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

Page 94

          The second series of events ended differently. My trip to Washington was leisurely made both going and coming. I stopped at Davenport, Iowa, to spend a couple of days with my friend Msgr. Ryan, and at South Bend, Indiana, to visit relatives and at Jackson for the same purpose. (My niece, Sister Aquinata O’Donnell was there in charge of the schools of Father Cullinana of the Church of St. Mary, Star of the Sea.)

          At Washington, besides the Convention, I had several other interesting experiences. The highlights of the Convention were visits from Msgr. Bonzana, the Apostolio Delegate, Msgr. Russell of St. Patrick’s, a Commissioner of the District of Columbia, and Senator Ransdell of Louisiana, and their talks would make good reading. We also went to Mount Vernon and laid a wreath on the Tomb of Washington, had a dinner of planked shad at Marshall Hall, visited the White House and had a handshake with President Wilson. Individually we saw the Capitol and had a ticket of admission the House of Representatives from Champ Clark, visited the Congressional Library, the Smithsonian Institute, and other national museums; nor did we neglect the Catholic University, the famous church of the Holy Sepulchre and other churches of interest.

          After the Convention I took a run down to Baltimore, and while there called at the residents of Cardinal Gibbons, but did not find him at home. Saw the Cathedral, St. Mary’s Seminary on Paco Street and St. Charles at Catonsville; went to Annapolis to see the U.S. Naval Academy, and had a view of Fort McHenry, the inspiration of the Star Spangled Banner. Other minor but interesting events filled in a week at Baltimore and ended my stay in the East, and my return trip was broken by calls at Wheeling and Bellaire on my way to Louisville, Kentucky.

          My first call in Louisville was upon my old friend Father Deppen. From him I learned of the death of Father Drury, who for several years had been chaplain of the Motherhouse of the Sisters of Loretto. Father Deppen spoke of the vacant chaplaincy and suggested that I make application for it, and he had no doubt but that I would get the place. The idea was not to be entertained for many reasons. I was a pastor in another diocese and not free to make a change or promise one; nor had I any idea of doing so, but the subject was as good a stimulant of conversation as any other equally fantastic idea. Nazareth was also one of my calling places, and Loretto was not to be passed by. I had a number of acquaintances among the Sisters, and several of my parish girls were there in the novitiate. My visit was very enjoyable and just as I was leaving the Mother General Praxedes proposed that I return and act as their chaplain! Just as with Father Deppen I treated the subject as impossible of such an ending.

          My next and last call was upon another old friend, Rev. John Abbell at Bethlehem Academy. We had hardly settled ourselves for a talk when he broached the same subject and made me the same proposition. I asked if there was a conspiracy on foot to transplant me from Colorado to Kentucky. I was given to understand that there were worse places than Kentucky to which I might be transplanted. Was not Kentucky once my home, and were not the priests of Kentucky my old friends, and not one of them but would be glad to have me come? This was all very

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