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All-school reunion of Catholic schools is set

Published November 12. 2009 05:00PM

Reservations for the first ever "All School Reunion" for alumni of the 10 Catholic elementary schools of the Panther Valley are being received every day according to Marie Nihen, one of the many volunteers who have been working on the reunion for the last six months.

"So far, alumni from St. Joseph's School in Summit Hill have sent in the most reservations, with alumni from St. Ann's, Lansford, a close second," Mrs. Nihen commented. "We have reservations from alumni in New York and as far away as Massachusetts who will be attending. Also attending will be many current and former faculty members of the Catholic elementary schools as well as Religious Sisters from the following communities: Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Sisters of Mercy, Bernadine Sisters and the Missionaries of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Festivities are set for Saturday, Nov. 28, two days after Thanksgiving, a celebration of Catholic education in the Panther Valley "ten schools, ten traditions, ten legacies - one mission."

A Reunion Mass is set for 4 p.m. at St. Katherine Drexel Church, Lansford. The Mass will feature the children's choir from Our Lady of the Angels Academy.

Following the Mass, Our Lady of the Angels Academy will be open for guided tours by students for any alumni, parent or friend interested in seeing the school (formerly St. Michael's School). The highlight of the day will be the runion social and dinner at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe, starting at 6 p.m. with a cocktail hour, followed by dinner, program and dancing the DJ Chad Gerber.

Tom McArdle, (St. Ann's School, Class of 1974) has produced a video featuring hundreds of photos of all the Catholic elementary schools and CYO teams that will be seen during the program at Penn's Peak. Many of the photographs were provided by Sister Monica Silicia, I.H.M., a member of the Our Lady of the Angels Academy faculty.

The Reunion Committee has arranged for free bus transportation from the school to Penn's Peak. The bus will depart at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday following the Mass and school tour and return at 10 p.m. Seats are limited on the bus so you must call the school at (570) 645-7101 to reserve your seats.

A Silent Auction being organized by Mary Hoban will be held at the reunion dinner. Over 75 trophies and plaques from all of the Catholic elementary schools and many of the CYO teams that were being stored in the school will be available to the high bidder.

Alumni from Our Lady of the Angels Academy (Lansford), Our Lady of the Valley School (Lansford), Sacred Heart School (Nesquehoning), SS. Cyril and Methodius School (Coaldale), SS. Peter & Paul School (Lansford), St. Ann School (Lansford), St. Joseph School (Summit Hill), St. Mary School (Coaldale), St. Michael School (Lansford) and St. Stanislaus School (Summit Hill) will be in attendance.

The committee is still in need of memorabilia from alumni and parents to have on display during the school tour and at the reunion. Photographs, yearbooks, report cards, class photographs, CYO uniforms and photographs are all welcome and can be dropped off at the school. All memorabilia will be returned after the reunion.

Reservations can still be made by calling the school office at (570) 645-7101 or by emailing Marie Nihen at or Betty Pampanin at or by visiting the school's website at

Proceeds from the All School Reunion will benefit the Tuition Assistance Fund at Our Lady of the Angels Academy.

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