Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Thursday, May 5, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Mt Angel Towers 8.13

Home : Faith/Spirituality : Living Faith
2/24/2011 10:07:00 AM
During great epidemic, Sisters bravely served the sick and dying
Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon photo
Sisters Agnes and Alexia O'Rourke.
Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon photo
Sisters Agnes and Alexia O'Rourke.

Here are excerpts from the memoirs of Sr. Agnes O’Rourke on Verboort in 1917, when the influenza epidemic struck:
When the influenza epidemic broke out in 1917, I was in charge of the Verboort School. All the schools were closed as the flu was raging through the state. No nurses could be obtained. Whole families were stricken suddenly — fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters.

School was closed and Sister Mary Alexia and I wished to go among the flu cases and care for the wick. To obtain permission from our Mother General, Sister M. Seraphim, I phoned asking to help out.

“It would be a noble cause, but I’ll say neither ‘yes’ nor ‘no’,” she answered.
“We’ll go then,” I replied.

For over a month Sister and I visited the houses full of flu patients. At first we went together, but in a short time, as the number of cases increased, we went alone here and there. The doctors attending patients were Dr. Ward and Dr. Robb.

The first place to which we went was to John Herb, who lived just across the road. They needed no help. A phone call then came from Mrs. John Kindel. “I never thought it would come to this, we are all down with the flu. If Evelyn could get her medicine regularly all night, Dr. Robb said the girl might be saved. Could you come tonight?”

Sister M. Alexia and I changed off for three nights. One small boy was up and around. All the rest were stretched on their bed.

The cattle were in the barn, neglected. We sent the boy out to feed them as he had often helped his dad put them in the pasture and helped with the chores.

One afternoon Louis Vandehey came in haste. “Will you come to Ed Vandehey’s place? All are down with the flu and need help.” He took us down in his buggy.

Ed Vandehey and his wife were down with the flu and their 3-year-old tot was toddling around.

Will Vandehey and his wife with a baby and a two-year-old tot had stopped after church to visit them and could not get home. They too became very sick. It was a sight! In a little three-room house four flu patients were very ill with a little 3-year old and a 2-year-old tottering around. A baby was in bed with the parents. The house was like a bake-oven, so hot.

When we entered, all were glad to see us. There were no conveniences at all to take care of the sick; all must be done the hard way. First, we fed the children and then tended to each person’s needs. We were up all that first night.

After fixing breakfast we went to the convent to sleep, but returned at night again.

In the oven, we heated a bag with oats and applied it to the patient who was suffering severe pain. Sr. M. Alexia kept a pan of oats in the oven. As one bag got cold I emptied it into a pan and Sister gave me a pan of heated oats – by this means we saved the life of one patient.

A pig was squealing in the barn so I went out and fed it.

Mrs. Ed Vandehey had flu-pneumonia and was expecting a child any moment. A very serious situation for me, who knew nothing of the care for such cases. The moment arrived and the boy was born.

At that moment Dr. Robb rushed in. He examined it and asked, “Did you baptize it?” I replied, “Yes, I baptized him Ignatius. Tell me what to do, I’m no nurse.” We followed orders. Sister M. Alexia prepared two pans of water, one cold and the other hot. I dipped the child first in cold water, then in hot, trying to get the blood in circulation. In the mean time Sr. M. alexia took the children out of this room into the kitchen and kept them quiet.

My little treasure was soon a corpse in my hands. I wrapped the little body in a towel and placed it on a chair. I phoned bill Hermens, “Will you please bury the child?” I explained the circumstances. The mother had clothes prepared in a drawer, and I dressed the little boy and Bill took him in his car to the cemetery. The mother lay dying. Her husband, who was lying on the lounge beside her bed, was too sick to move. I held her candle and said the prayers for the dying. She soon gasped her last.

I phoned the undertaker in Forest Grove. At midnight he came, put her in a straw basket and as they carried her out her husband said, “Are you going to take her away so soon?” She was buried silently and quietly without Holy Mass or mourners the next day in the Verboort Cemetery. During the epidemic, the church was closed and no Holy Mass could be offered.

Bill Van Dyke lay sick and in a critical condition for several days. Dr. Ward, John Van Dyke, and I kept watch all night, expecting him to die, but he lingered on. He recovered and lived several years.

The Cropp Family was all down except the Dad. Sister and I walked down a muddy road about a mile and knocked at the door. “No one comes near us. I’m so glad you came,” he said. We said, “We’ll take charge for the day, go and rest.”

Mother and babe and five children were all down. Dad went upstairs and before long we could hear him snoring very loudly. We washed the faces and hands of the patients and gave them a cool drink, then we went to the kitchen, not a clean dish in the pantry. All had been used. So we began the kitchen work, washing dishes, sweeping floors, tending to the tiny tots’ needs. That evening we walked home for a rest.

Father Van Clarenbeck and Dr. Ward came down the road. “Oh, Sister, would you come down to Vanoudenhagens Charlie is so sick and no one knows what to do. If we can relieve him of his pain the boy will live.”

I went to the house, soaked towels in boiling hot water, wrung them between plates, then applied to his chest. I continue this process until relief came. He lived.
Many families rendered to Sister M. Alexia and me a sincere thanks for service we rendered the families during the flu epidemic.

Advanced Search

Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved