Letters to the Editor

St. Mary’s school wasn’t all roses

To the editor:

After reading the article in the Houlton Pioneer Times last week about the fond memories that some people had about attending St. Mary’s school, I was prompted to write this.

My husband was born in Edmundston, New Brunswick, on June 30, 1939. His mother died shortly after his birth, and an uncle and aunt brought him to the United States and raised him. As they were Catholic, when he became school-age, they enrolled him in St. Mary’s school. He was 6 or 7 years old, was very small for his age, and couldn’t speak a word of English. He had a very difficult time adjusting and received numerous beatings with a stick at the hands of the nuns.

Finally, a lady by the name of Dorothy McCain who was a teacher at Pleasant Street school, had his uncle and aunt take him out of St. Mary’s school and enroll him at Pleasant Street school. She worked with him and helped him to adapt, and he did alright after that. After he and I got to know each other, every time he would see Dorothy McCain he would tell me what she had done for him and how much he liked her.

He was so scarred from what he had endured at St. Mary’s school that after the school became a funeral home, he wouldn’t even go to a funeral or visiting hours with me because of what happened there years ago.

It’s over now. He lived to be 78 years old and passed away on May 2, 2018, from pancreatic cancer.

I just wanted to tell my side of the story that apparently most others except God don’t know about.

Jeannette Bouchard

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