It’s no small feat to keep a newspaper up and running for 110 consecutive years, so we decided it was a good idea to make this a year of celebration.
As part of that, we will run “A Look Back” in every issue, with something pulled from a past Messenger and run as a column in present issues.
Here’s our first example: an article from the Jan. 27, 1939 issue. It is interesting that we never find out Mrs. Boismenue’s first name.
Papal Cross Award to East St. Louis Woman
EAST ST. LOUIS – His Holiness Pope Pius XI has conferred the Papel Cross, “Pro Ecclessia et Pontifice” upon Mrs. Louis Boismenue, 433 North Ninth street, East St. Louis, according to an announcement made this week by His Excellency, Bishop Althoff.
The papal cross will be conferred upon Mrs. Boismenue by Bishop Althoff at Sacred Heart Church Thursday morning, February 2, at 10:30. A Solemn High Mass at which Rt. Rev. Msgr. Chas. Gilmartin, V. G., will be celebrant, will follow the conferring of the cross. His Excellency will preside at the throne during the Mass and will deliver the sermon. The public is invited to attend the Mass and conferring of the papal decoration.
Following the Mass a 12 o’clock luncheon will be served at the Community House at which Mrs. Boismenue will be the guest of honor. The Bishop and clergy will attend. Members of the local Queen’s Daughters as well as officers of the national organization will also be present. Rev. P. J. Byrne, spiritual director of the East St. Louis Queen’s Daughters, will act as toastmaster.
Active in Charity Work
Mrs. Boismenue, for 25 years president of the East St. Louis Queen’s Daughters, local charitable organization, is the first woman to be so honored in the Belleville Diocese. The award was made in recognition of her outstanding work with the Queen’s Daughters and other charitable organizations in the Diocese and for other works of Catholic Action.
Mrs. Boismenue, a widow of Louis Boismenue, a grandson of Col. Vital Jarrot, pioneer Cahokia family at whose home many early day distinguished guests were entertained, is past president of the diocesan Council of Catholic Women.
Mrs. Boismenue was particularly active in her work for the relief of the poor in the early days of the depression when no government agency had been organized to feed and clothe and generally care for the destitute. It was at that time that she established soup kitchens and relief depots in East St. Louis to care for distressed families.
The medal, Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, was instituted by Pope Leo XIII, the 17th of July, 1888, in memory of his golden sacerdotal jubilee. The decoration became a permanent distinction in October 1898. Its object is to reward those who deserve well of the Pope on account of services done for the Church and its head.