Regarding “175 years ago: A western archdiocese,” Aug. 6, Page 1:

Thank you for your article about the establishment of the Archdiocese of Portland 175 years ago. Let me add the following to your story:

Archbishop Francis Norbert Blanchet founded the first Catholic School in the Northwest, in St. Paul, Oregon, in 1844.

Archbishop Blanchet is buried in the St. Paul Cemetery. The beautiful cross memorial above his gravesite has been duplicated and is situated outside Blanchet Catholic School in Salem.

The official name of the school is Archbishop Francis Norbert Blanchet Catholic School. We named the school after Archbishop Blanchet at the suggestion of the then-Archbishop of Portland, William Levada, later, Cardinal Levada.

When we carried out the blessing of Salem’s Blanchet Catholic School, we invited Bertrand Blanchet, Archbishop of Vermouski, Quebec, Canada, to perform the blessing. While visiting with us, Archbishop Bertrand Blanchet advised us that the Blanchet family had changed the French pronunciation of the name, with the soft “t,” to a hard “t.” This pronunciation was in effect when Archbishop Francis Norbert Blanchet served in Oregon. So, we use the anglicized hard “t” pronunciation for our school.

Consider the last point trivia for the soul.

Kevin Mannix