Denise Fedorow
Freelance Writer
February 22, 2017 // Schools

Mary Thul Learning Center blessed

Denise Fedorow
Freelance Writer

During National Catholic Schools Week, the Mary Thul Learning Center at St. John the Evangelist School, Goshen, was blessed by pastor Father Anthony Steinacker. Members of the Thul family were present for the blessing and dedication of the study area just outside the door to the school library.

Mary Thul started the mentoring program at St. John’s School in 1999 and was the coordinator of the program for many years. The mentoring program matches willing volunteers from the parish to the different grade levels, and teachers choose students who could use some extra one-on-one time to work with the mentors. Typically one hour a week is asked of the volunteers.

St. John the Evangelist pastor Father Anthony Steinacker prepares to pray with members of the Mary Thul family during a blessing of a space dedicated Jan. 31 as the Mary Thul Learning Center. Seated is Tom Thul, holding a picture of his late wife, Mary. Standing clockwise from left is their daughter, Mary Kay Longacre, holding granddaughter Lucy Gerke; Dan Longacre; Tom and Mary’s sons Tim Thul and Kelly Thul; and Mary Kay and Dan’s daughters Rachel Longacre and Katie Gerke.

“That’s one of the gifts of a small school — everyone coming together for one common cause — the children,” she was once quoted as saying.

Thul was an inspiration to many in the parish, and besides starting the mentoring program was involved in many ministries. She was a Eucharistic minister, minister to the homebound, an active member of the Altar Rosary Society and on the leadership committee for RCIA. She also served the school in many capacities over the years, including as substitute teacher, playground monitor and mentor. She lost a battle with cancer on June 30.

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