Reminiscences of Franco-American Orphanage

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One Sunday, my family went out for a long drive. I was ten years old then. We ended up in Lowell, Massachusetts in front of the Franco-American Orphanage. Three stories high, this building was huge.

Franco-American Orphanage

One side of the property was open lawn stretching down toward the Merrimack River. The other side included a wide delivery driveway, swing set and jungle gym with shin bars and ladders. At the end was a cavernous shrine made up of large boulders, outdoor lights and fronted by permanent seats. Statues of the Stations of the Cross sat on raised boulder platforms that edged the large driveway.

The Sisters of Charity of Quebec, an order of religious Sisters, ran the orphanage. We all exited the car as one of the Sisters came out the front entrance and walked down the driveway to greet us. Her conversation was in French, so I showed little interest. At one point, my mother told my brother and me to go play on the swings. We were the only children in this area, so we explored every inch of the gym set with excitement.

Eventually, my mother opened the car trunk and pulled out a small suitcase, (more…)

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