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Excerpts from Chronicles of Holy Names Academy

June 6, 1889
Today witnessed one of the grandest, yet saddest spectacles ever beheld in the Northwest—the burning of our fair city of Seattle. Literally true is it that Seattle is burned to the ground. Thirty-four blocks are destroyed by the raging element and the Queen City of the Northwest is a heap of ruins. The fire started in the basement of a paint shop on the southwest corner of Front & Madison Streets, and it is supposed to have been caused by the overturning of a glue pot.  A strong wind is blowing from the northwest which augments the flames to such an extent that it is only a few moments till the entire northern portion of the block is on fire.  The fire department is immediately called out and two lines of hose run to the burning building, but in a few moments the stream becomes so weak that they cannot reach the top of the structure and it is apparent that there is no water with which to fight the fire.  Both firemen and citizens then turn their attention to the moving of property from the burning buildings, but the work is stopped by flames which within twenty minutes from the time the fire started swept from one end of the block to the other.  After seeing several of their best buildings destroyed, it becomes apparent that nothing but the blowing up of the buildings in the southward path of the fire can possibly arrest a general conflagration.  The explosions produce no appreciable effects other than shattering of the windows in the vicinity. All the powder in the city has been expended.  The water supply has been exhausted, and the progress of the fire has been so rapid that the firemen in many cases have been driven from the streets without being able to save the hose which burned where it lay, and all the district north of Mill and west of Commercial streets, comprising most of the wealthiest business houses was a sheet of flame.  The side streets were blocked with people carrying their goods to places of safety; the air was full of flying boards and goods thrown from buildings.  Many persons brought their valuables and other articles to the Academy, thinking that they would be better protected from the fire.  About five p.m., following the advice of friends, some of the Sisters with the children leave the convent and go on a hill farther back, it not being deemed prudent to remain.  Should the fire reach the gas house very serious accidents may happen but such is not God's will.  At nine p.m. the sisters and children return to the convent.  The fire is dying out having played active part from two p.m.

Death of Bishop Junger
December 27, 1895
Scarce have our Christmas holidays begun when the dark cloud of sorrow over-shadows their brightness. This morning Reverend F. X. Prefontaine conveys to us the sad intelligence that our beloved Bishop Aegidius Junger died yesterday at Vancouver, Washington. Truly can it be said, “In the midst of life we walk in the shadow of death.” Hardly two weeks have passed since his Lordship visited our Academny, gave Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, and spent some time in the community entertaining us in a fatherly manner, little dreaming that the destroyer Death was so near at hand. Ever since our sisters came to Bishop Junger’s diocese they have received nothing but kindness at his hands; we realize that in his death we lose a true father and sincere friend.  What his Lordship was to the Sisters such he proved to his people and friends.  One of the latter in speaking of the late prelate remarked that he thought every virtue found place in his noble heart.  In Bishop Junger the Church militant loses a pious, zealous, and eminent divine.  His Lordship, though one of the most learned in the purple in America, was one of the humblest.  His faith was as simple as his every act, he knew not the policy of duplicity nor the diplomacy of deceit.  Bishop Junger truly revered the Church as his loved Spiritual Mother.  The voice of Peter was the voice of God to him.  He was conservative in all things, and though charitable to all creeds and people he was as unbending as truth itself in upholding the rigid tenets of the Church.  In matters of dogma, of Church discipline, and education of youth, His Lordship was not to be classed with those few so-called liberals who have courted Protestant popularity.  It is no unjust praise of the dead prelate to say that his death is a personal grief to each inhabitant of the little city in which he lived in the blaze of public light for more than thirty years.  His Lordship had not a single enemy among either Catholics or Protestants.  One of the latter said that in the thirty-one years of Bishop Junger's life in Vancouver, he had never heard one single disparaging comment on his Lordship, as man, priest, or bishop.  For months the Bishop had known that death might be expected at any moment, and yet at no time did he spare himself from his onerous episcopal functions.  As long as he was able to move about, Bishop Junger was at work in the vineyard of the Lord.  When death did come it was no surprise and Bishop Junger, true soldier of the cross that he was, bowed his head in peaceful submission and entered into his eternal reward.

Death of Princess Angeline
May 29, 1896
With the death of Angeline Seattle which occurred yesterday afternoon, passed away the last of the direct descendants of the great Chief Seattle for whom this city was named. Angeline—Princess Angeline—as she was generally called, was famous all over the world… Until a few months ago Angeline was a familiar figure of the streets, bent and wrinkled, a red handkerchief over her head, a shawl about her, walking slowly and painfully with the aid of a cane; it was no infrequent sight to see this poor old Indian woman seated on the sidewalk devoutly reciting her beads.

The kindness and generosity of Seattle’s people toward the daughter of the chief… was shown in her funeral obsequies which took place from the Church of Our Lady of Good Help. The church was magnificently decorated; on the somber draped catafalque in a casket in the form of a canoe rested all that was mortal of Princess Angeline.

Installation of Bishop O’Dea
September 8, 1896
Edward John O’Dea, late pastor of St. Patrick’s Church, Portland, was on Tuesday, September 8, 1896, consecrated Bishop of Nesqually, comprising the State of Washington, in the Cathedral at Vancouver, Washington.

O’Dea’s First Visit to Seattle
December 11, 1896
A Gala Day. The event of the week is the advent in our midst of our newly elected Bishop. He arrived in the Queen City by last night’s train, and said Holy Mass in our chapel this morning.

Visit of Mother Cabrini
May 5, 1903
Travelers. Two Italian Sisters, Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, came to ask for eight days’ hospitality. They have come to see the Bishop as they would like to work among the Italians in this city. Though we are more than busy we cannot send the Spouses of Christ from our door, and our good hearted Superior receives them with her customary hospitality. [Note: One was Mother Cabrini.]

The Cathedral
October 19, 1903
Catholic Fair. Since the Right Rev. E. J. O’Dea, D.D., transferred his Episcopal See from Vancouver to Seattle, the need of a Cathedral has been felt by all. Seeing the crowds who attended the pro-Cathedral every Sunday our Bishop realized the necessity of building the new Cathedral at once, and soon purchased a block for that purpose. The site, valued at $55,000 is situated between Ninth and Terry Avenues, Marion and Columbia Streets, whence can be obtained an excellent view of the Olympic Mountains, the Sound, and Seattle harbor. The Cathedral costing about $250,000 will be one of the most magnificent churches in the West. To raise this sum a Catholic Fair has been arranged.
Chronicle of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus & Mary

Our Lady of Good Help torn down
January 2, 1905
“The old order changeth yielding place to the new,” so we thought when the Church of Our Lady of Good Help—the pioneer church in Seattle was torn down. Mass was celebrated for the last time Sunday on New Year’s Day. To Reverend F. X. Prefontaine it is a sore grief to see this work of his pioneer days removed but the old church is now too small and the accommodation for the clergy not suitable. Since the removal of the Bishop’s See to Seattle it has been the effort of Bishop O’Dea to erect a cathedral which will be an honor to the city and the church. A new structure which will be known as the “Church of Our Lady of Good Help” is now in course of construction on Fifth and Jefferson.

December 22, 1907
One of the grandest ceremonies ever witnessed in Seattle took place at the new Cathedral this morning at nine o’clock, when the blessing of the altar and the formal dedication services of the magnificent edifice were carried out, with all that solemnity so significant of the Great Roman Church…

Death of Father Prefontaine
March 4, 1909
News came at eleven o’clock this morning that our venerable chaplain was failing rapidly and at once Sister Superior and Sister Mary Eleazar hastened to his home where they met Sister Vincent of Providence Hospital and Sister M. Hillary. Together they prayed at his bedside and assisted at the administration of the last rites of Holy Church. At 3:30 death came peacefully, our aged chaplain having been solaced in his last hours by the presence at his bedside of Right Reverend E. J. O’Dea, D.D., Bishop of Seattle, who administered Holy Viaticum to the dying priest and gave him all the last indulgences. May he rest in peace.

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

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