Volume 13, Issue 1

Hey Teachers--Where Are You??

The scope of this association has been limited to the students and friars of the Franciscan provinces of St. John the Baptist and Our Lady of Guadalupe.  But in doing so, we've neglected to include a sizable group of people who are just as much a part of the Franciscan formation program and with whom we share a strong bond--the teachers, librarians, coaches, cooks, maintenance, and other support people who kept the seminaries running.  Bill Pellman (a.k.a. Fr. Dean) brought this oversight to the attention of the alumni board and set about contacting a couple of former seminary faculty members.  He talked with Carol Dressman (St. Francis Seminary English teacher in Cincinnati) and Dorothy Gilroy (SFS librarian, now living in Washington state).  Both ladies were very interested in seeing newsletters and the website--and attending future reunions.  By the way, Bill is a former science teacher of SFS.
Just as the former staff members of the seminaries want to reminisce and find out what's going on in our lives, we want to hear about them, too.  How can you help? Have you kept in contact with any of the former staff?  Can you provide an address or any information on their whereabouts or what they've been up to?  Do you have pictures?  How about an anecdote from seminary days?  Please send info to the Franciscan Alumni Association.

The Class Barber

By Dave Imhoff

During my first year (1966) at St. Francis, I spent Wednesday and Saturday afternoons sorting laundry.  At the beginning of my sophomore year I was pleased to be promoted to class barber.  The barbershop was supervised by Fr. Gil Wohler. An upper-class barber, Jerry Kaelin, passed along the art of seminary barbering to me.  Carl Zepeda somehow agreed to be my first victim.  It was a blessing that we lived in a male-only setting because Carl would be hard-pressed to find a girl to look at him after the sheering.  It took a bit of time for me to learn how to flick my wrist just right to create a nice taper.  I ended up practicing my taper all the way up the back of his head.  Fortunately, Carl didn't seem to mind and I gradually learned to give a 60's cut.   

After a few months of barbering I was turning out some pretty good haircuts and some of the priests let me cut their hair.  Fr. Aubert, for obvious reasons, was the easiest to trim.  He and some of the other priests frequently rewarded barbers by giving us pop cards if we did a good job.  Prior to the early '70s, the pop machine didn't work via cash and we couldn't just have pop whenever we wanted.  Instead, at certain times of the week a designated upper classman would open the machine and punch one of ten holes in a pop card.  The cards were purchased in the store at the back of study hall.  Pop cost 10 each and was quite a treat.

For me, the barbershop provided a quiet place for reflection in the winter months.  I could sit in a comfortable chair, read a book, and enjoy the great view of the front lake from the 3rd floor window.  While I truly enjoyed cutting hair, I especially liked sharing the time and conversation with my classmates and the friars. 

Do you have a story to tell about your extra duties at one of the seminaries?  Photography, infirmary, hauling manure...  We'd like to publish it in a future newsletter for all to enjoy.


(Networking, continued from page 6) 

To start this sharing, would those of you involved in
prison ministry please send me your name and mailing address or e-mail address?  I will gather the names and then share them with all of you who respond.  You then will have the opportunity to contact each other for sharing ideas, experiences, and learn from each other in the prison ministry area.  I'd like to mention one FAA member who has been a pen pal for 12 years with a man in the federal prison system.  The member sends him letters, articles, and spiritual books from time to time.  The member also travels the world and sends envelops full of foreign stamps to the inmate.

Prison ministry members: please send me your name by June 1st if you are interested in this networking service.
Dennis Kirby, RR 1  Box 60, Towanda, IL  61776
309-728-2887     kirbyd@frontiernet.net

In the near future, we would like to continue this "search" for members involved in various ministries, perhaps parish/pastoral council or inner city social services or drug/alcohol addiction or music ministry.   In what volunteer ministries would you like to seek other involved alumni?