Tuesday, 28 May 2013


Today's post has a little mix of both First Communion and Confirmation memories with two certificates and a photograph.  The first photo is courtesy of Enid Stanford O'Brien and is Enid's Confirmation certificate.  This beautiful certificate is dated 10th June 1953.
Enid was Confirmed in St Patrick's Church, Riverhead,
on 10th June 1953
A post about First Communion and Confirmation in St Patrick's Parish would be incomplete without somehow including dear old Holy Cross!  This wonderful picture is of two Holy Cross Boys, Bill and John McAllister.  The picture was taken in 1941 on the occasion of John's First Communion and Bill's Confirmation.  John is wearing the traditional white rosette and Bill the traditional red rosette.
John's First Communion and
Bill's Confirmation
This last photo shows my own First Communion Certificate.  It is dated 10th June 1952, exactly one year earlier than Enid's Confirmation certificate.
My First Communion Certificate,
signed by Msgr R McD Murphy

Saturday, 25 May 2013


We continue our First Communion Theme with a picture of two more St Patrick's Convent School pupils. Approximately 27 years separate the  pictures as one was taken in 1916 and the other in 1943. The two girls, Ellen Josephine Williams and Doreen McAllister, are mother and daughter  The certificate is also from 1943. 
Ellen Josephine Williams,
First Communion 1916

Doreen McAllister,
First Communion, 1943

Doreen McAllister's First Communion
Certificate, 11th June 1943

Wednesday, 22 May 2013


This time of the year seems to be when, in Parishes all over the world, children are making their First Holy Communion  and receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation.  For this reason, I am going to do a couple of posts on that theme.
This post is, I think, very special and a really beautiful slice of our School and Parish history.  I hope you enjoy this 102 year old photo and, if you would like to share a  First Communion or Confirmation photo, certificate or story  on this blog, you would be most welcome to send it to us at mcallistersmith@gmail.com
This is the First Communion picture and certificate of Mary Margaret Williams.  She was born in August 1900 in Petty Harbour.  When she was very young, her family moved to St John's and became parishioners of St Patrick's, Riverhead.  Mary, always know as May, attended the old St Patrick's Convent School on Convent Square.  Here she came to know such distinguished teachers as Mother De Sales Walsh and Mother Rose Reddy.  At that time, Mother Rose was a  Novice, still with her white veil. 
On 29th April 1911, May received her First Holy Communion.  The certificate states; "Mary Margaret Williams Baptised in the year 1900 received First Holy Communion in the church of St Patrick on the 29th of April 1911 and the Holy Sacrament of Confirmation in the same year".  She was 11 years old.
Mary Margaret Williams,
First Holy Communion, April 1911
First Communion and Confirmation Certificate
of Mary Margaret Williams,
St Patrick's Church, April 1911

Thursday, 16 May 2013


This is a picture of Sr Immaculata'a Grade six class of 1948.   I have to thank Doreen (McAllister) Heffernan for contributing the photo.  Doreen has also supplied most of the names but if you can fill in any of the missing names we would be happy to add them.  I am going to post two versions of this photo.  I will post the original because there is so much great background visible.  I will also post a cropped version, all the better to see everyone.
Doreen said that the photo was taken, by Sr Immaculata, in the Nuns' garden. The old Convent Square School can be seen in the background.   The double windows that can be seen in the school are Mother Berchman's Grade 9 class, grade 8 class, and Sr Immaculata's Grade 6 class.   In the left hand corner of the photo, part of the Convent is visible and to the right of the school, among the trees, you get a little glimpse of that 'famous' Passage Way! 
Those who wanted a copy of the photo could buy one for 10 cents each!  I think Sr Immaculata must have been the official photographer because she was still taking class pictures in the late 1950s and possibly early 1960s.  For that we should be grateful to Sr Immaculata because she has left us an excellent photographic record of St Patrick's Girls.  While I am thanking people, I have to say a big 'THANK YOU' to Sean for all his hard work in getting this and some other fantastic pictures to me. 
By the way, Doreen has dug into the family archives and come up with some First Communion pictures (St Patrick's and Holy Cross) and a certificate or two. One is from 1911! I hope to post some of these soon so if anyone out there has a First Communion or Confirmation picture, certificate, etc, that you would like to submit, we would be more than delighted to post it.  Just send it to mcallistersmith@gmail.com

Sr Immaculata's Grade 6 Class, 1948

Front Row: Dorothy Nugent, Doreen McAllister, Lorraine Nugent, Maureen Molloy, Margie Stafford, Eileen Penny
2nd Row: Irma Kelly, Tess Dunphy, Anne Buckingham, Bernadette McCormick, Helen Walsh, Joan Turner, Dorothy Dillon, Joan Skinner, Kay Fowler, Betty Ryall, Mary Tobin
3rd Row: Shirley Cromwell, Betty Hayes, Mary Hawco, Mercedes McAllister, Helen Power, Anna Tobin, (?), Jean Connolly, Geraldine Horan, (?), Barb Green
4th Row: Imelda Walsh, Margie Kavanagh, Patsy Picco, Madeline Kavanagh, Blanche Green, Claudine Horan, Pauline Corbett, (?), (?), (?), Genevieve Power, (?)

The cropped version

Thursday, 9 May 2013


This is another picture from the 1979 St Patrick's Year Book.  Are you on this photo.  Sr Redempta was the Librarian.  She was a lovely Nun.  Do you remember her?
Sr M Redempta & the Library Helpers, 1979
Front Row, L-R: L Maher, B Ducey, E Thomas, B Carew, R A Gillingham, H Gushue, E Efford
Standing, L-R: C Flynn, M Moores, L Hickey, K Noftal, N Mulrooney, P Carew, C A Carroll, C Ryan, S Francis, Sister M Redempta