As part of the sophomore honors presentation on how Lindsborg and Bethany College were affected by World War I, I set out to uncover how the tradition of the Messiah Festival was affected by the war more specifically. In my research, and with the help of a fellow classmate, I came across an article from The Bethany Messenger on a particularly moving concert the Bethany College Oratorio Society gave in the late spring of 1917 to soldiers training at Camp Funston.
In the Spring of 1917, the Bethany College campus played host to Seumas MacManus, a notable Irish poet and author, best known for his modern re-tellings of Irish folklore and considered one of the last great storytellers of the ancient tradition. MacManus was born to a poor farming family in Mountcharles, Ireland and began his career as a teacher. He did not start publishing his writing until the 1890’s.