On Sunday, April 24th, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church and St. Mary’s Colgan Catholic Schools hosted a Clergy Appreciation Dinner for the priests who have served or are serving at the parish, the Catholic schools and St. Pius X Catholic Student Center at Pittsburg State University. This dinner, an idea of the students and planning committee, was part of the schools’ yearlong celebration of 100 years of continuous Catholic education. Ten priests along with parish members came together for an evening of prayer and thanksgiving; allowing parishioners to reconnect with several of the clergy who helped to create the rich and faith-filled history of the schools and parish. St. Mary’s Colgan high school students greeted the guests and provided hospitality during the dinner. Entertainment was provided by SMC students, Xiaodi Xun on the piano and Brock Jameson, performing a lighthearted theatrical reading. The priests in attendance included Rev Eugene Grabner (1970-1971), Rev Ivan Eck (1981-1987), Rev Pat York (1992-1995), Rev Bob McElwee (1994-1998), Rev David Lies (1998-2000), Rev Eric Weldon (2000-2001), Rev Chad Arnold (2010-2014), Rev Mike Baldwin (2011-Present), Rev Rick Kotrba (2013-Present), and Rev David Voss (2015-Present). “Recognizing the priests who served our parish and schools throughout the years was a great honor” commented Nancy Hicks, St. Mary’s elementary school principal. Other administrators attending were Dennis Burke, Director of School Advancement and Tom Compton, junior high and high school principal. Sister Ann Meyer, a member of Congregation of St. Joseph, the Catholic sisters that originally founded St. Mary’s elementary school, was also present. The evening was filled with memories of past, updates on the present and blessings for the future. Attendees also held a moment of prayerful silence for Father Joseph Slomsick, who passed away on Friday, April 22nd. Fr. Slomsick served at Our Lady of Lourdes from 1961-1962.
Front Row (from left to right): Fr Mike Baldwin, Fr Bob McElwee, Fr Eugene Grabner, Fr Ivan Eck, Fr David Lies
Back Row (from left to right): Fr Rick Kotrba, Fr David Voss, Fr Pat York, Fr Chad Arnold, Fr Eric Weldon.