This branch of the Austrian Hesch family is descended from Johann Hesch and his wife Marya (Schlinz) Hesch, who came to America from Oberschlagles, Bohemia with three sons: Paul, Mathias, and Anton. +++Johann & Marya settled in Buffalo County, Wisconsin but moved to Pierz, Mn in about 1885. .+++Mathias settled in Waumandee, Wisconsin and moved to Pierz in 1911. +++Anton never married but farmed with his dad in Agram Township, where he died in 1911.+++And Paul, my great grandfather, settled five miles away, in Buckman, Minnesota. He died there in 1900.

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

"The Stray Lamb" Newsletter (+ newly added comments)


During the 30 years Sr Laura (Teresa Hesch) was a missionary to the Ojibwe in Onamia, Minnesota, she wrote a semi-regular newsletter to friends, relatives, supporters and the 'spiritual mothers' who wrote to children on the reservation.
Sometimes it was only twice a year--Spring and Fall--but I think she wanted it to be more often.  I'm pretty sure we got a few marked "Summer".

Anyway, last spring on the  Morrison County Historical Society trip to the Minnesota History Museum, I connected with first-cousin-twice-removed  Julie for lunch at the museum.  (She's Johnny Boys' daughter). She brought along a few photos of the John Hesch/Ket Mueller family, and also a few copies of Sr Laura's newsletter, The Stray Lamb.

The newsletters were printed on legal size glossy paper and  folded in fourths, with your address on the fourth that was the bottom of the back side.  The top pf the back side always had a photo of the mission buildings, and then usually another photo of some activity there like a wedding or celebration.  It was a good fund-raising tool for Sr Laura, and she often wrote a few words inside on the copies that were going to relatives, especially if she needed a ride...lol
Here are the newsletters Julie had, sans the header cuz my scanner isn't legal size.  They're from 1951, 1956, 1958 and 1966.  She also brought two obits, one from a newspaper, and one the official announcement from St Benedicts, which was also distributed at her funeral.

THANK YOU for these, Julie!




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Added later**The third newsletter there--Fall, 1958--the confirmation class and Bishop Bartholomew?  Sr Laura mentions inviting dancers and clowns, on the understanding that "they were to remain out of the  picture until after confirmation".  Of course, they danced into the church....which prompted a discussion between Larry and me about clown societies and their position in native cultures, and about how much Sr Laura did or did not understand...lol.

From Wikipedia:
Sometimes clown societies have a sacred role, to represent a trickster character in religious ceremonies. Other times the purpose served by members of a clown society is only to parody excessive seriousness, or to deflate pomposity.

So, WHY did Sr Laura invite them?  Surely she knew they'd be disruptive...  Hmm, maybe she thought the bouja gave her REAL control.   Or, maybe she knew they'd come anyway and steal the show.
Perhaps there was an unspoken compromise, and as Larry observed,  both the clowns and Sr Laura went to bed that night thinking, "Ha! We showed them!"

If you're skeptical that the Ojibwe clowns might not have been intentional tricksters that day, here's a video of a Clown Dance Competition in 2007.  At first, it's just goofy, but watch all 8 minutes....it gets better and better, and even bawdier.  Watch the guy in the white blanket/ Sumo...lol...and think about that definition.

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