Wednesday, 29 June 2022


I have had some very interesting pictures from Linda Withers.  They will take you back more than a few years! 

56 year old kindergarten uniform &
50 year old gym t-shirt

School clothes from 50+ years ago
The green tunic is Linda's 56 year old Kindergarten Uniform.  It is size xx small (how sweet is thatπŸ’–).  The blue one is a gym t-shirt and it is a mere 50 years old!  It is size medium.
St Patrick's Convent School Pin
Linda surprised herself when she found her old School Pin and she kindly shared a picture of that with us too.
Linda's School Pin on her Gym T-shirt
Linda, I am very grateful to you for sharing your lovely mementos and memories with us. Anything else you would care to share, including anecdotes or stories about your schooldays, would be very welcome.  Thank you, Linda.  

Friday, 27 May 2022


I am so happy to see that Joan Reynolds Fogarty and her amazing group of school friends are still getting together.  These ladies have been friends since Kindergarten and on 25 May they met for lunch at The Rooms.  Bless you, ladies, and keep on celebrating friendship.  It really is a precious gift.

Thanks, Joan, for the picture and for keeping in touch.  Please keep us up to date with your group.  Stay safe.



Tuesday, 17 May 2022



 May 14/15, 2022

Dear Parishioners of St. Patrick’s and St. John Bosco Parishes:

As you are aware, the Basilica Heritage Foundation in partnership with St. Bonaventure’s School and Forum are planning to bid to re-purchase the Basilica Block. If this bid is successful, the Basilica will continue to operate as a parish and as the cathedral for our Archdiocese. We are grateful and relieved that the Basilica may be preserved as a place of worship, especially for the people of the central region of St. John’s. This, however, leaves several questions about the future of our parishes.

On June 2nd, the bids for all churches in the St. John’s area are due and will be evaluated by the Trustees. Following this, we expect to know which churches have been purchased and which have not. Currently, we are not aware of anyone pursuing to bid on St. Patrick’s church. Since St. John Bosco is not up for sale, it will not be immediately affected by the results of June 2nd; however, a decision will have to be reached at some point regarding its future as a parish.

From the results of our parish survey and parishioner feedback we have not yet seen sufficient financial commitment to consider a bid to preserve St. Patrick’s in addition to the Basilica. In our parish letter of March 26th/27th we also communicated the Archbishop’s points for consideration in this matter, which include:

  • It would seem one parish would be sufficient for the central region of St. John’s.
  • The Basilica seems to be the preferred home for this amalgamated parish.
  • The Archbishop would not stand in the way of any individual parish that wished to proceed with a separate bid to repurchase their parish church, but financial viability and the availability of clergy to staff the parish would need to be considered.
  • To bid on a church, an interested parish group would have to either form a separate corporation or make its bid through the Archdiocese’s new holding corporation.

While there are significant reasons in favour of keeping only the Basilica for the central region of St. John’s, if a group of dedicated parishioners wish to preserve St. Patrick’s, they are free to try to do so, keeping the above considerations in mind.

We expect that if St. Patrick’s remains unpurchased by June 2nd, we may continue to use it as our parish church until some final arrangement of ownership is reached. However, this requires that we meet our ongoing financial costs (e.g. heat, light, insurance, salaries etc.). We encourage all of you to continue to generously support the upkeep of our parish. All your contributions go towards the usual weekly costs of the parish operation. We have been running a deficit each month since January and our parish accounts are getting very low; however, we are planning to begin a fund-raising effort to help meet these operating costs. St. John Bosco has been much closer to meeting its operating costs.

As we await the results of June 2nd, we will try to continue as a parish, and we thank you for your ongoing support. If you have any questions or suggestions, please reach out to any of the members of our Parish Council, Finance Committee, or to our parish priest. To speak with any of us, please either approach one of us in church or leave a message at the parish office and we will get back to you.

Sincerely yours,

The Parish Council and Finance Committees of St. Patrick’s and St. John Bosco Parishes

(Rex Anthony, Jim Armstrong, Katrina McAlister, Allison Myler, Patricia Norman, Brenda Sheir, Kelly Skinner, Patricia Walsh-Warren, David Warford, Liam Warren)

with Fr. James Fleming

Monday, 16 May 2022


Teri Healey Evans is sharing some lovely school souvenirs with us.  They are little cards which were given to her late sister, Cindy, and kept by their mother.  Teri came across them in a book belonging to her mother and thought we would like  to see them.  She and I both thought these might encourage others to share any such tokens on our School Blog.  We think there are plenty of them still out there.  I know that I have at least one tucked away somewhere.  I am going to have a look for it and post it when I find it.  Come on, all you St Patrick's Convent School grads, please turn out your souvenir boxes and see what you can find to share with us all. 

Front and back of Cindy's card from Miss Walsh

Front and back of card given to Cindy by Miss Rogers

Thanks Teri.  These are really nice and, anything else you come across would be welcome too.  Keep in touch.πŸ“šπŸ‘©πŸΌ‍πŸŽ“πŸ‘¨πŸΌ‍πŸŽ“


Monday, 25 April 2022


I was given this photo a few years ago and it is definitely time I posted it.  The quality of the photo is very poor but I think most people on it are recognizable.  I have not been given any date for it but I think it would be around mid 1950s.  I also think it is Sr Columba's grade 4 or 5 class.  I have most of the names.  Perhaps you could fill in the blanks for me. If you click on the photo, it should enlarge for you.

Do you know anyone in this picture?

  1. ?
  2. ?
  3. Bernice or Dorothy Noftall
  4. ?
  5. Rita Hickey
  6. Marina Grace
  7. Patsy Noseworthy
  8. Bridie Vavasour
  9. Jeanie Albert
  10. Dorothy Levine
  11. ?
  12. Diane Edison
  13. Cynthia Reddy
  14. Elaine Morris
  15. Marlene Morris
  16. Margaret Power
  17. Mary Johnson
  18. Valerie McGrath
  19. Elizabeth Flynn
  20. ?
  21. Barbara Sharpe
  22. ?
  23. ?
  24. ?
  25. Carmel Fitzgerald
  26. Mary Whelan
  27. ?
  28. Norma Williams
  29. Marie Furey
  30. ?
  31. ?
  32. ?
  33. ?

Sunday, 24 April 2022


St Patrick's Church has some beautiful stained glass windows. Some of the windows date from 1881.  In my opinion, these are the most beautiful.  That is just my opinion and I am not an expert but I know what I like.  I expect a lot of people would hold a different view and that is ok. 

The newer windows were installed in the mid 1960s.  They depict various biblical scenes.  Of these more modern windows, this is my favourite.  It depicts events in the life of Mary and, of course,  salvation history.

Stained Glass windows, mid 1960s,
by McNichols and Williams of Toronto

The original windows were installed in 1881 and their beauty still inspires. Just two of the original windows are shown here.  They are in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel and show the Assumption of Mary and St Joseph with the Child Jesus.

Original windows installed in 1881

The most lovely of all St Patrick's stained glass windows are located in the sanctuary, above the altar. These windows were installed in 1881 and reflect our Irish heritage.  St Patrick holds the center position and he is flanked on either side by St Columba and St Brigid, the Patron Saints of Ireland. When the sun shines through these magnificent windows, their brilliant colours dance across the floor and lift the heart.

The two pictures which follow were taken quite some years apart.  The one with the crucifix was taken in 2003 and the other about 2013.  The statue of the Risen Christ was placed there in memory of longtime parishioner and tireless supporter, the late Mike Walsh.

Original Sanctuary windows, 1881

The Patron Saints of Ireland, 1881

There are many other wonderful stained glass windows in St Patrick's Church so if I were you, I would have a good look around this beloved Church while you can.  Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

πŸ‘‰πŸ‘‰This is the link for St Patrick's Parish site. Why not have a browse and see what is happening there.
There is also plenty of news on St Patrick's Parish Facebook

Sunday, 17 April 2022

Easter Message from the CLT

This little video brings us the Easter message and reminds us of the hope and new life that Easter brings. At this very difficult time in our Archdiocese, I feel it speaks especially to us. 

Believe the message.
 It is for all of us. 

Saturday, 16 April 2022


This great photo was sent to me by Joan Fitzgerald Ebsary quite some time ago.  Joan sent it to our Facebook messenger and, for more than a year, I was unable to access Messenger.  So, this photo languished  there until last night when, thanks to Sean, I was able to get into messenger.  

Here is Joan's photo. It is Grade 6, 1961.  I notice the old S P C Crest on the uniforms.  I love it!  Perhaps Joan or a classmate could tell us a little more about the photo.  It might not be a good idea to risk messaging me on Facebook, just in case it decides to lock me out again. Instead, it would be safer to  send anything to me at the Blog contact address,

S P C, GRADE 6, 1961

Thank you very much Joan for this nice 'Blast from the Past'.  I am most sorry for the long delay.  

Friday, 15 April 2022


Today's post continues to look at some of the things that could be lost in our present predicament. As today is Good Friday, and we have previously looked at our Redemptorist Mission Cross, we will have a look at the Pieta.

The original Pieta ("the Piety") is a Renaissance sculpture executed by  Michelangelo Buonarroti about 1498/99.  It was sculpted from a block of Carrara marble and Michelangelo said it was the finest block he had ever seen.  It is the only piece of his work that the artist has ever signed.  Through the centuries many versions of this work have appeared and many Catholic Churches have a version based on Michelangelo's. The original Pieta is housed in St Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, and is estimated to be worth an eye-popping $300 million today!

Now to our own, not quite so exalted but still beautiful and very loved, Pieta.

The beautiful Pieta in St Patrick's Church

I am pretty certain that there was a version of the Pieta in St Patrick's Church when I was a child.  That Pieta wasn't coloured.  Do any of you 'more mature' folks remember that or am I "misremembering"? (I have never used that word before but I believe I heard a certain P M use it recently.  I like to keep up with newspeak!) According to the leaflet, 'St Patrick's Church', Katrina McAllister and Karen Morrissey, 1996, the present Pieta was installed in the church in 1992. The base of a pulpit supports it.

This Pieta is vividly coloured and is very beautiful. It is inspiring, very touching, and is a point of  deep respect and devotion for so many parishioners.  Pray God we don't lose it.  

A close up of the Pieta in St Patrick's Church

It has been said that in his Pieta,  Michelangelo's intention was  not to focus on death but on acceptance.  Let's continue to work and pray for our beloved Church and Parish but, perhaps we should also pray for acceptance of whatever God has in mind for the Catholic Church in Newfoundland.

Thursday, 14 April 2022


I have just received this photo from my nephew, Craig.  It was taken by Kimberly Rose. I think the photo is proof that beauty, like hope, grows in the most unlikely places. 

Beauty and hope can flourish in unlikely places

There is always hope!

πŸ‘‰Thanks to Kimberly and Craig for this beautiful picture.

Wednesday, 13 April 2022


In previous posts I have tried to remind us of what we have, what we take for granted, and what we could lose. In this little post I will highlight the Bishop Mullock Memorial Altar and remind us of its origins.  Many of us spent our childhood looking at it but, as is often the case with the familiar, not actually seeing it!

In the following picture, we see the sanctuary of St Patrick's Church with the original altar.  This is the Bishop Mullock Memorial Altar, installed in 1881. Bishop John Thomas Mullock, who died in 1869, was keen to forge ahead with the completion of St Patrick's Church and he worked tirelessly towards that goal. 

The original Altar, St Patrick's Church

The Gothic Style altar is constructed of Carrara marble.  The Paschal Lamb is depicted in the central panel.  To the left the Papal Keys are represented and to the right the Cross surmounted with the Crown of Thorns.

During church renovations in the early 1990s, the Bishop Mullock Memorial Altar was relocated to its present location, where the Blessed Sacrament is kept.

St Patrick's original altar,
the Bishop Mullock Memorial Altar,
installed in 1881

Look at it.  It is too beautiful for words.

πŸ‘‰I have found some of the information about the Bishop Mullock Memorial Altar in the leaflet 'St Patrick's Church' by Katrina McAllister and Karen Morrissey, 1996πŸ‘ˆ

Monday, 11 April 2022


The Redemptorist Mission Cross was erected at St Patrick's Church in December 1882.  It was originally placed at the front of the church, at the left side of the altar.  It has been repositioned to the back of the church, at the main entrance.  This cross is beloved of parishioners and is an important symbol of devotion.

Will we lose this piece of our parish and faith history?


Thursday, 7 April 2022


In the previous post I mentioned  the Fishermen's Hall on Queen St and people were surprised when they saw the photo of the building as it is today.  So, I thought I might post a little bit about the amazing history of this historic building. It certainly has had an interesting life!

Erected in 1861, Fishermen's Hall at 16 Queen Street is the oldest theatre in St John's.  Surprisingly, it is also the second oldest Catholic Church in St John's.  The cornerstone was laid on 23 May 1861 and Fishermen's Hall opened a mere five months later, on 28 October 1861.

Fishermen's Hall was the venue for many and varied entertainments, including visiting trapeze artists, Flower Shows, musicians, shows, and plays by visiting dramatic troupes. 

On 28 February 1871, a meeting took place at Fisherman's Hall.  Captain William Jackman and several other prominent citizens met together and The Star of the Sea Society was founded and formally instituted.

In 1873 Bishop Power purchased the building.  Internal renovations converted the single story building to a two story one.  The upstairs was consecrated as St Peter's Chapel while the ground floor became a school.  Four Sisters of Mercy came every day from Mercy Convent, Military Road, to teach the boys and girls.

(Picture taken from the Centenary Souvenir Book, 1955)
When St Patrick's Church opened in 1881 there was less need for St Peter's Chapel so, in 1883, it ceased to be a church.  The former chapel was utilized by the good Sisters as part of the school.  The girls' school now occupied the upper floor and the boys' school the floor below.  The R C School Board reported in 1882 that the school had 4 teachers and 360 pupils!  Eventually, two ladies, Miss Maher and Miss Nugent, were employed to assist the Sisters at St Peter's School.

The Sisters of Mercy operated St Peter's School until 1903. In 1903 the building became the commercial premises of Frank McNamara.  In 1967 it was taken over by J B Hand & Sons who occupied the building for a number of years. After J B Hand, 16 Queen St was home to several more enterprises.  You will find the plaque pictured below informative, I have no doubt.

Sign on side of building at 16 Queen St
Now, I am thinking about the churches that are being sold to pay off a debt they didn't personally incur. In particular, I am thinking of St Patrick's. I can't help wondering what fate awaits this venerable and well loved church. What indignities will be visited upon it in the years ahead? The possibilities are too horrifying to contemplate.
St Patrick's Church in 1991 (The Deanery Avenue School is partly visible behind the Deanery)

*Some of the information about St Peter's Church and School was found in the two excellent books;
'The Oldest City', Paul O'Neil
'Weavers of the Tapestry', Sr Kathrine Bellamy R S M

Tuesday, 5 April 2022


By now you are all aware that our beautiful, historic, St Patrick's Church is under threat and (too horrible to contemplate) might have to be sold! To save this beautiful Parish Church which has been the spiritual home of so many of us, much help and inspiration is needed. What can we do? 

Have a look at some of the things our tenacious ancestors did to bring the dream of St Patrick's to fruition.

On 8 February 1864, it was reported in 'The Newfoundlander' "The people of the city had made a beginning to the vast amount of work necessary by hauling the stone needed for the foundations of the church." 

"During the last week the Catholic people of this place have been employed every day in large numbers bringing stone from various neighboring quarries for the new stone church about to be erected at St Patrick's, Riverhead.  Some of the blocks of stone were of colossal size, weighing many tons each, hundreds of men being engaged in drawing them to their destination. The people, as usual, were full of zeal and energy and a work so begun cannot fail of being successfully carried out in a short period." 

Bishop Mullock was impressed, finding the enthusiasm of the people "most extraordinary".

"A portion of the large amount of money required for the construction was raised in a Grand Bazaar in aid of St Patrick's held in the upper room of Fishermen's Hall on Queen Street."  Having paid their admission of 15 pence, patrons were treated to music provided by various bands of the day, a sale of work, and a Grand Lottery.  The Bazaar was quite a success and raised the sum of £1354, a staggering amount in those days.

On 14 August 1864, Bishop Mullock "called on the people of St John's area to fish for St Patrick's Church tomorrow". The Bishop even put on a special Mass in the Cathedral at 4 a m "for the people going to fish".  

The following year, 1865, the good Bishop once again announced that the day's fishery for the church on 15 August, both in St John's and on the Labrador, would be applied to St Patrick's.  He also announced that he intended to introduce a penny a week collection as a means of support.  We certainly owe Bishop John Thomas Mullock our thanks.  He was indeed a determined champion of St Patrick's Church.

I have no proof of it, but I feel sure that while all this activity was going on, there was also much prayer being sent up to heaven for the success of the venture.  If we can do nothing else, maybe we too could do a spot of praying.  St Joseph is a wonderful Saint to turn to in any situation but, since he is the Patron of the Universal Church, he would be the ideal saint to come to our help now.



Quotes are from the book, 
St Patrick's Church, One Hundred Years,
1881 - 1981

Friday, 1 April 2022