UP Catholic 09 16 2016 E Edition Page 9

More than 10,000 students fill diocesan schools 50 & 25 YEARS AGO BY LARRY CHABOT FROM OUR SUNDAY VISITOR SEPTEMBER, 1966 More than 10,000 students filed into the diocese's 38 schools, while in Sault Ste. Marie, Loretto High opened its first season. StaffSergeant Adrian Anglim, an Ironwood St. Ambrose graduate, lost his life in Vietnam. More than 3,500 people celebrated at the site of Father Jacques Marquette's first landing in 1671 at Moran Bay near St. Ignace. FROM THE U.P. CATHOLIC SEPTEMBER, 1991 During Mikhail Gorbachev's rule, Christian churches in the USSR grew by 50 percent and the number of Catholics rose to 12 million. Using pieces from other instruments, Sault Ste. Marie St. Mary's parish music director John Ignatowski built his own organ. As the number of priests declined, Bishop Mark Schmitt charged a task force with keeping all ten Sault Ste. Marie area churches open. www.upcatholic.org THE U.P. CATHOLIC CATHOLIC SCHOOLS September 16, 2016 9 Holy Spirit Catholic School turns 50 years old SUBMITTED BY BRUCE VIELMETTI Up until the news from my parents that Id be going to a new, Catholic school for third grade, I had attended only McKinley School, a turn-of-the- century edifice that seemed much old- er at 65 that than Holy Spirit Central School looks at 50. As one of the initial classes at HSCS, we began third grade in the fall of 1966, in the basement of St. Mary Parish, displacing a few after-funer- al luncheons. We met the nuns, but mostly fell under the spell of our first teacher, Miss Benzo, who famously drilled us all on multiplication tables every minute, it seemed, of that entire year. The move to the new school a few weeks later, felt like a trip to Disney. The school stood shiny on a hill on the edge of town, the newest, biggest thing to happen to Norway, Mich. in my short life, and my six years as a pupil there have had lasting changes these 50 years later. For Norway, HSCS appeared like something we only saw on television. One story! A single, large tilting win- dow in every room! Carpeting! Col- orful desks with chrome legs! Green chalkboards! Our own gym with showers and lockers! We played basketball in red uni- forms against other 7th and 8th grade teams. We had programs, and put on child-like musicals from the elevated stage. We ate lunch in the same tiny fym, which also hosted weekly Mass at which I sometimes fainted. The school sat alone atop a large- ly treeless hill. I doubt Id ever paid attention to what was there before. I was only 8 years old. By 8th grade, the boys in our class were cleaning muck and moss from the creek that lowed under the entrance driveway. My memories of HSCS have always been positive. Look- ing back, I think the Sisters of the Holy Spirit were much more progressive than other orders at longer-established schools. They and the capable lay faculty instilled Catholic values without many of us realizing it. In subtle if not subliminal ways, my grade school education prepared me for success in high school and beyond, in ways that led to enrolling my own children in a Catholic elementary schools. And it was where I fot to know my wife. Another aspect of HSCS that seemed almost avante farde at the time was multi- frade classes for reading, math and language, when a class might have students of three different grades in the same level. Who can for- fet moving up the colors of SRA for reading? We had music with Paul LaChapelle, and everyone had a recorder to learn some basics. And for art, the exotic Sister Arnolda. Im sure she was the irst, and for many years, the only Chinese person any of us had ever met. My friends and I spent many af- ter-school and even weekend hours at HSCS. Wed help Mr. Gattra, our kind janitor, clean up and put away chairs and move supplies, mostly so we could run around and explore in the after-hours, but also to feel helpful. If Ray ever thought us more trouble than help, he never said so. We printed a school newspaper, The Spartan, a few times a year, For better or worse, perhaps that set me up to become a newspaper writer! We even had hot school lunches that most kids actually liked a lot, cooked by the inestimable Eunice Coombs. Maybe all kids remember their early teachers, but I certainly do mine. The strict Sister Theresine, the gentle Sister Ralph Marie and the constant, Sister Leonette. Tom McCarthy who skillfully got us and others through 7th grade science, the birds and the bees, Mrs. Berg who chaperoned our trip to the planetarium in Marquette, and coach Menghini. A celebration of Holy Spirit Catho- lic Schools 50th Anniversary will be held on Oct. 15, 2016. Mass will be at 4 p.m. at St. Mary Parish in Norway. Following the Mass will be a dinner and a program at the school. Dinner tickets can be purchased at the school office for $13 per person or RSVP by Oct. 1 at (906) 563-8817. (Editor's note: Bruce Vielmetti is a writer for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.) FILE PHOTO Holy Spirit Catholic School students enter the school on the day of the opening of its doors on Oct. 10, 1966. The students are accompanied by the Sisters of the Holy Spirit.

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