Those who would like to preserve a piece of Mount Saint Joseph history may make a donation to the Ursuline Sisters to secure one of the “miracle bricks” that Father Paul Joseph Volk created to build Mount Saint Joseph Academy in 1874.
The bricks — now 149 years old — began to disintegrate in recent years, making the original building and its additions unsafe. Before deconstructing the 1874 building, 500 bricks were saved for posterity.
For a suggested donation of $25, a brick will be reserved in your name. There will be designated days in the summer of 2023 when the bricks can be picked up. The bricks will not be shipped, they must be picked up in person. Each person is allowed a maximum of three bricks. The bricks will come with a certificate of authenticity.
You can secure a brick by writing a check to the Ursuline Sisters and mailing it to:
8001 Cummings Road
Maple Mount, KY 42356
Or you can order your brick online at this link:
Mount Saint Joseph Academy Brick
This is the story of the “miracle bricks,” as told by Louise Blandford, who along with her husband Aquila welcomed the Ursuline Sisters in 1874. Louise Blandford made sure to teach the future Mount Saint Joseph Academy students the tale of the “miracle bricks,” as recounted in Born to Lead, Sister Eugenia Scherm’s account of the early days at Maple Mount.
“When the kiln of brick which Father Volk had burned was opened and the masons were on hand to begin the building, the bricks were soft and unfit for use; the men returned home expecting not to begin work until another kiln was burned. The priest was silent; he was seen about dusk passing around the kiln, praying. He had gathered some straw and bush lying near which he put under the kiln and then lighted it. This subterfuge was no doubt to conceal the miracle which he knew God would not deny in this emergency, as the brief flash of fire had not sufficient heat to have any positive effect on the kiln.
“However, Father Volk called the workmen back; they returned more in respect for the good priest (everybody respected him) than in hopes of finding the very bricks which were soft and unfit for use the day before, hard and safe to be used in the large two and a half stories, 74 x 34 feet building to be erected. The men lost no time to begin the erection of the building, which is still standing today.
“A statement verifying these facts, signed in presence of a commissioned notary public, is preserved in the MSJ Archives.”