Archbishop Quigley began implementing changes as the new buildings were being erected. As the south wing was completed he replaced the Christian Brothers with the Sisters of Mercy, reasoning that he intended to make St. Mary’s co-educational, hopefully reuniting orphaned brothers and sisters.
The Archbishop appointed Reverend James Doran (1911 – 1928) as superintendent. Father Doran, a good businessman and administrator, saw a need for the boys and girls training to go beyond farming. During this time the bakery was expanded; a machine shop and carpentry shop were added; the greenhouse enlarged; the printing center was updated to handle outside customers; and a tailoring shop was opened.
The older boys attended classes in the morning and worked on the farm or in one of the shops in the afternoons. Separate classes were held for the girls in the morning; their afternoons were devoted to cooking and sewing classes; working in the laundry; or helping the sisters keeping the younger children occupied with games and activities.
Father Doran was also responsible for bringing music to St. Mary’s with the formation of a school band. The children were eager to make music as a pleasant break from class and chores. Under the direction of John Clancy (an early member of that first band) the St. Mary’s Band participated in the 1925 Eucharistic Congress and, under John’s direction, went on to win many city and state competitions.
The Archbishop instructed Father Doran to accept no “delinquent” children. Although Father Doran didn’t exactly ignore the Archbishop’s request he did rationalize that he wasn’t sure just what a “delinquent” was. He did know what unfortunate circumstances were for a child and he accepted most that came his way, giving them a home and the tools and training to become productive citizens after St. Mary’s.
In 1921, Father Doran added a two year commercial course at St, Mary’s – typing, shorthand, bookkeeping, and filing. The course was open to both boys and girls who might prefer the business world to a life in shop or on a farm.
Father Doran’s health was failing, but he was not ready to retire. After all, he was responsible for over 1200 boys and girls. In 1926, the Archbishop assigned Rev. John Collins as co-superintendent to assist Father Doran in the administration of St. Mary’s.