File consists of correspondence and papers related to the Calgary Separate School Board, Bishop John T. McNally, and Sacred Heart School.
In 1915, J.A. Smith, inspector of the public schools, and Fr. A.B. MacDonald, superintendent of the Calgary Separate School Board, both gave unfavourable reports concerning the work of Sr. M. Augustine, an Ursuline of Jesus who taught at Sacred Heart School. Fr. MacDonald wrote: “One cannot tell whether the pupils are working or enjoying high holiday, and cannot tell whether the teacher is working with the holiday makers or with the others.” As a result, the school board did not re-engage Sr. Augustine for the following year.
Some parents were upset about the decision of the school board and circulated various petitions to have Sr. Augustine re-instated. The board was also accused of borrowing $50,000.00 at an annual interest rate of eight percent – an accusation that the board denied. On Thursday, July 22, certain men held a meeting in order to ask the school board to re-instate Sr. Augustine. Fr. A. Jan, O.M.I., pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, attended this meeting as he “had overheard rumors connecting [Bishop McNally’s] name with the decision of the Board.” He told the Bishop later that he had taken “no part whatever in discussion concerning the dismissal of the Sister.”
On Sunday, July 25, 1915, a letter was read at Mass saying that Bishop McNally would address the congregation the following Sunday and that until then parishioners were to refrain from attending any meetings or causing any agitation concerning school matters. Nevertheless, certain parishioners continued to cause such agitation.
On Sunday, August 1, 1915, Bishop McNally gave his promised address. He defended the school board and spoke of their “disinterested work for the best fulfilment of the most sacred trust reposed in them.” He rebuked those parishioners who had been sowing the “seed of discord” by attacking the school board and by continuing to cause agitation despite the bishop’s prohibition. He reminded the congregation that the source of the bishop’s power is divine and that there can be no unity with Christ apart from unity with the bishop.