The Cathedral of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, 1866—1925 : The "Old" Cathedral
Tearing down the Sacred Hearts Cathedral in Helena, Montana. May 11, 1925.
St. Vincent's Academy is in the background across the street.
On 01 November 1914 the last Sunday services were held in the Cathedral of the Sacred Hearts/ Eventually, it was purchased by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth to provide materials to improve the buildings of St. John's Hospital and St. Vincent's Academy, also on Catholic Hill. In May 1925, after the bodies buried there [Bishop Brondel, Jesuit Fathers Imoda and Rappagliosi] were exhumed, Sister Mary Hypatia began tearing it down. She supervised "the cleaning of whatever brick could be salvaged for a retaining wall and hauling away what could no longer be used." Often she spent harrowing nights, hearing trucks drive up and cart away sand, roofing, stone, anything seizable and cartable, while the rest of the world slept. A night guard was tried but proved unsatisfactory; the purloining continued and reached a climax one day when a truck stopped near Sister Mary Hypatia, and the driver started loading sand. When asked where he was taking it, he referred to orders from some employer. Sister knew she had ordered the sand and for what purpose; by sharing her knowledge with the driver, she expedited his departure." (Sister Mary Julia Gilmore, We Came North, pp. 151, 153.
Father Tom Gannon sent this photo to Bishop Curtiss for the archives in 1976.
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Demolition of Sacred Hearts Cathedral, Helena, MTDemolition of Sacred Hearts Cathedral, Helena, MT