By LINDA BEHRENS
“Catholic education is wonderful,” says Michael Buscher.
Buscher is the new manager of St. Bruno in Pinckneyville. He was a retired public school principal and teacher and also spent eight years as assistant director of education for the Diocese of Belleville. He came out of retirement to take the job at St. Bruno because they needed a manager.
“We associate faith with what is taught in the classroom. Our parents think it’s important. And it is,” he said.
Buscher says teachers give students everything they have.
“It restores your faith,” he said.
Buscher and Jenny Martin, Principal of St. Andrew’s in Murphysboro, are pleased to announce the opening of a new building at one school and an addition at another.
Each of these parishes is also celebrating another milestone this summer – both are marking their 150th anniversary.
St. Bruno in Pinckneyville and St. Andrew in Murphysboro are 24 miles apart on Routes 13 and 127 in southern Illinois.
Pinckneyville is the county seat of Perry, with a population of approximately 5,000.
Murphysboro is the county seat of Jackson County, with a population just over 7,000.
Neither town is strongly Catholic, but both Catholic schools are growing.
Jonathan Birdsong, Superintendent of Schools/Director of Education for the Diocese, says, “It is always exciting to build and add classrooms to our schools, which will allow us to better serve communities for years to come. come.
He adds, “The additions show our commitment to sharing the Gospels of Jesus Christ with current and future generations of students.”
St. Bruno Elementary School
The Saint-Bruno school dates from 1872. The elementary school, built in 1887, was the first school established when the diocese of Belleville was founded. The first school had a classroom for 60 students and a second floor used as a home for the Adorers of the Blood of Christ sisters who taught at the school and were present there until the 1997-1998 school year.
Students from the other three parishes in the county attend St. Bruno: St. Mary Magdalen, Todd’s Mill; St. Charles School, DuBois; and Sacred Heart School, DuQuoin.
“As we celebrate 150 years of history at St. Bruno Parish this year, we continue to build for the future,” says Father Carl Schrage, temporary administrator at St. Bruno and St. Mary Magdalen.
“The new junior high school building at St. Bruno’s School will provide future generations with a place to receive a solid Catholic education,” he said.
The new building was inaugurated on July 16, during the celebration of the anniversary of the parish. It houses four classrooms for grades 5-8 and a science lab.
Buscher, who began his role at the school in mid-July, says the new building is a wonderful addition to the school.
“They’re putting the finishing touches on it so it’s ready for the first day of the new school year,” he says.
“We thank the parish for spearheading this building project.”
St. Andrew’s Elementary School
In 1872, Father Jungmann, shortly after becoming parish priest of St. Andrew’s Church, dreamed of having a school, “whose scholars would build churches”. Father Jungmann organized the first school in a room in his own house. He employed a lay teacher, Katherine Horn, and paid her mostly out of his own pocket.
Seventy children attended school in 1873. A new school was built in 1875.
Students from the parishes of St. Ann in Raddle and St. Francis Xavier and the Newman Center in Carbondale also attend St. Andrew.
The addition to the current school building replaces an aging modular building outside the school and includes four classrooms and more washrooms.
“We are so blessed and grateful for the support of the SAS community – families, staff and visitors – because now everyone will be under one roof,” said Martin.
“With additional classrooms, St. Andrew’s School can provide more space to learn and enroll more students.”
She says this addition will also allow parents, teachers and bus drivers to access 8th Street more efficiently. The next phase of the construction project will include the expansion of the gymnasium.
The celebration of 150 years of St. Andrew’s School began with the blessing of the new addition to the school and the dedication of the courtyard on August 10.