Sacred Heart School alumni plan reunion
By Brian Stanley email@example.com October 10, 2012 9:44PM
Updated: November 12, 2012 11:07AM
JOLIET — It’s been closed for 40 years, so the alumni of Sacred Heart School figure a reunion is overdue.
“Better late than never, though,” Pat Maher said.
Maher was one of the students who attended the school, which opened in the late 1800s at South Ottawa and McDonough streets. The church remains, but the school, where first through eighth grades were taught by Franciscan nuns, merged with St. Mary Carmelite in the early 1970s.
“The original two-story structure was condemned and demolished, and a group of mobile units were there for a few years (until the merger completed),” Maher said.
Curiosity about other alumni led Michelle (Gagnon) Filisko to the Internet when she, Fred Betts and Doug Fuse proposed meeting up to reminisce this summer. Responses from across the country led to 12 members of the classes of 1971 and 1972 laughing over old times in Filisko’s living room.
“I’ve learned there’s only been one reunion that was held 25 years ago and we thought we should have one for all the students,” she said. “There’s such a deep love for Sacred Heart from the people who went there.”
So everyone who ever attended is invited to attend the reunion from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Oct. 20 at Giovan’s Restaurant, 1804 N. Larkin Ave. in Crest Hill. Tickets cost $15 and include pizza and buffet. There is a cash bar.
More than 50 people have made reservations so far, including a member of the class of 1948 and Joliet Mayor Tom Giarrante, who was in the class of 1955.
“It was a great neighborhood. Absolutely, I’m looking forward to going,” Giarrante said.
Filisko and Maher were unaware of any faculty members who are still living, but said anyone they’ve overlooked would certainly be welcome.
“I think we all have a lot of memories from being a part of the school,” Maher said. “Required Mass at 9 a.m. Sunday mornings, the stations of the Cross every Friday of Lent ...”
“The May Crowning, sports,” Filisko finished for him. “There was so much.”
On Oct. 21, former students will be welcomed to 10 a.m. Mass at the church followed by a reception at noon in the church hall.
To RSVP, call Filisko at 815-846-1101 or email her at Michelle.Filisko@gmail.com.
Reporter Bob Okon contributed to this story.