9/14/2011 11:22:00 AM Portland - The Madeleine School
The Madeleine Parish will celebrate its history and centennial of the church and school throughout the 2011-2012 school year beginning with a parish picnic on Sunday, Sept. 11.
“It’s going to be a fantastic year full of fun and special events surrounding the Centennial theme. We are also kicking off the school year with an accreditation visit on Sept. 27. We are extremely busy but we are blessed with a faculty, staff and Centennial committee with what appears to be boundless energy!” says school principal, Susan Steele.
The Centennial Committee has monthly events planned including a re-dedication of the church in February 2012 by Archbishop John Vlazny followed by a Mardi Gras Party. Plans are also in the works for an all alumni reunion on Saturday, May 5, 2012.
It all began for the school with the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary in September of 1912. Mother Flavia, then Provincial of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, supplied the St. Mary Magdalene Parish with a staff of teaching sisters including their first Superior, Sister Rosa Maria, and two other Sisters, Mary Dagmar and Pierre du Crucifix. During the inaugural school year the sisters lived in the convent on campus and taught 56 students in kindergarten through sixth grade. By the following school year there were five Sisters and six in 1914-1915. In June of 1914, Father George Thompson awarded certificates to the first eighth grade graduating class consisting of four students.
From 1927 to 1946 the parish also supported a girls high school (they admitted boys for two years from 1928 – 1930). A decision was made to close the high school due to an expanding elementary school and limited space and funds. More than 230 students have The Madeleine High School as their alma mater. Over the years the Parish has undergone several additions and renovations but the old church still remains and plans are in the works to remodel the space.