I’m willing to bet that more than few of you reading this have had dreams about the Mount.
I only attended the Mount from preschool through the 4th grade, but her specter sometimes haunts me. At night, in certain dreams, I see the Music Hall. I see the fleur-de-lis pattern on the floors. I see the hallway between the music room and the principal’s office where I once got in trouble for running. I remember the smell of the cafeteria, the scent of the paste and the paint the art room.
The waking part of me might think that my personal history at MdeC was short, but her benevolent spirit still blesses my subconscious with her presence. I have never driven up the hill to see what was once her grounds, but I have had the rare opportunity to visit her in a new way.
The Mount de Chantal archives at the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston is a chance to dive into those dreams and wake up with all those memories still tactile. In a windowless, climate-controlled room within the diocese’s offices, you’ll find everything from grocery receipts from 1910 to long lists of every name of every person who ever attended the school, even if it was for a short time. It’s like going through your grandmother’s hope chest, each layer revealing a different side of her personality, another item that she held dear. And it’s meticulously organized!
Thanks to our friend Jon-Erik Gilot, the diocese’s Director of Archives & Records, we’ve had the opportunity to explore this archive at length to find out more about the MdeC we already knew and discover a few things that will make you love her even more. Join us back here as we explore together, starting with the Mount’s role in sustaining European monasteries during the harrowing days of Nazi occupation. Stay tuned!
If you would like to sponsor our MdeC Archives Project please consider buying us a cup of coffee.