138 The Indian Advocate.
depths of the wilderness they followed the flocks of their Mas
ter lest some might fall among wolves. These men were
fathers among their children, and the generation they trained
showed evidence of their work. Churches arose everywhere,
and homes; and little by little, schools wherein the rising gen
eration could be educated. The fields had widened, and the
land gave promise of becoming that Arcadia it is to-day.
Some of the more prominent schools founded between the
admission of the State into the Union and 1825 may be briefly
mentioned here, since in every instance these have wielded a
tremendous influence upon the status of Southern Catholicism.
Here it may not be amiss to state a-noteworthy fact, viz: that
Catholicism at the South has always been distinctly, if not
distinctively, intellectual. The Church in the South has been
pre-eminently an intellectual force at periods when the lit
erary instinct of that section was stagnant. It was Southern
Catholicism which gave us "The Star-Spangled Banner,"
"The Bivouac of the Dead" and "Maryland, my Maryland."
Later, it gave us the "poet-priest," Father Ryan, who sang
the dirge of "The Conquered Banner." To the modest, un
assuming Catholic schools, where almost alone a love of polite
letters was imparted at a period when the South was given over
to politics, may these literary gleams be traced.
The oldest sisterhood in Kentucky is that of Loretto. See
ing a new generation rising around him, the next thought of
Father Charles Nerinckx was how to provide, in that rugged,
isolated section, schools wherein these open, innocent minds
should be educated. To this end he instructed Miss Mary
Rhodes, a pious young girl of his parish, to open a day school
in a couple of abandoned cabins near Hardin Creek. Hon.
Benj. J. Webb, in his history of "Catholicity in Kentucky,"
says of these that "They were wretchedly dilapidated and
without other flooring than the bare ground. They were roofed
with rough boards that had shrunk so far apart as to afford but
slight protection against the intrusion of wind and snow."
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