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Page 40 text:
mo CLri5f . . .
Sister Patricia Marie is a graduate of the John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls' High
School and of the Philadelphia Normal School. In 1930 she entered Maryknoll to be
assigned to Malabon in the Philippines three years later. On January 2, 1942, Sister
was interned by the Japanese in Manila and transferred July 9, 1944 to Los Banos
internment camp. On February 9 of the following year, just one hour before the
moment set for execution, Sister Patricia Marie and her fellow prisoners were rescued
by the Americans. April 17 of the next spring found Sister Patricia Marie returned
to her beloved mission in Malabon. She is at present on leave of absence in the
United States, with the hope of returning to the Philippines by Easter, 1949.
gg MERICAN youth cannot withstand the rigors of life in mission
countries. The comforts of America have made our boys and girls,
our men and women, too soft. They cannot face eating native food, sleep-
ing on the Hoor directly over heated bricks, climbing mountains on the
backs of unshod native beasts, traveling along rushing streams on primi-
tive rafts, journeying on river boats for days on end with natives above,
below, and beside them. They cannot endure the loneliness of months
and even years of separation from those who speak their language, who
follow the same customs, who think the same way."
Such were the reactions of many, both abroad and at home, to the
proposal of founding an American Catholic foreign mission society, whose
members would carry the knowledge and the love of Christ from America
to distant lands where the people "still sit in darkness and the shadow
of death," millions of people who are seeking for a reason for their misery
and apparently hopeless living. The clarion call went forth in 1911. Arner-
ican youth answered that challenge and Maryknoll is one expression of
that reply. At present, Maryknoll missioners number about twenty-one
hundred, of whom nearly one thousand are Sisters. They are to be found
in the Philippines, China, japan, Hawaii, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Chile,
Bolivia, Peru, Africa. Within a few months, the Sisters will be in Ceylon.
As might be expected, the war had devastating effects on many of our
missions, but by degrees these outposts of the Church are being reorgan-
ized and rebuilt. If plans had been carried out, some iifty of us should
Page 39 text:
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Page 41 text:
THE 1949 SILVER SANDS
not haye survived the intended massacre of the internees in a Philippine
internment camp, yet we were saved from that catastrophe and from all
the dangers preceding it, a testimony of God's loving Providence, and at
the same time, a tribute to the character of Americans who would not be
broken down by hardship.
My dear girls, you who are soon to be fellow-alumnae of Hallahan,
you share in the heritage of courage and stamina which is ours not only
as Hallahanites, and as Americans, but as children of a loving Father in
Heaven. Be proud of that heritage, of the privilege of saying, "I am a
Catholic American Hallahanitef' I hope you will never experience, as
we did, being deprived of contact with home and loved ones for almost
three years, but should that ever happen, you will know the depths of joy
that filled our hearts the first time we saw our flag run up at sunrise in an
internment camp in 1945. We know what it means to long for the first
indication of the coming of "our boys" and to seize every glimmer of hope
that they would come very soon. The very fact that they did come and
that we were there to welcome them, was one more proof that we were
not alone on the rnissionsg He, whose command to go and teach all nations,
we had heeded, had not forgotten us.
When we sat at desks in our beloved Alma Mater, when we answered
the call of the bells, when we passed through the halls and up and down
the staircases, I did not dream of the joy that comes with the realization
that one can face hardships and even dangers when one places her hand
in the hand of Christ. He does not bid us go alone: He goes with us,
indeed, before us.
Not every one need go to the foreign mission field, but every Hallahan
graduate by virtue of her baptism and confirmation in addition to the
privilege of her splendid Catholic education is ordained to the task of
sharing with those less fortunate than herself, the treasures of her Catholic
just as we sing at Hallahan of that great command, "Aptate lampades
vestras," so must we either at home or abroad, by our prayer and active
ministry, be the accompaniment for another melody, as the Voice of Christ
proclaims another great command: "Going, therefore, teach ye all nations."
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