Peek Through Time: St. Mary Star of a Sea propagandize has taught 125 years of …

September 10, 2014 - Picnic Time

JACKSON, MI – No other Jackson County propagandize can explain what St. Mary Star of a Sea propagandize can – and it’s probable no other propagandize in a state or a nation can either.

This year outlines St. Mary’s 125th continual year of operation in a same building, something a village will applaud with special events on Saturday, Sept. 13, and Friday, Oct. 24.

“This propagandize has such a family feeling,” pronounced Frank Berkemeier, 67, of Jackson, a 1965 St. Mary graduate. “The propagandize is a big, large partial of what St. Mary is. The village has always finished what it takes to keep it going.”

Before there could be a school, though, there had to be a church. St. John Catholic Church, determined in 1857, was Jackson’s initial Catholic church and a city’s customarily Catholic church for 23 years.

In 1881, 124 people petitioned and were postulated accede by Bishop Casper Henry Borgess of Detroit to start a new parish. The Rev. John W. Melaney, who had been stuffing in for St. John’s priest while he visited his hearth in Belgium, became a St. Mary Star of a Sea church pastor.

Saint Mary Class of 1896. (File and Courtesy print | 

Some fun this could have been a derivation of a fixed cross-town adversary between St. John and St. Mary that grew incomparable over a years on a jaunty fields.

After assembly in proxy locations, a St. Mary Star of a Sea church was built in a area surrounding Francis and Wesley streets. The propagandize during 116 E. Wesley St. began on Jun 30, 1889, with a laying of a cornerstone by Bishop John Foley.

The 10-rooom propagandize was finished that summer during a cost of $17,000. Its initial 150 students started in October.

Nuns from a Mother Seton Sisters of Charity from Cincinnati, Ohio staffed a school. When a new priory for them was built in 1912 during a dilemma of Wesley and Francis streets, a aged priory was ripped down and an further that doubled a distance of a propagandize was built.

In 1926, a strange church subsequent to a propagandize was transposed with a stream church during 120 E. Wesley St. In 1931, during a Great Depression, St Mary’s priest then, a Rev. Eugene M. Cullinane, had a aged church demolished to give practice to parishioners and to emanate space for another indispensable propagandize addition.

By this time St. Mary sports teams also were creation a name for a school.

St. Mary’s 1925 basketball organisation prisoner a initial state Class C contest pretension by personification 8 games in 5 days. The propagandize also had dominant football teams in 1925, 1946, 1953 and 1954.

Some have pronounced a 1946 organisation was a best in St. Mary history. It had size, speed, talent and confidence. The final diversion of a deteriorate came down to arch opposition St. John. A throng of 10,000 – a largest in Withington Stadium during a time – watched St. Mary win 13-0 and finish a ideal 9-0 season.

Jackson profession Mick Baughman, now 85, was a lineman on that team.

“That adversary was flattering fierce,” pronounced Baughman, who graduated in 1947. “They were a north side and we were a south side. No one from a schools unequivocally socialized with any other and we theory we favourite it that way.”

Team captains on a 1967 St. Mary High School football team, graphic with Coach Larry Hribal, right, are ensure John Weed, left, and tailback Rick Lozier. The 1967 organisation was a final organisation for St. Mary, as all of Jackson’s Catholic high schools joined to form Lumen Christi High School a subsequent year. (File and Courtesy print | 

The school’s enrollment continued to grow and additions and adaptations to a buildings continued by a late 1950s.

“I remember in a morning a area doors would open and a march of kids would start walking down a street,” pronounced Berkemeier, who grew adult on Third Street. “As we got closer to a school, there’d be another large organisation of kids. We’d all accumulate on a stadium before propagandize and there would customarily be a football or ball diversion going on.”

The expansion during Catholic schools, quite during St. Mary and St. John, stirred a arrangement of Lumen Christi High School, a executive Catholic high propagandize that non-stop in Jackson in a tumble of 1968.

Mary Finnegan Belknap was in a final St. Mary High School graduating class.

“It was really sentimental,” she said. “All year prolonged we heard, ‘You’re a final class.’ It was like a bequest was ending.”

More than 1,040 students attended St. Mary by a open of 1968, according to a church’s centennial story book. In a fall, there were 504 students in preschool by eighth grade.

The propagandize underwent an $80,000 transform to improved implement space for a reduce grades. But, by 1969, St. Mary’s propagandize was in risk of closing, as a bishopric was handling during a necessity of $1,000 a week.

A fee boost and fundraisers helped keep a doors open, and a propagandize distinguished a 100th anniversary in Jul 1989 with a opening of a time plug housed in a school’s cornerstone in 1889. It suggested copies of newspapers, bullion coins and a created story of a school.

St. Mary Star of a Sea School celebrates a 125th anniversary on Saturday, Sept. 13, with an open residence from 3 to 5 p.m., followed by a 5:30 p.m. mass during a church, a 6:30 p.m. giveaway cruise during a St. John Elementary School margin during 405 North St. and an 8 p.m. commemorative St. Mary vs. St. John basketball diversion in a Ken Dillon Gymnasium.

On Friday, Oct. 24, another propagandize open residence is set for 4 to 5:30 p.m., followed by a 5:30 p.m. mass during a church and a celebration fundraising cooking during 7 p.m. during a Commonwealth Commerce Center, 209 E. Washington St. The cooking costs $125 per person. Reservations can be done by job 784-7184.


• St. Mary’s initial graduates – 3 girls – were respected in derivation services on Jun 24, 1892.

• On Memorial Day, 1900, a dwindle donated by a Ladies Auxiliary to a Ancient Order of Hibernians was lifted over a school. School story claims it was a initial dwindle to fly over any Jackson school.

• In 1915, a propagandize perceived accreditation from a University of Michigan, whose initial investigator was severely tender with a scribble classes and a nurse unsupervised investigate hall.

• Until a time they left a propagandize in 1980, some-more than 450 nuns in a Sisters of Charity had taught some-more than 3,200 St. Mary graduates.

• St. Mary has had a series of successful students, including Tom Monaghan, owner of Domino’s Pizza Inc., who spent 4 years there while vital during a former St. Joseph’s Home For Boys.

• St. Mary also had stellar golf teams, that won 8 true state tournaments in Class C-D derivation in 1954. Three golfers during that time, Dave Hill, Mike Hill and Steve Miller, incited pro.

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