From "Illustrated History of St. Vincent Archabbey"
      Before the church and house were built, the priest would stay with one
      of the most well-off families of the congregation.  This is a letter from
      the Rev Lawrence S Phelan, at what was to be called Sportsman's Hall,
      St Vincent Church, Latrobe, PA to Bishop Carroll in Baltimore, MD,
      the first Catholic Bishop in the United States
October 17th 1795

Your reverence can have no conception of the distress here, even for the necessaries of life,
for really I have not anything like a sufficiency of food, and such as I get is poor and filthy.
Most of the Irish, who, though poor, were by far the most generous, have now quit this
settlement; five or six German families remain, whose chaplain I may call myself, since I
cannot pretend to travel for want of a horse. These people, indeed, abstraction made of
religion, are the last of all mankind for sentiments of humanity. The poorman I live with has
not been paid what was promised for my board, and whether he intends it or not, he treats
me acordingly. Perhaps he can't help it. Bread is the sole support of his family. Morning,
noon, and night, flour and water, or bread and water, with a little burnt grease thrown over
is the support of his starved and almost naked large family. Since my arrival the only meat
they had was a little pig about twenty or thirty pounds, and a calf ten days old, of which we
have eaten this whole week, till it became green and musty for want of salt. when I arrived first,
they had about a dozen hens, of which I must have eaten eight, as they still have four . . .
Thus have I spent five months of a most rigorous Lent, that threw me into diarrhea, that,
in such wretchedness and cold, made me pass a most penitential winter.