Women's History Celebration
March 1997 Franco-American Women's Institute
"Did She or Didn't She?:
Franco-American Women in Parochial Schools"
Some Proceedings from Panel Presentations
Women's History Celebration March 1997, Women In The Curriculum, University of Maine, Orono, Maine
|On The Panel: Did She Or Didn't She---I Didn't
By Amy Bouchard Morin
It was very difficult for me to speak on how not
going to Parochial School affected me. Since I didn't attend, I don't know.
I can only work through it with words and see what comes out. I do know
that I mostly liked the nuns that I had contact with. I attended CCD (Sunday
school) after the 9 o'clock mass every Sunday until I was in high school,
and then we had our CCD classes on Monday evening. Our classes consisted
of learning from the Baltimore Catechism by rote...memorizing questions
and the answers to them, and being able to spew them out the following
week at CCD. I always studied my lesson and was a good spewer so I received
a lot of little holy pictures (They were given by the nun each week if
you knew your lessons.)
|My Parochial School Experience
By Deborah Ouellette Small
My name is Deborah
Ouellette Small and I attended St. Joseph's in Old Town, Maine throughout
my elementary years. In the year of 1969, my eighth grade class was
the last to graduate from St. Joseph's. Because of the low enrollment,
the parish decided to close the school. In a ten-year span the student
population dropped from 460 to 280.
|Parochial School Story
By Lanette Landry Petrie
I was born and raised in a small town in
central Maine called Bradley. I'd guess 90% of the population was
Franco-American with several generations of the same families living
very close by. We had/have a Catholic Church, Baptist Church, Post
Office, Fire Barn, 3 general stores and a public elementary school.
There were two sections of town - the village and the lower end.
The village was the part of town where the Churches and stores were
located. The lower end was exactly that - the lower end of Bradley. It
was the part of town that would have been on the wrong side of the tracks
if there had been tracks. The majority of the Franco-American Catholics
lived in the village. Almost everyone in town could be considered
blue collar workers with only a very few reaching lower middle class.
Even though we were poor, the lower end kids were really poor. Today
the lower end of town has become a suburb of the village where older
people struggle to keep up their big homes, many of which have turned
into apartments, housing people "from away" or
|Excerpt from Wednesday's Child, winner of the
1997 Maine Writers and Publishers Chapbook Award
By Rhea Côté Robbins
My view on Catholic parochial school comes from the era in which I was in school, both schools I attended where located in Waterville, Maine. I went to Mont Merici Academy for kindergarten 1958-58, and then Notre Dame School, 1959 to 1967. Our class was the last eighth grade graduating class of the Notre Dame School. For graduation, we had our formal portrait taken with the priest. For that occasion I convinced my maman I needed a pair of three-inch heels. It was the buy-out to freedom in my eyes. Nylons with a garter belt and three-inch heels. After the photo, still dressed in my white graduation dress, walking barefoot in nylon stockinged feet, the heels were too tight for a two-mile walk home, we laughed and talked our way toward the future. I stare at the photo of the thirteen graduating young women of the class of 1967, and I see innocence tempered with rivalry. Bouffant hairdos imitating adulthood. We blamed our lives on our fates. I went on to become more of myself in the public high school, but it is with a retrospective glance that I now realize what I was given in all those years of Catholic education. The courage to go on with whatever my life manages to dish out. And the writing. I was given the love of writing. We wrote and wrote for days with our favorite nun. But that was when we we older. The following is a chapter excerpt from the book I have written about the earlier years at Notre Dame School. The pre-Vatican II years. The Baltimore Cathechism years. It is the title chapter, Wednesday's Child. I believe that my early formation speaks to my life as a Franco-American woman today.
"Roneka, The Forest Queen" is the title of an original
operetta written by a young lady of this village, to be performed at Town
Hall on Friday evening of next week. The parts will all be taken
by young ladiesóamong whom will be musical talent that promises an attractive
An Attractive Exhibition
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