From the Collections

Happy Halloween…

Photo Credit: Conning/USA

As the month of October began, the air became more consistently cool, the leaves started to unabashedly change, and people, young and old, began to ponder how they might choose to enjoy this spooky holiday season. Would they dress up this year? Carve pumpkins? Plunge into a scary movie marathon? Gather together with friends? Perhaps partake in all of the above?! And just as quickly as we begin to ponder all of these questions, we find that Halloween is already upon us. Seeing the costumes parade around the Maryknoll campus today and hearing the festivities made me wonder if the missioners ever wrote down memories of Halloween celebrations past. Lucky for my inquiring mind they did! Enjoy these three diary excerpts from the Fathers & Brothers and Sisters:

“The liveliest event of the month was our annual Hallow E’en party; so lively was it that Father Merfeld examined the cider bottles to find out if any mistake had been made. The party opened, as all such parties should, by having each one ‘soak his head’ in a pail of water; occasionally there would emerge from the water, a head, well steeped and bearing between its jaws a well-earned apple. […]The party continued, everyone cheerfully contributing something to the entertainment, all, save one who was found hiding, both himself and his talent behind a half-bushel of apples in the


Photo Credit: Di Silvestro/USA

industrial room; one pail of water did the trick, soon he was up and singing ‘It rained when you found me.'”
~ Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers, Cincinnati Diary, October 1933

“All day long there were hallowe’en parties. Each room had their own party and we had the Kindergarten on the ‘Road’ this morning stopping at all classes and performing. At the height of the games in the first grade one little boy hidden behind a pirate’s costume asked ‘When’s the party starting?’ Party means food to most children here.”
~ Maryknoll Sisters, New York, Transfiguration Convent, October 29, 1954

“At supper, the dining-room was transformed into a witch’s cavern for a costume party for the guests. The tables were placed to form one large one; the supper carried out the Hallowe’en scheme in color. A feast day cake boasted a Hallowe’en cat in brown frosting on yellow. All enjoyed the festivities.”
~Maryknoll Sisters, New York, Ossining – Bethany, October 31, 1931


WiShInG a HaPpY hAlLoWeEn To EvErYoNe!!!


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