Saint Joseph's Industrial School and Orphanage, and later Home for the Aged, Bethany, Oklahoma.

It opened in 1912 and by the time it closed in the 1965 several thousand children, and aged, had been cared for by the facility.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Wonderful Donation

The page received a wonderful letter from Joseph and Diane Louvar who managed St. Joseph’s Home in Bethany Oklahoma, in 1963, 1964 and 1965. They loved St. Joseph’s, the children, the Staff, and the many wonderful experiences while in the role.  The sent some photos that illustrate the life, the atmosphere and the children served in those years.
     "We have very positive feelings about our experiences and often thank the Lord for giving us this opportunity. We periodically reflect on this experience to try to understand the underlying reasons for this success, and we thought you and your readers will be interested in our conclusions.
     We believe our success was due to many factors, but the most important reason was – we had unusually talented staff members who were mostly Extension Volunteers who were recent college graduates. I’m sure they volunteered as we did to pay back to the church something in gratitude for our significant blessings. When they came to St. Joseph’s they worked especially hard to create positive physical and spiritual experiences to help our children (and a few teenagers) adjust to this “home”.
We knew we couldn’t develop a loving environment as good as their parents and a facility as good as their homes, but we tried. Our volunteer staff included two managers, four dorm mothers, one relief dorm mother, two teachers, and a nurse. We also had Catholic Charity workers including a social worker, a priest (Fr. Thomas), a cook, a housekeeper, and a maintenance worker.  This outstanding staff worked very hard and cooperatively to facilitate a home environment that was focused on benefiting the children.
       We were also blessed to have
·         The leadership of Msgr. Isenbart who was the Director of Catholic Charities in Ok. City.
·         The parishioners of St. John’s School (in Yukon) who accepted our school-aged children into their school for the 1963 and 1964 school years.
·         Local Seminarians who conducted a summer camp during the 1964 summer, and helped the children on some weekends.
·         A gentleman who was a big brother for one of our older boys.  And
·         Various volunteers who regularly came to St. Joseph’s Home to help with sewing, odd jobs, etc.
     We’re enclosing some pictures that I’m sure our children (now adults), our staff (now senior citizens), and you will enjoy. As you see there were many joyful experiences."  As you will see too, as photos and descriptions are slowly loaded.

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