A Year after Arson, St. Anthony School Looks to the Future (WBAY 2)

Fr. Joel Church meets World

Today is the one-year anniversary of the fire at our parish school. It happened the evening of February 21st, 2012, which was Fat Tuesday that year. Here is some local press coverage of the anniversary.

WBAY

Oconto Falls – A year after fire devastated their school, the Saint Anthony community in Oconto Falls gathered Wednesday to think not about what they’ve lost but what they’ve gained.

“We have experienced the grace and compassion of our God through his people and have become stronger in our faith because of it,” said Principal Rosemary Marifke.

But this day was as much about looking forward as it was about looking back.

Students are anxious to move into a new and improved Saint Anthony School building, where work is well underway. It includes new heating and electrical systems, a new office area, and lots of bright, open windows.

“We really looked at what our needs were for the present and the future. Our building was built in 1957, and it was built for a previous set of needs, so we’re really upgrading and updating a lot of the facility,” says Father Joel Sember, Saint Anthony Parish.

Sember says the experience has served as a lesson to students about the power of forgiveness and what their community is really made of.

“We’re more than just our buildings. We keep nice buildings, we want to have a nice presence in the community, but who we truly are is a community of faith that can survive anything,” he explained.

Construction is set to be finished in June, in time for the 2013-14 school year.

From WBAY News Channel 2 on 21 Feb 2013