March 26, 2017

This Centennial has brought out the story tellers.  I love hearing the
tales of school musicals, CYO basketball, Msgr. Hoover’s cigar, singing in the choir and even some tomfoolery in the  Colonial Room.

Over the course of the next few months, we will have several unique opportunities for you to tell your St. Raymond Story.  Here are two ways:

The History Committee for the Homecoming Fest is being led by Jason Mottl and Jan Novotny.  That’s a perfect pairing.  Jason is a relative newcomer to the parish, but a bit of a history buff.  He’ll bring a fresh perspective to  telling old tales.

And Jan?  Well Jan’s St. Raymond resume goes deep and wide.  Graduate of the grade school (Class of 1959), parent of four former students, teacher in the grade school for 11 years and lifetime parishioner.  She is a wealth of knowledge about all things St.   Raymond.

Jason and Jan have a plan to compile and self-publish a memory book. I am so grateful to them for their creative idea and the willingness to do the work.  Be sure to look at their letter at right to see how you can help!

St. Raymond stories come into play in the  planning for the Homecoming liturgy at 11:00 a.m. Mass on Sunday, July 2.  Deacon Ed Petak and Rosie McCune are heading up this committee along with help from others including Natalie Bayci.  Now I’m telling you, if Ed Petak and Natalie Bayci don’t know about it, it didn’t happen at St. Raymond.

Our planning meeting was great.  We worked to be sure to incorporate some of the      touchstones that people connect with St.  Raymond Parish.  We talked about vestments and songs and the bells at the Consecration.  Let us know if we missed anything from “back in the day.”

We also spent time making lists of current priests and sisters who either grew up in the parish or have served here in any capacity.  Our plan is to invite everyone back to participate in the liturgy.  We have a good list of those who were assigned here, but are a bit worried that we might miss an alum.  If you have contact information for any active priests or sisters who grew up in St. Raymond Parish, please let us know.  We’d hate to miss anyone!

Because of short bulletin deadlines, I’ll be a bit on-again, off-again for the next month.  But don’t worry, I’ll be sure to share the latest news when I can.

Eileen Hooks Gutierrez
Director of Development and Project Liaison
815-722-6653, ext. 242

Dear Cathedral Friends,

Those of us who have been members of the St. Raymond Family at some time or another over the past 100 years have accumulated lots of memories and stories….some funny, some spiritual, some nostalgic.

We who are heading the history committee for our Centennial would like to compile a book of memories over the course of the next few months which we hope to self-publish and make available before this momentous year comes to an end.

This is not a history of St. Raymond Parish….the history is      beautifully recollected in the hall outside the Commons. Rather, it is a diary, a collective journal of reminiscences of our parish from as long ago as anyone can remember, up until today, decade by  decade.

In order to accomplish this, we are inviting you to share a story —or a few stories —of your time at St. Raymond Parish.  Maybe you were in the grade school, maybe a parishioner, maybe just a neighbor waking up to the bells ringing the Angelus.

So….if you would like to join the fun, please either drop your story off at the rectory (labeled “history”), email it  to one of us, or just let us know that you will be “storytelling” at our event this summer. If you have pictures that we can copy, perhaps we can meet after Mass some Sunday and take pictures of your pictures so they will not have to leave your hands.

Looking forward to meeting you and sharing your stories!

Jason Mottl: (
Jan Novotny (



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