Christmas 1818 in St. Charles
The girls who had already made their First Communion were invited to spend Christmas Eve at the convent with the boarding pupils. They arrived with their blankets or buffalo robes, each prepared to make her own shake-down for the night in the school room. After supper they gathered around the log fire that lighted the rough, low-ceilinged room with its bright glow, and enjoyed a story hour. The wonders of the Christ Child’s first coming to earth held their minds and hearts in rapt attention, then gay Noëls were sung, and Mother Duchesne told them of Christmases in France and of the children she had known and loved at Sainte Marie. ... At the sound of the bell all assembled in the chapel or its adjoining rooms for midnight Mass. The Christ Child was reborn on the altar and in the hearts of the twenty nuns and children, who welcomed him with love and gratitude.
- Philippine Duchesne: Frontier Missionary of the
Sacred Heart by Louise Callan, RSCJ