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Cherry Blossom Festa Debuts 1933

Posted 3/28/2021

Creativity Reigns as Funds Are Needed

Tickets from 1960Tickets from 1960As the Depression persisted, the nuns asked themselves what they were to do. They had a debt and had to meet their living expenses as well as other people. Despite all odds, this work of education had to continue. In 1933, Mother Pulcheria decided to do something about it. With the support of some of her former students at St. Francis de Sales parish, where she had been both teacher and administrator for years, she launched the first Cherry Blossom Festa, so named because it was held in February around the birthday of the Father of our Country.

Held in Urban Hall, which for the occasion Sister Boniface transformed into a cherry blossom bower, the Festa took on much the appearance of a glorified bazaar, supported chiefly by old friends and the parishes where the nuns taught. The affair was so successful that it was followed by a series of festas held annually until 1941, when Bishop Alter raised the salaries of the nuns teaching in parochial schools and banned any fund-raising projects for the schools. Mother John Baptist Macelwane, in 1959, with the opening of the new St. Ursula Academy on Indian Road, revived the Festa, sponsored by a strong Ursuline Activities Council encompassing all parish and campus groups.


The material quoted here is taken from A Tree in the Valley by Sr. Lelia Mahoney.