A Message from the Principal

Fall 2005
A Message from the Principal
Reverend Mark Bartosic
Associate Pastor
Fr. Carmelo Mendez
In Residence
Most Rev. Thomas Paprocki, JCD
Deacon Couple
Javier & Irma Pineda
School Principal
Clement V. Martin
School Secretary
Patricia Gecic
Development Coordinator
Nancy Barth
School Board President
Daniel Marquez
[email protected]
I would like to start by thanking all those who joined in the
alumni reunion celebration in September. It was wonderful to
hear many great stories about the history of Saint Frances of
Rome that spanned eight decades. These stories, along with
those shared in the memory keepsake, revolved around the
Catholic spirit of the school and a sense of family. It was amazing to see
classmates remain friends for over sixty years.
The event helped tremendously in our efforts to update our alumni database.
Many people were forthcoming with names and addresses of friends and
family members who had attended Saint Frances. We received many calls
following the event with people inquiring why they had not received
newsletters or news of the event. Although the school has been around for
many years, our database is still in its infancy. We hope to continue to track
down friends and alumni of Saint Frances that would be interested in
receiving the newsletters. I strongly believe that this event will continue to
For this edition of the newsletter, we asked a former principal, Sr. Corine
recount some of her memories while here at
SFR. A former student, Maureen Holden, who is
now also a Sister of the Incarnate Word has also
accepted the invitation to include an article for
this edition of the newsletter.
On the sheet included, I also ask that you give us
some feedback on features you would like
included as part of the newsletter. We are also
asking for some input about the alumni reunion
gathering and other events in which you might
like to participate
Please keep Saint Frances in your prayers
throughout the months ahead. I wish everyone
continued health and happiness throughout the Alumni and their families gathered September 17th in the
holiday season.
SFR Auditorium for dinner and dancing following Mass.
St. Frances of Rome School
1401 South Austin Blvd., Cicero, IL 60804
Phone: (708) 652-2277
Order Sons of Italy
in America
Joe Papa, Class of 1963, is
currently the President of the
Order Sons of Italy in America.
For each of the past two years,
this organization has generously
donated a $1000 scholarship for
students to attend Saint Frances
of Rome. Scholarships, such as
this, help to make Catholic
education a viable option for
many parish families. Your
generosity is greatly appreciated!
Sr. Corine Walsh shares
her memories of SFR
Frances of Rome that my
thoughts invariably turn. That is
as it should be because it was the
cradle of my apostolic career. In
1955 I was assigned to teach
there – fourth grade. I
approached it in fear and
trepidation as I was only a few
years older than my students! To
this day I can visualize that
classroom on the second floor of
the “New School.” I can almost
recite the names of all the
students, but I wouldn’t dare to
attempt it here! From there I
graduated to the “roof” where I
had fourth grade again. Was that
fun – a huge room, cement floors,
doors opening to the roof and far
enough away from the prying
eyes of principals and others.
Soon my hiatus on the roof came
to an end and I was assigned
sixth grade in the “Old School.”
All this came to an end quite
quickly when I was again told
that I was to go to El Paso, Texas
for a teaching assignment there. I
was heartbroken and while I
quickly adjusted to life in Texas,
my love affair with Saint Frances
Sr. Corine Walsh today
When one has spent fifty years in
religious life, memory lane can
be long and nostalgic. It is such
for me. I have lived a rich full
life, one that has been spotted
with its share of joys and sorrows
but one that has been fulfilling
and rewarding.
When I lapse down memory lane,
as I often do, it is to Saint
St. Frances of Rome School
To my delight, I was sent back
again to my beloved Saint
Frances in 1962. This time it was
to teach eighth grade. We had
“departmentalization” and I was
responsible not just for one class
but for all three eighth grades. I
took this very seriously. There
were challenges and keeping up
with the pranks and antics of my
students left no time for
daydreaming! To this day I have
a very close connection with
especially the class of ’63.
1401 South Austin Blvd., Cicero, IL 60804
One never knew when Msgr.
Beemsterboer would appear at
the window demanding x number
of students to execute one or
another of his many projects. I
would agree reluctantly but
because I was one of the very
few he did not intimidate, we
became good friends.
Principal Sr. Corine Walsh with
Pastor Msgr. Joseph Howard
My next venture at Saint Frances
came in 1974 when I was
assigned to return there as
principal. I did so with wings on
my feet but again feeling the
providing the best education for a
large school. We had three
schools, encompassing one long
city block. I got my daily
exercise running from one to the
other many times a day. The task
was daunting but with a
dedicated and supportive staff, a
fantastic pastor in Msgr. Joseph
cooperative associate pastors,
and great volunteers, we focused
on providing the best that
Catholic Education had to offer,
and from all accounts we
Phone: (708) 652-2277
Today I look back on my life’s
journey with a grateful heart –
and that journey has taken me to
many places and many different
positions, but it is at Saint
Frances of Rome that I feel most
at home. I pray daily for all my
past students, hoping that I have
been a positive influence in their
lives and asking forgiveness if I
have not. I thank Saint Frances of
Rome staff, parents and students
for the love I received from so
many. You are always in my
heart and will always share in my
prayers. God willing, I will make
the next reunion!
In the News
Capital Projects
Over the course of the past month, the Town of Cicero has torn up all
the concrete parkways surrounding the parish property. A school
parent generously donated his trucking company to haul away the
concrete debris, clearing the way for trees and grass to be planted this
spring. Groups of volunteers came on two weekends to fill the areas
with the necessary topsoil and plant several trees. The planting will
be completed after the winter.
The parking lot adjacent to the school, as well as the parking lot on
15th and Austin Boulevard, are scheduled to be groundCorine down
and repaved in the upcoming weeks. The project is being undertaken
with money raised through the Millennium Campaign that is
concluding this year at Saint Frances. The Millennium Campaign was
a tremendous success, allowing for the installation of air conditioning
in the Church in addition to the replacement of all the windows in the
“new” school building. The generosity of the parishioners here at
Saint Frances has been remarkable.
“Praised be the Incarnate Word, Good Morning,
“Forever. Amen. Good Morning, boys and girls,
be seated.”
By: Sister Joan Holden, CCVI
Our school was recently featured
in an article in the Catholic New
World. The article discussed the
unique sharing relationship our
parish has with St. Anne in
Barrington. Both school and
parish interact in a vast array of
activities, including our recent
Day of the Dead celebration.
We also had one of our students
grace the cover of the Cicero Life
Newspaper. The photo was taken
during the third grade’s Day of
the Dead celebration shared with
their counterparts from St. Anne
St. Frances of Rome School
That was the way the day began,
for those of us who attended
grade school at St. Frances of
Rome. By that simple salutation
we proclaim the praise of God,
although none of us fully
understood the power of those
words. Yet, this was, and is, our
baptismal commitment and the
mission of the Sisters of Charity
of the Incarnate Word – namely,
to praise God and to make God’s
love a real and tangible presence
in the world. Although we are
far removed from the student
desks and dusty chalk boards of
SFR, we may be more conscious
today, of the duty and privilege
we have, to praise God and His
1401 South Austin Blvd., Cicero, IL 60804
Son, Jesus, the Incarnate Word in
our daily lives.
In the 1960s there was a popular
folk song, sung by Peter, Paul
and Mary, which asked the
question, “Where Have All the
Flowers Gone?”
A similar
was raised again and again on
September 17th, when many of
the school alumni gathered for
Mass, supper and a getreacquainted party in the parish
The question was
---“Where have all the Sisters
gone?” To respond, let’s go back
to the beginning. In 1924 Father
John Kelly invited the Incarnate
Word Sisters to staff his parish
Sister Columbanus
Robinson and a small group of
Phone: (708) 652-2277
Sisters responded and thus began
our 73 years of teaching at St.
Frances of Rome School. In the
years that followed, student
enrollment quickly grew, making
it our largest parish grade school
that the Sisters staffed and also
the one farthest away from our
Motherhouse in San Antonio,
For many years the Sisters’
primary works were in health
care, education and orphan
ministry. Many things stayed
basically the same. Convent life
had a predictable rhythm to it.
Sisters were up at 5:00 a.m. and
asleep by 9:30 p.m. or soon after.
In-between those hours, most of
our days were filled with prayer,
class work, meals and an hour of
Then, came Vatican II (1962-65)
and many things changed! The
most visible was
the habit and for those who
wished, to return to their
baptismal names. The Church
mandated that members of
religious communities receive an
update in theology. “The Nun in
the Modern World” became a
“must read” book for many
religious eager and ready for
Religious women
became more in tune with the
world around them and began to
see other avenues of service.
Many of our Sisters from the
United States and Mexico,
responding to the needs of the
volunteered to minister to the
very poor in Peru, Guatemala and
most recently, in Africa.
There were, however, other more
serious challenges facing the
St. Frances of Rome School
The most profound
challenge was found in The
Constitution of The Church –
“Lumen Gentium.”
Vatican II many lay people
believed that only clergy and
nuns and other religious people
were called to holiness. Lumen
Gentium forcefully stated –
“Not so” – for all the faithful are
called to evangelization and to
encouraged to take the faith into
the secular world, evangelize in
the marketplace and to be
examples to others by living their
state of life according to the
Church teaching. Perhaps in
God’s plan, vocations to the
religious life have decreased only
to strengthen and empower the
laity in their vocation to build the
City of God.
Many other
“Where Have All the Sisters
Gone?” Of those who served at
St. Frances of Rome, many have
peacefully gone to their heavenly
home. Several are now living at
Community (4707 Broadway –
San Antonio, TX 78209).
Other Sisters have chosen
individual ministries in which to
serve (addresses are available
upon request – 1-800-497-43363).
May we continue to greet one
another with the prayerful
salutation learned long ago –
“Praised be the Incarnate Word.”
Sister Joan Holden, CCVI, is a
graduate of St. Frances of Rome
She is now engaged in Ministry
with the Elderly at Visitation/- St.
Ann, an inner city parish in St.
emphasizing the important role
of the laity in today’s world.
Our “job description” was
rewritten. We are the Church the “priesthood of all believers”
calling forth a new kind of
Catholic. With the “dawning of a
new age,” said Pope John Paul II,
Catholic laity must reach out and
practice their faith in new and
creative ways.
“Where Have All the Sisters
Gone?” We need only to look
around and see the Church – the
Body of Christ – Men and
Women – our brothers and
sisters, taking seriously their
baptismal call to make real the
love of Christ in their lives and
joyfully share that love with
1401 South Austin Blvd., Cicero, IL 60804
Louis, Missouri.
Sister also
gives presentations on the
Incarnate Word’s Mission in
Africa and frequently visits her
family living in the Chicago area.
Sister can be reached:
Address –
5817 Fyler #4
St Louis, Mo 63139,
Phone: 314-753-1816 or E-mail:
[email protected] amormeus.org.
Phone: (708) 652-2277