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

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ful; especially as it was nearly always to pay the debts of others, so I asked Bishop Matz to give me a small place where I might get a modest living and work more in the literature field. He offered me Loveland, a mission attended from Fort Collins in the northern part of the state. Loveland had a small but neat brick church not yet finished, but with a debt of $500 and no house to live in. Nevertheless I accepted it and moved into its sacristy in the fall of 1909. Hoping this was to be my last move, I built residence without any cost to the parish and furnished it to my own taste. By economies I also paid the debt on the church, finished the interior, and had it frescoed by a real artist. Within the territory of my mission was Estes Park, then becoming quite a resort during the summer months, and I went there to investigate the prospects and the needs of a mission church. It was a pretty village, but no Catholic family resides there permanently. Only tourists and summer residents were to be found, and I said mass there for their benefit with a fairly good attendance.

          Four years were spent at Loveland, and during that time I was not idle. Bishop Matz asked me to translate into English a volume of Massillon’s Synodal Discourses, and this I did so well as to have them approved and read as a table reading at two successive retreats of the clergy. I did not have them published but gave them to Bishop Matz in manuscript to do with as he pleased. Another book I there cutlined was one of historical and traditional fragments of the early settlers in Kentucky, published later as a serial in The Record of Louisville, but never printed in book form.

          Loveland was a pleasant little village in a good farming section, and its principal industries were a sugar factory and a canning establishment. A few farmers were among my congregation. Events, however, happened which foreshadowed a change in two ways; the first not to my liking, and the second more agreeable but apparently temporary.

          In the spring of 1913 a convention of the Catholic Knights of America was scheduled to be held at Washington D.C. As supreme representative from Colorado I expected to attend, and went to see Bishop Matz about my absence for a few weeks. At that time Father Donnelly of St. Francis de Sales parish was very ill in a hospital. In fact he was supposed to be dying. For some time he had laid unconscious, and the physicians said his death might be looked for at any moment. Bishop Matz said Father Donnelly’s death would be a great loss to him and a source of considerable embarrassment. Already he heard rumors of several applicants for the place, ready to ask for it as soon as Father Donnelly died. This did not please him, and less so because some of them he could not consider under any circumstances. He offered me the position and asked me to accept it as a favor to himself. He could tell all applicants then, that the place was filled. He mentioned no names and laid no command upon me, but he parried my objections and argued his case so well that I yielded and accepted the provisional appointment. The matter was to be kept secret until the proper time, when I would assume burden with the aid of two assistants. Happily, Father Donnelly got well, and has lived and labored all these years to the immense advantage of his parish and to the great joy and thankfulness of his provisional successor. I say this not as a mere form, but as an expression of sincerest satisfaction.

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