Why are we doing this anyway? A look back and a look ahead as we dive deeper into the Archives

Cassie Bendel

Posted on March 28 2021

Why are we doing this anyway? A look back and a look ahead as we dive deeper into the Archives

One of my favorite quotes about this time of year states, “Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won’t stay there.” The author, Clarence W. Hall, continues, “Fast from the little white lies you tell to yourself and others. Pray that you have the strength to live authentically.”

                As we enter Holy Week, I’m struck in particular by the sentiment of living authentically, which is another way of saying we should all live according to the truth that dwells inside of us. Sometimes that truth comes from a place that no longer has a home in this world. Sometimes it comes from memories of kindness and a realization that our earliest lessons were the most important.

                Mount de Chantal Visitation Academy is gone, but the grave in which that physical truth was placed is no match for the living breathing hearts and minds who continue its legacy.

                If you’ve followed the progress of this blog, then you know this is The Wheeling Feeling’s attempt to catalogue the memories found within the Mount de Chantal archives at the Diocese of Wheeling Charleston. If you haven’t, you might wonder why that’s so important.

                It’s important because the history of this region isn’t a one-sided story.

                It’s important because we want our readers to realize that you might be from a rust belt town or isolated on a forgotten Appalachian hilltop, but that doesn’t mean you can’t fight fascism or start a movement or be an artist.

                Or as Beyonce said, “Who run the world? Girls”.

                I think our new writer Christina Fisanick said it best last week when she wrote, “I hope that you find in my words what I found in the archives: fervent, hard-working, progressive women who used their educations and passions to carve out paths for their lives that often defied expectations. You will find that the women of MdeC did not sit on their laurels with their hands folded in their laps. They struck out to make a difference, which is exactly what they have done.”

                We’ve already shown you how the sisters cared for far off monasteries impacted by the Nazi regime, reminisced over Turkey Dinner’s long ago, and celebrated so many ways Mount girls took their education far and wide. As we move ahead, we’ll dive deeper into these stories and offer you an emotional connection to a place and people who will never really be gone as long as their memory is alive.

                Coming next week – a look at what happened when some Mount girls dove into the civil rights debate.

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