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St. Benedict Academy Alumnae Affairs

 

One Fine Day

On September 20, 2014, Three hundred forty Saint Benedict Academy (SBA) alumnae met at the Pittsburgh Marriott North for an All Class Reunion. Sister Kathleen Mack, OSB, former SBA Principal, and Dorthy Bassompierre Kotsenas shared the distinction of representing the Class of 1939.  Women who attended SBA from the mid-1940’s through 1986 converged in Cranberry.  Some came from every corner of Pittsburgh; others traveled from 19 other states; and a few came from as far away as Texas, Arizona and California.

It was a truly glorious occasion.  The surroundings were beautiful. Blue and gold flowers blossomed on each table.  Beautiful banners depicting St. Benedict Academy and a continuous stream of pictures from every yearbook between 1939 and1985 transported participants back in time to the memorable SBA campus.

Peals of laughter, hugs of welcome, and tears of joy were everywhere.  Long lost classmates were found and the span of years and miles was quickly bridged.  There was magic in the air.  Individuals and classes donated baskets filled with breathtaking treasures for the gift basket auction.  Everyone wanted to be a lucky winner and waited eagerly to hear her name.  Cameras clicked, songs were sung, and time flew.  People parted with fond farewells and promises to stay in touch. 

Click here for more photos from the event!

 

 

SBA Class of 1964:  Celebrates with a Golden Reunion
by Eileen M. Wukitch

Not so long ago, Saint Benedict Academy graduated 204 Lassies on June 7, 1964, including one foreign exchange student from Brazil. The class of 1964 was SBA’s largest. We lost a classmate to cancer in our sophomore year. From 1964 - 2014, we know that 20 of our classmates were called home to God. When we began planning the reunion we had addresses for 158 classmates.

On September 6, 2014, 58 classmates, four husbands, a guest and four of our Benedictine Sisters gathered for a Golden Reunion at the FourPoints Sheraton in Mars, PA. The ‘golden event’ tables had ivory linens with decor that included gold garlands encircling votive lights in bubble bowls on 12" square mirrors, keepsakes included gold filigree tea lights, and a list of classmates tied with blue and gold ribbons. The entree choices were orange grilled chicken breast or salmon with dill sauce — and a scrumptious lemon cake with raspberry sauce.

One classmate’s husband produced a 4' X 8' memorial banner, using the 1964 Benedicta yearbook graduation pictures for 20 deceased classmates, with no such picture available for our classmate lost as a sophomore. Another classmate’s husband volunteered his time to take pictures and will donate CDs for those Lassies who do not have computers. He will e-send copies of the pictures to those classmates with e-mail.

We ‘voted’ to hold our next reunion in three years. As we departed, one classmate realized she had lost a bracelet. After searching and then reporting the loss to FourPoints, our classmate and her bracelet were reunited a few days later. We hope all the Lassies of 1964 will be reunited at another class reunion in 2017.  See you there!

 

 

Alumnae from the Class of 1967 celebrate in Florida

The alumnae from the St. Benedict Academy Class of 1967 had a get together at Al & Stella's Italian Restaurant in Clearwater Beach, Florida. Mary Ann Froehlich Hogan, Dianne L. Schultz, Sylvia Seebacher Herb, Marlene Retkowski Dignan, all residents of Florida, were joined by  Kathy Carr Becker, Stephanie Kline Berneburg, Patti Murphy-Cavanaugh, and Chris Sell Enders who were vacationing in Florida to escape Pittsburgh's snow . Although they could have danced all night, they chose to chat and laugh the time away. Happy memories were created and bonds of friendship were strengthened…”Times abiding finger writes memories that linger.

 

Class of 1978 Celebrates 35th Reunion

On Friday, November 29, the class of 1978 reunited to celebrate the 35th anniversary of its graduation.  Since the class of 1979 was very small, for the past several reunions, the class of ’78 has been inviting their classmates from the class of 1979 to celebrate with them as well.

Once again, the reunion was held at Max’s Allegheny Tavern on the city’s North Side.  Organizer Carol Sajko Scherer opened the festivities with a prayer, which remembered those deceased from the classes and those who weren’t able to attend.

A delicious buffet followed complete with a toast to the graduates.  After dinner, photos and frivolity ensued as alumnae swapped stories and compared memories.  Approximately 25 classmates and their spouses and dates enjoyed a fun trip down memory lane.  Although the group was a bit smaller than in reunions past, it was still big on fun.  As the evening drew to a close, many were already making plans for a picnic next year because one evening could not contain the conversation and camaraderie.

 

SBA Class of '63 Celebrates the Big Five-O

(click on photo to enlarge)

“Time’s abiding finger, writes mem’ries that linger…” Fifty years ago that line was a tender, poignant line from the Alma Mater of St. Benedict Academy (SBA) sung by the graduating class of 1963.  The reality of these words re-echoed with powerful force the evening of September 21, 2013 when it was sung again by 71 of the alumnae gathered at the Diamond Run Golf Club in Sewickly, PA to celebrate their 50th Class Reunion. Sister Christine Makowski, Sister Rosalyn Soller, and Charlotte Stefanics who taught these women joined in the festivities.  Charlotte, formerly known as Sister Lucy, came by bus from Dayton, Ohio and stayed with her former student Margie Darbut. Sister Karen Brink of the class of ’63 gave the invocation before the meal. Judy Richard Meinert, the main speaker, inspired and encouraged everyone bringing forth tears and laughter.  Her artistic ability, used so well as an art teacher for over 30 years, was evident in all the lovely details that made the reunion a memorable event.  Each place setting was decorated with a necklace in a small blue or gold bag, a gift from Linda Nard Leedberg of Tuscon, AZ.

Carroll Conroy Gorman, Marilyn Schreiber Harcum and Sylvia Kremer Drapaniotis could always make folks laugh when they were at Saint Benedict’s and to prove they have not lost that special talent, they organized a skit to answer questions raised by their class mates in an earlier mailing.  The comedy was a smashing hit.

Sylvia Kremer Drapaniotis was awarded “a honey of a gift” for having traveled all the way from Greece to attend this reunion and another went to Fran Ubinger Beck who has the most great-grandchildren.  Other alums received a “honey of a gift” for being married the longest, having the most children, working the longest, and other wonderful achievements.  This gift was provided by David Harcum, Marilyn Schreiber Harcum’s husband, who has an apiary and generously gave jars of honey as a truly sweet reward.  Another prize was a “Sylvia Kremer Drapaniotis Original”—a handmade silk purse.  Two other coveted prizes were quality cosmetics provided by Molly Nover Baker who is the Beauty Editor of “Women’s Health” and the­­ daughter-in law of Pat Schad Baker.

Those alumnae who have gone home to God were not forgotten by their classmates.  Janet Barrante Bonistalli prepared a lovely memoriam to commemorate these women and their lives.  They were lifted in up in prayer and silence and song. 

You have proved a mother,
Guide, truer than other.
Loyal ones, praise today
Alma Mater, S.B.A.

As time goes speeding by,
Your voice will never die.
Our hearts are bold for truth to hold,
And conq’ring all we’ll reign.

In describing the event, Mitzi Steigerwald Kopnicky said, “It was a wonderful evening.  Everyone was laughing, talking, hugging, and catching up on the past 50 years.  We had a great group of people in our class of 1963 and we also had wonderful teachers who really cared about us and prepared us well for the future.”


For more information on our Alumnae Program,

Sister Evelyn Dettling, OSB
724-502-2599   •   evelyndettling@yahoo.com
3526 Bakerstown Road, Pittsburgh, Pa 15007

 

 
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