ST. CHARLES – In a show of appreciation for his integral role in helping to build the new St. Patrick Catholic School, students and school leaders recognized Monsignor Joseph Linster Friday morning with letters of thanks, gifts and a puppet show.
Friday’s program, “Building to do God’s Work,” celebrated the spacious new school on Crane Road that opened in August 2011. Letters from three student representatives conveyed students’ appreciation for Linster’s role in helping to complete the school.
“If it weren’t for your leadership, we would still be at the old school,” said eighth-grader Samantha Woodrich, who was referring to the former school in downtown St. Charles.
Eighth-grader Edison Hurh said in his letter that Linster is an inspiration to everyone at the school. He said Linster was a “spiritual constant” for students, and extended his thanks on behalf of himself and fellow students.
In her letter, seventh-grader Sarah Foley said while she liked the old school, she said “the new school is so much better.” She pointed out that the new school’s hallways are more open, the cafeteria is brighter, and the school has large classrooms, science labs and computer labs. Those features will reward generations to come, she said.
Others were recognized for their efforts in building the school, including Linster’s assistant, Kathy Becker, and Lee Lochmann, who chaired the building committee.
The fourth-grade class performed a puppet show, which depicted people who played a big role in constructing the school, including Linster. The show outlined the different phases of construction.
Home and School Board President Vicky Rullo presented a brick would be placed in the school’s Rosary Garden, likely in the fall, in Linster’s honor. After receiving a statue of St. Patrick, students sang the school’s Memorare as Linster’s final gift.
Linster said the school’s construction taught him two important lessons.
“You are only as good as the people that surround you,” he said, adding that he could not have done what he did without the help of Becker and Lochmann. The second lesson he learned was that “when God is with you, you will always succeed,” he said.
“It’s been a pleasure; it’s been a delight; it’s been a blessing,” he said before receiving a standing ovation from students, teachers and administrators.