St. Bridget of Sweden
From the St. Bridget of Sweden Parish Bulletin September 12, 2004

50th Anniversary

~Did you know ~

~ that after the parish was formed in 1955 and before the Church was built, catechism classes were held in the homes of the parishioners. Someof the earliest leaders were Loretta Toggenberger and Nicky Lipscomb. After the school was built, CCD was formed and classes were started. Teachers took teacher training at the convent of the Sisters of Social Service on Hayvenhurst Ave.

Grades 1 through 8 CCD classes were taught on Saturday at 9 and 10 AM. The First Communion for older children was held in the library. Some of the early elementary teachers were Mrs. Wolcott (First Communion classes), Marie Fitzgerald; Chris Scanlin, Theresa Paez, Lois Swan, Marie Yanowski, Jane Jones, Lea Clark, Jackie De Donato, Pat Flaherty and Nicky Lipscomb. The Irish Sisters of Charity who taught at St. Bridget of Sweden School during the week were always willing to help if any teacher was absent.

High school CCD classes (Grades 9 through 12) were held on Monday night in the school. Whit Jones, John Lipscomb, Lloyd Forrest, Ham Hendershott and Father McGoldrick (the Pastor) were the high school instructors. Every year a retreat was held for the high school students. Arrangements were made for the students to be excused from Birmingham High School for the day. One of the earliest retreat directors was Father Edward Keyser, a Paulist priest who later directed the popular half-hour Paulist television series.

After the Parish Hall was built, CCD classes were held every Saturday at 10 AM for special needs students. These mentally and physically disabled children, usually 10 to 15 in all, came from both within the parish and outside the parish boundaries. Seventh and eighth grade students of St. Bridget of Sweden school helped with the special needs students.. one helper for every student. Ilah Keegan, Clara Swanson and Mary Hendershott were the teachers, and they made learning fun for the children.

Many parents helped with the CCD Program. Parent drivers picked up children who lived too far away to walk. Parents telephoned parents of absent children, and offered transportation if needed. Mary Lou Murdock ran the printing press and printed out bulletins. Parents helped in the office, especially at the beginning of the year at sign-up time. Parents made and served dinner at the high school retreat The CCD program depended on the involvement and help of the parents.

In the early years, 300-400 children were involved in the CCD Program. Father McGoldrick was always there to open the school and lead the children in prayer.

After Nicky Lipscomb was appointed to the Archdiocesan CCD Board of Directors, Father McGoldrick appointed Pat Flahertv and Marge Oberdick to lead the CCD. They led it for over 10 years.

Corrected October 14, 2004

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New church dedicated March 2, 1958

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