The day started with all school mass, followed by a Eucharistic procession around the outside of the school and then into the chapel for adoration. Starting the year with the Eucharist helped to bring home the purpose here at LCSS.
And although there were many returning students, there were also many new students, including the entire 7th grade class. In addition to general orientation, the 7th graders took part in a day long retreat later in the week, which included guided tours from seniors, an outdoor picnic, reconciliation, praying the rosary, and Mass in the chapel.
These new students were all excited about making new friends and starting school at Central Catholic. But this excitement is nothing new for incoming CC students. This excitement has been part of the school since its opening nearly 60 years ago.
What started as a dream of Bishop John Bennett’s, became a reality in 1957 after years of hard work from many people in the community. That year, Central Catholic opened, and everything and everyone was new, both freshmen and upperclassmen alike.
Eugene Klinker, one of 29 students who would be in the first graduating class of Central Catholic, was particularly excited to attend CC. Klinker had attended St. Boniface Elementary School and then West Lafayette High School. But when he heard that a Catholic high school was going to be open in time for his senior year, he was the first to sign up.
“The school opened on my 17th birthday. It was the best birthday I ever had,” said Klinker.
At the time, many of the teachers were still priests and nuns, and Klinker was accustomed to them through his time at St. Boniface and glad to have them back as teachers. Central Catholic was a life changer for Klinker. He fit in well with the school, the teachers, and the classes. He even met his future wife, Virginia Oswald (class of 1960), at CC. The Klinker family also sent 2 daughters and 5 granddaughters through Central Catholic.
“I don’t know where I’d be today if CC hadn’t opened up…I really don’t,” said Klinker. “Everytime I go past it, I just have the most beautiful feeling. All the memories just flood.”
This is the 58th year that Central Catholic has opened its doors, and although there have been many changes over the intervening years, the focus of providing a quality, Catholic education remains the same.