Here are some of the many reader-submitted memories of Holy Ghost and St. Anthony schools in Dubuque.

I have fond memories of Holy Ghost as I went there in the 1980s. Always looked forward every year to the parish festival and “Fun Day” where kids could play games all day and eat lots of candy and other goodies.

However, one of my memorable moments at Holy Ghost came after school where a friend and I decided to go to the Donut Hut, across Central Avenue. After leaving the donut shop with a donut in tow, I panicked (as any 7-year-old would) because I didn’t obey my parents’ rule of coming straight home from school. So I darted across Central Avenue and was struck by a car and broke my leg. My parents always said it was a “very expensive donut.”

— Matthew Sullivan

I am the school lunch lady. I have worked at Holy Ghost for 11 years. I came over from Holy Trinity Day Care when we were closed down. I then had to take care of the schoolchildren and the Early Childhood children. I have to say that experience was a great one. I enjoyed taking care of the schoolchildren. I have never met a child I did not like. My “kids” are awesome and always made certain to let me know just how much they appreciate me. They always loved my mashed potatoes. At the end of the school year in art class, the kids are supposed to pick their favorite person and draw a portrait of them. One of the fifth-grade girls chose me, which was an honor for me. I framed it and will cherish it forever.

— Cindy Schwendinger

I was a member of the first first-grade class in the “new” Jaeger Building in the fall of 1957. There were three from my family in the class as I had “missed” the Nov. 15 age deadline by six days the previous year and my twin siblings “made” it by 10 days. Three of us were born in less than a year!

Only the first floor was completed that fall. For several years, the second floor hosted a Valentine/Fun Day with fishing ponds, bake sales and other activities.

I remember Advent prayer services where the entire student body would gather in the first-floor hall north entrance where a large Advent wreath was suspended. This was still occurring when I began teaching there in 1987!

Lunch for all grades was at noon followed by recess until 12:50. Due to no lunch program, unless you lived some distance or your mother worked outside the home (an anomaly then), you went home for lunch and came back to the playground for recess. Most older boys climbed the ramp to Weirich Field, and the girls played volleyball in the field south of the convent, then a dirt field.

There was daily Mass at 8 a.m., not required to attend although the majority did arrive in time and sat as a class. After Mass, since there was still a 3-hour communion fast, you ate breakfast in your classroom.

May Crowning was held each year in the church with an eighth-grade girl chosen (voted) to crown Mary wearing a white dress (our year was a borrowed wedding gown) with a “court” carrying up flowers to place around the statue.

When I attended HG, there was a Marian grotto behind the parking lot of the Jaeger Building; no longer there as it fell into disrepair. A small chapel was constructed in memorial to deceased family members behind the Assisi Building, and this became the site of all school rosary during the month of May. This occurred during my teaching years and I believe until last school year.

When I taught there, we celebrated the end of the school year with Olympic Day on Weirich Field. The field was long past use for recess for older boys so not accessed frequently. I remember listening to the complaints of the kids as they climbed the ramp that day as they were not used to it!

— Sharon Wulfekuhle-Hefel

My main memory is of the great teaching there. The teachers were all Franciscan sisters, of the more “mature” vintage. While quite strict, and very “generous” with homework, I learned material, but especially studying and learning methods that I was able to utilize all the way to and through my medical school years. Absolutely wonderful teachers. I didn’t fully realize how great they really were until later in my scholastic endeavors.

— Dr. Don Kahle

I attended Holy Ghost from 1971 to 1979. The class of ‘79 had 97 students when we graduated. During the 1970s, Holy Ghost was in two buildings: the “new” and the “old” building. I remember I couldn’t wait until I got to the older building because then we didn’t have to wear a uniform skirt every day. We could wear blue pants!

Many recesses were spent playing dodgeball in the parking lots. It was cool if you were in the rooms that were attached to the fire escape because when the bell rang, you could go down the fire escape!

I think I got my passion for teaching from some of the great teachers I had along the way. I will never forget Sister Ida in first grade. We had the old desks in rows. She was the sweetest little teacher around, who retired and stayed around the parish and was in charge of cleaning the church with the older students who were working off their tuition to go to Wahlert.

We had some huge Christmas programs in the earlier years, and then in 1976, I remember we did a bicentennial program and sang a song about the states.

Gym was either in the church basement or walking up the ramp to the field. The middle of our eighth-grade year the Keating Center was opened. When we did have P.E. in the church basement, we were on scooters a lot!

Our sixth-grade year, we got to take a special “Saturday” field trip to Chicago to see the King Tut exhibit at the Field Museum. In seventh and eighth grade, we were able to play sports. We unfortunately weren’t the greatest teams, but we had a lot of fun. At the end of the season, there was always a pizza party with the team at Happy Joe’s. Go Wildcats in our red-and-white uniforms!

Our eighth-grade year we were the big ones in the school. Who could forget how our years came to an end: That fun and exciting trip to Governor Dodge, Wis., for a picnic! The special Mass where we spent our last time all together as the class of ‘79! We celebrated as many did with their group of friends and parents and went out to eat at The Chateau down the road or other supper clubs in the area.

I returned in the spring of 1987 to student teach with Mr. Steve McDonald. Who could forget the peanuts in a shell that he used to reward students? I never had Mr. Mac as a teacher, but I learned a lot about teaching from him.

— Dawn (Horsfall) Klostermann

My most vivid memory was in third grade: May 5, 1961. After morning Mass was over, instead of herding us into school, the teachers sent everyone to the playground. I remember watching all the nuns walking single file into the neighbors’ house next to the school. Seemed odd at the time, but we asked no questions and played for what seemed like hours.

Kids were running everywhere with not a care in the world. Best recess ever. We found out later the sisters went next door to watch the first U.S. astronaut, Alan Shepard, get launched into space. A day to remember for everyone.

— Bob Erhart

A few memories:

1. Lining up on the playground to sing our national anthem and a religious song each morning, with Sister Lidwina on a ladder, leading the songs.

2. Hiding behind the huge trees on Asbury Street to avoid going into Mass!

3. Not being able to wear tennis shoes to school.

4. Total silence in the halls.

5. The treat of volunteers serving a lunch of sloppy Joes each semester.

— Peg (Margaret Erhart) Klun

At St. Anthony’s, on a nice day we could eat our lunch outside sitting on the curb.

All grades stood in the hall for First Friday prayers. Sister Vincentia was our favorite teacher. BVM postulants with white veils walked over from Clarke College to observe teaching in our classrooms.

The sisters had their private stall in the bathroom. We were never to go in. They also ate in a closed-door, private lunchroom, off of ours, so we could not see them eat.

Monsignor O’Malley handed out our report cards and heard our confessions regularly. He ended mine with “say the beads and get ye out.”

Our playground was two doors down Rosedale on an empty lot.

To this day, my closest, dearest friends are my St. Anthony classmates. That says a lot for 80 years of knowing each other.

— Janet Stoeckl Wareham

My ordination to the Catholic priesthood in 1968 was followed by my assignment for three years as associate pastor at St. Anthony Parish in Dubuque, Iowa.

Included in my duties was teaching seventh- and eighth-grade religion classes at St. Anthony. I was in charge of St. Anthony Junior High boys and girls athletics and was elected to serve as head of the board of Dubuque Catholic Junior High School Athletics.

I was in charge of worship music at the parish.

People realize that Wahlert Catholic produced champion-quality girls volleyball teams. A particular reason was how Dubuque Catholic grade schools like St. Anthony had superb volleyball teams, particularly under the overseeing athletic training talents of people like Betty Nugent.

And people like Jim Noonan superbly led St. Anthony football and basketball teams, followed by the introduction of track and field teams.

Andy Bodnar directed a traditional choir at 8 a.m. and Paul Hemmer proposed and had accepted the project of a more classical music choir at 11 a.m. I directed the standard four-hymn Mass, usually on Saturday evening.

St. Anthony School deserves special credit for promoting the guitar talents of Ralph Kluseman, whose musical performing began in the seventh grade. Working with Ralph in eventually bringing forth folk Masses at St. Anthony was Steve Slade.

— The Rev. Richard L. Schaefer

I was at St. Anthony’s from 1964 to 1972, so I saw a lot of changes.

We could only wear uniform skirts, so in winter, we wore pants to walk to school, then took them off.

We only had hot lunch once a month when I was little. It cost 35 cents and was always sloppy Joes. We loved it! Otherwise, we brought a sack lunch or walked home for lunch if close by.

In the mornings, we ran around the playground until the bell rang, saying it was time to start our school days. We lined up by class, said the Pledge of Allegiance and some prayers, then filed into school.

Seventh and eighth grade was shared at Washington Annex (later Jones Junior High). What a great idea to transition us to high school! Years later, my children went to St. Anthony’s and Jones; there was still one teacher from there that I had as a child. How crazy that my kids experienced the same schools that I did!

-- Julie Schulte

I started school there in 1954, did eighth grade twice and finally got to Wahlert in 1963. (Joined the military, came to Hawaii and stayed.)

In first or second grade, they lined us up and walked us two blocks to Senior High’s gym. There, we waited (silently, or else!) and got the polio vaccine, like it or not. We were some of the first kids to get it.

In fourth grade, I had Miss McDonald, who was NOT a nun. What a surprise. She explained things very well, and she never gave homework. “You’re kids. When school is done, you go play. That’s what children do.” But we learned. And when bad weather prevented recess, we had ours indoors. Trivia games, Simon Says or joke time for 15 minutes. “OK. Who’s got a funny one?”

In second grade, Sister Steven was beyond strict. Then, in sixth grade, I had her for a teacher again. Friday afternoons were for art. One Friday morning, she asked a question, someone answered wrong, and she said, “That’s as dumb as something Eeyore would say.” Blank looks from the class. “What? You people don’t know who Eeyore is? Raise your hands if you know.” About 10 out of 30 went up. “How many of you have read Winnie the Pooh?” Just seven hands went up. She said “OK. We’ll have a special surprise for art class this afternoon. Be on time!”

After lunch and the brief prayer, she pulled out that book and read it all the way through, using various cartoon voices for each character. What a treat. She became one of my favorite teachers after that.

-- Jim Erhart

What wonderful memories I have! I had the privilege to begin my teaching career at St. Anthony and enjoyed it for eighteen years (1973 to 1991). I had the opportunity to teach most of the grade levels from first through eighth. I knew it was a great school to teach in, but I didn’t realize how many friendships would still be intact 30 years after I left. There is definitely something special about the St. Anthony’s community. Even after many of us moved on to teach at other schools, we often reminisce about how “special it was to teach at St. A’s”.

St. Anthony and Holy Ghost were the two Catholic schools with the largest enrollment in the 1970s and ‘80s. Because there were three or four rooms of each grade level, teachers often planned units and activities together. It was that positive interaction that created some of the best memories:

● We had grade-level Masses, instead of all-school liturgies, so there was room for parents to attend. Our talented teacher/musicians led the singing.

● Who could forget the bicentennial celebration when we sewed quilts, made ice cream and played games from years past?

● Each year, I worked with volunteer parents and eighth-graders to organize the annual Fun Day for the whole school community to enjoy at the end of the year.

● We even had a teacher/spouse volleyball team, TGIF, that played in the St. Anthony’s league on Friday nights.

The BVM sisters dedicated many years to Catholic education at St. Anthony. I credit Sister Jean Emile Cofone and Sister Rose Andre Koehler with hiring top-notch educators and setting high expectations. They fostered leadership, scholarship and friendship among students and teachers alike. Many of us still visit the sisters at Mount Carmel.

I am saddened to learn that St. Anthony School as we knew it is closing, but I am extremely proud to have had such a fulfilling Catholic educational experience. There were lessons learned, values instilled and friendships developed decades ago that still exist today, but it’s the lifelong friendships that made St. A’s special.

-- Mary Kluesner

My six siblings and I attended St. Anthony’s School from first through eighth grade. I’m the oldest and was there from the fall of 1959 until the spring of 1967. Our 1967 graduating class had a 50-year reunion in September 2017. My first several years were in the original building attached to the church. The new addition was built in time for me to attend in that building my last couple of years as a “Friar” (the school nickname).

Recess ended with the ringing of a large, old-fashioned school bell. We were to immediately freeze, remain silent for several seconds (during which we were advised to say a silent prayer) and with the second bell ring, we walked – not ran — silently to our class lines. The principal, Sister Lidwina, was a short woman, so she stood on a chair brought out to the playground and used a bullhorn to make announcements.

We were expected to attend morning Mass each day if we arrived early before school. For those of us who did arrive early (Dad often drove us to school on the way to work), many attempted to avoid going to Mass. However, one of the BVM sisters would make trips out to the side of the church to see if any lingering students were there, who were then herded into church. There was a short ledge that ran around the north perimeter of the church, and one section was hidden behind a bend in the outer wall of the church. It provided a nice hiding place that wasn’t visible from the steps that ran around the northwest corner of the church.

On one of the holidays (Halloween? Valentine’s Day? I can’t recall), there was talk among the students in my fourth grade class of having a party in the classroom. The teacher (a laywoman that year, not a BVM sister), declared there would be no party. During recess, a few of the girls stayed inside and secretly decorated the room for a party, including crepe paper hanging from the light fixtures. When the class entered after recess, the girls (hidden behind the accordion door in the back of the room where coats were stored) burst out with a loud “SURPRISE!” This was not met with pleasure from the teacher, who immediately ended the “almost” festivities, scolding that the crepe paper hanging from the lights was a fire hazard.

The mood in the classroom was sullen after that, so I was glad that it was Friday, when the leftover cartons of milk were always carried from room to room through the school for anyone who wanted to buy another to drink at the end of the day (3 cents per half-pint carton). I was glad to leave the room for that final hour or so of the day, given the afternoon’s events.

When I came back to my classroom, however, I was surprised to see a party in progress! I suppose our teacher felt guilty for being the party pooper and allowed the festivities to occur. And I missed it.

Desks in our classrooms were lined up perfectly straight. The front desk leg was to be placed on the intersection of floor tiles, with the desks in the rows behind and across in line with this axis point.

Our uniforms were similar to the current ones, in general. Girls: red/gray plaid pleated skirts, white blouse, optional red sweater. Boys: olive pants, white shirt, navy (clip-on) tie, optional red sweater.

I was an altar boy, of course. There was always a subtle “power struggle” between the pair of altar boys at each Mass over which side of the altar each of the pair of Mass servers got. The more desirable side was the one that had the bells, which were rung during the consecration of the host. The most interesting altar boy dynamic was during Sunday Masses, which, due to the size of the congregation, required not just two, but three priests for communion distribution. Since there were just two Mass servers at a Mass, and the new communion distribution plan involved congregants approaching the front of the church single file to receive communion while standing (and there were still lots of priests available), three priests distributed communion at the middle and both sides of the church. This would require a third “plainclothes” altar boy to voluntarily come up from among the worshipers to assist with the third communion paten.

My recollection on Sundays was of spending most of the Mass eyeballing the other altar boys in the congregation (and each of them eyeballing we others), our placement in the crowd and, thus, our relative distances from the altar when it came time to make the move up to get the third paten, which sat on a little table off to the side of the altar.

This required a lot of calculation and planning because there were a number of factors to weigh:

  • Running was out of the question; that would not be acceptable during a Mass.
  • Timing was also critical. Making a move too early was in bad taste; it was necessary to get to the table/paten at just the right moment, without seeming too eager.
  • Continually watching your “competition” was necessary since it was important to recognize while you were en route if you were likely to reach the altar first; if you weren’t going to “win,” the face-saving way to abandon the move was to give up quickly and reduce the embarrassing return trip to your seat to as brief as possible.

Waiting too long to reach this realization until you were already on the altar would result in stopping and returning to your seat in full view of everyone in church. There were a few awkward incidents when two boys continued to the front, refusing to give up and reached the table simultaneously. It was definitely NOT a good idea to be in front of the entire congregation engaged in a tug of war over the paten with another boy.

-- Steve Heer

My wife, Kay (Kueter), is a graduate of Holy Ghost in 1965, along with her twin sister, Kathy.

I graduated from St. Anthony’s also in 1965, and our three daughters also graduated from St. Anthony: Tracy in 1988, Jill in 1990 and Susan in 1994.

We all have very pleasant memories of our years at these two wonderful schools, especially the first communions and the grade school graduations. Kay and I grew up in walking distance from Holy Ghost and St. Anthony. We both walked home each day for lunch. I can vividly recall coming back for lunch recess just in time for the noon Angelus. The bells in the church would ring, and we all stood in silence. At one point, we genuflected at the same time that the nun supervising the recess did. I doubt many of us knew the prayer at that time, but we knew that we were supposed to genuflect at a certain point. At the end of recess, a bell would ring, and we would all stand still. A second bell would ring, and we would quickly walk to our assigned spot on the playground. A third bell rang, and we were silent again until we were told to walk into school.

Kay was taught by Franciscan sisters at Holy Ghost, and I was taught by Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

In my class at St. Anthony’s, there were two rooms of each grade, and there were 93 students total. In spite of the size, we were family due to the fact that we spent eight years with mostly the same students. As I looked over the list of 93 of my fellow graduates, there were only three names that I could not put a face to.

Due to the large number of religious at that time, we can remember many of the nuns and priests at our schools. One of our St. Anthony parish priests just passed away. Rev. John McClean. My 1965 class dedicated our graduation to Msgr. Luby who had been our pastor since first grade and due to poor health was leaving soon. In 2010, 36 classmates returned for a 45th reunion, including our principal, Sister Lidwina BVM.

-- Gary Gansemer

My earliest memories of St. Anthony’s were my mom taking us to O’Malley Hall — the basement of the church – the week before school started, to register for the school year. I always looked forward to the new school year and was SO excited on registration day because I came home with a brand-new, clear plastic book bag full of new school supplies. I was always so thrilled to get this book bag and so looked forward to the first day of school. I’m sure it was included in the cost of registration, but the school provided and stocked the bag.

My favorite teacher was Ms. Francine Buda (now Banworth). I thought she was so nice, so sweet and gentle, so cool and very pretty. I had my dad drive me down to her house on Loras Boulevard at Christmas that year, so I could deliver some of my mom’s homemade decorated Christmas cookies. After I returned to Dubuque four years ago, I had the pleasure of having lunch with her. She was the same as I remembered her.

One always hears and reads about the hell of attending Catholic school: the stern, dour, cruel nuns cracking hands or knees with the rulers they wielded. I can’t recall any mean nuns at St. Anthony’s. In my experience and memory, St. Anthony’s was a warm, happy place, with teachers we liked. I remember that at one point during recess, the church bell would ring, signaling us to pause in our play in order to say a prayer, take a moment to reflect or engage in some introspection. It probably lasted all of 60 seconds.

In reality, though, it didn’t stop our play. We did dutifully stop moving. Instantly. But rather than using that moment as it was intended, it became a contest as to who could strike the most humorous “frozen” position and whether it could be held for 60 seconds. When the church bell sounded, kids would freeze with a hand in the air, in position just about to strike the tetherball. Or bent over double, frozen while playing four square. Or caught in the midst of chasing someone across the playground, balanced on one leg. Then, the challenge was to appear meditative as the occasion called for, while trying hard to stifle giggles as all scanned the playground and saw the hilarious poses of your fellow classmate-clowns.

As for the priests, a few stand out ... regal, white-haired Father Blessington, Father Tauke, Father Funke, the young and groovy-bearded Father Tilp, who to us was a mod, fun, hip priest.

I also remember being rewarded with a “holy card,” if we arrived at the tray return in the cafeteria, having cleaned our tray (eaten everything). The holy card was a picture of one of the saints with a prayer on the back.

My siblings and I will forever reminisce about the legendary cast of characters. Custodian Ted Vorwald: short, rotund, gentle, soft-spoken, always in faded bib overalls. Any nonparishioner driving past St. Anthony’s, seeing Ted shuffling between the church and school, would think he was a misplaced farmer lost in the city.

Mrs. Wright, the elderly cafeteria lady who took our milk money.

Harold and Grace McMahon, always proper and well dressed. Harold was the head usher, and they both were deeply involved in St. Anthony’s. They lived next door to the school.

My parents did a lot for St. Anthony’s, and St. Anthony’s did a lot for us. (St. Anthony himself helped us find countless lost articles. Whenever any of us went to Mom and said, “Mom, I can’t find my ______,” without fail her reply would be, “Pray to St. Anthony” (the Patron Saint of Lost Articles).

Every year before Thanksgiving, the school had a food drive. Each student was to bring in one or two canned good items. Mom would go to the cupboard and give us each a can to take to school, so we could help the needy. I remember one year, just before Thanksgiving, a St. Anthony’s parishioner drove into our driveway and walked up to the door to deliver a box of groceries, including canned goods and a big turkey. My brother David recalls: The Heers donated a can of cherry pie filling to the food drive. I liked cherry pie filling and complained about giving it away. (I thought canned peas were a better candidate.) Anyway, Mom said to send the cherry pie filling anyway. The can had a small dent on the rim. When we received the box of groceries (and a big turkey) and looked over the food, we found that same dented can of cherry pie filling. It had been donated back to us.

-- Janet Heer

I attended St. Anthony’s for three years prior to moving out into the country. We lived on Wilbricht Lane, which was a gravel lane and a dead-end road (no Flora Park at that time). 1955, I think it was: first grade: Joey Paradiso lived in the neighborhood, by the Bunker Hill golf course. He was the leader of a big band (his occupation). His son Tom was in first grade also. Several times during that year, Mr. Paradiso brought in lots of his musical instruments and gave us an opportunity to play them somewhat, to the best of our abilities, and him making an effort to lead the young band (with a little instruction). I think the instruments were mostly drums, tambourines, triangles, rattles to shake, etc., maybe a simple horn or two, but all simple types of instruments. It was very exciting for first-graders.

Class size was around 50 students; the BVM sisters taught us and resided at the Clarke College campus. The playground was the site of the present-day school. The younger boys would bring their marbles to school, draw a circle in the dirt and sometimes play for keeps — other times just for fun.

-- Dan Smith

I graduated May 1953. I remember:

  • JMJ written on all assignments
  • Skipping home after first communion
  • Drinking warm milk that was delivered to the school basement
  • Playground three lots from school
  • Duncan yo-yo man doing demonstration in alley next to school
  • Classmates leaving when St. Joseph school opened
  • Nuns walking to St. Anthony from Clarke College

-- Bill Bergmann

When I was 5, we moved into St. Anthony’ school district, and I wanted to attend St. Anthony’s. However, there was not enough room for me, so I had to spend first grade at Irving School. My sister Jeanne, who was going into third grade, also attended Irving for one year. My other two sisters, Kathy and Sue, were in fifth and sixth grades and were admitted without a problem. When I started second grade, there was sufficient space for all of us to attend St. Anthony’s.

In order to accommodate the growing number of students at the school, a second building was erected, allowing for the expansion of the lower grades into the original building. Once again, I fell victim to lack of space. When the building was opened, the only classes that were allowed to attend in the new building were the seventh and eighth grades. The rooms for the sixth grade, which I was now a part of, were not completed in time for the school year to start. And the lower classes had already expanded into the old building. So, the sixth-grade class assembled each morning in the parking lot, boarded buses and went across town to the Area Residential Care facility and used two of their large rooms for our classes. After school, we were bused back to St. Anthony’s school parking lot to be dismissed for the day and sent home.

In spite of twice being denied sufficient space to attend classes, I have fond memories of the teachers, classmates and Catholic education I received at St. Anthony’s. Years later, my two children, Joe and Kate, also attended St. Anthony’s school. I will always appreciate my time and that of my children at the school and feel a bit of sadness at its closing.

-- Michael Kubesheski

Any article about our school (I was there from 1954 to 1963) would have to include our unofficial saint, Mr. Ted Vorwald. He lived a few doors down from the school (on Rosedale) and was the school janitor when I first got there and seemed to be the oldest man I’d ever met. (I was going on 6; he was probably approaching 50.) And he was still there, an usher for Sunday Mass, when I visited in the early 1980s. He ALWAYS had a kind word for the good kids and a sharp word for those who misbehaved. He was the rock at school who kept everything running smooth. Nuns and lay teachers came and went, but Mr. Vorwald was always there.

I’d meet him on occasion, and he’d say, “Big test yesterday. How’d you do?” (My favorite subject, I got a B+.) “Good for you! You’re a smart boy. You’ll go far.” But I never liked homework and got a C on the report card. He got mad at me and said something like, “Oh, come on! You can do better than that! You don’t want to be a bum, or a janitor like me all your life, huh?” To say he was St. Anthony’s patron saint would not be wrong.

-- Jim Erhart

Many of our teachers were BVM sisters. Sister Lidwina was our principal, a short, fast-talking no-nonsense educator. Nicknamed ‘Leadbottom’ (of course, never to her face), she was exceptional, and I have heard the St. Anthony program was heralded near and far for the quality of the Catholic education offered there. About 15 years ago, I heard she had retired, was living at Mount Carmel. I visited her quite regularly, introduced her to my wife and daughter. She was as sharp as ever, passed away just a few years ago. She remembered me in grade school more than I remembered me in grade school!

Before they built the new building, with a cafeteria, we had to carry our lunches from home. We would tie our 3 cents for milk into a corner knot on a handkerchief. Once a month or two, one of the ladies groups would prepare a “hot lunch,” in O’Malley Hall, below the church. It was a very big deal. We would be so excited. Sloppy Joe’s, baked beans, chips, a brownie. We would go outside to eat in the grass behind the rectory if the weather was nice enough.

-- Joel Heer

I was a proud St. Anthony Friar from 1954-1962. Almost every grade was taught by a BVM sister who, besides the usual subjects taught in school, instilled in us the importance of good citizenship and the use of proper grammar. I will always have fond memories of those eight years of my life, which included daily Mass before school, all-school Masses, first communion, confirmation, the living rosary and May Crowning, just to name a few.

One memory that I’m sure several of my classmates share as a grade school highlight was in first grade.

There were 55 boys and girls in one room with one teacher, Sr. Vivina. My parents invited the entire class to our farm for a day of fun. The farm was located at the edge of the city limits, off Asbury Road, down a half-mile, narrow, dirt lane that is now known as Kennedy Road. Since there was no busing, I suppose some of the moms made several trips the two-mile distance to transport my classmates to the farm. Sr. Vivina was a great sport. I think she may have slid off the back of our palomino, Goldie, while riding with one of the kids.

The day ended with all sitting under a tree eating a Smoozie!

-- Lenny Young

I attended St. Anthony School for eight years, graduating in 1968. It was a wonderful school, and I have many fond memories.

Our first-grade class was so large we had to go in two sessions: morning and afternoon. Most of our teachers were BVM nuns. One of my favorite teachers was Mrs. McCarthy. She taught a combo of fourth/fifth grade and would toggle between lessons throughout the day. We were all in the same room. I had her for two years.

I recall the Catholic observances of the “living rosary,” where students were beads of the rosary and moved through the pews as we recited the prayers, as well as May Crowning. The girl who crowned Mary was the envy of all the girls!

The boys could serve as altar boys and the girls as ladies of the altar. We were allowed into the sacristy to count out unblessed communion hosts and set up the priest’s vestments. The priests were highly regarded, and when they visited the classroom, we stopped what we were doing, knelt down and asked for their blessings.

There was little use of technology, but I remember the occasional 8-mm film shown. In 1963, we halted classes while a portable TV was brought into the classroom to watch JFK’s funeral procession.

-- Sue (Schulte) Bushman

My teaching career spanned from 1974-2014. Within that timeframe, I spent eight years teaching third grade at St. Anthony’s. Those years proved to be some of the best. Teachers had a strong work ethic, students were eager to learn, and parents wanted the best for their children and supported teachers in any way they could. St. Anthony’s provided a family-centered, faith-filled learning environment which resulted in a quality education second to none.

-- Bob Bildstein

Recommended for you