St. Louis de Montfort Students Go on Sentimental Journey
The school's students celebrate Catholic Schools Week with a tribute to World War II.
Oak Lawn’s five Catholic elementary schools took part in festivities celebrating the academic success and faith values of the nation’s Catholic schools built around the theme “A+ for America.” The schools hosted open houses for future students and masses emphasizing the unique qualities of each parish school.
“It’s an annual celebration of the nation’s 7,800 Catholic schools and the fine work that our schools do in preparing students for the future,” Principal Holly Gross said. “We always say that St. Louis de Montfort is where we put our children, our faith and our future first.”
Not even a blizzard that shaved two days off of Catholic Schools Week when classes were canceled could dampen St. Louis de Montfort students’ fascination with everything World War II.
Teachers Ron Selle and Darlene Agner started planning the school’s festivities last summer, creating three classroom museums full of toys and military uniforms, a 1940s house and a B-17 bomber flight simulator.
First-graders listened in wonderment as a kindly docent explained how a milkman delivered milk in glass bottles to people’s homes during the 1940s. They also stared in amazement at a radio playing recordings of old radio shows, questioning why the house had no television set.
“We thought emphasizing life in the 1940s would be good for the kids to know because their grandparents would have been affected by this era,” Fr. Mark Canavan said. “It turns out to be a good thing because the kids are fascinated by it.”
A group of sixth- and seventh-grade girls took a stomach-turning, simulated flight on a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber. Asked if the girls were going on a bombing run, Selle, the music, choir and drama teacher, said the students would make a few practice turns before landing again on the airfield.
“They won’t bomb anything,” he said. “This is a Catholic school.”