soul and body.

October 28.  Benediction.  How many, many times we have wished that we might have Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament in our tiny convent chapel.  For the first time we have received this longed-for favor today.  Beautiful in its simplicity, Benediction seemed like a promise of visible protection for our home.  Sister Margaret Augusta's violin had to take the place of an organ and the Sisters sang the ever-sweet hymns of Exposition.  We feel more secure in the Divine Protection now that our Eucharistic King has given us this new pledge of his love.

April 10.  Farewell Reception.  At 2:30 this afternoon a farewell reception for Very Reverend W. J. Noonan was held in the Cathedral Hall by the pupils of the school.  After voicing their heartfelt appreciation of their beloved benefactor's labors for them, the children presented a purse of one hundred and fifty dollars.  Father then addressed the pupils and thanked them for their cooperation with him in all his undertakings while pastor of St. James Cathedral and director of the school, as well as for their good will and docility as his spiritual children.  His Lordship, Right Reverend E. J. O'Dea, who graced the occasion by his genial presence, also spoke to the assembly and in a few choice phrases told of the work accomplished for the church and school by the untiring zeal of the pastor to whom he, too, must bid good-bye.  His Lordship aptly remarked that no greater or more lasting monument to Father Noonan's memory could be left than the school itself, equipped as it is with every facility.  "True," he added, "Tacoma is not far away and at least we can reach Father Noonan by telegram, and we can always reach him by prayer."

April 17.  A Gift.  From some unknown friend we received a gift of eight pounds of butter and four dozen fresh eggs, with this note, "Please accept this little gift from one who has been fed by your Brothers and Sisters in Religion when he was roaming about the country.  Please pray for him."

April 20.  Cathedral Drive.  A great campaign, inaugurated by Reverend J. G. Stafford, to clear the hundred-thousand dollar Cathedral debt, started very auspiciously today.  It has been well systematized, and teams will canvass the entire diocese.  The pupils of the Cathedral School have each pledged a penny a day for one year, which will realize a sum of over a thousand dollars.

September 5.  Grade Opening.  School opened this morning.  So great was the enrollment throughout the grades that by ten o'clock, several classrooms were filled beyond capacity and place had to be provided for the overflow.  It is plainly evident that the one portable already erected will not suffice.

September 8.  New Classrooms.  A new beaver-board partition has been set up in the auditorium to provide a room for fourth grade.  The third grade boys are now in the north sacristy of the Cathedral.

March 17.  Boys' High School.  Excavation for the new Central High School began this week.  Reverend Father Stafford, our very zealous pastor, plans to make this an exceptional structure.  It is to be an all-steel construction and will cost approximately two-hundred thousand dollars.  The Christian Brothers have been engaged to teach here.  Boys of the 7th, 8th, 1st, and 2nd year of high school will be taken by the Brothers.  Our school building will house the boys of the lower grades and the Sisters will retain the charge of these little ones.

September 29.  Fan system of ventilation.  The din and noise of building construction is disagreeable but the tearing of walls and placing of galvanized metal flues for the installment of a compulsory fan system of ventilation is more than trying to the teachers and pupils.  Much bigotry exists among the members of the City Board of Building Inspectors and as a consequence our Pastor, Reverend J. G. Stafford, is compelled to install a new system of ventilation throughout the entire school at an expense of six or seven thousand dollars.

December 15.  Ventilation system a failure.  The newly installed fan system which has been in operation for some weeks was discontinued today much to the relief of all.  The noise and draft were such as to make it impossible to teach in the classrooms.

March 14.  Music of Mass Broadcast.  The boys' surpliced choir, consisting of one hundred boys from the Cathedral and O'Dea schools, sang the Roman-Gregorian Mass over the radio from the auditorium of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce this afternoon.  This is the first time in the world's history that the music of the Mass has been broadcasted.  The Northwest Radio Service Company, owners and operators of KJR, perfected special arrangements for the transmission.

May 21.  "Spirit of St. Louis."  Seattle, like all the other great cities of the United States, in fact most the great cities of the world, is aroused to thrilling excitement, highest admiration, and fiery enthusiasm over the news that the first non-stop flight over the thousands of miles of the Atlantic's mighty waters have been accomplished and this by a brave young American.  Bells are ringing, extra editions of the daily papers are being shouted by newsboys on every corner, and everywhere is being told the wondrous story of this great event.  How good God is to give to man knowledge and power to dare and to achieve.  May the great achievements of the youthful Charles Lindbergh bring glory to God and promote the good of other heroic souls.

July 8.  High School Discontinued.  The Catholic High school for girls will not be reopened in September, owing to the fact that all the classrooms are needed for the grammar grades.  This announcement was made yesterday by the Right Reverend Monsignor Stafford, pastor of the Cathedral.

October 13.  Dedication of St. Edward's Seminary Epochal in history of Seattle is St. Edward's Day this year, the feast of our beloved Bishop, for it brings the realization of the chief object of his labor and dreams for the Church of the Northwest during the past half-century, the dedication of St. Edward's Seminary... Enthusiastic is the acclaim accorded our beloved Bishop at the close of his noble address.  Here is a chieftain indeed, not only to be reverenced for his long years of service, but to be gloried in for his dynamic leadership.  Thirty-six years a Bishop, directing the Church in this state through three eras, the pioneer, the transitional, and the present!  Yet, today, vigorous, alert, in step with the moment and instinct with power for achievement in this great cause to which he has given forty-nine years of priestly service.  This is truly a feast of joy for our beloved Bishop and for all of his diocese who rejoice in his great happiness.  A school holiday is proclaimed in honor of the great day.

December 25.  Death of Bishop O'Dea.  At the close of this beautiful feast there passed to his eternal reward our beloved Bishop, Edward John O'Dea, who has directed this Diocese for more than thirty-six years.  Just two days ago, Bishop O'Dea observed the fiftieth anniversary of his ordination to the holy priesthood, the solemn celebration of which was held on Thanksgiving Day.  Bishop O'Dea's last words to priests and members of his family gathered about his bedside were, "God bless you all."

September 16.  Outing.  With light hearts we started out this morning for a picnic at North Bend.  The day passed delightfully and all too quickly.  After exploring the beautiful surroundings and admiring Mt. Si, we gathered a goodly supply of apples placed at our disposal by Right Reverend Monsignor John F. Gallagher, V.G., and then turned our steps homeward with the hope in our hearts that before too long we may again visit this beautiful spot.

October 13.  Illness of Bishop.  While attending the Northwest Regional Catholic Conference in Portland, Oregon, His Excellency, the Most Reverend Gerald Shaughnessy, S.M.S.T.D., and Bishop, suffered a recurrence of the illness which he suffered in a similar manner two years ago, while enroute east.  Our sympathy and prayers are offered for a speedy recovery.

April 23.  This evening our new bishop, the Most Reverend Thomas A. Connolly, D.D., J.C.D., accompanied by the Right Reverend John F. Gallagher, V.G., came to visit us.  They spent a pleasant half hour in our community room with us.

December 21.  Christmas party.  According to custom in our school, pupils who are active members of the Altar Boys' Society and of the choirs assembled in the auditorium at two o'clock for a Christmas party.  The guests of Very Reverend John F. Gallagher, V.G., pastor of St. James Cathedral, they enjoyed an hour of exhilarating fun, partook of abundant refreshments, and received gifts and candy boxes.  There was never a quiet moment as each human dynamo played to exhaustion in a riot of fun which will, no doubt, stand out in bright relief, when, older grown, these dear children turn to childhood reminiscing.

February 9.  A Treat.  By thoughtful arrangement of His Excellency, the Most Reverend Thomas A. Connolly, Archbishop of Seattle and through the courtesy of the Fifth Avenue Theatre we were privileged to see "The Ten Commandments" this morning.  This production by Cecil B. DeMille is judged to be one of the most inspiring pictures every filmed.  The sisters who attended left the theatre profoundly impressed by the awe-inspiring photography in this magnificent Biblical drama.

May 13.  May Procession.  Our annual May crowning of our Blessed Mother took place this evening at seven forty-five in the Cathedral.  All the children marched in procession singing hymns as they entered the church.  The boys and girls of the living rosary took their places in the aisles of the church, each holding a candle which was lighted as the Hail Mary of the decade was said by the children and the congregation.
    Our Lady was then crowned by Maureen Curran, and her four attendants.
    Solemn Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament was given by our pastor, the Most Reverend Thomas E. Gill, Auxiliary Bishop of Seattle.

January 18.  Television Gift. Through the generosity of the Most Reverend Thomas Gill, D.D., we received a lovely new television set. The television is a General Electric model and is encased in a beautiful cabinet of hardwood. It is truly a most generous and timely gift. It was interesting to note that our first program on the new television was the inaugural ceremony of John F. Kennedy as President of the United States.

November 22.  Death of President Kennedy.  There are no words to express the grief and heaviness of heart which were ours today when the news was confirmed that our loved president was really dead--the victim of an assassin's bullet.  About 10:45 a.m. a lady of the parish telephoned to the school office to have the Sisters and students pray for the President who had been shot while on a motorcade through the streets of Dallas, Texas.  Radios were immediately tuned in to hear the account of the tragic happenings which were being related directly from Dallas.  President Kennedy and Governor Connolly had both been shot and taken immediately to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, but it was not at first known whether the President's wounds were fatal.  Not a sound was heard throughout the school as everyone silently prayed that if it were God's will our president would survive.  About 11:30 the announcer said, that though the pronouncement was not official, the priest who had administered the Last Sacraments had said, "The president is dead!"  Tears streamed down the faces of the students and sobs and cries were heard as they struggled for control.  In some of the classes the rosary was said, and other groups went to the church to pray.  It seemed as if the end of the world had come.
    The radio and television networks immediately discontinued all scheduled programs to devote their time exclusively to giving details of the assassination of the president, eulogies of his accomplishments, recasts of his speeches, and the events of his life.  Again and again President Kennedy was compared to Abraham Lincoln, not only because of their martyr's deaths but in their mobility of character, dedication of purpose and contributions to American liberty.  We, as Catholics, took sober pride in the encomiums lavished upon John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the first Catholic to hold the office of president and the youngest to be elected.

August 5.  A New Convent.  Last Friday was a memorable day in the history of our Sisters and of the parish.  The old convent was to be demolished so the Sisters had only four days to move from 1023 Marion Street to the site of our new convent across from the Cathedral Church.  Packing, hauling, transporting luggage and cartons by the dozens was the order of the day.  Finally on Friday evening six weary sisters were treated to a surprise supper provided by Mrs. John Hewitt and prepared by her two daughters Linda and Kathleen.

January 1.  A Letter of Gratitude.

My dear Sisters,
    All the Fathers and Staff of the Cathedral Rectory join me in expressing to you our heartfelt appreciation for your many wonderful gifts and services during the happy season of Christmas.  Your bountiful and delicious supply of exquisite confections were a source of considerable pleasure to all of us.  The centerpiece was a thing of beauty and a constant focus of admiration.
    The whole parish was delighted with the crib.  It reached a new level of artistry.  We felt that it was an ingenious arrangement combining the greatest beauty with simplicity.  I am sure it is a source of spiritual edification to the parishioners.
    Summing it all up, we feel that you made an outstanding and unforgettable contribution to our joyful Christmas.

Very sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Thomas Gill, D.D., V.G.
Auxiliary Bishop of Seattle

December 21.  Bishop's Nameday.  No sooner returned from the Second Session of Vatican II General Council, our beloved pastor, His Excellency Thomas E. Gill, D.D., Auxiliary Bishop of Seattle, enjoyed a feastday assembly presented by all the students of St. James Cathedral School.  The program consisted of Christmas music sung by various classes, a charming tableau, and presentation of a spiritual bouquet to which His Excellency responded graciously, as always.

December 24.  Christmas Celebration.  Our joyous preparation for Christmas opened with the simple but touching ceremony at the crèche when all the schoolchildren in procession placed the Divine Infant in the crib.  This is a traditional event which the entire parish anticipates year by year.

February 7.  Interfaith Civil Rights Banquet.  Several of our sisters attended the Catholic Interracial Council's first annual Interfaith Civil Rights Banquet at 7:00pm in the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall.  Twenty-one hundred tickets were sold for this event at which the Most Rev. Harold R. Perry, S.V.D., Auxiliary Bishop of New Orleans, was the principal speaker.

April 7.  Memorial Service.  A memorial service was held today at the Seattle Center Stadium for the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., who was assassinated on April 5 in Memphis, Tennessee.  Many Seattle residents showed their respect for this great national Negro leader by attending the service and by marching first from various churches in the Central Area, including St. James Cathedral, and then converging into one line at various points enroute to the Center.  About 10,000 people participated in the march and the service, including a number of our sisters.

June 8.  Kennedy Funeral.  We followed closely on television the very sad but beautiful services for Senator Robert F. Kennedy.  Our hearts go out in sympathy to his bereaved family.  The grief felt by our whole nation was shown by the thousands of people who passed by his casket in Saint Patrick's Cathedral in New York City and by those who waited to see the train bearing his body to Washington, D.C.  His burial took place at Arlington Cemetery not far from the remains of his brother, President John F. Kennedy who also had been assassinated while serving his country.

May 26.  Final Mass of the Cathedral Grade School.  A Mass of Thanksgiving was celebrated by Bishop Gill to mark the closing of the grade school which was opened in 1912.  It is no longer possible for the Cathedral grade school to remain open due to a drop in enrollment.

November 4.  Eucharistic Ministers Installed.  Today at the Noon Mass, His Excellency, the Most Reverend Thomas E. Gill, Auxiliary Bishop of Seattle, and Pastor of St. James Cathedral, installed Sister Margaret Jane Downey and Sister Maureen Maloney as parish ministers of Communion.  This will enable them to give Communion to the many shut-ins of the parish.  Both Sisters do many things in the parish; following are remarks by both on their work.  Sister Margaret Jane writes:  "I assist with the religious education programs in the parish.  I visit, encourage, help the elderly--individually and collectively--in the apartments, convalescent centers and hospitals.  This is a parish of many apartment houses of various income brackets, for the most part elderly, lonely, and the poor; a number of shut-ins unable to go to Mass, some are sick.  I visit patients in three convalescent centers each week where I write letters, contact relatives, and do shopping.  I set up for Mass twice a month in each center and bring Holy Communion to patients the weeks we do not have Mass.  Two days a week I visit all Catholic patients in one of the area hospitals, where I bring Communion to the patients who wish to receive that same day or the next morning; I notify the rectory when the Sacrament of Penance and the Sacrament of the Sick is requested by the patient.  Other duties include convert instructions twice a week at the home; visiting and encouraging 'fallen-aways'; visiting parishioners in hospitals; helping the poor in the parish by making contacts for food, clothing, and housing; informing needy families and elderly of the public assistance available; contacting and encouraging 'new-comers' to register in the parish; and keeping records and file cards updated in our office."
    Sister Maureen Maloney is also involved with some of the above duties.  Further description of her work follows:  "My main function is to filter out into the neighborhoods of the parish, trying to reach usually unreachable people and, in so doing, making the Church sensitive to their needs.  The pastor, Bishop Gill, wants me to be a visible sign of the Church moving about our parish, responding to the multitudinous needs of all the people met..." 

November 11.  The Death of Bishop Gill.  We received word this evening of the sudden death of our pastor, the Most Reverend Thomas E. Gill, Auxiliary Bishop of Seattle.  Bishop Gill collapsed and died at the Statler Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C., where he had gone to attend the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.  He has been a dear friend to the Sisters of the Holy Names, so we all feel his loss.

July 14. Reverend William E. Gallagher, the newly appointed pastor of St. James Cathedral, was installed today at the Noon Mass by Most Rev. Thomas A. Connolly.

May 22. Our sisters attended the installation of our new archbishop this evening at the Seattle Center arena. His Excellency, the Most Reverend Raymond G. Hunthausen, formerly the Bishop of Helena, Montana, is the second Archbishop of Seattle. His Excellency, the Most Reverend Thomas A. Connolly, now retired, gave twenty-seven years of devoted service to the Archdiocese. From all indications, Archbishop Hunthausen seems to be a very warm person deeply interested in the needs of his people, a true Shepherd of the flock.

July 16.  Vietnamese Refugees to be TutoredSince Washington State has offered to assist South Vietnamese refugees at the invitation of Governor Daniel Evans (our state is only one to do so), many agencies and religious groups have been helping with sponsorship and providing of services.  One of the needs is help with speaking and writing of English for those not having knowledge of the language.
    Sister Terence Maureen Riley, a member of the Literacy Council of Seattle, was approached by Reverend John Renggli, the Archdiocesan Director of the Propagation of the Faith, about the possibility of a tutoring program for refugees... Today, Sister Terence Maureen and other members of the Literacy Council, welcomed twenty-five adult Vietnamese to Immaculate High School, where a tutoring program is being set up.  In the past month about forty-five tutors have been trained in three sessions totaling eighteen hours; many of these tutors will teach the Laubach method to the Vietnamese in the program at Immaculate, while others will be tutoring in the Seattle area.

September 28. Catholics all over the world were stunned to hear of the sudden death of our newly elected Holy Father after only thirty-four days as Pope. He died at about eleven p.m. of a massive heart attack. He had been reading the Imitation of Christ and had a smile on his face when he was found.

October 16. At ten-fifty this morning, television announced that His Holiness, Polish Cardinal Karol Wojtyla aged fifty-eight was elected as the first non-Italian Pope in 455 years, taking the name John Paul II. He endeared himself to the Italian people by addressing them in Italian, requesting them to correct him if he made a mistake.

April 12. Holy Thursday. After the ceremonies commemorating the night before our Lord’s death, a parish dinner was held in our school hall. In imitation of our Lord, the Most Reverend Raymond Hunthausen and priests of the parish waited on table.

July 24. The Very Reverend Michael G. Ryan was installed as Pastor of St. James Cathedral Parish. We are happy to welcome this capable and much loved priest to our large and diverse parish.

August 12. This weekend our Archbishop Raymond G. Hunthausen participated in many events marking his retirement. During Archbishop Hunthausen’s ministry among us he had endeared himself to many.

March 27. This particular celebration of the Holy Week liturgies marks the “last time” in the present church configuration. The Cathedral, during the months of April through December, will be closed for much needed restoration and renovation. Sunday liturgies will be celebrated in the O’Dea gymnasium; weekday morning Masses will be held in the Parish Hall and the 12:10 and 5:30 pm Masses will be held in the Chapel. The actual start of construction comes after four years of planning and fund raising by staff, parishioners, and consultants.

December 22. The Dedication Mass began at three o’clock this afternoon. The Altar and the four walls of the church were anointed with Chrism Oil and incensed by Archbishop Murphy and Father Ryan in a very impressive and liturgically rich ceremony.

December 24. St. James, the Magnificent. This Sunday’s edition of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer carried a section on the restored Cathedral. “It is now a light-struck basilica with resonant sound, open views, a new skylight, new tower bells…” Each time we attend Mass we are aware of another hidden beauty.

December 25. The Vigil Mass at 5:30pm and the Midnight Mass were both well beyond the seating capacity of the church with 2500 at 5:30pm and approximately 4,000 at the Midnight Mass.

July 3. Since Archbishop Thomas J. Murphy died on June 26, 1997 many unique services have been arranged. Requiem Mass at St. James Cathedral was offered for the Archbishop today.

November 28. Pope John Paul II has appointed the Most Reverend Alexander J. Brunett Archbishop of Seattle. We pray that the church in Western Washington will welcome Archbishop Brunett to Seattle and be open to his leadership.

December 17, 1999. Our pastor, Very Reverend Michael G. Ryan, blessed the new bronze ceremonial doors installed in the west entrance to the Cathedral. They are truly magnificent—reminiscent of ancient times when few of the laity could read, as they depict the history of the world, church and tradition.

January 22. Most people were surprised beyond their wildest expectations at the unexpected number of attendees at the various churches open to venerate the relics of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. The line reached from the front steps down to Ninth Avenue, south to Columbia Street, north along Columbia to Terry.

September 11. We were shocked this morning to hear the devastating news from New York. The parish immediately set up a place of prayer on the front steps and had an ecumenical prayer service that evening. As word spread of this tragic moment a steady stream of people came to St. James. One person said when asked by the media, “where else, other than St. James, could a person go to pray in a quiet place?”

Thanks to the Archives of the Sisters of the Holy Names of  Jesus and Mary for excerpts from the St. James Convent Chronicle.

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804 Ninth Avenue
Seattle, Washington  98104
Phone 206.622.3559  Fax 206.622.5303