Some class reunions take a long time to plan, but this one was 50 years in the making. Recently, the Sacred Heart of Jesus School’s Classes of 1957 and 1958 held their 50th class reunion, starting with a Mass at 4:00PM at Sacred Heart Church, followed by a dinner and reunion at the Quality Inn. The Mass, attended by 14 class members and their families, was celebrated for the intentions of the deceased members of their classes, and the parents who are still living were honored for their dedication, perseverance, and sacrifices in bringing a Catholic school to Lewistown. Members of these two classes represent the first two classes to come through the school and graduate in 1957 and 1958 respectively. For some, it is the first they have been back to the school since that time. For others, it was an opportunity to reconnect with friends and share memories. Pictures were in abundance, and stories and laughter pervaded the atmosphere as they reminisced about the old times and talked about their lives and families and careers. Sacred Heart School was proud to be a part of making this reunion a reality, thanks to the committee members, Denny and Dottie Peiffer, Francis Stumpf, Jr., Jo Ann (Rocco) Mattern, and Mel and Kay Parker, Jr.
Written by Mary (Rhodes) Null
1961 Mini-class Reunion of SHS
On July 29, 2006, 12 local members and their families of the 8th grade graduating class of SHS got together at Barbara Leeper Swanger's river lot for a picnic. Besides catching up with everyone's news, we were congratulating one of our classmates on his 30th year anniversary of being a priest, Father Sam Houser. Fr. Sam, who is leaving for a sabbatical in Australia in September for 3 months, also celebrated Mass for many of us on Sunday alongside the picturesque Juniata River! We look forward to our next reunion when all members can come! In fact, we need other class members to send their addresses and email addresses to Judi Demskie Bubb to keep on file. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and her mailing address is P O Box 141, Reedsville, PA 17084.
On November 25, 2005, members of the Sacred Heart School Class of 1972 came together for the first time in 33 years for a magical night of reminiscing, memories, and catching up with old friends. Although over three decades had passed since the class was together, 28 of the former classmates were located and contacted, and ten of those Sacred Heart alumni attended the very special reunion; six spouses also joined in the fun. Following a reception in the Sacred Heart School cafeteria (where else!), the group toured the school and the church, then enjoyed a formal dinner at the Lewistown Country Club. Attendees included Kelli Parson, Mary Jordan, Kevin Kodish, Teresa Fubio, Mark Soccio, Ramona Miriello, Suzanne Flanagan, Virginia Pacini, Steve Herbster and Pete Pellissier. At the time, all the classmates present still resided in Pennsylvania, except Steve Herbster, who made the trip all the way from San Diego! As a special bonus, the class's second grade teacher, Sister Mary Zavacky, also was able to participate in the event. Music for the reunion, which featured popular tunes from the time the class was together (1965-1972) was developed by Pete Pellissier and Deb Machamer. A memorabilia table displayed school pictures of the kids, teeny-bopper magazines, lunch boxes, and even valentines (thanks to Kelli Parson!). Each attendee was given a packet containing contact information for the 28 Class of 1972 alumni, and a copy of their First Holy Communion picture. A photographer from the Lewistown Sentinel took pictures of the reunited friends for the publishing in the paper.
What was it like to see people whom you hadn't seen in 33 years? One alumni said later, " It was amazing…there was no awkwardness, no down time…you just went right back to the same level of relationships you had in 1972. I think that's because we knew each other so well. After all, we spent six hours a day for seven years together. At one point in the evening, I looked up and realized it was just the ten of us…no spouses, no waiters or anybody else, just us in a close circle, just talking and laughing together. Someone would start a story, and somebody else would finish it. It was absolutely wonderful. It was like if the Beatles had ever gotten back together, just the four of them in a small room…it was like that…you could just feel the closeness, the friendship, the bonding." The laughter, the smiles, and the hugs were genuine, and all agreed that the evening ended too soon.
Special thanks are due to Tom Storm, Margie Zavacky and Anne Marie Showers for their help with the planning, decorations, the tours, and refreshments, and to Father Bateman for supporting this magical evening. Coordinator Pete Pellissier had a recommendation for other Sacred Heart alumni, "I'd encourage anybody who's even remotely thinking about doing something like this to just do it. It was very rewarding. We all learned that night that there really is something special about Sacred Heart."