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Friday, May 29, 2015

22 - Sr Agnes' Letter - 7 June 1936

Click here to read story from beginning

Story so far: Grandma Cecile had planned her trip to visit her relatives back in her home village of Nieder-Mohrau, Czechoslavkia. She had crossed the country by train, from Oregon on the Pacific coast to New York on the Atlantic coast. She was finally at sea. The previous posts showed pictures from some of the ship brochures Grandma brought back home.

As Grandma Cecile rode the waves of the Atlantic on the Europa, her oldest daughter, Sr. Agnes (then known as Sr. M. Liliosa) was anxiously awaiting word from her mother. Almost a week had passed since Grandma set off on the train. 

Sr. Agnes wrote this letter June 7. It was postmarked June 10, Beaverton, Oregon, 8:30 AM. Grandma would not have received the letter until she reached her destination. The letter was addressed to her at her sister's (Hermine Bernt) address.


St. Mary's of the Valley
Beaverton, Oregon
June 7th, 1936

Dear Mamma,

If everything went the way you planned
Beginning of the letter
you must at this time be about in the midst of the Atlantic. With my imagination I've been following you quite closely. Did you really get to go to Mass in New York on Betty's birthday. I've been anxiously waiting for a letter or card from you as I felt certain you would write while on the train - but so far I haven't received a word.

Sister Mercedes is going to visit her relatives for the first time since she has been in the convent. (over 12 years). It will mean quite  a long trip for her also as she is going to North Dakota and Alberta, Canada. 

I seem to to be rather absent-minded but for once I have a good reason for it. You remember I told you about our chapel leaking so badly when it rains? Well, it rained quite hard last night and Sr. Caroline and I were given the privilege of staying up from 10:30 P.M. on and mop up the water as it drained in. We were in bed quite long today but for some reason I can never sleep well during the day.

John Zuber and his sons are doing the concrete work on our chapel[1]. They began today and it will probably take almost three weeks.

Friday evening the commencement exercises will be held here. After that the academy girls[2] go home and our sisters[3] from the different missions come home. That is when this becomes a very busy house.

I haven't had a chance to copy that prayer that you want but I will try to have it for you the next time I write.

My throat hasn't been bothering me for a long time and I feel just fine. I'm so glad it's over with.[4]

Do you know how to talk with your new teeth[5] by this time?

It is nearly time for supper and I must serve, so I shall bring my short letter to a close, with much love to you and my relations.

Your loving daughter
Sister M. Liliosa

P.S. Please write soon, and tell me all about everything.
The envelope for Sr Agnes' letter, dark streaks are from smoke damage
[1] - the concrete work was part of the building of the new chapel for the convent, as mentioned in Sr Agnes's early note of April 19, 1936 
[2] - The "Academy girls" referred to the girls who attended high school at the convent, school would soon be out for the summer

[3] - "our sisters" referred to the nuns who were out in the parishes, mostly employed as school teachers in the parochial schools throughout the valley. While the students at the convent went home for the summer, the teaching nuns all returned home to the "motherhouse" for the summer, making it a very busy place indeed!

[4] - Sr Agnes must be referring to her tonsilectomy which she told about in her note of May 21, 1936.

[5] - "new teeth" Grandma Cecile's new false teeth, as mentioned in Sr Agnes' letter of April 19, 1936.


Story to be continued......
 To read Post "23 - Diary Entry - 7 June 1936" Click here

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