Press Release & Assistance Request | St. Anthony School

StAnthonySchoolSt. Anthony School offers thanks; plans for the future

OCONTO FALLS, Wis. (Feb. 24, 2012) -- In the aftermath of the February 21 fire that caused extensive damage to their school building, St. Anthony Catholic Parish and School today expressed gratitude for the outpouring of community support, and outlined plans to ensure that classes resume with minimal disruption.

Father Joel Sember, pastor, said, "On behalf of our principal, Rosemary Marifke, and myself, I would like to especially thank Vicki Roberts, city administrator, and her team, especially Tim Magnin and the fire department and Mike Roberts and the police department. We also appreciate the quick and compassionate response from Tammy Basten and John Reetz, Catholic Diocese of Green Bay; and Pastor Larry Bong and Grace Lutheran Church for allowing us to use their facility to continue classes this year." Classes resume Monday at Grace Lutheran, where phone lines have been redirected to a temporary office. 

According to Father Sember, St. Anthony will move forward with the same formula that has made the school so successful during nearly a century of service to Oconto Falls and the surrounding area: the resourcefulness of dedicated teachers and staff; the hard work of parents; and community support. The school is conducting a thorough evaluation of the structural damage. At this stage in the process, administrators believe that rebuilding will be a long and involved process. 

The St. Anthony school community was deeply saddened to learn that the fire was apparently not an accident. "It is hard to express in words the hurt and pain caused by this careless act of malice," Father Sember said. "We are thankful that no one was physically hurt by the blaze. However, there is great emotional pain among many of our children, parents, and teachers who have come to see St. Anthony like a second home. 

"This experience deepens our belief in our core values. We continue to believe that every child deserves a Christian education that will help him or her develop as a person and reach their maximum potential as an individual. We also continue to believe that Jesus Christ is risen from the dead, and that he shows us the path to new life and conquers the darkness of our hearts. In the spirit of Jesus Christ, we choose to forgive this individual and we offer our prayers for healing and a new life."

For information on textbook and instructional material donations, please visit www.gbdioc.org. Cash donations can be directed to any Associated Bank branch with mention of the St. Anthony fire fund. Locally, you can mail donations to P.O. Box 8, Oconto Falls, WI 54154 or drop off in person at 134 N. Main St., Oconto Falls.

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Contact: Father Joel Sember, pastor of St. Anthony Parish, at 920-846-2276 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; or Rosemary Marifke, principal of St. Anthony School, at 920-846-2276 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

Specific material needs in addition to monetary donations are as follows. 

 

Principal Rosemary Marifke at St. Anthony in Oconto Falls is requesting the following texts and instructional materials:

Houghton/Mifflin Reading Series 2005 Edition

3rd grade: 8 books

4th grade: 3 books

5th grade: 5 books

 

Saxon Math: Runoff/Folder resource & Textbook

1st grade: 11 copies

2nd grade: 6 copies

3rd grade: (Hardcover text) 8 copies

 

Teachers Manuals for Kindergarten

Science: Harcourt/Brace

Social Studies: McMillan/McGraw-Hill

Math: Saxon Math

 

They could use large waste baskets (classroom size) as well as recycling bins for the classrooms as they were practicing recycling throughout the building.

Support Contact: Father Joel Sember, pastor of St. Anthony Parish, at 920-846-2276 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; or Rosemary Marifke, principal of St. Anthony School, at 920-846-2276 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Photo by Manu Junemann