The year was 1952. Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected president, and American soldiers fought communist North Korea. A vaccine for polio had been developed. Families gathered around the television to watch “I Love Lucy” and “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.” And, Ralph Ellison published The Invisible Man, which would win the National Book Award in 1953.
Mount de Sales was an all-girls academy with boarding students. The monthly newsletter, the de Sales Sheet, was typed and copied by mimeograph machine to distribute to students, faculty, and families. Junior Frankie Sylvester (Gober) was the editor, and Sister Bernardine was the faculty advisor. In a nod to the seriousness of the publication, the staff was a member of the Catholic Press Association, Georgia Scholastic Press Association, Quill and Scroll, and National Scholastic Press Association.
The November 26 edition focused on Thanksgiving and reflected the cares and concerns of the times. The young ladies and their dates attended the annual Harvest Dance for the price of $1.00 per couple. The Academy’s chapel was being renovated, and the Dramatics Club presented the play “Belles of Canterbury” in the school auditorium. A “roving reporter” asked freshmen for what they were thankful. Betty Cook said, “I am thankful that my brother is back in the states and that my younger brother is out of the hospital and will be leaving Korea in two or three weeks.” Janice O’Herron remarked, “I am thankful that the Communists have not conquered America.” Ann Lea Hurst was thankful to attend Mass and salute the flag, and admitted to being thankful for her siblings even though she teased them a lot!
An essay entitled “Do We Want World Peace?” was included. The author began: “In the hearts of men there is a dream, a dream of all the nations in the world living in harmony, peace and concord, without war or strife. A dream of a world at peace with liberty and justice for all.” She goes on to answer the question of what each person could do to make the dream of world peace come true: “The answer is a simple one and can be given in one word. Pray; pray for world peace! Through the eyes of prayer, world peace ceases to be a far-away, unattainable dream but becomes very real and very near. Peace comes from God and unceasing prayer accompanied by self-denial and penance will obtain from God the graces needed for world peace. When this comes, the passions of men will calm down and there will be world peace.”
What a beautiful and inspiring message, one that is just as needed in 2020 as in 1952. As we count our blessings this Thanksgiving, let’s all say a prayer for peace in our homes, our institutions, our country, and the world.
Mount de Sales Academy is a private Catholic school located in Macon, GA, and serves students in Bibb, Houston, Jones, Monroe, Peach and other surrounding counties. MDS is sponsored and inspired by the Sisters of Mercy. Since 1876, MDS has served a diverse college-preparatory community of learners—students and teachers alike—who are poised to discover, challenged to innovate, and motivated to serve.