Thursday, May 16, 2013

HIGHER LEARNING

"unknown boy" 2.5 x 4 inches, acrylic on photo paper.

For the accompanying portrait to the Marist College I am using a created character in this Mexican boy to pose as one of the Marist College alumni.
Marist College, a grammar and junior high school was opened in Tucson, Arizona in 1914 by four Marist Brothers from the Mexican Province. Three of these brothers, viz., Gosbertus, Gregorius, and Louis Casimir, who were fleeing from Manzanillo, Mexico, where due to violent anti-clerical persecutions, the Marist schools were forced to close, arrived in San Francisco via a Chinese boat. Bishop Henry Granjon of Tucson invited these brothers to study English and the American system of education for a few months in Tucson in order to open a school in that city. A few days later Brother Henry Fumeaux from St. Joseph Academy in Brownsville, joined them.

The brothers took up residence at the cathedral parish rectory. There, Father Louis Duval, a French missionary, tended to the needs of the little Marist community. Father T. Connolly, the Pastor, tutored the brothers in the English language. He also arranged for the brothers to teach in the basement of Holy Family Church in the suburbs of Tucson. While the brothers were learning English the bishop proceeded with the construction of a three story, five classrooms and community residence building near the cathedral.

On November 2, 1914 the brothers started classes for four groups, from the first grade to the ninth grade. For the next eight years there was little change in the faculty or the enrollment. Brother Henry Fumeaux, who became director in 1922, hoped to increase the enrollment but found that the location of the school caused many parents to send their boys to other schools. To better the brothers' proficiency in English he sent them to Public Normal School in Flagstaff, Arizona. Despite efforts to attract new students Brother Henry found the parents would not send their children to the school.

Two years later Brother Eold, Provincial, visited the school and decided that the brothers should be withdrawn from this area and returned to Texas and to Mexico where the persecutions had subsided. That year Bishop Granjon died while visiting his native France. His successor, Most Rev. D. Georke, studied the situation of the brothers. In June 1924 he gave his blessing and farewell to the Marist community.
Source: Marist Archives & Special Collections

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