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In December, 1797, he married Eulalia, a daughter of Jean Baptiste Des Chapelles. From May, 1806, to March, 1808, Father Kenny celebrated Mass monthly at the house in Wilmington), of John Keating, who subsequently moved to Philadelphia, where he died in 1856.
William Hyppolitus Keating, born in Wilmington in 1799, was a son of John Keating. He graduated at the University of Pennsylvania in 1816, and was appointed Professor of Chemistry and Mineralogy at that institution in 1822, a position he held until 1827. He was one of the founders of the Franklin Institute, in Philadelphia, and from December, 1821, to December, 1825, he served as Recording Secretary to the Academy of Natural Sciences in that city. He died in 1844.
Eulalia, a daughter of John Keating, married her cousin, Jerome Keating. She lived, with her husband, in Manayunk, until his death in 1833. Father Kenny frequently mentions them in his Diary. In 1844, Mrs. Eulalia Keating entered the Convent of the Visitation, in Georgetown, D. C., of which, at a later dater, she was the Mother Superior. She died in 1873
The late well known Dr. William V. Keating, of Philadelphia, distinguished through life, both in his profession and for his benevolent works, as well as his devotion to his Church, was a son of Mrs. Eulalia Keating. He died in 1894.
Amelia Keating, a sister of Dr. William V. Keating, married her cousin, Peter Bauduy. After the death of her husband she lived with her grandfather, John Keating, until his death in 1856. She then entered the Carmelite Convent, in Baltimore, where she died.
Mary, the youngest child of Jerome and Eulalia Keating, married James M. Willcox. Two of their daughters entered the Convent of the Holy Child. One of them died at Sharon Hill in 1895. The other is now living at St. Leonard's, in Philadelphia.
Peter Provenchere, another friend of Father Kenny, born in France in 1740, came to the United States in 1794, and settled in Wilmington. In 1808, he moved to Philadelphia, where he died, in 1831.*
See the RECORDS, vol. vii, page 78.
When Jean Garesché came to Wilmington, about 1794, several of his former slaves accompanied him. Among them was a young girl named Laurette, who afterwards married Andrew Noel, a highly respected barber living in Wilmington.
Andrew Noel and his wife were devoted Catholics, and Father Kenny frequently mentions them in his Diary. When Father Kenny went to Wilmington he usually made his home at the house of Mrs. Noel, habitually keeping his vestments there. He occasionally celebrated Mass in her house. Between the leaves in the Diary a part of a letter was found by the writer, that was written in French by Mrs. Noel, addressed to Father Kenny, which shows that she was an educated woman. When Rev. George A. Carrell went to Wilmington, in 1829, as assistant priest, he boarded at the house of Mrs. Noel. Andrew Noel died in 1822.
At a later date Mrs. Noel became a member of the Oblate Sisters (colored) in Baltimore, of which Order her daughter, Mother Louisa Noel, born in Wilmington, was the SuperiorGeneral. The latter died in 1885, when 68 years old, having been connected with the Order for 50 years, and its Superior for 29 years.
OUTLINES OF HISTORY—ST. CHARLES'
CHURCH, GRAND COTEAU, LA.
BY REV. C. M. WIDMAN, S. J.
1819. Charles Smith, a native of Maryland, commenced building the church of Grand Coteau, donating to the Bish. 130 arpents of land. He died suddenly on Apr. ist and was buried in the church before it was finished.
1820. His widow continued the work. The church was blessed Oct. 20 by F. Gabr. Isabey, O. P., parish priest of St. Martinsville, and F. Hercule Brassac appointed its first Pastor.
1821. Mrs. Mary Smith donated to R.R. Dubourg some 400 arpents more to establish a school for girls, and engaged herself to build a house for Sisters and to provide for their traveling expenses from France. (The donation was made in the form of a sale for a consideration of $10,000, for which a receipt was given at once.) The Sisters of the S. Heart, under Mother Audé, reached the place before the end of the year.
1821-1837. The parish and convent were under the direction of secular priests, F. Flavius H. Rosti, of Opelousas, sometimes administering per interim. Amongst the Baptisms are those of some adult Indians, baptized in extremis. The parish covered some 2000 sq. miles with a population of about 2500 souls, scattered through the prairies. The colored population, of which some 5 or 600 were free mulattoes (families dating from Spanish times) nearly equalled the whites. Most of the adult slaves had been baptized in Spanish times; since the occupation by the U. S., owing to the fewness of priests,
baptism was often administered, both to whites and blacks, by laymen called baptizers. Free negroes were married ; slaves were sometimes married (so-called) by their masters, and could not be married by priest, judge or minister, except with the consent of the masters. Few funerals took place from the church; most plantations had a graveyard of their own. (A new parish-Vermillionville, now Lafayette-was organized in 1823.) No wonder that the statistics of these first years give numbers so small ; what could one man do with such an extent of territory, and so low a state of religious instruction ?
1836. Contract signed in France (Sept. 23) between R.R. Anthony Blanc and the Jesuits.
1837. The first Fathers reach New Orleans (Feb. 22) and F. Peter de Vos, S. J., commenced his ministrations at St. Charles (Apr. 17). The corner-stone of St. Charles College was laid by Bish. Blanc, July 31.
1838. Classes opened Jan. 6th. The FF. of the College attend to the church during the week, whilst the Pastor travels over the vast territory committed to his care.
1840. Church and College pass under the jurisdiction of the Vice Provincial of Missouri.
1847, Jan. The Province of Lyons takes charge of the New Orleans Mission.
1852-56. Two chapels are built, Plaquemine Brûlé (now Church Point) and La Jonction (now Arnaudville). They are attended from the College, but have separate records. In 1853 the College was suspended ; but the FF. continued in charge of the Parish and Missions.
1856. The College reopened in Oct.
1861-1865. The Civil War. Both armies equally protected the college, convent and church. A "safe conduct” spontaneously issued by Gen. N. Banks, (1862) renewed the year after by Gen. Franklin, proved an excellent protection, not only to our establishments, but to the vicinity. 1863. All Saints' Day offices interrupted by the arrival of Federal troops. Novb. 3, Battle of Grand Coteau. Many slaves profit
of the presence of the Federal Army to run away; those who remain, are better off at the end of the war.
1866. Decb. 14. Miracle of Bl. John Berchmans at the S. Heart Convent. It was subsequently received in the process of canonization, and is related in the Bull.
1867 Two FF. of the College, F. Nachon and A. de Chaignon, die of yellow fever at Washington, (La.), where they were sent to assist the parish priest.
1865-1868. Distress and poverty after the war ; the wealthiest planters before, became the poorest after. Free negroes hasten to have their marriages set right before the Church. Preachers of all sects overrun the country to draw the poor negroes in their nets ; the Church loses about one half of them.
1868. A new parish formed at Carrencro from the best portions of Grand Coteau and Lafayette.
1880. A new frame church dedicated (July 14th) by R.R. Bishop Quinlan under the title of the S. Heart. The remains of Ch. Smith are transferred thither.
1868-1889. The long administration of F. J. F. Abbadie, who in 1876, celebrated the 50th year of his Religious Life and in 1885 that of his priesthood, and died on Decb. 16, 1890, at the age
of 86. 1890. The college boarding school is suspended and replaced by a Scholasticate of the Soc. of Jesus.
1898. And of the original parish of Grand Coteau have been formed successively four other parishes : Church Point, Arnaudville, Pointe aux Loups, and Rayne; and portions of six other parishes : Carrencro, Mermentau, Grande Pointe, Crowley, Jennings and Leonville, all more or less prosperous. To-day, the mother is smaller-in extent at least-than any of her daughters.
SUCCESSION OF PARISH PRIESTS.
Secular Priests : Hercule Brassac (1819-1822); Franc. Cellini (1822–1824); Leo de Neckere, afterw. Bishop of N.O.