A look back at stories from The Catholic Telegraph during the 1918 Pandemic
Pursuant to the orders of the Cincinnati Board of Health, prohibiting the assembling of people during the prevailing epidemic of influenza, the conference of the Province of Cincinnati, called for next Monday, for the purpose of making preparations for the Combined War Work Campaign, has been indefinitely postponed. As soon as the city officials permit public gatherings to be held, another date will be fixed and notice will be given to those’ interested. Archbishop of Cincinnati.
-Archbishop Henry Moeller
CARDINAL’S JUBILEE Baltimore Celebration Will Be Greatly Curtailed Because of Epidemic. Baltimore, Oct. 8.—On account of the influenza epidemic, the celebration of the golden jubilee of Cardinal Gibbons’ elevation to the episcopal rank, which was to have taken place on October 20 and 21, will be greatly curtailed. An announcement to this effect was is¬ sued yesterday by Bishop Owen B. Corrigan, who stated that, while the ecclesiastical ceremonies at the Cathedral planned for Sunday, October 20, will be carried out, there ’will be no reception on the following day, and the demonstration by the school children of the city, scheduled for October 24, will not take place. The Washington celebrations, which were to have taken place in St. Patrick Church, have also been called off. The action of the Bishop was taken after consultation with the Cardinal, who agreed that it would be unwise to hold any large civic demonstration at the present time.
WASHINGTON, Oct. 9.—The Spanish influenza is sweeping over the whole country. The U. S. Public Health Service has reports of its ravages in 45 States. It has appeared in many army camps, and the patients among the soldiers number more than 200,000. In Washington the epidemic is so bad that the schools, theaters, and churches have been closed. The city is overcrowded with war workers. Most of the stores are not allowed to open in the morning untjl 10 o’clock. The hospitals are crowded to the doors.
QUARANTINED Baltimore. Oct. 12. — One hundred and fifty students at Mt. St. Mary College, Emmitsburg, are confined to their beds with Spanish influenza, and the school has been put under strict quarantine regulations.
WASHINGTON, Oct. 23—Three doctors and one male nurse connected with the U. S. Public Health Service have died of influenza, contracted in the dis¬ charge of their duties in combating the epidemic. Surgeon-General Blue has called the attention of Secretary McAdoo to their brave service in the midst of the plague: [“No matter how dangerous to life and health,” says Dr. Blue, “assignments of officers of the United States Public Health Service to duty are always promptly and cheerfully accepted. Be it to combat cholera or plague in the Philippines, typhus along the Rio Grande, leprosy in Hawaii, yellow fever in the tropics or Spanish influenza at home, the officers of the service have never failed to respond, even though they have, as in these instances, had to pay with their lives.”
New Orleans, Oct. 22.—Owing to the illness of Bishop-elect Drossaerts, who is with Spanish influenza at his home in “Baton Rouge, together with the prevalence of the malady here, it has been kerned expedient to indefinitely postpone Tbe triple ceremony of the consecration of “Bishops-elect Drossaerts and Jeanmard and the installation of Archbishop Shaw. *this elaborate function was scheduled for next Monday, and all arrangements had been made, but it is now deferred to some future date, to be announced when the epidemic has run its course.
CLOSING CHURCHES Decried By Msgr. Thomas, of St. Patrick Church, Washington, D. C. [Catholic Press Association’] Washington, Oct. 23.—For now three weeks the churches in Washington have been closed to public religious services, by order of the three Commissioners of the District of Columbia, on account of the influenza epidemic. One of the Commissioners, Mr. Gwynn Gardiner, is a Catholic. Monsignor Thomas, pastor of St. Patrick congregation, has issued this call for a general protest against the closing of the churches: “Let there be a universal protest against the prohibition to hold divine services. The times are critical. The pandemic of influenza is raging. The war has entered an acute stage. The autocratic power of Prussia hangs in the balance. The forces of the United States and of the Allies are facing tremendous odds successfully so far. The fate of the world’s democracy is soon to be decided. The need is urgent of the Most High’s protection. “Strange that we are prevented from publicly assembling to implore the divine aid and guidance! [‘Has faith in the supernatural and the spiritual vanished from among us? “Let the civil authorities make it possible to show the reverence and the confidence of the people in God. “Let the ban be raised: and with due precaution let it be lawful for us to have public supplication to the Supreme Being, Who governs all, in spite of our efforts and prejudices.”
Sisters Offer Services as Nurses During Epidemic. Cleveland, Oct. 24.—Four hundred Catholic Sisters of Cleveland offered their services on Wednesday to Mayor Davis and asked to be assigned to serve as emergency nurses during the present epidemic of Spanish influenza. The offer of the Sisters, made through Rt. Rev. Bishop Farelly, was promptly accepted. ■’ Catholic Sisters have also volunteered tor nursing in other cities of the diocese, notably Youngstown and Canton. In Canton the Sisters of the Humility of Mary established an emergency hospital. In St. Thomas Aquinas parish, Superior and E. W, Sisters of St. Joseph have been ministering to the sick in their homes.
Two Hundred Seminarians Dig Graves For Influenza Victims. Philadelphia, Oct. 26.—During the three memorable weeks of this month, when the influenza exacted its terrible toll in this city, one of the most perplexing problems was the burial of the dead in the four diocesan cemeteries. To meet the situation Archbishop Dougherty called for volunteer grave-diggers and more than two hundred students of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Overbrook, not only dug the graves but also carried the bodies from temporary resting places to family lots. When the mortality increased and the number of funerals, to Holy Cross Cemetery especially, began to grow greater day by day, they immediately prepared a large community grave, carrying and burying with most tender care, after reciting the “De Profundis,” every body laid therein. In addition to this work of mercy more than fifty seminarians labored incessantly as nurses and orderlies in hospitals.
BISHOP GALLAGHER Requests That Installation Reception Ceremonies Be Postponed. Detroit, Oct. 24.—Bishop Gallagher came to Detroit unexpectedly on Monday, and immediately called on Rev. M. J. P. Dempsey at the Cathedral, after which he conferred with the lay’ members of the reception committee, who have had the direction of the reception ceremonies for his installation as Bishop of Detroit in charge. Though Dr. Inches of the Health Department saw no danger, Bishop Gallagher deemed best to defer the public function until later date, or until the danger of influenza infection will have subsided. He remarked: “We cannot think of holding a public function if public health is in any way’ endangered. Wherever there are crowds, there is danger of infuenza being communicated. It is far better to avoid any possibility- of risk than to take chances.”