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Songs and Stories
     October 3, 2019      #66-365 SsK
This panoramic view from a St. Viator College catalog shows the campus as it appeared in 1920. Shown from left to right: Maternity BVM church, the gymnasium and dining hall building that had survived the 1906 fire, Roy Hall dormitory, St. Joseph’s Hall classroom building and the newly completed Ma

The College of St. Viator

By Jack Klasey

On Sept. 10, 1865, three black-garbed newcomers appeared in the small town of Bourbonnais, arriving by carriage from the train depot in Kankakee. While the men were strangers, the language they spoke was the familiar dialect of French Canada.

The trio had come from Montreal at the invitation of Father Jacques Cote, pastor of Maternity BVM Church, to open a school for boys of the town (village girls attended the “convent school” founded five years earlier by nuns of the Congregation of Notre Dame). Father Peter Beaudoin would become the new pastor of the church, and Brothers Jean Baptiste Bernard and Augustin Martel would teach in the ...

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Jack Klasey
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