"...regretfully we did not have band, chorus, drama (except for one year and that Sister was transfered)
no year book, no art programs, no extra-curricular activities....there was a Mother Seton Club, which ostensibly was organized
to aid in the sanctification of Mother Elizabeth Seton, founder of the order of nuns who taught. We had a mimeographed
school newspaper, but the powers that be canceled that the year we were seniors 1962-1963. There were no dances, nor
inter school activities.
"Most of the girls had jobs after school as soon as they were 15 to help with school expenses. The
neighborhood was in decline. There was a yearly "St. Patrick's Day Play," that lasted 3 evenings, which was a rather
formidable program of music, song, dance, and drama. The dance teacher, who was the 'gym ' teacher, taught us incredible
dance choreography...we had no gym, just a giant auditorium with huge stage.....we were never allowed to walk on the floor
with shoes to guarantee the perpetuity of the place.
"The classes offered were the minimum required by the state law, though the
subjects that were taught (for the most part) contained the excellence of old fashioned learning. There were a few teachers
who were way past retirement age and even somewhat demented. We had no young teachers until our senior year.
"The rule was absolute and autocratic, though as soon as we left the confines of the school, the uniform
skirts were rolled up to meet fashion requirements in the real world. We had to wear BEANIES.
"Our class had 13 grads. Though the school was small, the comaradarie I experienced in another grade school,
parish and school was missing, and post graduate contact was minimal...and not combined with school issues. Though school
spirit was always preached, there was little if any actualization. We, as a class, held our own reunions, we were never contacted
by the church or school for any reunion activities. I think 6 of us were found as we celebrated 40 years.
"Though we had little if any of the 'usual' high school adventures, sports, or activities, it seems that
those of us who are in contact all possess a set of values, and life approach that is unique. One of our class has passed
away. I am in contact with one person in the class that graduated ahead of us....they are not in contact with one another
either....it is as if it never were."
from St. Sebastian GS grad Robert Weisskopf (courtesy of Mike Kessler):
up at 845 W. Oakdale in Chicago. That's half a block from Illinois Masonic Hospital, and went to St. Sebastian's at the
corner of Wellington and Halsted. It is now torn down and Illinois Masonic has their office building there. I then went to
St. Ignatius College Prep and graduated in 1974. From there it was on to St. Mary's College in Winona, MN, for three years.
I finished college in 2 1/2 years. Joined CPD (Chicago Police Department) on 14th February in 1983. Now that I retired,
From Kathy Lifka (former teacher,
"I ran across your website about closed
schools, and St. Sebastian was one of those schools. My first teaching job was at St. Sebastian from 1977-1979 when the high
school closed. There were 120 girls with eight teachers, I believe. I have forgotten most names, but here is what I remember.
"Michael Wierzbicki was principal at that
time. He was a fair, but firm leader. I later ran into him at the Joliet Diocese where he was Assistant Superintendent of
Personnel. He is now retired. I believe we had two Sisters of Charity. One was around 60, and the other was around 30. The
younger one left in the fall of my second year for personal reasons. I taught 9th-12th grade English and two history classes.
I remember I had very few materials, and had to find my own resources wherever I could. I also began a newspaper which we
printed on the mimeo machine. Of course, the "news" was pretty well known among the girls already, but they loved it.
"If I remember correctly, there were gang
problems in Chicago, and we had one girl bring in a knife. We had other minor arguments, but overall, the girls were pretty
sheltered. We would have dances once or twice a year, and the girls were allowed to bring dates. They would basically do a
two-step shuffle for the slow dances.
"The teachers I remember include Janice
Bloomfield and Rita Favorite Blickenstaff. I can "see" the science teacher and the one male teacher we had, but I cannot remember
their names. We taught English/reading, history, science, math, and religion. The girls were from various cultures, and only
a few went onto college. One of my freshmen was already a mother of two living with her boyfriend while attending school;
I believe she was 15 at the time. I remember the first grade teacher was Emily Peacock (1932-2009) of the Peacock family of
jewelers. She truly loved teaching, and she was very unassuming.
"I also taught at Maria High School at
67th and California from 1996-2003. Both schools were very dear to me. This is not much, I am sorry. It is nice to know that
St. Sebastian will be remembered."
from Mema Kathy:
"I attended St. Sebastian High School from
1964 to 1968. Sr. Raphael was the principal."
from Shirley Barnett Bays:
"I attended St. Sebastian High School and
graduated in 1965 with a class of 33.
"Father Clooney as the paster, and Sister
Raphael was the principal. The tuition was $75 a year, and it went up my senior year to $100. We were taught by the Sisters
of Charity, founded by St. Elizabeth Seton. All our teachers were nuns, until my senior year. Then we had two lay teachers,
one of which was from India.
"The uniforms we wore for the first two
years were a navy suit and the last two years was a pleated skirt with a gray vest. Everyone was friendly, and my best friend
was Sondra Stewart, who died of cancer.
"I remember we only had one electric typewriter.
During the steno class, we heard the news about Kennedy's death. The gym teacher taught daily routines for each grade.
"We had a St. Patrick's play where each
class performed their dance. The play was written by the seniors and all grades participated in it. It was the yearly fundraiser
for the school.
"We had one school reunion about five years
later, where we learned what everyone had done with their lives. I had become a computer programmer analyst with Sears and
Trust Bank, then I went to work for Old Republic Insurance."