Today, I will be posting “part five” in the history series on Our Lady of Good Help . This post will be kind of short – I have a wee bit (a lot) of school work to catch up on. Lets pick up where I left off last Tuesday.
…With the donations, which Adele and her companions received while on their “begging tours”, the sisters were able to establish a convent and school by the year 1868. Run by the “Sisters of Good Health,” as Adele and her companions were commonly called, the school was given the name of St. Mary’s Boarding Academy in 1869 and as well as the prestigious title of the second academy in the Green Bay Diocese.
The lessons at St. Mary’s Boarding Academy were taught in both English and French. Over 60 children were enrolled in there, and the tuition was one dollar a week. However, in spite of this, there was never sufficient funds to cover the costs of maintenance. The sisters were always out on “begging tours” in the local communities – begging for money, food and other items necessary for the upkeep of the school. When funds and food ran dry, Adele would go to the Blessed Mother – begging her for assistance. The Queen of Heaven always responded and the next morning, some good soul would give a donation or drop off some meat and vegetables.
Adele and her sisters worked diligently in the vineyard of Christ. Through their teaching and “begging tours,” the Sisters of Good Health catechized the children and families of the Belgian community, “teaching them what they needed to know for salvation”- thus fulfilling the Queen of Heaven’s request.
It must be noted that, while Adele produced great fruit in the Belgian community – in and around Robinsonville, from Sturgeon Bay to Kewaunee, and Green Bay to Manitowoc – much of Northern Wisconsin, as well as portions of Upper Michigan were on the brink of apostasy. These portions of the country were heavily forested and a magnet for the lumber industry. With the “boom towns” that resulted from this industry, came much vice (saloons, brothels, etc.). Find out next Tuesday, why, in her last apparition to Adele, the Queen of Heaven said “If they do not convert and do penance, my Son will be obliged to punish them.”