Carlisle Indian Industrial School (1879-1918)

References to St. Patrick's Church, Carlisle PA,

Upcoming Program, 2-part series, September 8 and 15, 7-9PM, Barbara Landis, presenter.

A Look Back: Saint Patrick's Parish and the Carlisle Indian School.

     From 1879 to 1918 the Carlisle community hosted the assimilation experiment designed to transform more than 10,000 Native American Indian children from their so-called "savage" ways into so-called "civilized" lifestyles. The Carlisle Indian School, located at the Carlisle Barracks, enrolled young people from hundreds of nations, language groups, and spiritual practices. Almost every student arrived with an affiliation to some form of Christian religion, either Protestant or Catholic.  Two evening programs given by Barbara Landis, will explore the role St. Patrick's parish played in the lives of Native American Catholic students enrolled at the Carlisle Indian School. Using school publications as source materials, participants will be introduced to a very unique history of our parish.


First session. - The Early Days of the School and the Local Parish's Efforts to Accommodate Catholic Students.

     American Indian children attended masses together, made first communions, became confirmed, joined the Holy Name Society, and participated fully in the life of the church during their formative years.  Yet, during this era there was a strong anti-Catholic element discouraging such participation. How was discrimination against Catholics and Indians expressed in the Indian School experience at Carlisle? Using examples from the school newspapers (publications heavily propagandized toward the goals of the school) we will take a look at this issue.


Second session. – “And the Singing Was Good.” Rev. Dr. Henry Ganss and Mother Katherine Drexel's Enhancement of School Life.

     Mother Katherine's interest in Indian work is evidenced by the direct support she gave to Carlisle students to enhance their educational experiences. Father Ganss, Rector at St. Patrick's, devoted hours of musical training and pastoral time to the students at Carlisle. At times, Ganss and Drexel collaborated in their efforts to provide extracurricular activities. There were weekly Catholic meetings during the later years of the school, thanks in part to these efforts. And, there were romances…some of them culminating in weddings held at the church, including the famous nuptials of school celebrity, Jim Thorpe and his bride, Iva Miller.

What follows are some of the references found in school newspapers. I will edit as we go, so please be patient! As more references are uncovered, this page will grow....

-Barbara Landis         

The Early Morning.
The first bell heard on Christmas morning was that upon St. Patrick’s Church on Pomfret Street, its deep, rich tones sounding up and down n the valley in the moonlight stillness.   It is said to be the finest bell in the Valley.   Then followed weaker tones and bells innumerable in tintinnabulery echoes and re-echoes until the air was filled with ringing music proclaiming that Christmas had come.
Jan 8, 1897 INDIAN HELPER, published at the Carlisle Indian School.

Mother Katherine Drexel, of Philadelphia, and Sister Mary James of the Drexel Home near Philadelphia, established by the first named, were distinguished visitors, on Friday.   Rev. H. Ganss, Rector of St. Patrick's Church, Carlisle, and Mrs. Gibson, of Carlisle, were with the visitors.    On Friday evening a reception was held in Assembly Hall for the Catholic boys and girls of our school to meet the visitors.    Mother Katherine Drexel is much interested in the Indian work and has established several schools at various Indian Agencies.
February 4, 1898 INDIAN HELPER, published at the Carlisle Indian School.

One hundred and seven of our girls and boys attended the Catholic service last Sunday morning for communion and confirmation.  After the services they were given a breakfast at the banquet hall in the Opera House, by Mother Catherine, formerly known as Miss Drexel, of Philadelphia.
March 9, 1900 RED MAN AND HELPER
Rev. H. G. Ganss, for years Rector of St. Patrick’s Church, Carlisle, now Financial Agent of the Catholic Indian Schools and Missions, is a frequent visitor, always coming out to the school when in town. Yesterday morning Father Digman, Superintendent of St. Francis Mission, Rosebud, South Dakota, and Chief Tall Mandan, Sioux, who will represent the Catholic Indians of North and South Dakota at the American Federation of Catholic Societies which meets at Atlantic City,were his guests and were shown about the school.

July 31, 1903 RED MAN AND HELPER, published at the Carlisle Indian School.
Among the new students registered at St.. Joseph’s College this season are two young full-blooded Indians. Their names are William Wesh and Michael Soloman. They are practical Catholics and come from the Government Industrial School for Indian boys at Carlisle, Pa. They are under the patronage of Mother Katharine (Drexel) and come down from Cornwells daily to attend college, returning every afternoon. At Carlisle it was not possible to obtain the classical education they desire,only rudiments being taught to pupils preparatory to their taking up a trade. They are taking a special course at St. Joseph’s, for whom Mother Katharine arranged with the rector. Both young men are doing well in their studies and are popular with their classmates and have been added to the foot-ball team, which they have materially strengthened.  The Catholic Standard and Times, Oct. 17th, 1903.

October 23, 1903 RED MAN AND HELPER
     The students were not allowed to attend church in town Sunday on account of the school being quarantined. Father Brandt delivered mass for the Catholic students in the Y. M. C. A. hall at ten o’clock Sunday morning. The other denominations met in the auditorium for their regular Sunday-school lesson.
December 4, 1908 ARROW, published at the Carlisle Indian School.

     The annual Chrismas carol celebration of the Catholic Indian pupils at St. Patrick’s church last night filled the beautiful little church to its fullest capacity. The splendid marble altars, still decked with their Christmas ornaments, the dazzling electric lights and candles, made the scene most charming to the eye. But the feature of the evening was the magnificent congregational singing of the Indian pupils, who entered upon this work with such intelligence, judgment and effectiveness that it surprised all former efforts. As an example, what good training and responsiveness can do, the whole admirable singing was a revelation to every one present.
     The address of Rt. Rev. Edward W. McCarty, of Brooklyn, N. Y., was a masterly effort that left a deep impression on all his hearers, and proved him to be a deep thinker and magnetic orator. Teachers and employees of the school occupied reserved seats, among them being Mr. M. Friedman, the superintendent, and his wife.-The Evening Sentinel, Carlisle, Pa.-

January 1, 1909 ARROW, published at the Carlisle Indian School.
Monday night was given up to an evening with Miss Margaret Stahl, in a recital of the play “Strongheart.” This was an extra on our course. Miss Stahl came to us very highly recommended and her portrayal of the different characters in the play proved that her recommendations were authentic, for she is an artist with rare attainments. Some of the students who saw Mr. Edison and his company in Strongheart several years ago were heard to remark that they could just see and hear them again as Miss Stahl gave them. Tuesday evening was given up to another extra to our course. This was an illustrated lecture with ninety original lantern slides, on “Ben Hurr” by Rev. D. J. Fitzgibbon, of Philadelphia. This was not only a very unique, but a most instructive lecture, so brim full of the interest of the novel, and so well told by the lecturer. The slides used in this lecture were made for Rev. Fitzgibbon and are the only set in existence. The lecture on Ben Hurr was provided through the efforts of Father Ganss, the Catholic chaplain, and the generosity of Mother Katharine Drexel. They were colored and very beautiful.
January 29, 1909 ARROW
Last Wednesday evening’s Bible Class for Catholic girls was agreeably interrupted, when the Right Rev. John McSherry, Vicar-Apostolic of Port Elizabeth was ushered in. The good Bishop’s diocese is in Cape Colony, South Africa. He made a very pleasing address in which he drew a striking contrast between the conditions of the Indians here and the lot of the natives under his spiritual care in Cape Colony. Concluding with a few brief remarks on the obedience we owe to our superiors, he blessed us all and departed. We wish the Bishop Godspeed on his voyage homeward, and while thanking him for honoring us by a visit, we regret that his stay among us was all too brief.
April 30, 1909 ARROW, published at the Carlisle Indian School.

Sunday the Catholics celebrated the 130th anniversary of St. Patrick’s Parish.

February 12, 1909 ARROW, published at the Carlisle Indian School.

     On March 14th, at St. Patrick’s Church, eleven pupils of the school were baptized. Twenty-eight Indians made their first Holy Communion on March 21st, the white ribbons on their arms signifying the innocence of their hearts, added to their appearance. The breakfast room was decorated with national colors, and all enjoyed the repast at St. Katharine’s Hall.

April 2, 1909 ARROW, published at the Carlisle Indian School.

On Sunday, at St. Patrick’s Church, the pipe organ was played by Alberta Bartholomeau.

Oct 22, 1909 ARROW, published at the Carlisle Indian School.
The Catholic pupils went down town Sunday evening to sing their Christmas carols at St. Patrick’s church. Many of the employees attended the exercises.
Jan 7, 1910 ARROW, published at the Carlisle Indian School.

“Married-Mary Cooke and George P. Gardner, at St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic church, Carlisle, Pa., by Rev. Father Ganss, January 20, 1910. ”
     These are the plain facts in the wedding of our assistant disciplinarian and one of our bright Freshman class members who was head student nurse at the hospital. But there is lots more to tell. All Carlisle was interested in the wedding.
     The marriage ceremony, preceded by a nuptial mass, was celebrated by Father Ganss at ten o’clock Thursday morning. The wedding party, including some twenty specially invited guests, were taken to the church in four big sleighs, and a merry party it was. The bride, attired in a becoming frock of tan, with hat, gloves and furs to match and attended by Minnie White as  bridesmaid, entered the church with the bridegroom and his best man, Jerome Kennerly. During the ceremony Miss Sweeney sang an Ave Maria, and wedding marches announced the entrance and exit of the bridal party. A wedding breakfast was served by the Sisters in the convent immediately after the service, to which all the guests were invited. Sleighs brought the happy crowd back to the school, where the festivities were again resumed at two o’clock. At that hour, Miss Guest was hostess at a beautifully appointed wedding dinner, at which covers for thirty were laid. Decorations of blue and white, the nurses’ uniform colors, were used in the dining room, while over the heads of the bridal pair was hung a huge wedding bell of carnations. White lillies in great masses banked the center of the long table at which the guests were seated. A menu consisting of oysters, chicken, potatoes, corn, celery, sweet potatoes, dressing, gravy, olives, ice cream, coffee, bonbons, and angel food, the last being the wedding cake, was served.
     At three o’clock before the feast was yet over, the Carlisle band gathered on the hospital porch and serenaded the “newlyweds” with gay and happy airs. The mirth and feasting continued until time for the bride and bridegroom to leave for the five o’clock train to Harrisburg. They were showered with rice and good wishes, and accompanied by the other members of the wedding party, were driven in sleighs to the depot in town. More rice and a rousing cheer for “Mr. and Mrs. Gardner” bade them a final farewell as they boarded the train for their honeymoon trip, which will end at Hayward, Wisconsin, where Mr. Gardner has accepted a position as disciplinarian at the Indian School.
Jan 28, 1910 ARROW, published at the Carlisle Indian School.
A very pretty romance was consummated at Carlisle, January 20th when Mary Cooke, a Mohawk Indian, and George P. Gardner, a Chippewa Indian, were married at St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church. Mr. Gardner was graduated in the class of ‘09, and while a student made rapid progress in his studies; he was a good blacksmith, a prominent athlete, and a member of the band. Since his graduation, he has been employed in the capacity of assistant disciplinarian, and disciplinarian in charge of the Large Boys’ Building. Mrs. Gardner was a student at the time of her marriage, and was one of the head nurses in the hospital. Immediately after their marriage, they left for Hayward, Wisconsin, where Mr. Gardner has accepted the position of disciplinarian at the Indian School. Mrs. Gardner will also accept employment under the government.
March 1910 RED MAN MAGAZINE, published at the Carlisle Indian School.
Sixty-three pupils attended the eight o’clock Mass at St. Patrick’s church on Sunday morning. They all had breakfast, in St. Katharine’s Hall.
March 18, 1910 ARROW, published at the Carlisle Indian School.
The Rt. Rev. Bishop J. W. Shanahan, of Harrisburg, Pa., conferred the sacrament of  Confirmation on seventy Catholic Indian pupils in St. Patrick’s Church on Sunday afternoon, March thirteenth. Before the ceremony the Bishop explained the nature and effects of Confirmation, and after administering the sacrament again addressed the pupils, giving them much wholesome advice. The church was crowded to its utmost capacity,. the Indian pupils occupying the front seats. At the close the Bishop complimented the pupils on their excellent singing during the services.
March 18, 1910 ARROW, published at the Carlisle Indian School.
Father Murphy, the pastor of St. Patrick’s church in town, came out to give benediction to the Catholic pupils at school Sunday afternoon.
                June 10, 1910 ARROW, published at the Carlisle Indian School.
The Catholic students sang their Christmas Carols in St. Patrick’s Church last Sunday aftenoon. Father Stock praised them for the fine singing they did, and as he said ‘Carried with them the true Christmas feeling of joy and gladness.”
December 30, 1910 ARROW, published at the Carlisle Indian School.
Mother Katharine Drexel, foundress of the Order of Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, and who has given her fortune and her whole life to the promotion of the welfare of the Indians, paid the Catholic pupils a visit Sunday. She attended all the Catholic services and was tendered an impromptu reception in the evening, at which a pleasing programme was rendered by the pupils and a short address made by Mother Katherine.
January 27, 1911 ARROW
There was a large attendance at the Catholic meeting which was held in the auditorium. After singing hymns and saying the rosary, the following program was carried out: Declamation, Henry Broker; musical selection, Mary Pleets and Eloy Sousa; piano and violin selection, Mary Pleets and Eva Flood; select reading, Alex Arcasa. Mother Catherine Drexel was present. After the girls had left for their quarters, Father Stock spoke to the boys on athletics.
March 24, 1911 ARROW
Marriage of Two Students.
Margaretta G. Reed and Lewis L. George, Carlisle students, were married on Wednesday morning, August 30, at St. Patrick’s Church, Carlisle, Pa., by the Rev. Father Stock. The ceremony was witnessed by a large audience of schoolmates and friends. The bride was attired in blue silk and wore a wreath of orange blossoms. The two bridesmaids, Miss Marie Beauvais and Miss Nora McFarland, were attired in white and wore white veils. The groom was attended by Mr. John Farr and Mr. James W. Mumblehead. During the ceremony Miss Margaret Sweeny and Miss Alice Guest of the Carlisle school rendered some fine vocal music. After the ceremony a reception was given by Superintendent and Mrs. Friedman for the bridal party and their friends, after which amid a shower of rice and good wishes, the bride and groom departed for their future home in California.
September 15, 1911 ARROW, published at the Carlisle Indian School.
Mr. William Benton King, Jr. of Phoenixville, Pa., and Margaret Isabel DeLorimiere of Hogansburg, N.Y, were married on Friday, the 24th of November, at 9 o’clock A. M., at the Rectory of St. Patrick’s Church, Carlisle, Pa., by the Rev. Father Stock. The wedding which was very quiet and simple, ,was witnessed by Miss. Inez Brown, Mr. W. W. Wyatt, and Mr. Sampson Burd, friends of the bride and groom. Immediately after the ceremony, Mr. and_Mrs, King left for their future home in Phoenixville, Pa. Mr. King was formerly an employee of Carlisle Indian School, and Mrs King is a graduate of the school.
     Despite the stormy weather, most of the, two ‘hundred and seventy Catholic Indians now present at the Carlisle school were at St. Patrick's Church Tuesday night to sing their annual Christmas carols.
     The Indians entered into the spirit of these carols and they were exceptionally well rendered.
     One of them,.which is exquisitely beautiful, is a lullaby, th.,e ’first.stanza
of which is,.
     Sleeping so peacefully, tranquil and mild, Mary so tenderly watching her child,
     Cradled in lowliness, all calm and fair, Jesus, our Savior, lies slumbering there.

     In striking contrast to this carol which was sung very softly by the hundreds of voices, was the‘ hymn, “Sound the Trumpets Loud and Long,” the lines of which were sung alternately by the girls apd boys.
     After the ‘singing of the carols, Father Ketchum; Director of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, gave an address which was followed by a hymn, the music of which~was composed by’ Rev. Dr. H. G.Ganss for the Indians. The service closed with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament and the singing of “Holy God, We Praise Thy Name.”
     Superintendent Friedman was in attendance. The complete program
was as follows:
   With Hearts Truly Grateful,
   Sound the Trumpets Loud and Long .
   See, Amid the Winter’s Snow,
   Hail, Happy Christmas Day.
   There Were Shepherds Abiding,
   Sleeping So Peacefully.
   0, Divinest Childhood.
   Once in Royal David’s City.
   Christ the Lord Is Born Today.
   Address, Rev. William H. Ketcham, Director Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions. Washington, D. C.
   Hymn, Jesus! My Lord My God, My All.
   Benediction, 0 Salutaris Hostia, Tantum Ergo.
   Holy God, We Praise Thy Name.
                        -Evening$entinel, Dec. 28.
                    January 19, 1912 THE CARLISLE ARROW, published at the Carlisle Indian School.               
A large number of Catholic pupils were confirmed by Bishop Shanahan
last Sunday afternoon at St. Patrick’s Church in town.
March 22, 1912 THE CARLISLE ARROW, published at the Carlisle Indian School.
Christmas brought its share of sorrow, and the Catholic church received the sad news of the death of Rev; Dr. H. G. Ganss, rector of St. Mary’s Church at Lancaster and for many years rector of St. Patrick’s church, Carlisle. He was 54 years old.
He had been suffering with a throat affection for several years and recently had been under treatment by a Philadelphia specialist. He returned home and was partaking of his Christmas dinner when he was stricken with apoplexy. Death followed at 8 o’clock on Christmas evening.
His &death is greatly regretted at Carlisle. He came here about a quarter of a century ago as the new rector of St. Patrick’s church. He had a great reputation as a scholar and a musician and his work here exceeded all expectations.
The church at Carlisle was not strong. The old edifice, erected in pioneer days, was still the place of worship. He at once began to improve conditions. The old edifice was razed and the present magniticent structure was erected upon the site.
The rectory was improved to correspond to the architecture of the church. Then by his appeal toSister Katherine of Philadelphia, he obtained her support for a Catholic school here and St. Katherine’s Hall now stands alongside of the new church.
All these improvements were made during the ministry of Father Ganss, a period of about twenty years,~and with this came an increase in membership
and a wider church influence. As a scholar and divine,. he ranked high and as a musician he was without a peer in the Cumberland Valley. He was a skilled pianist, but his musical fame rests upon his compositions which are numerous and classical. His influence was soon felt in Carlisle musical circles and he did
his full share in promoting music in this section.
He was ,a man of commanding presence, pleasing address, and winning disposition, andchurch lines were forgotten in dealing with’ Rev. Dr.Henry G. Ganss, who has now answered the final summons. -Carlisle Evening Herald.
January 3, 1913 THE CARLISLE ARROW, published at the Carlisle Indian School.
Dr. Ganss did some-very excellent work at the Carlisle Indian School during his incumbency of twenty years in charge of the Catholic work. He had a reputation throughout the entire country not only as a musician but as an author and prominent Catholic worker.
The funeral services were held at Lancaster on Tuesday morning and a delegation from the Carlisle school attended. It was one of the largest funerals held in many years in’ that part of the State.
-In the death of Dr. Ganss the Carlisle School loses and loyal supporter larger portion of his with its students.
January 3, 1913 THE CARLISLE ARROW, published at the Carlisle Indian School.
Catherine Tekakwitha Notes.
The Christmas exertises -arranged for”the Catholic boys and girls were very interesting. They were both religious and social. On Christmas morning all attended mass in St.
Patrick’s Church. The C h r i s t m as tree celebration was held on Christmas night in the school Gymnasium. Alexander Arcasa proved a delightful Santa Claus. He had a present and box of candy for each boy and girl. The officers of the -Holy Name Society presented Father Stock with a beautiful picture of the Madonna. Ovilla Azure made the presentation speech. ‘bn Thursday evening the Christmas carols were sung in their usual sprightly, p 1 e as i n g -manner. The orchestra, 1 e ad by Robert Bruce, played, in professional style, “Holy Night. ” -Father Hughes, assistant director, Bureau of’ Catholic Indian Missions, Washington, D. C., preached a beautiful and encouraging sermon on “Peace and the Way to Obtain It.” -” “Young” Mr. Santa Claus’ speech concerning‘ h i s father’s “unfortu- Father Hughes, prior to his appointment to the Catholic Indian Bureau, did missionary work among the Indians in southern California; hence he is very familiar with the Indian character.
January 3, 1913 CARLISLE ARROW, published at the Carlisle Indian School.
Catherine Tekakwitha Notes.
The Catholic boys and girls assisted at the holy sacrifice of the mass last Sunday in St. Patrick’s Church, The sermon was an explanation of the first article of the Apostle’s Creed: “I believe in God the Father AImighty, creator of heaven an d earth. ” Robert Bruce presided at the Holy Name Society. After the business of the Seciety was transacted, the, vespers of Holy Name were recited, and the following program rendered: Declamations, Henry -Broker and Jose Montoya; guitar solo, Pablo Herrera; piano solo, Mary PleetsTm= -. ~~ The temperance movement is being taken- up by ~the Society -and-g&e-~ promise of accomplishing much good. Several of the boys have  signed the pledge for life.
Catherine Tekakwitha Notes.
Father Welch celebrated mass for the Catholic boys and girls 1 a $ t Sunday morning and preached an interesting sermon, likening the life of a Christian to that of an athlete.
The forty-hour ad o r at i o n was opened in St. Patrick’s Church last Sunday morning. The boys and girls were given an opportunity to attend. Instead of the usual Sunday afternoon services, we visited the church. Quite a number attended the evening services also. There was no meeting of the Holy Name Society
Catherine Tekakwitha Notes.
The Catholic boys and girls attended mass in St. Patrick’s Church last Sunday morning.~
“The Obligation of Assisting at Mass on Sundays and Holidays” was the subject of the afternoon instruction. Robert Bruce, president of the Holy Name Society, called the meeting to order. All of the officers responded to their names with the exception of Margaret Chilson, who is in the hospital. After the opening prayer and hymn, the  following program was rendered: Vocal solo, Anna Bebeau; guitar selection, Jeanette Pappin; select reading, Calvin Lamoureaux; violin , selections, Fred Carom.
By Arnold Holliday. The Holy Name Societies held a joint meeting as a testimonial to Mother Catherine Drexel, who paid us a visit last Sunday. Mother Catherine is the foundress and superioress of the order of Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, who are laboring among us for our spiritual and eternal welfare.
An edifying and instructive program was arranged and rendered as follows: Prayer; Hymn, "Come Holy Ghost;" selection, Boys' orchestra; address of welcome, Gus Welch; remarks, Mother Catherine; piano solo,Corrine Janise; instrumental quartet, Ovilla Azure, John Gokee, George Merril, and George Nash; recitation,
Henry Broker; piano solo, Marguerite Chilson; reading, "What To Do with a Bad Temper," Joseph Jocks; violin solo, Antone Anaquot; recitation, "The Childrens' Hour," Margaret Moore; instrumental duet Mary Pleets and Jane Gayton; reading Eva Williams; violin solo, Francis P. Zahn; selection, Boys' orchestra. Simon Needham presided as chairman. Gus Welch said in part: "We always welcome a friend of the Indian, especially a true and sincere friend such as Mother Catherine Drexel has shown herself."
Mother Catherine, in a few pointed remarks, urged the boys and girls to go back to their homes and spread the Gospel of Christ among their fellow men.
The meeting closed with a hymn and prayer. "
March 20, 1914 ARROW

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