Dziennik Chicagoski -- January 06, 1891Polish Activities in Chicago
Last night there was a Polish Christmas festivity at the Polish orphanage, Division Street and Holt Avenue, for the benefit of the Polish orphans. Those who came to see the interior of this institution (a credit to the Polish community in Chicago), and to hear the beautiful Christmas carols sung by the little orphans, and give them a Christmas present, gathered at 7 P. M.
At the chapel of the orphanage, located on the top floor, a scene representing the stable of Bethlehem was presented. There was a manger artistically decorated. The roof of the miniature replica of the stable was covered with straw. Inside the stable there were images of the Holy Mary, St. Joseph, the Three Kings on their knees offering gifts to the Lord of Lords, and figures representing an ox, an ass, a sheep, a lamb, a pair of doves, and a dog. The floor of the miniature replica of the stable was covered with straw and hay. The manger was located at the farthest end of the replica, on the back wall of which images of angels singing glories to the Lord were seen. Over the stable shone the Star of Bethlehem that led the Kings to the holy place.2
We doubt there was anywhere in this country so beautiful a presentation of the holy manger as this. Every person who attended the festivity admired this artistically arranged scenery and, after looking at it for a short time, knelt down with great reverence, as the Three Kings did when they paid homage to the divine Infant centuries ago.
Led by the nuns, the orphans entered the place at eight o'clock. The organ began to play, and Christmas carols were started. The visitors heard the beautiful and clear melodies of the children. The audience consisted of mothers with their children, women, and a number of prominent citizens and leaders of societies. A short sermon followed the carols, after which there was a recitation of a poem by a boy, who did it with great emotion.
When the divine service was over, the pastor took the guests downstairs and showed them the halls used by the orphans. The visitors were pleased with the good order and cleanliness that resigned everywhere. The arrangements and conveniences in some of the halls are very interesting. The furniture is very simple. Yet, this simplicity and cleanliness give them an appearance of comfort and elegance.3
The study and recreation hall was furnished with chairs and tables, around which sat the children, contented and with smiling faces, standing up when the guests entered. The bedrooms were clean, furnished with simple small beds covered with bedspreads white as snow, bath room, wash room, dining room, and a spacious wardrobe, systematically arranged and well filled with linen. The guests were so pleased with these things that every little while they expressed their admiration in loud exclamations, in spite of the fact that nothing luxurious could be detected.
Every person visiting the institution left it with the impression that the little orphans are well taken care of under the protection of the nuns, and that this institution is a credit to its founders, deserving therefore the support of those who can help. Later on we will describe how the orphans, and there are 80 of them, are brought up and educated.
II D 4, I B 4, III B 3 b
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