Today’s blog was written by Sister Carole Strawn, snjm — University Communications, Thanks Carole!
Today is the day in 1859 when the first Holy Names Sisters arrived in Oregon from Quebec. The Chronicles tell us the Sisters were greeted with rain and the unpaved streets of Portland were rivers of mud. … but they stayed anyway!
Here are other facts of interest about October 21.
Today is also the day of groundbreaking for the “new” college at Marylhurst in 1929. Below is an excerpt from the Sisters Chronicles.
Oct. 21, 1929. The Blessing of the Site for Marylhurst College.
Excerpted from the Catholic Sentinel: “Monday, October 21, marked the 70th anniversary of the arrival of the Sisters in Oregon. This date has always been kept by the Sisters of Oregon as Founders’ Day, and has been set apart for special commemoration. One of the happiest features this year was the blessing of the site and the turning of the ground for the new college buildings at Marylhurst.
The beauty of the spot was enhanced by the glories of the day. To the west, facing the campus, was the lovely wooded hill, rising behind the Pacific Highway; at the right and in the rear, a girdle of trees, rich in their autumn beauty; to the left, half hidden by trees, stood the Provincial House… Not far away, in other blessed ground, rested some of the first missionary Sisters.* Their 7,000-mile journey by land and sea to Oregon’s shores had ended on a day and under circumstances very different from these. The time, twilight, with a bleak, cold rain falling; their destination, along neglected habitation on the margin of the town. The brilliant sunshine of 1929 seemed to typify the earthly success and the heavenly reward which have come to their sacrifices and labors of 1859.
*NOTE: Four of the original 12 Sisters are buried in the Holy Names Cemetery near Villa Maria, so we have a direct connection back to Canada =:)