The Miracle on Locust Street

A Holy Rosary Legend, Sister Suzanne Walker Retires

On June 12, 2022, 400 people gathered in the Knights of Columbus Hall in Monroe City, Missouri, for a joyous celebration and tribute to Sister Suzanne (Sue) Walker on the occasion of her retirement as principal of Holy Rosary School. A wonderful dinner was provided by families from the two parishes served by the school: Holy Rosary and St. Stephen’s. Many Sister Sue fans made heartfelt presentations and shared happy memories and good wishes as part of the program; it seemed as if everyone had a story to tell about how Sister Sue touched their life.

With 12 years as a student, 9 years as a teacher, and 38 years as principal at Holy Rosary School, Sister Sue broke many records. Holy Rosary School also broke records with 121 years of Sparkill Dominican Sisters serving as principal. Under the leadership of Sister Sue, an abundance of support from alumni, families, parishioners, and the local community paved the way for a totally new school facility to be built in 2016! In this day and age, building and paying for a new Catholic School is really amazing and possibly miraculous; thus, the Miracle on Locust Street. Many event guests had "Hands Raised" as those who were taught by Sister Sue or were in school during the 38 years she served as principal. Likely more hands could have been raised if they also included those who attended school with Sister Sue.

In attendance at the celebration were eight of Sister Sue's nine siblings. Nine Dominican Sisters were present; Sisters Mary Ann Buhr and Paulette Patritti spoke of the rich history of the Dominicans of Sparkill and Holy Rosary School. Parishioners from both St. Stephen and Holy Rosary Parishes donated money to purchase a new car for Sister Sue to use. The Holy Rosary School Gym was dedicated as the Sister Sue Walker Gym and Auditorium. The pastor, Fr. Greg Oligschlaeger, joined the parish and school community to show their appreciation for Sister Sue’s presence in their lives and her leadership and integrity at Holy Rosary School.

Sister Sue is leaving behind a school that is in great shape. The building is brand new. More importantly, by her good example and faith, she leaves the legacy of a vibrant, faith-based community. Her own commitment to knowing Christ and helping others to know Christ has really permeated Holy Rosary School. “We have such wonderful, faith-filled laypeople,” she said. “The Good Lord has a plan, and we just have to listen and follow it.” Sister Sue is looking forward to hearing about the next chapter of ”Miracle on Locust Street” (as well as having more time for fishing and contemplation!).

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