BSS Memories

We asked alumni for memories of their years at BSS ----
(Email your memories to - subject "MEMORIES")


Michele Briganti (Voyles) - Class of 1967  
I remember our class put on a play for the whole school, "Dick Whittington and his Cat." We were getting frustrated but the teacher (can't remember who she was for the life of me but she was a lay-teacher and very nice) made us go ahead with it and it was a great success. I remember breakfast in the cafeteria after Friday morning Communion. A lot of good memories from that school.

Sr. Joan Bretz, OSU - Class of 1945 
In every grade at Blessed Sacrament School, I had wonderful Ursuline teachers who, in their own unique ways, inspired me to later become an Ursuline sister.  I have so many happy memories from Blessed Sacrament days.  --To mention just one:  The fall afternoon each year when our pastor, Monsignor Tarrent, would celebrate his patronal feast (St. Michael the Archangel) by sending our entire student body out to the playground, for an afternoon of fun and games.

Colleen Baxter Thompson - Class of 1978

Frs. Campell (his love for children), Cassidy (his super-speedy masses!), and Peridotto (his little VW Beetle). Practicing organ in the church balcony every day during lunch recess, and playing organ for every weekday morning mass as my 'payment' for use of the church organ. (I took private organ lessons at the Catholic high school and had progressed beyond the limitations of our 'home model' organ.) Our 3rd grade homeroom, in the basement of the parish community building...yuck! Mrs. Donath - the best English teacher ever; gave me a great foundation for success! Switching to school uniforms in 5th grade. (I wish my kids' school would wise up and move to uniforms...)

James Reinhardt
I attended Blessed Sacrament School in 6th and 7th grades in the early 1950s and have wonderful memories of my experiences there. I was taught by the Ursuline Sisters, truly great women! Are any Sisters still left at Blessed Sacrament?  It is good to know that your great parish and school continue the tradition that Blessed Sacrament has always had. I remember Msgr. Tarrant in his declining years. My family lived at 2320 S. Whittier in those years. We were a Granite City family and returned to GC after two years in Springfield.  I live in San Francisco and still return to the midwest to visit my family in the St. Louis area. We vacation annually at Devils Lake Wisconsin and always stop in Springfield on our way up I-55 for a visit to Blessed Sacrament.

Tim Taylor - Class of 1964
I remember so many things about the "old" school, but some of the really special friends that I still have are the best. Rob McHenry, Jim Drew, Mike Flynn, Wes Tobin are just a few. We used to "throw" quarters on the steps of the gym on lunch recess until we were asked to stop. I remember the kick ball games that were the hit of recess. I still remember the first time I kicked the ball over the roof into the courtyard. I also remember the first window that broke in that same courtyard with a baseball in the summer while playing our famous Indian Ball games. I could go on an on but I will savor the memories of BSS forever!!

Susan (Mizeur) Faivre - Class of 1987
I have many great memories of my time at BSS...  friends, sports, special events like the Garden Party, Olympic Day and the Sock Hop.  It was also great celebrating our sacraments with friends and family.  I can't believe it's been 20 years!

Sarah (Morris) Allen - Class of 1982
The "Peanut Gallery" in Miss Amrhein's class in seventh grade.  We didn't behave well but we sure had fun!

Thomas O'Brien - Class of 1952
I spent all my grade school years at Blessed Sacrament, starting with Mother Anastasia in kindergarten. . . and thought it was so cool when we moved upstairs for 3rd grade with Mother Hortense. Wonderful Mother Joseph Marie, my fifth grade teacher, became principal just after that year. In more recent years I've been to Mother Victorine and Beatrice's funerals. I'll never forget them, their patience and kindnesses. Our only teachers were Ursuline nums - not a single lay teacher my entire time there.
    How about Roller skating parties in the inner-court? A big treat in the early grades. . . perhaps a reward for raising big bucks for pagan babies!
    I was captain of the patrol boys in '51/52 - didn't lose anyone at street crossings that year! There must be a plaque someplace in the halls to memorialize that distinction.
    Anyone remember memorizing Patrick Henry's speech for Knights of the Altar. . and how proud we were to pin our blue and gold ribbons on our shoulder just before graduation?
    These days it always pleases me, when I drive by during school year, to see all the little ones at recess on the playground, and boys practicing baseball on the Glenwood side after school. (In my mind, I can still see Fr. Stanley hitting gounders to us out there.)
    Those were very good years, and I'm happy to see so many schoolmates in the Blessed Sacrament community express their fondness for the school and church where we were knit together by so many good people - including our parents who built it from the beginning. I hope they're proud as they look down on it.

Don Nelson - Class of  1957
I remember the nuns planted the seed of faith very well. I remember most of the cloak rooms, since I visited most of them. I remember leaving church early to be first in line at Bartz's grocery. Also, my hand writing is good but my knuckles are still sore.

Judy Vogelsang- Class of 1964
They were Ursuline nuns in my day, and Mother Joseph Marie was principal...she saved me from a false accusation that I had sailed a paper plane in 6th grade class which landed on Mother Austin's desk (the real perpetrator may come forward now). I worked in the Cafeteria for several years as your dishwasher, and became addicted to chicken noodle soup with those huge oyster crackers left just long enough in the soup to expand to twice their dry size, and of course, to buttercakes. Laura Staley, Anne Sheehan and I had a club named 3V....we were the three vikings after having seen Kirk Douglas in the Vikings at a saturday matinee at the esquire. we planned to build a viking ship one day while learning against the bike racks facing Glenwood...that venture never came to fruition however. I had the great fortune of taking organ lessons from Mr. Kellerman for a brief period of time and being allowed to strike a few tones at the carillon when it was first built...remember the bells arriving on trucks? Mrs. Smith was the most inspiring teacher I ever had...and I have missed her dearly since leaving the second grade. All wonderful memories except for one...I really wanted to go out and play baseball and soccer and kickball with the boys on the back lot...but that was forbidden territory for we girls ....I hope it's coed territory now. We should all get together and have a garden party reunion.

Carol Camp Vogelsang - Class of 1961
My sister Mary Lou was searching for the Rechner's Butter Cake recipe for me, which she located once, and which we both have since lost. I was very amused at how many people including my sister's and I associate Blessed Sacrament and Butter Cakes. I can still taste hot turkey on a bun, sloppy joe type hamburgers, and chicken noodle soup. My memories are of ice skating on the field, choir practice and organ lessons with Mr. Kelderman, garden parties, cyo dances, dancing lessons, a talent show when we were in 8th grade (I believe), Pease's, Zesto's, and I can't remember the name of it, but the little candy store that was right across from the church. But my greatest and fondest memory was my 6th, 7th and 8th grade teacher, Sister Jean Marie Deleery (our class went to Mother Superior and pleaded to have her for consecutive years). I caught up with her when I lived in Alton, Illinois, but have lost touch for a very long time now. I am most grateful for the education that I received at Blessed Sacrament.

Pat Lochman Kulavic - Class of 1959
The sisters and lay teachers and how they dedicated their lives to giving us a Christian education.

Edward W .Rumsas - Class of 1940
I am an alumni -- Class of 1940. Very proud and with many happy memories at BSS. I knew Father Tarrent well -- he was truly a great and saintly man. The fine pictures of the church brought a tear to my eyes.  Thank you.

Carol Baxter O'Day) - Class of 1956

David Beall - Class of 1974
Working at the Garden Parties over the years.

Thomas W. Bland - Class of 1965

Anne Casey - Class of 1989
My father, John Casey, who passed away last year, was an usher at 11:00 Mass for years. I remember staying after church with him to put away the folding chairs and close the high windows that were open during the summer.
I also remember walking home for lunch, the ridiculous ways the boys in my classes behaved, and wonderful teachers like Mrs.Kren, Mrs.Eastep, Mrs.Harth, Mrs.Russel  (for kindergarten!) and many others whose names I can't remember.

Paul Henderson - Class of 1991
One of my favorites was when Mrs. Donath caught Trey McCormick doing an amazing impression of her while he thought she wasn't looking! She then proceeded to invite him to demonstrate for the entire class, which he did with great pride! ...oh, yah, and all that learnin' and stuff, too.

Janet Stead Regner - Class of 1965
Recess, the safe sanctuary of the school.

Wil Randall
Hello, on reading your "memories" we, wife and I, realized we have a common memory with your alumni.  Altho we were class "65 grads at Lanphier; we too were buttercake fans. (Even to the point of vacationing friends bringing a suitcase of buttercakes back to us!) Please would you be so kind as to send us the recipe ? Or Reichtners (sp?) bakery ,which has long closed, but perhaps a family member may know the recipe if there were a way to get in touch with them.   Please help.  This is not just about food, but a childhood memory and tradition.  We thought the bakery at 12th and Reynolds across the street from old Palmer Grade School site would never close-they were too good.    Help and thanks so very much.  From our house to yours     If anyone has this recipe please email it to the school address, too.   Thanks!

Mike Matthews  - Class of 1965
The 50s and 60s were a special time to grow up.  I remember with great fondness the priests, the teachers, lunch in the cafeteria, and most of all my schoolmates.

Jeffrey M. Rouse
I lived at 1733 S. Glenwood (until July of 1961 when the family moved to my dad's home town of South Milwaukee,Wisconsin) and attended school at Blessed Sacrament. It pained me greatly to leave (Mrs.Smith was great...Mother Rose was sent by angels...Msgr.Schwartz taught me the fear of God...and I loved them all!!)  I hung out with the Sheehans and Reckners...also the Durkins (lots of fond memories). I've often thought of my youthful days in Springfield and Blessed Sacrament is a big part of those memories. I'm sure glad I tripped over your web-site !! Did they ever get rid of all the pigeons? I used to bring home my fair share as pets much to my mother's dismay! And nobody played an organ quite like Mr.Kelderman!!!! Heh,heh,heh...I haven"t forgotten. Thanks for the memories...God bless you all!!           The Rouses

Janet Stead Regner - Class of 1965
The closeness of the pupils and the learning environment.  The care and attention warranted every student by very dedicated sisters of education.

Greg Best - Class of 1968
Mother Margarte Mary, Mother Austin, they were strict and were good for me today in my life.  We had to memorize a phrase in one of my classes, I think it was 7th or 8th grade and I was told I should never ever forget it as long as I live, because of my last name, and I leave you with = "GOOD BETTER BEST" "NEVER LET IT REST" "UNTIL YOUR GOOD IS BETTER AND YOUR BETTER IS THE BEST"....Take Care; Greg Best '1968'

Martha Johnston El Zakhem - Class of 1983
Walking to the Peases Candy store after Sunday Mass.

Nattermann Hudson - Class of 1960
I remember the May altar and the scent of the lilacs and other flowers that were present; the chocolate milk in the cafeteria; Mother Margaret Mary & 7th grade & Mike Casey; the St. Patrick's Day Mike Shauger dyed his hair green; the cloak rooms; The Garden Party and CYO dances; the tall windows that were opened with a tall stick; going home for lunch every day and walking to school in the snow; and of course, buttercakes on Fridays!

William Nattermann - Class of 1967
I remember Mr. Softie at lunch, kite flying on the ball field, Mother Rose in kdg., Mother Catherine & Mother Pius in 7th
grade. also Fr. Niebrugge, and the many weddings and funerals he let me serve for!

Dagon Nattermann - Class of 1935
 I was 4 yrs. old when the Ursuline Sisters called my Mother and asked if I could attend their kindergarten, as they didn't have enough children.  So, consequently, I went to kindergarten for 2 years.  I had wonderful teachers in my 8 years at BSS, Mother Theresa, Mother Aloysius, Sister Laurentine, and Father Manning, Father Klastner, and, of course, Msgr. Tarrant.  Those were some of my happiest days, and my education was the best.

John Nattermann - Class of 1964
Playing " Squeeze the Banana " at recess; flag football games on Saturday mornings; Mrs. Smith ( 2nd grade );Mother Catherine Marie ( 6th grade ); Mother Maureen ( kindergarten ); kickballs on the roof.

Nancy Nattermann Brophy - Class of 1962
Kickball games, First Friday Mass & buttercakes from Rechner's Bakery.  Walking to school.  Patrol boys.  Mrs. Soma (3rd gr.), Mrs. Mulcahy (5th gr.) Wonderful Mother Catherine (her sister was Mother Pius!) Dancing lessons in the gym...many more.   A great way to grow up!

Mary Graham - Class of 1960
I loved that hamburger "stuff" the cooks made and put on hamburger buns AND the sweet stuff and chocolate milk for breakfast after mass sometimes.

Jeremy Welch - Class of 1997
One of my special memories happened when I was Kindergarten. It was the day that I was evaluated by Mr. Carr and meeting Peggy Adams for the first time. Peggy would become an influence in many children's lives throughout the years. I think one of my fondest memories occurs when thinking about Mary Hanna teaching music class. She always made that class interesting. The music room was where she teaches now, it later became the computer lab and now it is a third grade class room. Mrs. Hanna became a third grade teacher and taught me again. She would read to us and I remember her doing that. We could either listen or put our heads down and listen. I chose to listen and follow along with the books. I think it helped me read better. :)

Angela (Angie) Wiessing Brancato - Class of 1957
a great education, friends I still have today, the delicious buttercakes on Fridays after Mass, the Garden Party in June, the teachers (mostly nuns)...some good, some fair...but all memorable for different reasons!  I value and cherish my education at BSS.  It has played a major role in my life and the choices and decisions I have made thus far.  I feel blessed to have been given such a strong foundation on which to build a meaningful and productive life.   

Dave Stone – Class of 1962
Mother Miriam, 7th grade (1960-61)…………. I think she was only at Blessed Sacrament for one year. I also think that Mother Catherine (the other 7th grade teacher) was her sister. I believe they were from the Granite City, IL area. Anyway, she turned me around and made learning exciting. I’ll never forget her and will always be in her debt.

Laura Staley – Class of 1964
I was in Fr. Shortal’s religion class in the gym when he announced that President Kennedy had been shot. I also remember the Garden Party every summer and, of course, the teachers. I thought the teachers, especially the nuns, were very old. They were probably younger then than I am now.

Barbara Kutilek Crosby – Class of 1981
I think my special memory of BS is the feeling of “home” that I get when I go to the church there, or stop by the school. I went to school there from kindergarten through 8th grade. My niece attends school there now, and that feeling of continuity is a good feeling. Oh, and the memories of Sr. Anne reading stories to us in the 2nd grade is really a good, strong memory!

Maria Bitzer Henderson - Class of 1976   
How fortunate I am to have learned how to write from Mrs. Mosley and Mrs. Donath.

Karen Jones Dorr - Class of 1965
Listening to Mother Catherine reading ""Tom Playfair"" to us in 7th grade - walking over to ""Zesto's"" and ""Pease's"" at lunchtime - Mother Catherine and Mother Pius telling us of the assassination of President Kennedy - the boys trying to convince Mother Austin that Alabama had seceded from the union because of all the trouble over civil rights! - First Fridays and the butter cakes!!!"