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Newspaper Page Text
The Indian Advocate
Devoted to the Interests of Indian Missions.
Among the Osages.
We get word from the present pastor
of the Osages Rev. D. Lancelot, 0. S. B.,
that the occasion of the pastoral visit
of our dear and venerated Bishop was
quite a red letter day for the Osages.
How heartily those, who have been
first to labor in that part of our vast
missionary field, will rejoice ! It will
gladden their hearts when they hear that
the seed they have sown under such seem
ingly unauspicious circumstances, has
at. last been ripened and promises a
plentiful harvest. Indeed, if we except
the Pottawatomies, there is not an In
dian tribe whoro more zealous and dis
interested work has been lavished for
the last seven years ; which fact how
over seems to have been little appre
ciated at times by casual observers. A
rapid glance at the eventful and check
ered fortunes of the Catholic mission on
the Osage reservation will bear us out
in this, and may prove of interest to
the readers of the Advocatk.
The first of our Fathers who was sent
there, Rev. Fr. Felix DeGrasso, 0. S. B.,
made Pawhuska the center of his new
mission, but constantly travelled from
there to distant points all over the reser
vation, so that in a few months he had
made a thorough visit of the whole tribe
and taken a complete survey of his
field of action. Some idea of the diffi
culty of his achievement alone may bo
gathered from the fact that the Osage
reservation is a tract of land no less
than 2,296 square miles, nd as a body
of land, the roughest and most difficult
to travel, of the whole Indian Territory.
Over this extent of Territory are
scattered fifteen hundred Indians, liv
ing not in villages, but in small groups
of a few families, in out of the way
places, whore there are no roads to
travel upon or landmarks to go by.
Soon the R. Rev. Prefect Apost. D.
Jean had enlisted the interest of Miss
Catherine Droxel in favor of this new
mission, and this excellent lady gave
some money for the erection of a school.
This, together with funds received from
our own families in France, and some
contributions of charitable persons en
abled us to build a first mission in the
Osage Agency. It consisted of a house
for two priests, a boarding school for
seventy-five children and a convent for
seven Sisters. One of the school-rooms
was used for divine service on Sunday ;
the sanctuary being closed in by a parti
tion during the week. Alas we were
not to enjoy this comfort very long.
Our school was crowded to its utmost
capacity and giving full satisfaction to
the Indians, when a fire swept away in
less than an hour the whole mission.
It broke in the dead of night, and it is
a miracle that no one of the seventy-five
children and of the Sisters was made a
victim of it.
Soon after this occurrence R. Fr.
Felix was removed to Guthrie, the
capital of the famous Oklahoma which
was just being opened ; and thus his
assistant till then, Fr. Savinien 0. S. B.,
was left as Pastor, homeless, with a
community of Sisters without a convent,
and with a Church and School to re
build. The outlook was anything but
cheerful. The success of our school
had been regarded with jealousy by the
officials of the Government school and