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Our Lady of Victory Missionary Sisters Archive Site

Class at Wagon Mound, New Mexico

Class at Wagon Mound

Catechist Doyle and Benes with class at Wagon Mound, New Mexico.

Here is Catechist Julia Doyle and Catechist Marie Benes with their class at Wagon Mound, New Mexico. Catechists Doyle and Benes were the first two women to answer the call of Fr. Sigstein to minister to Catholics in the Southwest. Wagon Mound was a small settlement on the Santa Fe Trail that received its name from a rock out cropping that resembled a Conestoga Wagon used by many who traveled the Santa Fe Trail. On the left side of the photograph notice the gentleman with the bow tie to the right of the banner. That is Mr. William Frey.  Mr. Frey was a gentleman who was directed by Fr. Sigstein to accompany the Catechists to New Mexico.  He was there in the early days, and was primarily the driver, mechanic, and handyman for the Catechists.  He would run errands for the Catechists when needed.  He would occasionally assist with catechism classes in the early days.  Many times he would take take the youngest children and teach them prayers, like the sign of the cross, the Our Father, the Hail Mary, and others.  He would do this to keep the young ones occupied while the Catechists would work with the older students.  Mr. Frey is also holding a chart that the Catechists would use in their classes.  The reading level of the students varied greatly, and these charts helped make the necessary point when preparing the students for their First Holy Communion or Confirmation, or explaining the life of Jesus, Mary, other Saints, or stories from the Bible.