Liguori’s Colorful Past
In October 1947, five Redemptorists drove their heavily loaded small truck from Oconomowoc, WI to St. Louis and then twenty miles southwest to the village of Barnhart. There, they turned onto a twisting gravel road, drove under a railroad viaduct and a half-mile up a hill to a plot of more than 100-acres known as the O’Fallon Estate, named after a colorful Civil War figure in Missouri.
The newcomers came to learn the history of their new home. By the turn of the twentieth century, the property was known as the Cedars, a fashionable summer resort for well-to-do St. Louis families. Children entertained themselves by riding the farm wagons, wading in the brook, and plucking fruit in the orchards while their mothers played cards in the high-ceilinged parlors of the plantation house or reclined on galleries overlooking long rows of stately cedar trees.
In the 1940s, two large century-old homes remained on the land along with several small cottages and a crumbling barn. Ducks and guinea hens strolled about and screamed at will. Cows belonging to a neighbor grazed on the tranquil hillside of what is now a subdivision. One of those old homes served as a residence for the Redemptorist priests and brothers. The other, as a publication center for Liguorian, the Perpetual Help bulletin, and a pamphlet division.
“We just spread ourselves around in the plantation house and the other buildings,” related Fr. Donald Miller, Liguori’s first superior. He vividly recalled the difficult first winter: “The only heat…was provided by a fireplace in one room. We heated the rest of the rooms and the other quarters with oil stoves. We spent most of that first winter cutting wood and cleaning oil stoves. We worked most of the time in our overcoats….The priests addressed and mailed the magazines, hauled wood, carried ashes, and fed the chickens, which we kept for their eggs. Now and then we had to eat one of the chickens.”
Their labors to spread the good news was blessed and rewarded. Just six years after they arrived at the Cedars, Liguorian’s circulation increased from 13,000 to 94,000. The Perpetual Help bulletin jumped from 6,300 to 124,000 copies, and pamphlet distribution increased from some 100,000 to more than 2 million annually.
Congratulations, Liguori Publications,
on your 70th anniversary from:
Patricia “Dolly” Dopp of Metairie, LA
Julia H. Geheeb of Mobile, AL
Dale and Carol Guidry of Cut Off, LA
Ethel and Hilaire Lanaux of New Orleans, LA
Ann S. Mack of Annapolis, MD
Anna Maria Pou, MD, of Madisonville, LA
Wilmae Spedale of New Orleans, LA
Christina Ha Tran of Houston, TX
Kham Vongkhamchanh of New Orleans, LA
David M. Yerkes, Sr., and Margaret M. Anderson, IL
Alfred and Marceline Zaunbrecher of Rayne, LA
Donors gave in memory of:
Nellie B. Coskrey of Mobile, AL
Ellen “Izzie” Geheeb of Mobile, AL
Martha Joyce Ransome Pourciau of New Roads, LA
Mary Doyal Maher of New Orleans, LA
Donors gave in honor of:
Dawn, Robin, and Karen Nuschler of Springfield, VA
Joan Hartson of New Orleans, LA
Elaine B. Robison of Crowley, LA
Ronald, Mary Ann, and Debbie Hotstream of Metairie, LA
Denis and Judy Powers of Houston, TX
Please Consider Adding Your Name or the Name of a Loved One to Our Donor List
In 2017, Liguori Publications is celebrating its seventieth anniversary of serving people with products like Liguorian. We strive to answer people’s anxious questions and deepen the ongoing conversion of the people of God while furthering the mission of the Redemptorists.
The people of Liguori thank the donors listed above who have acknowledged our endeavors over the last seventy years and who are helping us continue our mission to share hope, inspiration, and spiritual guidance with Catholics and the community at-large.
We invite you, your family, and place of business, religious community, or church parish/organization to join us as a sponsor. Reserve ad space to offer a message of prayer, best wishes, or congratulations in any issue of Liguorian in 2017. Or donate $100 to publish a “name line”; you may consider doing this in remembrance of a loved one. To reserve space or learn more, please email Elizabeth Herzing at Adsales@Liguori.org. Your support will help us continue our mission