Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas on a Steamboat, 1843

After a long journey sailing from Europe, Precious Blood Fr. Francis Brunner and his party of 7 priests and 7 students arrived in New Orleans on Dec. 21, 1843. From New Orleans, the group traveled the Mississippi River by steamboat to Cincinnati, where they would receive their assignments in Northern Ohio from Bishop Purcell.

“Before midnight all arose, recited matins in common, and then celebrated the midnight Masses. Lauds in common followed. By this time they were able to celebrate the second Mass of Christmas, as the first rays of dawn reddened the sky. When these Masses were completed, the sun had risen and the third Masses of Christmas were offered. Thus, with the celebration of twenty-four Masses upon a steamboat moving up the Mississippi, the Society observed its first Christmas in America.”

From Paul Knapke’s History of the American Province of the Society of the Precious Blood, Vol. 1.

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