The CAPG's Blog
A history of the Yellow Fever
"We established, on one side of the grounds, a quarantine department. There we detained, for a number of days, every one with permit seeking admission to the camp....This precaution against introducing the plague into the camp, was very desirable, and it worked most admirably. The dangers of a panic, which might disperse the camp, were thus obviated. Every one felt the more secure, and the elements of harmony and peace were strengthened.
Of course, we did not entirely depend upon human precaution to protect us. The most of those admitted to our camp were Catholics; hence, one of the first building erected on the grounds was a little church. It was on wheels, and located at one end of our main, on Father Mathew Avenue, beneath the shades of a forest tree. It was dedicated in honor of the Sacred Heart of our Divine Lord, and we all looked upon it as the Ark of our safety. There, during the place, I celebrated Mass almost every morning, and recited the rosary and gave benediction of the most blessed sacrament every night, when, after the day's labor in the plague-stricken city, I returned to rest at the camp, and be consoled by the prayerful greetings of our poor, faithful people, who daily feared that I would be stricken down. These esteemed greetings afforded me many a relieving joy amidst the most gloomy days of the awful plague....
The plague raged every-where through the country districts around us. Its victims form even the very confines of the camp, were being daily carried to their graves. Out of our population of about 400, we had only ten deaths from fever. in each case the fever was contracted in the city. It did not spread in the camp. In fact we had not one certain case, of a fatal or unfavorable result, contracted in our camp: Providence must have assisted us.
William Walsh, Rector of St. Bridget's Church, Memphis, Tenn. December 5, 1878
Let us restore Catholic Atmostphere in the Home
One of the deplorable results of the indifferent and lax spirit of the time is the gradual disappearance of the Catholic atmosphere form the home. Time there was, and that no longer than a generation ago, when a visitor could tell a Catholic home immediately upon his entrance. A crucifix upon the parlor mantel, and a statue of the Blessed Virgin or a picture of a favorite saint adorned the walls; but now, these articles of devotion are relegated to the bed-chambers, if indeed in many of the so-called Catholic homes of today they are permitted even there. The spirit of paganism has penetrated into Catholic homes to such an extent today that the crucifix has been superseded by the carnival or golf trophy, and the image of the Blessed Virgin by the picture of popular actresses.
Catholic Christian atmosphere is being dissipated by the fetid atmosphere of modern materialism, save for the "distinguished" Catholic, who, by tagging a medal of St. Christopher, the patron of travels, to his automobile, with never a prayer on his lip, expects thereby to save himself the expense of a smash-up. In these days of luxuries and modern vanities the custom of Catholic men raising their hats in respect to the Blessed Sacrament as they pass a Catholic Church is about the only evidence of Catholic atmosphere that we find in public life. The laws and prejudices of a portion of the people of America have so regulated manners and customs that it is not considered "good form" for Catholics to project their religious ideas on the former by any public display. As a result all customs and practices which create a distinctly Catholic atmosphere are confined to the home, and, sad to say, are fast disappearing from that.
Catholic atmosphere is perhaps more frequently found in country places and in small towns than in large cities. The bustling life of a city, the many pleasures and dissipations seem to leave little room for thought of decorating the home with Catholic pictures or ornaments.
It is only in the old-fashioned Catholic homestead that the Catholic atmosphere may be found an instinctively felt. Yet there are traditional memories in many a home when the evening found the family gathered before the crucifix or the picture of the Blessed Virgin in order to recite the "Rosary" and have family prayers in common. There are pious customs that are still kept up in some Catholic homes even now, and which give them a Catholic atmosphere that is unmistakable.
Protestants returning from certain parts of Europe are impressed by the "Catholic Atmosphere," and this has been the secret of the conversion many, especially of Anglicans. Speeding along the country roads it is not an uncommon thing to see a cross over the door of a house, or the image of the Blessed Virgin or a saint at its eave. The wayside shrines of the Crucifixion and of the Blessed Virgin, with pious peasants kneeling in prayer or respectfully doffing their hats as they pass, attract and impress.
In Continental Europe, too, in may towns and villages, as the priest carries the blessed Sacrament to some departing soul, the men, women and children follow in respectful devotion, often chanting piously the "Pange Lingua." Who would think of accompanying the Blessed Sacrament thus to the homes of the sick and dying, even in the most Catholic of our American cities? But there is one thing that we can all seek to do, and that is to restore the Catholic atmosphere of the homes where Catholics dwell. The Crucifix on the walls or mantel, the statues and pictures of the Sacred Heart, the Blessed Virgin and Saints, the tiny holy water font at the door, the gathering of the family for morning and evening prayer, or at least for the daily recitation of the Rosary in common - all these are practices in the Catholic home which cannot fail to impress the heart of youth so that the minds of the children may be influenced, and no amount of latter day indifference which they will not fail to meet in the world without can destroy such true and wholesome effects.
Source: Our Young People, 1916, The Morning Star