Alumni Newsletter

100 Harvey St.
Washington, IL 61571



Dear Alumni,
It was great to welcome our students back this past fall with enrollment up with new students and families in the Parish.
Our first semester went very well. As you know on Fridays we begin the day with Mass. This fall I implemented Eucharistic Adoration every Friday. We used to have it only on First Friday. I believe strongly that the Eucharist must be the center of the parish
and school life. Christ must be the center. Adoration gives us that quiet time to be with Jesus. I encourage all of you to find Eucharist Adoration in your local area and spend time with Jesus.
We celebrated All Saints day with our 1st graders dressing up as their favorite Saint. They stood in front of everyone and
told us the saint they were representing. They all did a great job speaking and revealing the beauty of their saint. Do you remember your Saint you chose when you went to school here or your Confirmation name?
Once again we were able to have our Christmas program at Five Points in Washington. The students sang like angels. It
was great to see all their talents shine forth.
Please pray for our 2nd Graders who are preparing for their 1 st Reconciliation and Holy Communion. Also, pray for our
8 Graders who will be fully initiated in the Catholic Church when they receive Confirmation on April 16 th.
Lent is going to begin soon and many times we give up something for Lent, which is a good thing to do. Maybe this
year, also try to do something extra. In this Year of Mercy that Pope Francis began, let us live out the Corporal and Spiritual
Works of Mercy. Another way to grow spiritually is to go to and sign up for the “Best Lent Ever.” Each
day during Lent you will receive a daily reflection.
Know that you are in my prayers. Please pray for our Parish and School. May you and your family have a Holy and Glorious Lent and Easter Season.
In Christ,
Fr. Steve
Dear St. Patrick Alumni,
Another school year is quickly flying by and it has been a good year. Our enrollment increased again; we currently have
312 students in our Preschool to 8th grade. We are excited about that and hope the trend continues. We welcome new teachers
Miss Meghan Pantages for one of the kindergarten classes and Miss Shannon Weisbruch (alumnus) for junior high. Mrs. Deb
Campbell retired at the end of the past school year; we wish her well. We also welcome Mr. Serafin Lachino beginning second
semester as Mrs. Becky Moran moved to Iowa where her husband took a new position.
This year’s school theme is “Let us show mercy, kindness, and respect to others at all times.” In this Year of Mercy, we
are working as a school to live works of mercy within our lives and all we do.
Our students are continuing to work in programs we initiated in the last couple of years. The 8 th graders will be confirmed
at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in April after a 2-year preparation. We are continuing to develop our writing program and service portfolios across the grade levels. Our “House” program is in its second year with students in grades 5-8 working
together on projects, planning activities, and each House taking a turn to visit an assisted living home in Washington. Our Freshman Honors Algebra class went well last year and this year; again, we have a number of students being recommended for Honors
Geometry as freshmen when they enter high school.
Fr. Steve has been providing presentations to the faculty as a part of our professional development and adult faith formation. We have provided the staff with monthly CDs from Lighthouse Catholic Media and the books “The Church of Mercy” by
Pope Francis and “Discovering Jesus” by Matthew Kelly.
Our extra-curricular activities continue to grow as well. Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Becky Nau, has begun an Art Club
with monthly art classes for grade level groups after school. This has been a huge success among the students. Miss Naujalis,
Spanish teacher, began a Spanish Club that has been a great success as well. The students in her club recently took a field trip to
St. Hyacinth Parish in LaSalle to learn about the Spanish culture and celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. They were
guests of the parishioners for lunch. Our Junior High Choir has grown and sings during the All School Masses each Friday and

special feast days. The choir sang at the 5:00 p.m. Mass on the 30 th of January as a part of our Catholic Schools Week activities,
and they cantored at the other Masses.
On March 19th St. Patrick Parish is sponsoring the “Pot of Gold” parish auction and dinner at the Countryside Banquet
Facility in Washington. The school’s portion of the proceeds has been earmarked for technology. We are hoping to purchase additional Chromebooks with a goal of providing 1:1 technology for at least our 5 th through 8th grade students. We will also use a
portion of the funds to increase wireless access points and increase bandwidth. Faculty are reviewing digital curriculum and making plans for an online program for social studies and history classes. If anyone is interested in making a donation to this cause,
please send it to St. Patrick School, 100 Harvey St., Washington, IL 61571 to the Attention of Doreen Shipman, PrincipalTechnology Fund. We are very grateful for any contribution to better our school’s programs.
Our school had a full slate of activities scheduled for Catholic Schools Week that included activities of “Faith,
Knowledge, and Service” in our families, students, communities; our nation; our vocations; and much more. Check out our plans
on the school website
Soon our school will be looking to the spring activities and be completing another wonderful year! We have been blessed
to have two wonderful pastors in our parish and school, Fr. Stephen Willard and parochial vicar Fr. Julius Turyatoranwa. They
continue to help us along the way with their teaching and wisdom that they give to our students each Friday at All School Mass
and when they visit the school. We also congratulate Fr. Steve for being nominated Pastor of the Year for the Diocese of Peoria
this year! We appreciate the dedicated service of these two priests.
There is a new vibrancy in our parish and school, and it is exciting. The Faith in Our Future team was developed as a
result of our Strategic Plan replacing the former Commission on Education. They are doing wonderful things. I am personally
very grateful for all the hard work of the sub-committees of this team, the Finance Council, and the new Parish Council. I am also
very grateful for all the support and hard work of the volunteers and parents. St. Patrick School could not be the great school it is
without the efforts of all of these fine people and the wonderful teachers and staff.
Thank you.
Doreen Shipman, Principal

Sarah (Pearson) Daley, 2000
I remember performing “The Goose that Laid the Golden Egg,” class performances in the gym and parties in the classroom with
lots of candy and soda. I remember playing tetherball, four-square and kickball at recess and having a small, tight-knit group (8
boys & 8 girls). I also remember cheerleading at basketball games; playing volleyball; lunches of crispitoes, nachos, fish clippers
and chocolate milk. I remember Math Team with Mrs. Jarboe, Science class with Mrs. Kapraun and computer class (learning to
type). I also remember Valentine day parties and prayer partners on Fridays.
Now, I live in St. Louis, MO (Ballwin) with my husband, Michael, and our 15-month-old daughter, Abigail. I received my bachelor’s degree and MBA from St. Louis University. I’m Research Director at Arthur J. Gallagher and have been with the company
for 7 years. My brother, David (class of 97), has an associate’s degree from ICC and currently resides in Peoria. He works at the
US Post Office. My mailing address is 478 Maymont Dr., Ballwin MO 63011; and my email is My
phone number is 309-696-1048.

Did you know…..
Volunteers from St. Pat’s have packed the food boxes for the Journal Star Christmas fund for over 10 years. About 5000 boxes,
which contain enough food for several meals, are packed annually. Packing these baskets has become a parish tradition with
families, teachers and students helping every year.
A 65th anniversary celebration will be held at the school on the first weekend of August. St. Patrick’s first classes started August
1951. August 2016 will be 65 years! Ideas being discussed are an open house after Mass, a possible steak fry/ice cream social,
and maybe an alumni basketball game. More information will follow. Your opinions are welcome and can be emailed to Please mark your calendars and plan to attend!
The research to find a cure for pancreatic cancer is being helped by the Theresa Tracy Strive to Survive. Theresa Tracy, mother
of Nia Tracy (2011), died about 5 years ago from pancreatic cancer. The Theresa Tracy Strive to Survive is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization which has held a 4 mile run/2 mile walk for the past 3 years in November in East Peoria, IL. To date, the organization has raised nearly $100,000 for pancreatic cancer research and patient care at the U of I College of Medicine in Peoria.
For more information, please visit

Did you know….. Cont.
Jeanna Rich (2006) was among the volunteers who helped construct raised beds used to grow crops at a community garden on
the south side of Peoria while she was an undergraduate studying dietetics at Bradley University in Peoria. She is now the consulting nutrition educator for Gifts in the Moment, a local nonprofit committed to managing the South Garden Urban Farmer’s
Market and Learning Center in Peoria. Jeanna enjoys meeting the community residents and educating them about nutrition.
Though she had always wanted to be a dietitian, she thought she would go the clinical route, working with those who had eating
disorders or were recovering from injury or illness. But interacting with the residents of this lower-income area in Peoria convinced her to work in the community. “I love working with people who need and are grateful for our help.”
The parish is hosting Reboot! Live! with internationally renowned speaker and author, Chris Stefanick, and special musical
guest, Jon Niven. This is to be held on Wednesday, April 27 from 7:00—9:30 pm at Five Points in Washington. It is the fun,
inspiring and practical experience of applying the beauty and genius of the heart of the Gospel to every aspect of your life. Contact Mrs. Chris Kapraun if interested at 309-369-0783.
Sister Mercedita Fatima C. Raleca serves as a religion teacher at St Patrick’s. Sr. Mercy, as she is called, has recently celebrated
25 years of profession. She entered the Franciscan Apostolic Sisters in the Philippines in 1990 and came to the Diocese of Peoria in 2010. She, along with Sister Magdalena, has been teaching at St. Pat’s since August 2014.
The St. Pat’s Athletics Committee will be hosting a Cash Bash, and $4000.00 is the grand prize! It is February 20th starting at
5:00 pm at the KC Hall in Washington. This is one of St. Pat’s Athletics’ biggest fundraisers and will be used to replenish the
funds after a costly gym renovation last year. For more information or tickets, you may contact the church office at 309-4443524 or the school office at 309-444-4345.
The facebook page for alumni has been revived! Many old photos and memories have been shared. Visit and join at https:// The group is called St. Patrick’s School Alumni, Washington IL. Check it out!
And don’t forget the St. Pat’s website—
Pope Francis’ visit last year was written about in a blog by Vicki (Bolton) Cessna (1980). She works for the Diocese of Kalamazoo, MI, and blogged about her experience in Washington, DC; New York City; and Philadelphia during his visit in the
states. You can read it at:
The Office of Catholic Schools is pleased to announce the recipient of the Distinguished Pastor for the 2015-16 academic year.
Our Pastor, Father Steve Willard, has been honored with this award for this year. The criteria of the selection of this award
include outstanding support and a true commitment and passion for Catholic education and its mission to assist students to
grow in “wisdom, age and grace.” Each assignment Fr. Steve has served as a Priest in the Catholic Diocese of Peoria has had a
school within its parish boundaries.
Another alum has joined the faculty at St. Pat’s. Teaching 6th grade is Shannon Weisbruch (2004). She, along with alumni
Kindergarten teacher Adrienne Schlack (2001), 3rd grade teacher Kathy (Opsomer) Schlack (1971), cafeteria manager Sue
(Hobbs) Shannon (1974), and church office secretary Juanita (Noe) Barron (1967) complete our alumni faculty.
“Flat Francis” is a paper cutout that was created by the Catholic Extension in Chicago to help people share their excitement
about the pope’s first trip to the United States. St. Pat’s third grade students took their “Flat Francis” to many locations including Emo’s for ice cream, a baby shower, football games, a pumpkin farm in Morton, or just outside to play. Kathy (Opsomer)
Schlack (1971) is the students’ teacher.
Happy 60th wedding anniversary to Mr. and Mrs. Marty Junk! They are the parents of Joyce (1972), Tom (1980), Gary
(1975), and Tim (1974) who passed away in 2014. They are also the grandparents of alumni Justin (2002) and Melissa (2005),
children of Gary.
If you have had an address change, please complete and return this form to St. Pat’s School, 100 Harvey, Washington, IL 61571.
You may also email the information to:


St. Patrick School
100 Harvey
Washington, IL 61571



Washington, IL 61571

SL Y 2016
Recently, Mr. Dennis Landry was contacted about some athletic questions. He and his wife, Wanda, were very active in the athletic
program at our school. Following are some of his memories: “Wanda was the first women/girls coach at St. Pats. She volunteered her
time starting in 1969-1970 and was the PE teacher and Cheerleading coach. Mr. Chuck Grant asked her to help start up girls athletics
during her first year; she then coached volleyball, track and softball for 10 years through 1979-1980 being her last year. I began coaching in the 1969-1970 school year (Brad Koenig’s years) and through the 1989 season. I can’t believe it was 20 years. Chuck Grant was
the Athletic Director for most of those years along with Mr. Ron Lind. Gene Gangloff succeeded Chuck and was with us for at least 6
years. Greg Martin coached from 1969 to 1979 before moving on to Washington High. Also Mark O’Neill coached before moving to
Washington High. I don’t know exactly his years of service, but he was with me in the 80’s. Rodney Golden assisted me as well as JC
Dempsey. Butch Toon coached the 5th & 6th grade kids for a year as well. This brought back a lot of memories. It would be nice to
have a reunion with all the kids.”
Following is an excerpt from the November 22, 1998, 30th Anniversary Book for St. Patrick Church written by Mr. Louis Venzon:
Many of the parishioners may not realize that the altar, tabernacle stand and lector stand were all “home grown”. The wood came
from the farm of Jerry Otten. Jerry’s father John was the one that decided that the walnut from his farm would be donated to St. Pat’s
for such a purpose and John originally was going to be involved in building the altar and other stands but John died before being able
to finish the plan. Jerry, Jim Otten and I took on the project of cutting down the trees and getting the logs to the saw mill in Sunnyland.
At the time there was a saw mill on School Street where Tom’s Lawn and Garden are today. We had fun cutting down the trees, it was a
little cold and we kept our spirits up with a nip here and there of Apricot Brandy. The trees had been in a ravine and it was difficult to
get the logs back up into the truck. We tried to attach a cable with the use of the tractor and the truck. It was a circus trying to maneuver those logs. When we finally got the logs into the truck they were just thrown in helter skelter. Logs were sticking out all over. Jerry
thought we should try and rearrange them, it would be easier to transport but I didn’t want to be bothered and said we should “Just
Go!”. We drove the truck down to the saw mill and the man there wasn’t too thrilled with how we had the truck loaded. He wanted us
to leave the truck and he would unload it the next day, but we said nothing doing. We had to use the truck the next day for work so we
unloaded it and left it there for him to cut for us. The planks were dried and kept at Otten’s. Bob Rynell then took on the job of building
our “furniture” as we have it today.
Please keep in your prayers those who have recently died: Mrs. Rose Mary Chase, Mrs. Shirley Crawford, Mrs. Darlene KellerScholten, Mrs. Theresa Miller, Mrs. Dorothy Volk, Mrs. Etta Mae Brooks, Mr. Ray Holthe, Mrs. Deon Coovert (spouse of Tom [1964]
and mother of Tony [1984]), Mr. Larry Carter, Mr. Craig Schertz, and alumni Gary Bachman (1962), Dan Geltz (1964), Paul Adams
(1981), Mary Jane Volk (1964), Rick Alessi (1966), Conner McTaggart (2013) and Gregg Larson (spouse of Mary Mall-Larson [1975]).
Also remember former Mayor Don Gronewold who passed away in August 2015. He owned and operated Don’s Pharmacy on the
square for 42 years. May these families find peace in knowing God’s grace.