|St Patrick Church, 1930s|
Sunday, December 23, 2012
Christmas Snow – 1913
The storm hit as folks made their way about the City whether it was to church or visit family and friends. The bitter winds caused man, woman, and child, to bundle up doubly against its cold bite. Men in their great coats and women in the capes held each other closely so as not to fall. Worse than the snow or wind was the glaze of ice that lay beneath. Horses had a hard time keeping their footing and more than one fell trying to pull carriages through the streets.
But that did not stop the faithful who made their way to the churches. St Patrick’s was no exception. Nearly every Mass was filled to capacity. The 13 bells in the steeple rang in the feast of the Nativity. Monsignor O’Brien was the lead celebrant at the 9:30 with 5 other priests acting as deacons and sub-deacons. Many in the crowd kept the tradition of making their way back to the church of the fathers and grandfathers despite the inclement weather. Within the church every incandescent light was lit and every candle on the altar glowed in its brass candelabra giving all inside a sense of warmth. The entire altar was bedecked with laurel and holly making the white marble barely visible. Garland was strung from the height of the ceiling to the columns in the sanctuary. A mammoth task it must have been. On each column hung an evergreen wreath with a scarlet ribbon. The procession into the church comprised over 80 choir members in cassock and surplice under the direction of Bother Linus. The school children also sang carols accompanied by the Sisters of Notre Dame. The walls of the church vibrated with Mr. Johnson’s rendition of Adeste Fideles on the organ. The congregation sung out loud and strong. Later that afternoon the church was completely filled once again for solemn vespers with many standing in the aisles. The faith of the people was evident.