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

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but Father Ronan’s offer was One Cent. The low bid got the business, and Father had framed and hanging in his room a warrant on the U.S. Treasury for the amount. He valued the souvenir more than the cash.
          Upon my return to Denver the depression was at its worst and I saw no hope for any betterment in the Cathedral affairs, and was relieved when Bishops Matz offered me the parish of Georgetown. This was his old parish in the mountains, but it had deteriorated greatly on account of the slump in the price of silver, and a great part of the congregation had moved away to find better opportunities. There was some debt on both churches there and very little revenue to meet them with, but I managed by the greatest economy to clear them off. The church at Silver Blume had but few members except Italian miners, and they never came to church except for a funeral or marriage.
          For more than two years I struggled along with what good material I found and got the financial condition in order, and in 1897 Bishop Matz sent me to Colorado City, a village between Colorado Springs and Manitou, but not incorporated with Colorado Springs. Father Bender had built a small church there, but it never was entirely finished or furnished. Father Nis had charge of it for a time, but it was now being served from Manitou and had a congregation of about thirty families. I was given some additional territory from the west end of Colorado Springs, and set about paying off a debt of $500 and completing the church. Pews were put in, a gallery built, a permanent altar set up and the interior plainly but appropriately decorated. A residence was needed and provided and a hall built for social and dramatic gatherings and I had a very comfortable home and a growing parish where I hoped to spend the rest of my days. It was all clear of debt also.
          It was then that the idea came to me to write the biography of Bishop Machebeuf . Years had passed since his death and no serious effort had been made to reserve the memory of his life and labors. I wrote his sister in France and received a copy of his correspondence with her for so many years and some information from her and from his brother upon their early family life, all of which formed the foundation and essence of the work. The gathering of matter was slow, and in the meantime another task was requested by some of my old fellow seminarians.
          The old seminary of St. Thomas had fallen into ruins, and its history existed only in scattered fragments and not even in a picture of its sacred halls was in existence. Could I and would I write a memorial of it and its work that saved Kentucky to the church and the faith to half of the middle West? A visit to the old grounds, for there was little left but the grounds, decided me to do my best to preserve its traditions, and my spare time in 1905 was given to the production of the volume entitled “A Historical Tribute” to St. Thomas Seminary near Bardstown, Kentucky.
          The cause of my writing this book was more accidental than premeditated. In 1883, while I was in St. Louis, a convention was held there of the Catholic Knights of America , a social and insurance organiza-

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