Recollections of My Life and Reflections on Times and Events During It: A Memoir by Father W. J. Howlett

Page 90

for it was a little paradise of flowers, fruit, shade trees and fountains. It was made so through Gods gift of a spring of water on a nearby mountain which, piped down to this place, showed what the whole desert might be if blessed with rain. Apart from the employees of the railroad, the only signs of life were a few Digger Indians who roam as lords of the sandy waste, but where they get their food was a mystery.

          The valley of Salt Lake is a relief after such a journey, and you welcome the voices of the children crying: “Here are your genuine Mormon apples,” and it sounds peculiar coming from Mormon children at every station. But the apples were good and the pride reasonable, and no doubt that little Mormon apple merchants increased their sales by advertising the fruit as Mormon grown.

          One day was all I could give to Salt Lake, but there are not many sights there, and they have often been described. The fine cathedral of Bishop Scanlon was not finished and the Bishop himself was not at home. Father Kieley took me to the Tabernacle, the Temple, the grave of Brigham Young who had prophesied that he would rise again twenty years after his death. The Mormons did not erect any monument over him, but a plain stone inside, and iron fence with a sort of canopy over it. Forty-one years have passed since then and I have yet to hear of the resurrection of Brigham Young.
          Denver was my next move, and two years at St. Leo’s settled things down to their regular course, and Bishop Matz sent me to a new field of labor in the Cathedral parish. The financial condition of the Cathedral parish was anything but encouraging, but it was not desperate; only time would be necessary to devise plans and put them to work. Before much could be done, the depression came on and forced everything to a standstill to await better times.
          Early in 1894 the consecration of Bishop Tierney of Hartford, Connecticut, took place, and as he was a great friend of Bishop Matz, and of myself also (we were both alumni of St. Thomas Seminary​​​​​​​ in Kentucky) I had the honor of an appointment from Bishop Matz to represent him and the Diocese at the consecration, and the pleasure of visiting him and some other old friends in the East. Among them were Msgr. Denis O’Callaghan of Boston, and Father Michael Ronan, another student of St. Thomas in Kentucky, who was pastor of St. Peter’s church in Lowell, Mass. Father Ronan was building his new church, and he gave me the history of the sale of the former church and the purchase of the new site. His old church was in the midst of the business section and he wanted a location more conveniently located among the homes of his people. He had his eye on a beautiful spot, but it would cost $180,000. At that time a new Post Office was needed in Lowell and the site of the old church was ideal for it. But the Ayer Sassaparilla Company had vast interests in another section of the city and were willing to donate a site for the government building. Hood’s Sassaparilla Company opposed Ayer and was in favor of down town site. Father Ronan’s old church occupied the exact spot that suited the Hood’s and they joined with Father Ronan in raising a fund to buy the new church site. Ayers offered their location to the government for One Dollar,

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