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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
January 31, 1997     The Message
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January 31, 1997

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana i: I , Bottoml Irst PTA president at St. Matthew's talks about 50-year program HUGHES staff writer ,' her 91 years, Loretta Walks with steely And she flashes when she talks SOmething that to her heart for visited with stu- dents at St. Matthew School, Mount Vernon, this week, partly to celebrate Catholic School Week, but mainly to celebrate the 50-year existence of the school's PTA. The day she visited, Jan. 27, coincided -- to the date -- with the January day back in 1947 when she held the school's first PTA meeting in her home. She was the chairperson of the orga- nizing committee, and then she was recruited to become the first PTA president. During her visit to St. Matthew, Bottomley talked with wide-eyed students about her days at St. Matthew. She graduated from the old red brick school building in 1919. tter school day consisted of Mass at 8 a.m., lessons, then n intently to Loretta Bottomley as she talks about school days at St. Mount Vernon, during the early 1900s. -- Message photo by Mary Ann Hughes You Sponsor a Poor Child .... ata Cath( 1 .c Mission Site? Yes in a small moun- ler mother is abandoned them. make a difference in like Corina. mmmmmn m I'll help one child: J Iy Ij Girl j Ttx'nager :J Any in m,t m'vd monthly pIo.tgc of: J $20 J $25, J Other $ .... Jquarterly j,mi-annualh ,J,mnually to bill my lirst ,,Dm,,or,,hip paynu, nt to my 'J M(' Cr,.'dlt C,m.t No - Date - " Somewhere, one special child is hoping you'll say. 'ql's!" And Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (CFCA), an international Catholic child stum- sorship program can show VOtl the affordable way. Through CFCA you sponsor a child for the amount you can afford. Ordinarily it takes S20 a month to l.mwide one poor child with the life-cha,gi,g benefits of sponsorship. But if this is not possible for win, we invite you to sponsor at a level you can afford. CFCA will see to it from other donations and the tireless efforts Of our missionary partners that your chil,t receives the same l,e,efits as other spo,sored chihh'e,. Your sponsorship pledge hdps provide a poor child ,at a Catholic mission site with nourishing food, medical care, the chance to go to school and hope for a brighter future, im can literalh! change a! And you can be assured your pledge has its greatest" impact because our programs are directed bv dedicated Catholic missiortaries with a long- standing commitment to the people they serve. To help build your relationship, you will receive a picture of your child (updated yearly), information about your child's family and country, letters from wmr child and the CFCA newsletter. But most "important, you'll receive the satisfaction of helping a poor child. Please don't miss this opportunity to make a differ- ence. Become a sponsor for one poor child today! I Name .................................................. I LIz*e vmt) Add res,,, ..................................................... I I CityStateZip ......................................... | Phone ( ) | ....... ......................... | TM 1/96 ,nd to: Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (CFCA) (t' [hrtwtt Ave / I'.O |kr,, 3ql0 " Kansa,, (.7it}', KS t,e,l{}3-i,lO or  all toll-bee 1-Rk)-,75-(54 walking home eight blocks for lunch, back to school, and lessons until four p.m. Back then, the younger chil- dren sat at double desks, and graduated to single desks as they advanced in school. Some children came to school by horse and buggy. Punishment was doled out by the teachers. "We would kneel on the floor by the teacher's desk, or write sen- tences on the board." As a young mother, she sent her four children to St. Matthew School. She realized that there were no organizations at the parish, and "we got together to see if we could do something about it. "The school just didn't have any equipment. There were no maps, no globes. Sister had to use a ball to show the children the 'Down Under' countries. There was no playground equipment." The parish pastor at the time, Father John Rapp, was not in favor at first. "He was very reluc- tant to give his permission, but then he became our very best friend." The first PTA meetings were held in her home, and hand-writ- ten minutes still survive from those early days. The parish responded very 3 Ninety-one-year old Loretta Bottomley talks with students at St. Matthew School, Mount Vernon, during Catholic Schools Week. Bottomley graduated from the school in 1919. She later served as founder and first president of the PTA. -- Message photo by Mary Ann Hughes ii i t i i Please Support Message Advertisers JASPER LUMBER CO. COMPLETE BUILDING SERVICE Ph: 482-t t25 RT. 4, JASPER ii i i ii1 i Christian Books & Gifts c,v', & t arbe M',rd L ow,er-s i i i : ..... : 7 i i i J__ favorably to the new group, she remembers. "It was not only the school, but the whole parish, that needed it. People were so eager because we had nothing in this parish, and people were so hun- gry for some social activity. Every, body just worked together." She said the PTA "offered parishioners a way to meet, and we welcomed everyone. Grand- parents, and especially the dads." As for the moms, "we made friends who are our best friends yet." The work was very rewarding and fun. "There was also the chance to get to know the teach- ers. They were all nuns then. Sometimes you go up to school only when you are mad, but once you know the teachers as people, it's easier to work with them." Bottomley says she is "proud- est of the fact that the PTA has endured for 50 years without interruption. We must have done something right to have it endure all these years." She ended her talk with the St. Matthew students by remind- ing them that "you are the future. Don't ever forget that, because one of these days, you will be standing up here and telling a bunch of kids what you did back in 19972