The following are excerpts from the book Holy Rosary School, 1898-1998. The book, recently released by the Holy Rosary School Centennial Committee, is a history of the Holy Rosary School in Cedar. The 100 year old school will be closing this year due to lack of enrollment. Through photographs, news clippings and personal memoirs the book follows the history of the parish and school from their beginning. Reading through the book, even those not familiar with the area can begin to see what an important role the school played in the community.
The 175 page book is available from the Holy Rosary Parish, 3919 Gatzke Rd, Cedar, Michigan 59621 or by calling 231-228-5429.
The Cover of
Holy Rosary School, 1898-1998
"The first three years I lived with my grandparents Mr. & Mrs. Jacob Rosinski, Sr. in the house that burned down a few years ago. Grandpa had a store in it. Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Waclawski lived with grandpa the first year or two followed by Mr. & Mrs. Michael S. Rosinski. Mrs. Waclawski was the youngest daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Jacob Rosinski, Sr. Michael was the youngest son.
When we boarded in school, the girls slept on the first floor on the south side of the school building which was the auditorium. The boys slept in the northwest corner room in the basement. Part of the auditorium was used as the dining room and study hall. We had family wash bowls on a bench in the corridor of the basement where we cleaned up.
After school, the older girls peeled potatoes or carrots for the next day. Two or three girls would help Sister M. Pelagia with cooking. Every family brought their own meat and platter on which the meat was served. We did the dishes, the Sisters' dishes and the cooking dishes which were stored in the pantry. On Friday we all went home unless it was too stormy or cold and returned back on Monday.
When Father Leopold Oprychalski became pastor, he converted the northeast room into a chapel where Mass was said daily. The Sisters had their kneelers in the chapel. When the neighbors came to Mass they used them. The organ was in the corridor facing the open chapel door. Mary Narloch was the organist. The children used the corridor and stairway for Mass.
There were over 100 children at school. In 1919 Sister Mary Leopoldyna, who taught kindergarten, first and second grades had 72 students in her room. It was the southwest room upstairs.
Polish reading was taught in the first and second grades along with Catechism and Bible History (which were in Polish also). Arithmetic, reading, and spelling were taught in English.
Third, fourth, and fifth grades were taught in the northeast room, the cold room, where Polish and English reading , spelling, arithmetic, and grammar were taught. Religion, Bible history, reading, and Polish grammar were taught also. A spelling down was held on Friday.
The sixth, seventh, and eighth grades were in the southeast room where only Catechism and Bible history were in Polish. Arithmetic, spelling, geography, physiology, United States history, and civil government were all in English.
The road in front of the school was the playground."
(Submitted by Michaeline (Brzezinski) Pleva who started school in September 1912.)
Despite waiting lists at other Catholic schools in the area, the 101-year-old Holy Rosary School is shutting its doors on June 9 due to low enrollment and a lack of funds
In January, 13 students were pulled from the school and enrolled in Glen Lake Elementary because of a parental conflict with a teacher, said parents of the children.
Parishioners and Holy Rosary administrators alike cite the student exodus as the pivotal reason for the school's closing this year.
The closing came after years of fluctuating enrollment at the school
According to Bishop Patrick Cooney, the final decision on what to do with the school building lies with the parish priest and parishioners.
Father Jerry Hunko, Holy Rosary Church parish priest said there are two options to consider because of the building's aging boiler and electrical systems and other structural needs. "We'll either have to board it up or tear it down" He added that he would not make a decision without parishioner input
The issue remains an emotional one for parents and residents of the community, who cringe at the idea of their community school getting bulldozed.
from TC Record Eagle 5-19-99
"I was a cheer-leader for Holy Rosary's Basketball Team in 1943 and 1944. As some girls in the lower grades knew, there was a boy cheerleading at Lake Leelanau St. Mary's High School. Being I did not play basketball, they insisted that I become a cheerleader also. Without too much choice, I soon joined the two girls, Frances Winowiecki and Alice Peplinski. My biggest surprise was when the tournament games came. So many of the girls from the other teams came over and wanted my autograph."
(Submitted by Edward Garvin - Class of 1944)
"My first teacher Sister Adolphine made a lasting impression on me. Not only was she cheerful, she was serious! A most unusual funny game was when Sister Adolphine asked us to think of an animal we would like to see. We were lined up in the hallway and did not know Sister Adolphine had a mirror hidden. When she asked what animal would I like to see, I said a "rabbit." Was I ever surprised to see my face in the mirror! I was so sure I would see a rabbit.
Discipline - if you were misbehaving, look out! you might have had to leave the classroom with Sister Adolphine behind you and receive a possible whack on the you-know-what, or stand in a corner, stay in during recess, or write fifty times or more what you were sorry for.
Sister Goodwin had talks with us about modest dress - NO TIGHT SWEATERS! Talking about sweaters, Georgianne (Gatzke) Peplinski was seen many times wearing Ronnie Rosinski's sweater. Sewed "TIGERS" red letters on our white cheerleading sweaters. MADE CARTWHEELS!! Cheerleading, that is!
Today, my husband Keith and I live on a cherry farm overlooking the bay near the village of Suttons Bay. I am a member of Blessed Kateri-Tekakwitha Church and serve as lector and choir member. Fortunately, I was able to retire three years ago from a banking position I held for nearly twelve years. I am most grateful to my parents for all their lessons about faith and their example."
(Submitted by RuthAnn (Fleis) Smith, Class of 1957)