Continuing the Tradition

For over 155 years, St. Anthony Schools have provided Catholic education and faith formation to the Effingham area. Our schools have been instrumental in shaping the hearts and minds of countless students, instilling in them the values of knowledge, faith, and service.

Our commitment to providing a quality education rooted in these values has remained unwavering throughout the years. It is through the generosity and support of our community, including alumni like you, that we have been able to uphold this tradition of excellence.

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Celebrating 150 Years of St. Anthony Schools

St. Anthony Schools marked 150 years of Catholic Education and Formation during the 2018-2019 school year. The celebrations began with a kickoff Mass and family fun day at the grade school in September. Throughout the year, events included a presence in the Effingham Halloween Parade, an open house at the high school, special alumni Homecoming activities, Catholic Schools Week, and various other gatherings. The anniversary culminated in a Mass led by Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki, with former priests and School Sisters of Notre Dame in attendance, closing this memorable year.

The Doors Open to the New St. Anthony Grade School

In December 2006, Msgr. Enlow learned of a tremendous, anonymous gift to the parish — funds were donated to build a new grade school. In 2008 and 2009, a new grade school was constructed on the grounds and parking lot of the existing grade school, ensuring minimal disruption to students during the school year. The new facility was completed for the 2009-2010 school year and introduced kindergarten classes for the first time. Subsequently, a 3- and 4-year-old pre-school program was added in the following school years.

New High School Addition and Gym Are Completed

With the guidance of Pastoral Associate St. Justine Henley, a new, accessible parish center was built adjacent to the church. Completed in March 2001, it now houses the parish office and a kitchen. Soon after, a parishioner-led campaign, supported by the Diocese, renovated and expanded St. Anthony High School. By June 13, 2008, during the 150th anniversary of St. Anthony Parish, the debt for the high school addition was fully paid off.

The Last School Sister of Notre Dame at St. Anthony

High School Principal, Sr. Jane Marie Hotze is the last School Sister of Notre Dame to serve as a St. Anthony Administrator.

Sister Jane Marie Hotze served as the principal of St. Anthony High School from 1981-1991.

Rev. Leo Enlow

In June 1989, St. Anthony welcomed the Very Rev. Leo Enlow as its pastor. By 1997, Fr. Leo, along with Fr. Mark Lewis and the church renovation committee, orchestrated a renovation that harmonized the traditional beauty of the church with the updated liturgical rites of the Second Vatican Council.

The First Lay-Person As Principal

Mary Lynn Byers became the first lay-person to serve as principal at St. Anthony Schools. Mrs. Byers served as principal of the grade school and would retire after 40 years in education at the end of the 2014 school year.

The New St. Anthony High School is Completed

The Founding of St. Anthony Booster Club

The St. Anthony Booster Club is established in order to provide volunteer and financial support to the St. Anthony Athletic Programs. St. Anthony Schools have developed a proud reputation of being one of the most successful small school programs in the state. The Athletic Booster Club is proud to be part of the rich history. Many members have been annual contributors for over 30, 40, and 50 years.

The First Publication of the High School Yearbook is Distributed

The New Gymnasium is Completed at the Grade School

New Additions

A great period of expansion came to St. Anthony Schools, where fourteen new classrooms, a library, and a new gymnasium were all added to the growing Grade School.

Grade School Athletics were also started by Fr. Leonard Rathgeb in this year.

Rev. John J. Goff

Following Fr. Gramke, Rev. John J. Goff assumed leadership. Under his guidance, the parish saw the installation of new Stations of the Cross and statues honoring St. Anthony, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, and St. Anne. Fr. Goff initiated C.C.D. classes, oversaw the replacement of the original rectory with a new rectory, and expanded the convent with a new wing. Additionally, he presided over a Requiem Mass for victims of the 1949 St. Anthony’s Hospital fire, a challenging but necessary duty.

The Bulldog is Officially Adopted as the Mascot of St. Anthony

Rev. John H. Gramke

Rev. John H. Gramke is named as pastor. During his tenure, he constructed a four-room addition to the school, implemented the hot lunch program, achieved full recognition of the high school by state authorities, and secured accreditation from the University of Illinois. Additionally, he earned a superior rating for the grade school from the state. Fr. Gramke remained pastor until his passing in 1945.

The First Graduating Class from St. Anthony High School

The High School Begins its Existence

Rev. Louis W. Lammert

On January 1, 1896, St. Anthony welcomed a new pastor, Rev. Louis W. Lammert. Fr. Lammert oversaw numerous enhancements to the parish buildings, including an expansion of the parish hall with a new stage. He also supervised the installation of the pipe organ and the beautiful stained-glass windows that adorn the church today. Additionally, he commissioned the construction of a new convent, which was occupied by the Notre Dame Sisters in 1918.

Rev. H.J.F. Jungmann

During the term of paster Rev. H.J.F. Jungmann, which began in 1877, a new main altar was built. Other improvements included the construction of a new brick rectory, and a new six-room school.

School Sisters of Notre Dame Establish Mission at St. Anthony

The Birth of St. Anthony Schools

The arrival of the Franciscan Sisters ushers in the birth of St. Anthony Schools, changing the status from public to parochial. A two-room brick school building had been built, and a six-room frame rectory had been erected. On March 1, 1870, the congregation was officially incorporated as St. Anthony’s Roman Catholic Church of Effingham.

The Cornerstone of St. Anthony of Padua Church is Laid

On Christmas Day in 1858, the first Mass was celebrated in the newly created St. Anthony of Padua Church in Effingham, IL. St. Anthony was a mission parish, served by priests from the neighboring villages until 1871. In the beginning, St. Anthony Parish consisted of 40 families. Ten years later, the parish registry listed 120 families, and by 1875, it had grown to 225.

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