Saturday, December 12, 2009

Advent Calendar: December 12

Prompt for December 12:
Charitable / Volunteer Work-

Did your family ever volunteer with a charity such as a soup kitchen, homeless or battered women's shelter during the holidays? Or perhaps were your ancestors involved with church groups that assisted others during the holiday?

I wasn't really quite sure about how I would answer this prompt, until I remembered the photo to the left. It was taken around 1932 of my paternal grandmother's father, Frederick Henry Massmann. According to The American Catholic Who's Who, Volume 7 (1946 and 1947, page 300), he was named a Knight of the Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great in 1932. The honor can be bestowed on those who, by "the renown of their deeds or the degree of their munificence, are deemed worthy to be honoured by a public expression of esteem on the part of the Holy See.” Although I have not been able to find a source detailing the reasons he received this honor, from what my father has told me, I believe it has something to do with Massmann's involvement in the establishment of the Catholic Youth Organization and with the Boy Scouts in Chicago, Illinois.

The uniform is described as a "dark green tail coat and trousers, both trimmed with silver embroidery, a cocked hat and dress sword: white gloves are worn." Detail of the sword can be seen here and detail of the badge here.

(This is post 12 in the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories hosted by

© Amanda Pape - 2009

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