|From Frontier Research Annual 1997 Issue:
St. Boniface Member Honored By Pope Pius XI
The far-flung charities carried on by Sir Charles J. JEWETT K.S.G.-G.C.K.H.S., attracted the attention and approval of the late Bishop John B. MORRIS, D.D. to such an extent that he petitioned the Holy Father, Pope Pius XI, to confer upon this outstanding Catholic Layman, certain Papal honors. Thus in 1930, the Holy Father, to show the recognition and appreciation of the Church for Mr. JEWETTS many works of charity, conferred upon him the Knighthood of St. Gregory, while two years later a second honor was given to him the Grand Cross Knight of the Holy Sepulcher.
To trail the various acts of charity of Sir Charles J. JEWETT, K.S.G.-G.C.K.H.S., would force us to travel throughout the United States and in many foreign lands. In his home city, Fort Smith, he financed the building to a great extent, of St. John the Baptist Church, the school, sisters home, library building and the parish rectory. In establishing this parish for the colored people of Fort Smith, he donated large sums himself and was instrumental in obtaining financial gifts from others. The most beautiful Rose Window in the church was donated by him.
After the disastrous fire of December 20, 1927, at Subiaco, he voluntarily approached Rt. Rev. Father Abbot Edward BURGERT, O.S.B., and offered financial aid. Through his financial gifts a whole wing, four stories high, was built. The building bears his name. Later he financed the building of a print shop. For this generosity the Benedictine Community at Subiaco will always be grateful to him.
In his own parish he was continuously doing works beneficial to the parish or certain groups of parishioners. For some years he sent a number of boys from St. Boniface School to Camp Subiaco, while later he took the Altar boys for a days outing to the Abbey and Academy, hoping in this way to cultivate vocations to the religious life and Holy Priesthood. The girls of the school also shared in the kindness of his heart, through an outing for a day, with all expenses paid by him The part he played in building the new church is seen in the beautiful window donated by him in memory of the Jewett Family.
Mr. JEWETTS charity extends far beyond Fort Smith, Arkansas. September 28, 1940, Mr. JEWETT donated a new Tabernacle for San Miquel Church, Socorro, N.M., in memory of his mother, which is inscribed on it. He was a former parishioner of this church. Mrs. Charles J. JEWETT related an incident about the Medical Mission Sisters Convent, which they visited in Santa Fe. She said Mr. Jewett had a love for Santa Fe. His mother and father were married in the Governors Palace, now a Museum. The Superior of the Convent drove them to distant places where they had to travel to take care of people, those who could not afford to go to a hospital. She told them that one day a man knocked at their door and when she opened it, he greeted her and said Sister, I have noticed you driving around in that old jalopy, so I am going to give you this new car, a Chevrolet. The Superior told them that they wanted to build units right around their Convent, so they wouldnt have to travel in some of the most God forsaken places. The people could be brought to stay there, even some of their family, while they needed attention. Mr. Jewett donated one of these units (the first one) and on the door appears the words San Carlos. Sister said, This is in honor of your Patron Saint.
In 1940, Sir Charles J. JEWETT inaugurated a most beautiful and useful work of charity, in St. Boniface Parish, known as the Mary Jewett Memorial Baby Milk Fund. For about fifteen years, he donated milk to babies of needy families in Fort Smith. The Medical Center cooperated with him in this work and at stated times the babies were brought to the Center for physical check-ups. He asked for volunteers from St. Boniface to help with this work and the following ladies gladly offered their services and formed the first group of workers: Mrs. A.G. BAUER, Miss Cecilia COOK, Mrs. J.J. RAIBLE, Miss Bernadine UPTMOOR, Mrs. Carl FRANTZ, Mrs. C. A. GOEBEL, Mrs. Peter PLEIN, Mrs. James SPARKS, Mrs. Wm. HAAG, Mrs. Albert HASSLER, Mrs. V.A. GRAMLICH SR, Miss Annie STIESBERG, Mrs. Walter PRESLEY, and Mrs. Wm. GISLER.
Once a year Mr. Jewett gave an Appreciation Banquet at the Ward Hotel to all participants in his work of charity. Besides the ladies from St. Boniface, their husbands, Dr. JOHNSON, head doctor of the Medical Center, as well as Mr. and Mrs. B.F. BECKMAN, were guests at the Banquet and often a civic leader of the city was present to give the principal address.
Miss Maude BRYAN was married to Sir Charles J. JEWETT in August, 1937. Upon their return from a wedding trip she started taking instructions from Father Murray of St. Johns Church, and was baptized in December of the same year. Mrs. Jewett received a Papal award Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice from Pope Pius XII on October 17, 1941. On this same day, Mrs. Helen FLETCHER, mother of Bishop Fletcher, received the same honor from the Holy Father. Mrs. Emma Weast Bryan, mother of Mrs. Jewett, who lived with the Jewetts, was baptized February 18, 1953. She also received her First Holy Communion and was confirmed on the same day. Having received Extreme Unction and the Apostolic Blessing, she passed away on February 21, 1953. Father James, O.S.B., took care of Mrs. Bryan in her last illness.