Historical Stories 1966 - Christmastime

On December 22,1966, Auxiliary Bishop Manning wrote to Fr. Colman indicating that he had received the correspondence from Sister Clarrisa regarding their commitment to stay at St. Turibius School.  Therefore, they would not be able to serve Sts. Simon & Jude.  He continued, “We have had an intimation from an Irish community that they would like an assignment here.  This has been given to Monsignor Clyne; maybe you could pursue that with him.”

1966_Mass_ScheduleAs the parish community prepared for Christmas in 1966, the Friars were taking an ambitious and aggressive approach to the Celebration of Christmas Mass.  As indicated by this schedule, there were three Midnight Masses, for which one had to have a ticket and could not bring grade school children.  Seven Masses on Christmas Day in the Church, nine more in local schools and finally two more at Holy Family Mission, for a total of 19 Masses in just two days! 

At the time, Fr. Colman, Fr. McDonnell and Fr. Gini were the only priests on staff.  Additional priests were solicited to help with this amazing task, some coming from out of state.  The next few months were filled with the usual parish events: weddings, funerals, Confirmations, First Communions and preparation for the Lenten and Easter Season.  The first Fall Festival was also in the planning stage, an event that would have a lasting impression on the entire community for years to come.  The Fesitval would prove to be a very successful community builder and fundraising venture, albeit without the presence of Fr. Colman.  He planned his vacations to coincide with the festival dates.

With the new school scheduled to open in September, the likelihood of the Sisters of St. Francis serving and teaching at Sts. Simon & Jude was still in doubt.  The situation was conditioned on whether St. Turbius parish school in Los Angeles would close as planned.  The sisters were short of personnel but felt a commitment to a parish where they had served for a number of years.  If the school closed, those sisters would be assigned to Sts. Simon & Jude.  If, however, another religious community could make a firm commitment to Sts. Simon & Jude, the Franciscan Sisters would not object.

Only two days later Rev. Hawkes agreed to the rental of the home and the purchase of the new car.

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