Friday, October 30, 2009

Flint Postcards: St. John Vianney


  1. Went there from '89-'97 when it was called Donovan Mayotte. Great memories.

  2. A.K.A. Donovan-Mayotte. I spent 9 years in that building. I never knew that it was named after a founding pastor though. Now I wonder where the Donovan part comes from. Does anyone know?

    I remember when my mom took me there for the first time to check it out and I saw this kid choking this other kid at the water fountain. It was then and there that I knew this was the school for me. --Thanks, Gordie

  3. To answers the Question"I wonder where the Donovan part comes from" here is the answer and a little more.
    In the early 1970's, some parish operated elementary schools were also closed and regional elementary schools were established at St. John Vianney, St. Agnes, and St. Michael's. These schools were operated by the Genesee Catholic Board of Education. At St. John Vianney, the primary grade school was named in honor of Monsignor Mayotte. The middle school was named after Father Donovan, a local priest. Eventually, Mayotte Primary and Donovan Middle were combined into one school again, Donovan-Mayotte Catholic School, which returned to parish supervision in 1988.
    This is accordin to the St.John Vianney web site.

  4. I spent my Kindergarten year there!

    Not that I can remember much about it now...

    We broke off mid-day for cookies and milk.

    I was really good at reading.

    Someone broke my yellow crayon!

  5. My sister and I took our Catechism class in this school from 1960-63. Every Wednesday night at 7:00 PM we had to recite all the Roman Catholic prayers. One of the Nun's was our instructor and sometimes the young priest that my father liked Father Kalinski would conduct the class. This was our training for receiving our first communion and confession. Once when I questioned Father Kalinski on one of the prayers, he said I would go to hell if I did not have faith. After telling my parents this, that was my last class. I did however have my first and last communion just to satisfy my father. Father Kalinski performed the last rights before my father died. One other thing I now find interesting as I look back, was the fact that we kids were always threatened with being placed in the Catholic school when we were bad. I have not been inside a Catholic church on Sunday since my father died. So I guess I'm on that highway to hell.

  6. I think Father Donovan eventually became Bishop Donovan. I went to the "rival" school - Maurice Olk and Donovan North - from 1971-1979.

  7. Just a little more about Fr. Olk and Fr. Donovan, (who I used to assist at mass as an altar boy in the late sixties).

    Fr. Maurice Olk was pastor of St. Agnes Catholic Church from 1944 until his retirement in 1968. He was succeeded by Fr. Paul Donovan, who in turn was appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Kalamazoo in 1971, at the relatively young age of 46 - just months before Powers High School opened its doors. He served that post until 1994.

    As part of the creation of Powers,two of the newly consolidated primary schools, at St. Agnes and St. John Vianney, were renamed for former pastors; Fr. Olk and Monsignor Mayotte, respectively. The two empty high school buildings at those sites were converted into middle schools. These were both named after the freshly minted Bishop, and further designated as the 'north' and 'south' campuses.

  8. Actually I believe Powers opened in the fall of 1970, so I was slightly off with the chronology of my previous comment.

    Anyway thanks for posting the rendering from the days when you could tell a building was a Catholic school from a mile away.

    1. Yes powers opened in 1970 1st graduating g class was 71

  9. I, like Redgirl, went to Donovan North/Maurice Olk Primary/Dukette/Closed from 74-79. St. Johns' colors were red/white combo, correct?

  10. Joan Herzog commented on your note "Flint Postcards: St. John Vianney":

    "I remember finally making it the one block to St. John Vianney as a kindergartener. Alone and terrified, I would wait on the edge of Cookies yard crying until neighbor Mrs. Caloquin (sp) would walk me past the aged, toothless, barking dog. She finally called mom to say she wouldn't to it anymore. I ended up walking 3 blocks, the long way, to avoid the trauma. Mom caught me once sneaking in the back yard instead of front and laughed at me. I also remember seeing Sister Mary.... (insert St. name) had white hair peeking out of her veil. I was amazed! I surmised that nuns were in fact human. Astounding! Thanks for the memories!"

  11. I wonder who the architects and contractors were on this bulding. It looks a lot like nearby Longfellow and Flint Central. Of course, all school buildings from that era had a certain similarity.

  12. I guess I'm the winner in time spent in the halls of my alma mater, even though other commenters have clearer memories of it. I was there from 1st through 12th grade. My class (1970) was the last graduating class. My brothers graduated from Powers. The school colors were green and gold (mascot: Hornet) when I was there. Perhaps they were changed when the school morphed into Donovan Mayotte. St. John's was the only Catholic school where the kids didn't have to wear uniforms. (Another useless fact that popped into my mind as I wrote this).

  13. Anonymous #2, St John Vianney/Donovan-Mayotte was not designed by the same architects as Flint Central HS. St John Vianney/Donovan-Mayotte designed by Donaldson & Meier of Detroit. You can see D&M's name in the lower right corner of the postcard as the architects. Flint Central HS was designed by Malcomson, Higginbotham, & Palmer of Detroit.


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