Pennsylvania USGenWeb Archives


The History


St. Francis of Assisi Parish


Compiled for the

Centenary of the Founding

of the Parish


and the

Golden Anniversary

of the

Laying of the Cornerstone

of the Present Church


1832     1936     1886


July 23, 1936


transcribed for the Clearfield County PA USGenWeb by

Ellis Michaels



This page was last updated on 23 Apr 2011

Contribute Your Research



Introduction - page V
Clearfield - page VII
Saint Francis of Assisi - page XI
Founding of St. Francis - page XV
Bishop Kenrick's Diary - page XIX
Deed to St. Francis Property - page XXIII
Early Catholics - page XXV
Old Records - page XXIX
Clearfield and Father Gallitzin - page XXVI
St. Francis Centenary Hymn - page XXXIII
Golden Anniversary of St. Francis Church - page XXXV
St. Francis Benefactor - page XLI
Catholic Education - page XLII
Most Rev. John Mark Gannon - page XLVII
Very Rev. John D. Coady - page LI
Right Rev. Monsignor Peter J. Sheridan - page LII
Reverend Thomas W. Cavanaugh - page LV
Rev. Michael A. Ryan - page LVI
Priests Who Served St. Francis - page LIX
Clearfield's Contribution To Priesthood - page LXVII
Our Sisters - page LXX
The New Convent - page LXXVI
St. Francis Cemeteries - page LXXVIII
Catholic Daughters of America - page LXXXI
Blessed Virgin Sodality - page LXXXII
Rosary and Altar Society - page LXXXIII
Saint Francis Choir - page LXXXIV
Girl Scouts - page LXXXV
Knights of Columbus - page LXXXVI
Committee for Jubilee Celebration - page LXXXVII
Our Patrons - page LXXXIX

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Priests Who Served St. Francis Parish

     We have tried to ascertain information with regard to each and every priest who served in the parish from the time of its inception. it is sad to relate that the records of the early priests are very meager. In some cases, if it were not for the diary of Bishop Kenrick and the baptismal record book of the parish, we might not even have their names. We have paid particular attention already to Father Coady, the first resident pastor; to Father Sheridan who built the present church and started the school; to Father Cavanaugh who built the present school; and to Father Ryan who saw the completion of the beautiful Convent. We also have recounted the vast activity of him whom St. Francis started on a career which at present finds him the Bishop of the Diocese of Erie, John Mark Gannon, D.D., D.C.L., LL.D.

     Illness and death have prevented us from paying more tribute to two of the pastors of St. Francis of a few years ago, Rev. Patrick J. Blake and Rev. Carl Heidt. Both were compelled to relinquish active labors in less than six weeks after their respective appointments. We regret the passing of Father Blake just when we were getting acquainted with him; at the same time we are happy to know that Father Heidt's health has improved sufficiently for him to perform the duties of his new parish.

     We now present a brief history of all the priests who have served and who are now serving the people of Clearfield.

     REVEREND PATRICK LEAVY, it seems, was a native of County Longford, Ireland, as the Leavys of Clearfield came from this place. At the time he first visited Clearfield, he was pastor of All Saints Church, Lewistown. This was in 1830. In 1832, we find that he served Clearfield as pastor of Bellefonte.

     REVEREND OTTO HENRY BORGESS, a native of Germany, was born January 14, 1806. He studied at the University of Munster and was ordained September 24, 1831. He administered to the people of Clearfield in 1838 and was in the Diocese of Cincinnati from 1845 until 1859. His death took place on January 11, 1876, in Steinerberg, Switzerland.

     REVEREND TIMOTHY FLANIGAN was ordained by Rt. Reverend Francis P. Kenrick at St. John's, Philadelphia, Pa., September 23, 1838. He administered the sacrament of Baptism here in 1840. At






that time, he was in charge of Bellefonte Parish. On June 5, 1840, Bishop Kenrick says, he was given permission to leave the diocese and it appears that he left in 1842.

     REVEREND PATRICK A. NUGENT was ordained by Rt. Reverend Francis P. Kenrick on June 21, 1840, at St. John's Church, Philadelphia, Pa. He was appointed to Bellefonte on July 5, 1840, and while there attended the Clearfield mission. On August 26, 1842, at his own request, he was relieved of this parish and sent to Chambersburg, Pa.

     REVEREND JAMES A. BERTI labored in the Philadelphia Diocese. According to Bishop Kenrick's diary, he was in charge of St. Francis Parish in August, 1842. Our records show him to be here from May to October, 1842. In 1844, he was laboring in this vicinity, and in 1845, he was in Crawford County.

     REVEREND PATRICK A. PENDERGAST was ordained on September 27, 1840, by Bishop Kenrick at St. John's Church, Philadelphia, Pa. In 1841, he labored in Crawford County; in 1844, we find him in Centre County with his residence at Bellefonte. From Bellefonte, he served the people at Clearfield. On August 10, 1842, he was commissioned by Bishop Kenrick to record the transfer of the church property in Crossingville. He was assigned to Honesdale, Pa., in 1845, assuming at the same time the parish at Mt. Pleasant.

     REVEREND J. BERBIGIER administered to the people of Clearfield beginning with 1846. It seems that he was ordained by Rt. Rev. Francis P. Kenrick on March 9, 1846. He was also stationed at Frenchville.

     REVEREND JOSEPH F. DEANE was apparently a native of Ireland and came to this country. He was ordained at St. John's, Philadelphia, by Bishop Kenrick, August 29, 1841. Before being assigned here in Clearfield he was stationed at St. Paul's in Pittsburgh. He was in Clearfield in the year 1847, at which time he served the surrounding territory. In 1852, he was at St. Patrick's, in Erie, Pa. He later served in the Diocese of Buffalo, as pastor of St. Vincent de Paul, of that city, going from there to Rochester, N. Y. His death occurred there on October 20, 1860.

     REVEREND JOSEPH A. GALLAGHER was born at Killygordon, County Donegal, Ireland, about 1823. Among other places, he studied at Cincinnati and was ordained at St. Paul's Cathedral, Pitts­burgh, Pa., June 6, 1847. He is found to have labored in Clearfield the latter part of 1847 and the beginning of 1848. At the same time, he





was identified with the church at Cameron's Bottom and in Cambria County. He was pastor in Loretta, Pa., about 1852 and later went to San Francisco. He died April 27, 1887.

     REVEREND JAMES F. MORRIS administered the sacrament of Baptism in Clearfield during the year 1851. At that time, he seems to have been pastor at Frenchville, serving Clearfield, Grampian Hills and Morris Township from that place. In 1859, the name, Reverend J. Morris, appears in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and in 1868, a Reverend J. Morris is listed in a directory of the "Priests in Ireland."

     REVEREND THOMAS LEDWITH was born in Meath, Ireland, February 3, 1821. According to diocesan records, he was ordained at Fryburg, Clarion County, on August 23, 1851, by Rt. Reverend John Timon,. Bishop of Buffalo. From 1852 until 1857, he came to Clearfield at regular intervals, so the baptismal records reveal. His missions included Red Bank, Brookville, Corsica, and Grampian Hills. In 1871, he is recorded as a priest of the Diocese of Buffalo. He died at Randolph, N. Y. on October 12, 1888.

     REVEREND THOMAS TRACY was born in the town of Virginia, County Cavan, Ireland, in August, 1836. He studied at St. Vincent's College and at Cleveland, Ohio. He was ordained for the Diocese of Erie, June 21, 1858, at Erie, Pa. by Rt. Reverend J. M. Young. He was assistant at St. Patrick's. Erie, and then came to Clearfield in August, 1863. He was also pastor of St. Michael's, Greenville. In 1877, he entered the Benedictine Order. He celebrated his golden anniversary in the priesthood in 1908 at St. Bernard's College, Alabama. His death occurred at St. Bernard's College on June 14, 1915, and he was buried in the College cemetery.

     REVEREND WILLIAM THOMAS D'ARCY, from the only information obtainable, came to the Diocese of Erie from Covington, Ky., in 1865. He was stationed at Sidney, Ohio, at Union Mills and at Titusville. During the year 1868 he spent some time in Clearfield.

     REVEREND KIERNAN O'BRANNIGAN was born in Queen's County, Ireland, in 1822. He finished his studies at Carlow College and came to the United States in 1854. He was ordained by Rt. Reverend Michael O'Connor, Bishop of Pittsburgh, about June 1, 1854. He was stationed at Crossingville, Conneautville, and Greenville. He came to Clearfield in 1868, remaining here until 1870. From here he went to Osceola Mills and then to Sharon, Pa., where he died August 7, 1888.

     REVEREND M. A. M. WURZFELD was ordained by Rt. Reverend F. P. Kenrick, at Philadelphia, March 24, 1849. From 1849 to 1851, he was in charge of Christ Church, Chambersburg, Pa. He






Pa. After a long illness, Father Short died at St. Elizabeth's Hospital, Bridgton, Mass., November 3, 1934. He was buried in Hudson, Mass.

     REVEREND PATRICK J. BLAKE was born at Fall River, Mass., March 2, 1873. He studied at Manhattan College and at St. Bonaventure's College and Seminary, Allegany, N. Y. He was ordained at St. Peter's Cathedral, Erie, by Rt. Reverend John E. Fitzmaurice, on January 14, 1902. He was assigned as assistant pro tem at St. Peter's Cathedral in January, 1902. He was pastor pro tem at St. Eulalia's Church, Coudersport, from January to March, 1902, and was appointed pastor of St. Joseph's Church, Mt. Jewett, March 18, 1902. On August 20, 1916, he was sent to Cambridge Springs as pastor of St. Anthony's Church where he remained until November 1, 1932, at which time he was sent to Clearfleld. He was pastor of St. Francis Church at the time of his death, June 15, 1933. He died at St. Vincent's Hospital, Erie, Pa., and was buried in Fall River, Mass.

     REVEREND CARL L. HEIDT was born in Erie, Pa., August 4, 1885, a son of St. Joseph's Parish. After attending the parochial schools of Erie, Father Heidt became a student of St. Jerome's College, Ontario, Canada. He studied philosophy and theology at St. Bonaventure's College and Seminary, Allegany, N. Y., and was ordained there June 15, 1910, by Rt. Reverend Charles H. Colton, Bishop of Buffalo. He read his First Solemn Mass in St. Joseph's Church, Erie, on June 21, 1910. He served as assistant at St. John's, Erie, Pa., from February, 1911, to May, 1913, and then was sent to the Sacred Heart Parish, Erie, until February 15, 1922. On this latter date, he was appointed to St. Walburga's Church as pastor. While stationed at Titusville, he built the new school building. On July 9, 1933, he was appointed pastor of St. Francis Church, continuing in this capacity until September 15, 1933, at which time he was assigned to the pastorate of St. Elizabeth's Church at Corry, Pa.

     REVEREND MARTIN N. GLYNN, the son of John F. and Catherine (Noon) Glynn, was born November 13, 1898. He attended St. Andrew's Parochial School, North Side, Pittsburgh, Pa., and then was graduated from St. Mary's High School. Entering Duquesne University in 1914, he was graduated from the School of Arts in 1920. He then enrolled at St. Bonaventure Seminary. He was ordained by Most Reverend John Mark Gannon at St. Bonaventure Church, Allegany, N. Y., on July 15, 1923. Appointed as assistant at St. Peter's Cathedral, Erie, Pa., he remained there until sent by Bishop Gannon to take charge of St. Francis Parish, September 20, 1933. From 1923 until 1926, he was professor of mathematics at the Cathedral Preparatory School for Boys.






     REVEREND JAMES J. O'CONNOR, the son of James J, and Mary O'Connor, was born March 20, 1899, in New York City. He studied at St. Jean Baptist Parochial School, taking his high school work there as well. In 1918, he enrolled at St. Vincent's College and Seminary, receiving his B. A. Degree in 1921. On June 7, 1925, he was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Gannon, and shortly after, was assigned temporarily to St. Mary's Church, Reynoldsville, Pa. Later in the same year, he was sent to supply at St. Joseph's Church, Lucinda, Pa., and in December, 1925, was appointed as assistant at St. Francis Church, Clearfield, Pa. He remained here until June 3, 1927, when he was appointed assistant at St. Andrew's Parish, Erie, Pa.

     REVEREND EDWARD PETER McMANAMAN, the son of James J. and Elizabeth (Dillon) McManaman was born May 3, 1900. He attended the grades and high school at St. Mary's in Wilkesbarre, Pa. At the completion of his high school work, he entered St. Thomas College in Scranton where he remained for his freshman and sophomore subjects and then entered St. Bonaventure's Seminary for his philosophical studies. Graduating with his Arts Degree, he was sent by Bishop Gannon, to the American College in Rome. He was graduated from the American College with the degree of Doctor of Theology and was ordained March 12, 1927, by Bishop Palica. He was assigned to St. Francis as assistant in May, 1927, and remained here until May, 1929, at which time he was appointed to the post of Assistant Superintendent of Schools. On February 16, 1938, Father McManaman was appointed rector of St. Peter's Cathedral.

     REVEREND EUGENE V. DANIELSON, the son of Anthony and Mary (Kirk) Danielson, was born August 12, 1900 at Wilkesbarre, Pa. He attended the parochial schools at Wilkesbarre and, in 1916, entered the Josephinum College and Seminary. On Ascension Thursday, May 9, 1929, Father Danielson was ordained to the priesthood at St. Joseph's Cathedral, Columbus, Ohio, by the Rt. Reverend James J. Hartley. On May 25, 1929, he was assigned to St. Francis Church and he remained here until June 4, 1931, going from here to St. John's, Erie, Pa.

     REVEREND FRANCIS JOSEPH SCHLINDWEIN, the son of Edward R. and Margaret (Betz) Schlindwein, was born in Erie, Pa., March 16, 1905. He attended the Sacred Heart Parochial School and then went to St. Bonaventure's College and Seminary. He was ordained at St. Peter's Cathedral, Erie, Pa., on May 14, 1931 by the Most Reverend John Mark Gannon. He was assigned to St. Francis Parish, June 4, 1931, and remained until July 9, 1933, when he was appointed pastor of the Holy Cross Church, Brandycamp, Pa.






     REVEREND JOSEPH FRANCIS MEISINGER, the son of John George and Anna (Heinrich) Meisinger, was born September 11, 1902, at Clarion, Pa. He attended the Immaculate Conception School in Clarion, and, in 1920, entered Campion College, Wisconsin. In 1924, he enrolled at St. Vincent's College and Seminary from which he was ordained. He was elevated to the priesthood at St. Peter's Cathedral on May 25, 1933, with Bishop Cannon officiating. In June, 1933, he was assigned to St. Francis Church as assistant and remained here until February 3, 1934.

     REVEREND JOHN LEO ANDERTON, the son of John and Marian Anderton, was born at Oil City, December 3, 1907. He attended the St. Joseph's Parochial and High Schools in Oil City and then entered St. Bonaventure's College. His philosophical studies and one year of theology were made at Louvain, Belgium, and he finished his theological course with the degree Licentiate in Sacred Theology at the American College in Rome. He was ordained on December 8, 1932, at American College Chapel, Rome, by Cardinal Marcheiti. He was appointed by Bishop Cannon as assistant at St. Francis, Clearfield, on August 5, 1933.

     There are records of some Benedictine Fathers baptizing here in the early days, prominent among whom was Father Amandus, in the year 1856. Likewise Bishop Kenrick mentions Rev. William Loughran and Rev. Peter Lemke.







Rev. Joseph L. Kerin     Rev. Andrew J. Cunningham


Rev. James Mooney     Rev. John V. Mooney






Clearfield's Contribution To Priesthood

     Since the founding of St. Francis Parish there has been but one native son ordained to the priesthood. This is the Rev. Joseph Leo Kerin of Frenchtown, Pa. There were three young men who, although not born in Clearfield, were so closely identified with it that we regard them as boys of the parish, these three being Father Sheridan's nephews, the Rev. James Mooney, the Rev. John Mooney and the Rev. Andrew Cunningham. Along with these there were two boys who attended the St. Francis Parochial School and were later ordained, the Rev. Bernard Connelly and the Rev. Gerald R. Beezer, S. J., and the Rev. Martin Horn who was here in infancy.

     Like Samuel of old while sleeping in the temple and hearing the voice of the Lord calling to him, these young men answered the call of their respective Ordinaries in the same manner, "Here am I; for thou didst call me." They labored patiently and for years struggled with undying energy until at last at the foot of the altar they received the sacerdotal crown with the imposition of the Bishop's hands. With utmost courage they began the ascent and aided by the sweetness of divine contemplation and knowing the greatness of the honor and glory of serving the Divine Master as one of His viceregents, they attained the summit. Their goal was acquired and their life's ambition realized chiefly by zeal for the priestly life and by practicing to a high degree the virtues of obedience and patience. They saw that there is but one way—the Way of the Cross; that there is but one truth—the Triune God and His Doctrine; that there is but one life—that which leads to everlasting happiness. Realizing these things they proceeded slowly and cautiously until they stood before the world as true followers of Him Who was Crucified.

     REV. JOSEPH LEO KERIN, the son of John Peter and Katherine Agnes (Lynch) Kerin, was born on July 27th, 1890 in Clearfield. His father came here from Cork, County Clare, Ireland, while his mother is one of the oldest persons living who were baptized in St. Francis Church, being baptized in the spring of 1853. Father Kerin received his First Solemn Communion and Confirmation in St. Francis Church and attended St. Francis School. He later attended LaSalle College, Philadelphia, St. John's College, Washington, D. C., and St. Joseph's Normal School in Maryland. In September, 1920, he accom­panied Rt. Rev. Bishop Joseph Tacconi to China, where, on August 23,








Convent Chapel







1926, Bishop Tacconi ordained him in St. Joseph's Cathedral, Kaifeng, Honan, China. For the next year Father Kerin was engaged in educational work among the Chinese until the school at which he taught was destroyed by the Reds and he and his companions were driven out. He returned to America in September, 1927. A few months later he was assigned to St. Joseph's Church, Warren, Pa., remaining there four months. From February 25, 1928 to November 30, 1934, he was stationed at St. Ann's Church, Erie, Pa., and on this later date he was named pastor of St. Hippolyte's Church, Frenchtown, Pa.

     REV. ANDREW CUNNINGHAM, the son of Robert and Margaret (Sheridan) Cunningham was born in Monticello, Sullivan County, N. Y. He studied in the public schools and later attended St. Canisus Preparatory School, St. Bonaventure College and Niagara University. He finished his theology at St. Joseph's in Troy, N. Y., and was ordained in the Albany Cathedral. For ten years he was stationed at St. Ann's Church in Albany, N. Y. Father Cunningham is the brother of Mrs. S. J. Waterworth.

     REV. JAMES and REV. JOHN MOONEY, the sons of Matthew and Bridget (Sheridan) Mooney, were born near Binghamton, N. Y. They both attended the parochial schools, taught by the Sisters of St. Joseph. They studied at St. Bonaventure's College and Seminary and both were ordained by Bishop Ryan of Buffalo. Their years in the priesthood were spent in the Buffalo Diocese.









Sisters of St. Francis Convent







     St. Francis Parish has been greatly blessed in having had for so many years the Sisters of St. Joseph. These women who have given their lives for the work of the Master have come here to spend themselves for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the children of Clearfield.

     We wonder sometimes whether the individual Catholic really appreciates the presence of the Sisters. The mere idea of their lives should be an inspiration not only for Catholics, but for everyone with whom they come in contact.

     As we have said, they have offered up their lives for the instruction of youth in the Ways of God. As girls, with inborn maternal affection and instinct, the desire rose from their hearts one day to take their places in the world as the mothers of men. But with this desire came a more lofty call, the call to assist the Saviour who said, "Suffer the little children to come unto Me," the call to sacrifice, the call to separate themselves from home, from family ties and to live in the seclusion of community life.

     Their greatest burden today is not in the presentation of secular knowledge, not in the teaching of God's Law, but in trying to supply for the neglect on the part of some parents; neglest [sic] most forcefully seen with respect to the law of obedience and respect for authority. They assume this burden with sympathy for the child and try to instill and nourish this great virtue, but frequently they encounter obstacles on the part of the parents as they endeavor to curb the will of the child. Nevertheless they bear these burdens with resignation and ask as recompense God's Blessing on their work; that their children may become God-loving and law-abiding men and women, imbued with faith and religion, and loyal citizens of the community.

     They are sustained in their work by prayer. At dawn they rise and, having made the morning offering of themselves to God, they hasten to the chapel where all community prayers are offered. There they await with childlike anxiety the Offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, their greatest consolation of the day. Frequently throughout the day they return to the altar to lift their voices in praise of the Master. Before retiring they tread, their way again to the chapel, there to report the result of the day's labors, to make renewed acts of love and fidelity and finally to ask His Grace for the ensuing night.






The Sisters Of St. Francis Convent

     As has been noted elsewhere in this chronicle, the first Nuns to come to St. Francis Parish were Sisters M. Claire, Marcella, M. Louis and M. Benedict of the Order of St. Joseph. This was in the year 1893. The only surviving member of this first little community is Sister Claire, at present the Superior of St. Mark's Hall at Erie, Pennsylvania. Mention might also be made here of two other sisters, Sisters Jerome and Camilla, who were stationed at St. Francis during the early years of the school.

     Sister Marcella, who was in charge of the school, graduated her first high school class in 1898. Sister Marcella remained at the head of the school until 1908, when she was sent to take over the high school at Ridgway. Sister Marcella was succeeded by Sister Marie Frances, who held the principalship until her death which occurred in 1932.

     Combining the years of faithful service given to St. Francis Parish by Sisters Marie Frances, Agnes, Mercedes and Beatrice, over a century of loyalty and fidelity to duty is represented. This service was shared among the three different departments of the school. Sister Mercedes taught the primary grades, and she watched her many little charges grow beyond her care to be taken over by Sister Beatrice in the intermediate grades. Sister Marie Frances took charge of them in the high school department, until the time of their graduation. Sister Agnes taught the music in the school and conducted her own music classes at the same time; and so successful was her work that on several occasions after his visits to St. Francis, our Most Reverend Bishop, John M. Gannon, commended her work.

     We might here give a tribute to Sister Marie Frances, which was written by one of her former pupils, Miss Mary C. Malloy:

     "It is difficult to put into words a genuine appreciation of, and a lasting impression made on the writer during an association of years by this wonderful consecrated woman. Sister Marie Frances was more than a teacher—she was a shining example, an inspiration and an un­derstanding friend. Separated from actual contact with the world by her profession and her Habit, she none the less kept abreast of the times and was able on all occasions to talk intelligently on the most up-to-the-minute subject; to give sound advice on matters which might have seemed utterly foreign to her life and thoughts, but into which she seemed to have some keen insight which touched the point unerringly






and helped one to make many an important decision affecting the future concretely.

     Sister Marie Frances was ever-zealous and untiring in her efforts for those she called "her own"—for those students entrusted to her care year after year, she worked indefatigably and unselfishly. Handicapped often by lack of funds, she struggled valiantly that we might have advantages similar to those enjoyed by children of other schools. And so, by her tireless and ingenious efforts she accomplished for us many a gratifying privilege, and made occasions for us when we might happily and proudly take part in certain public functions, and received what she felt was deserved recognition from sources out­side our own immediate and somewhat restricted circles. Academically, her store of knowledge in the subjects she taught was apparently limitless. She was recognized by authorities on education in Clearfield and vicinity as a peer in her own field, and her opinions and suggestions were sought on many occasions from surprising sources * * *."

     There follows a list of Sisters who have been or who are now at St. Francis Convent: Sisters Immaculate, Euphemia, Claire, Margaret, Petronilla, Beatrice, Agnes, Mercedes, Augustine, Ephrem, DeChantal, Victorine, Flavian, Marie Agnes, Eleanora, Irmina, Barbara, Julia Agnes, Casilda, Alphonsus, Roberta, Rosaria, Boniface, Norberta, Clemenza, Mary William, Modesta, Thomas, Ruth, Leona, Anita Joseph, Rita Grace, Amelia, Mary Ida, LaSalette, Borgia, Mary Magdelen, Fierre, Leonora, Imelda, Catherine Anne, Marcus Marie, Mary Esther, Wilma, Gerarda, Bonaventure, Teresita, Emilene, Alberta, Ramona, and Dolorosa.

     Following are the Sisters, now deceased, who at one time were stationed at St. Francis Convent: Sisters Camilla, Louis, Marcella, Marie Frances, Gerard, Hilda, Benedict, Veronica, Catherine, Mary DeSales, Celine and Raymond.

     Sisters who are natives of Clearfield are: Sisters Doloretta Thorn, Melita Bachman, Constance Sackett, Bertha McDermott, Corona Voinchet, Rose Derminer, Monica Clark, Nolaska Kratzer, Austin Krat­zer, Rose Evelyn Mann, and Antoinette Reilly.

     Following is a list of the Sisters comprising the present faculty of St. Francis School:

     Sister Boniface, who has completed her eleventh year in St. Francis School, is teacher of English and History in the High School, and is Principal thereof.








Sister M. Marcella


Sister Marie Francis







     Sister LaSalette has occupied her of English, French and Shorthand for nine years.

     Sister Borgia, teacher of Latin and Mathematics, has just completed her tenth year at St. Francis.

     Sister Mary Esther has been teaching the Sciences, German and Typewriting for seven years.

     Sister Norberta, who succeeded Sister Agnes in September, 1935, has charge of the music in both the grade and high schools.

     Sister Eleanora, the seventh and eighth grade teacher, has completed two years of service at St. Francis.

     Sister Wilma has completed three years of teaching the sixth grade.

     Sister Beatrice, returning after a few years spent in other schools of the diocese, is in charge of the fifth grade.

     Sister Pierre, with eleven years of service, and Sister Gerarda teach the third and fourth grades.

     Sister Mary Magdelene, who is the primary teacher, has been teaching at St. Francis for eight years.

     Sister Amelda has served as housekeeper at the convent for several years.

     The Sisters of St. Joseph have loyally served St. Francis congregation almost a half century, having instructed and guided the lives of hundreds and hundreds of children, preparing them for much more than just the struggle with worldly matters, strengthening their faith  and pointing a sure way heavenward.








St. Francis Convent







     The first Sisters' home was the building originally constructed  for a rectory in 1856-1857. It was of brick and made in the shape of a cross. Mrs. Mary Hamilton, a woman of means of that day, aided largely in its construction and the one-story wing on the church side was retained by her as her residence until she died.  This house of course had been improved and enlarged for convent use but was never  adequate or suited to the purpose.

     In the latter part of the year 1925, therefore, it was decided to erect a new convent, modern in every way and one suited for future needs. A building committee was formed, consisting of A. E. Leitzinger,  chairman, J. P. O'Laughlin, J. Ward Logan, H. L. Connelly, W. J. Usher and John F. Short. The architect selected was Percival J. Morris and the contractor F. J. Cupples. Looking after the finances were H. S. Whiteman, treasurer, and Walter Welch, secretary.

     The corner-stone of the new convent was laid in July, 1926, and in February, 1928, the Sisters took possession of the new building.

     This beautiful structure, one of the most outstanding and most modern convents in the country, was erected during the pastorate of Father Ryan.










The Old Cemetery









     The soil on which the present St. Francis Church stands is pioneer soil in the very essence of the word. In 1830 Joseph Boone, said to have been related to Daniel Boone of history, gave a lot to be used for the church and a cemetery. The land to the south of the first Catholic Church thus became the first resting place of those who are with God, and the years gathered slowly the early pioneers to that little haven.

     In 1876 the heirs of the Hugh Leavy Estate gave to the church a piece of ground one and one-half acres in extent, land most opportunely donated as the first burial site no longer held sufficient space. The bodies lying beside the church were removed to the newly hallowed ground. This ground was on a high knob, just outside of the southeast part of Clearfield Borough. From it could be glimpsed the town and the crosses seemed very close to heaven in this high, lovely spot.

     In 1907 the Rev. M. A. Ryan realized that again more burial space was needed. After some time the ideal site was found. Acessibility, beauty of surroundings and future needs having been considered, in 1908, the old McEnally farm was purchased from Messers Snyder and Bigler. Plans for the new cemetery were immediately started and a committee of the following men was organized: Rev. M. A. Ryan, Frank Fielding, William Dufton, H. A. Kratzer, A. E. Leitzinger, J. F. Leitzinger, J. P. O'Laughlin, James Reading, Joseph Roessner, Charles Roessner, R. D. Sheehe, W. J. Usher, John Stock, H. S. Whiteman and P. A. Gaulin. Two superintendents, A. E. Leitzinger and John Stock, headed the committee.






     The plot consists of about fourteen acres located about a mile from town, overlooking the valley. William Stock, son of John Stock, designed the new burial ground and his plans have been followed to the present day.

     About four of the acres were completely cleared and following the idea of a cross, four sections of ground were evenly allotted. A fine ash road was built into the place and that road traverses the four cross sections. The entrance road, flanked by a heavy hand wrought iron gate, was planted in sweet smelling mock orange bushes for the entire six hundred foot approach. Within the grounds, the road has dividing it in the middle a wide assortment of planting—the fragrant white and purple lilac, the colorful pink of the smoke tree, the stately white hydrangea, the early yellow of spring forsythia and fragrant native shrubbery. Careful planning resulted in an arrangement of continuous seasonal blooms.

     In the very center of the cemetery, in the traverse center of the cross design was erected on a green sodded elevation of ground a large round concrete step. It was crowned by the symbolical cross, then a wooden affair. In 1930 this cross was replaced by a handsome bronze one, high enough to be seen from the lower approaches. A startling real corpus adorns the cross and the dead Christ seems to hold silent communion with the parish dead. This outstanding feature of the cemetery was given by Dr. and Mrs. S. J. Waterworth in memory of their daughter Margaret. The entire field was planted in 1908 in an enclosure of Japanese larches, tall pines, canoe beeches and Norway spruces. Calvary was made lovely and, after some $10,000 had been spent, St. Francis felt a justifiable pride in its new cemetery.

     The years since 1908 have seen Calvary resting peacefully. The beauty of the place has been due largely to the personal interest of Mr. A. E. Leitzinger who has superintended the cemetery since that time. His gratuitous care of the grounds has been done with the idea of present and future beauty always in mind. No perpetual upkeep has ever been levied on the parishioners; voluntary offerings have been few. It is individuals with the pioneer spirit who have made and kept the cemetery the beauty spot that it is today.

     The first burial in Calvary took place on April 12, 1908, Miss Mary McAtee. Since then 865 have been laid to rest. As the years demand further use the ten acres farther back and on the town side of the hill will be utilized. And there, tranquilly and beautifully quiet on the breast of the hill, this garden of God will continue to shelter lovingly the parishioners of St. Francis.





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