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New Catholic School Building Dedicated Last Sunday
North Vernon Plain Dealer - June 25, 1908

    For many years the one hope cherished by Rev. Father Widerin pastor of the Catholic church in this city has been to erect a suitable school building for the ever increasing parish; this hope was realized to the fullest extent last Sunday when the Rt. Rev. D. O. Donachue, Bishop of Pomaria, assisted by Rev. Father Widerin, Rev. J. H. Boersig, Madison, Ind., Rev. Jos. Fleishmann, of St. Peters, Ind., Rev. Jos Schutts, Four Corner, Rev. J. M. Zoglmann, St. Ann, Rev. EdwardZirkelback, North Madison, Ind., Rev. J. J. Loibl, St. Johns, Clark County, held the dedication services dedicating it to the future use to which it will be put, to educate the children attending their school to a higher degree, thus making the duties involved on the pastoor much less than at the present time. During the day hundreds of visitors were present and viewed the building which for size and convenience can not be excelled in the State.
    After the morning services dinner was served in the basement of the building to several hundred.
    The principle address was made by Thomas O'Mara, a Jennings County boy, who has been attending law school at Washington, D. C., at night and acting as Secretary to Hon. Lincoln Dixon during the day. His address was well delivered and exceedingly strong on points in reference to the school, its purpose, its accomplishments; a high tribute was paid to Rev. Widerin to who the school will always stand as a memorial to his everlasting work in securing its construction. In fact his remarks covered the subject so completely that the Bishop would not attempt to add any words to the subject.
    Mr. O'Mara began by declaring that the occasion was one which would be long remembered in the history of the parish and community because of the interest which was shared by the Catholics of Southern Indiana. He referred to the welcome the Parish was glad to extend to their guests, the visiting clergy and the Rt. Rev. Bishop.
    The speaker declared that the new School Building was an exterior indication of the faith felt and hopes cherished by the Catholics of this community "in the ideals and institutions of the Catholic church, particularly in the ideal and institution of Catholic Education."
    Considerable attention was then paid to the history of the church in the matter of education, the speaker showing that the Catholic church had always been a "teaching church" from the first moment of its existance. He recounted the services performed by the church in the conversion and civilization of the Barbarians. The debt of the world to Catholic Christianity, was illustrated by history of book-making which Mr. O'Mara declared was developed by the the church and carried to the final stage of printing before the Reformation.
    The necessity for religious education was then touched upon and given as the reason why the Catholics of the Parish had maintained a Parochial School. He stated that many of the leading Non-Catholics had set the seal of their approval upon the work by generously contributing to the funds raised for the erection of the building. Such action indicated that the barriers of religious prejudice were breaking down, and that every member of the community should respect the religious convictions of every other.
    The speaker then spoke of the sacrifice made by the members of the congregation in building the new building and paid high praise to Father Widerin for his zeal and devotion to the interests of the congregation.
    Mr. O'Mara closed his remarks by a tribute to the loyalty and patriotic devotion of the graduates of Catholic Schools. They had fought and bled on every battlefield of the Civil War, and were devoted citizens in times of peace, and none would better serve the community in years to come.

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