St. Mary’s May Procession

Each May, hundreds of kids from St. Mary’s School and parish would parade down High Street to honor Mary in the May Procession. The girls wore flowing, gauzy, pastel colored robes and the boys wore white shirts with satin capes, unless you were in second grade and wore your First Communion suit or dress. Eighth grade boys led the procession carrying a statue of Mary. A May Queen was chosen from the eighth grade girls, and she had the honor of crowning the Mary statue. A selection of Marian hymns was sung, including “Oh Mary we crown thee with blossoms today- Queen of the angels, Queen of the May.”
Here are two pics of me in the procession, the first taken in 1967 with me looking oh so reverent in my First Communion suit (far left smiling at the camera). and in 1971 as a less than reverent sixth grade altar boy. There’s a family story behind this photo, which may be related in an upcoming post. But probably not.

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6 Comments on “St. Mary’s May Procession”

  1. Paul Poirier-Oakdale Says:

    I was in the last graduating class of 1975, I had Sister Jerimine, her nickname was “Jerimiah had a bull frog!” I think I was 2 years behind you, a best friend of mine was Billy (William) Werner, did you know him?

    • Jim Parr Says:

      Yes, I knew William Warner. Of course everyone at St. Mary’s was called by their full name. I was James for 8 years.

      • Paul Poirier Says:

        I thought you might know Billy, he works for Ratheon, which Nun was the most fierce that you had?

      • Jim Parr Says:

        I’d have to go with Sister Jeremine, whom I had for Math in 8th grade. Although she did make an unusual but generous offer. The day after my mother explained to her that I had no vision in my right eye due to a cataract I was born with, “Jerry,” as we called her, called me to her desk. I had never been one of her favorites, and I think she felt guilty for riding me so hard all year. “James,” she said. “My mother told me about your eye. I’m sorry, I never knew. James, when I die, I’m going to give you my eye.” “Thank you sister,” I said, and returned to my seat.

      • Paul Poirier Says:

        Wonderful story, brings tears to my eyes, it was incredible how frightful the Nuns could be, but amazing how forgiving they were as well, I should have been kicked out many times but always got a second chance!

  2. Paul Poirier Says:

    I just noticed something in your 1971 picture. I might have been the kid walking directly in front of you! To my right, partially blocking me was Edward(Eddie) O’Hare. He was an altar boy in my class, I was not. I think I was asked to fill in for someone for the May procession. I had a smirk on my face, I think I was telling Eddie some elaborate scheme that I was going to pull off once inside Church. Of course, I never did, I was a prankster back then but feared the wrath of the Nuns and God. I was just glad to be out of class!
    Brings back great memories of singing “Ave Maria.”

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