Class of 1959

We, the Class of 1959, celebrated our 50th class reunion on April 24 and 25, 2009. This blog is about sharing memories of our class reunions and a long ago life at our Alma Mater's, S.F.X.A. and S.A.H.S. Good memories of days gone by but not forgotten! A gift to my classmates. ~Marian Love Phillips ~

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Our 50th Anniversary Graduation

I received this bit of news from Larry Miller who wanted me to pass along to our classmates who enjoy a little history, that today, Sunday, May 31, is precisely 50 years since our graduation ceremony at St. Paul's Catholic Church. Quite coincidental that our 50th anniversary would fall on exactly the same date, he said.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sister Mary Cabrini Fagan

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 1:13 PM CDT

BARLING, Ark. — Sister Mary Cabrini Fagan, Sisters of Mercy, died Sunday, May 24, 2009, at Catherine McAuley Retirement Convent in Barling, Ark. She was 80.

Born in Bassfield, she was baptized Agnes Bernice Fagan.

Sister Cabrini entered the Sisters of Mercy community at Webster Groves, Mo., on Sept. 8, 1946, and made her first vows on March 12, 1949.

She received a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education and English and history degrees at Our Lady of the Lake in San Antonio, Texas, on July 15, 1958. Her first years of teaching were in New Orleans at St. Alphonsus. She then moved back to Mississippi, where she taught for many years in Biloxi, Pass Christian, Hattiesburg, Vicksburg and Meridian.

Sister Cabrini retired to Our Lady of Wisdom in December 1999, then moved to McAuley Convent in August 2003.

She is survived by two sisters, Natalie Stephens of Carson, Miss., and Lois Bishop of Tallahassee, Fla.; a brother, Edmond Fagan of Bassfield; and nieces and nephews.

Rosary will be at 9 a.m. Wednesday at McAuley Retirement Convent. The Funeral Mass will follow at 10 a.m. at the convent. The burial of her ashes will be at Calvary Cemetery in Fort Smith, Ark., under the direction of Fentress Mortuary of Fort Smith.

50th Class Reunion Pictures


If any of you have pictures that you want to share from our 50th class reunion, I would be more than happy to post them here and give you credit. Just email them to me at: or mail to me at 1104 National Street, Vicksburg, MS, 39180 and will make sure you receive them back. We need to keep our blog going and more photos would be a good thing! Thanks so much! Marian :)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Thursday, May 21, 2009

St. Aloysius High School Champions Day!

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen, will declare Friday, May 22, 2009 "St. Aloysius High School Champions Day"! You can view the proclamation adoption and members of the Baseball Team and Golf Team LIVE on Channel 23 at 10:00 a.m. Friday morning.

Below is a draft copy of the Proclamation. GO FLASHES!!


WHEREAS, the St. Aloysius High School Baseball and Gold teams both recently earned the title of Mississippi High School Activities Association's Class 1A State Champions; and

WHEREAS, St. Aloysius golf team members are: Alex Lanier, John Lindigrin, Charles Marsalis, Michael McKnight, Chris Ingram, Fisher Campbell, Elliott Bexley, Nick Mekus; and

WHEREAS, St. Aloysius baseball team members are: Brendan Beesley, Joseph Brown, Luke Burnett, Seth Carpenter, Andrew Collins, Josh Eargle, Emil Ellis, Reed Evans, Stephen Evans, Mathew Foley, Judson Gatling, Thett Hasty, Blake Haygood, Corey Jones, Wails Kemp, Chris Luke, Ryno Martin-Nez, Matt Mims, Patrick Murphy, Regan Nosser, Neal Ricks, Justin Rushing, Pierson Waring, Sean Weaver, and Ben Welp; and

WHEREAS, the golf team has excelled under the guidance of Head Golf Coach and Athletic Director Jim Taylor and the baseball team has been inspired and ably coached by Head Baseball Coach Clint Wilkerson, Assistant Coaches Chris Buse and Trey Clark, Team Managers Cameron Reed and George L. Tzotzolas, II, Team Statistician Eugene Buglewicz, Team Nurse Joan Bugleqica, Athletic Trainer Suzie Channell, Diamond Girls Aden Rials, Jeanna Cialone, Lauren Curtis, Haley Davis, Kourtney Dorbeck, Katie Floyd, Emily Fordice, Haleigh Huddleston, Sara Marcus, Chandler Mims, Kristan Murphy, Morgan Tidwell and both teams have been supported by their classmates, VCS Administrator Jennifer Henry, Principal Michele Townsend, teachers, families and friends in their quest for perfection on the golf course and baseball diamond; and

WHEREAS, these young athletes and the entire Flashes family are to be commended and congratulated on their hard work, effort and dedication which reflect a cooperation spirit and high degree of sportsmanship which bring honor to their school and community

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, That I, Laurence E. Leyens, by virtue of the authority vested in me as the Mayor of the City of Vicksburg, for and on behalf of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen and the people of Vicksburg, do hereby declare Friday, May 22nd, 2009, as


in Vicksburg, Mississippi and urge all citizen to join with me as we honor these young athletes and celebrate their accomplishment.

Signed this 22nd day of May in the Year of Our Lord Two-Thousand and Nine''

Laurence E. Leyens


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Flashes ~ State Champs!

St. Aloysius pitcher Ryno Martin-Nez makes contact during Friday's Game 2 against West Union. (Paul Ingram*For The Vicksburg Post)

Sweeping success

St. Aloysius pitcher Ryno Martin-Nez makes contact during Friday's Game 2 against West Union. (Paul Ingram*For The Vicksburg Post)

St. Aloysius takes Class 1A crown over West Union
By Ernest Bowker
Saturday, May 16, 2009 2:15 AM CDT

PEARL > In five seasons as St. Aloysius’ coach, Clint Wilkerson’s long postgame talks to his team have earned a an infamous place in school lore.

On Friday night, he huddled his team just behind first base at Trustmark Park to deliver a different kind of talk, one he’d been waiting his whole career for. Emotion choking his voice, the normally stone tough Wilkerson praised his players for a job well done. He called out his seniors and thanked them for sticking with it through the tough times. He thanked his younger players for performing their supporting roles.

Finally, when the outfield sprinklers turned on and gave the Flashes a championship shower, he gave them one more thank you for delivering St. Al its first state title in 33 years.

The Flashes thumped West Union, 13-2, on Friday night to finish off a decisive two-game sweep of the MHSAA Class 1A finals. It is St. Al’s first state title since 1976, and one that its current group of players had been striving toward for five years.

“That was awesome. Hours and hours, and days and days of just working. I’ve said it all along, nobody works harder than we do and it all came into place tonight,” Wilkerson said.

St. Al (28-4) finished off a nearly flawless season with a nearly flawless championship series. It outscored West Union 19-2 in the two games, didn’t make an error, and allowed only eight hits. The two runners West Union (18-14) plated in the first inning of Game 2 were the only ones it got past second base the entire series.

“We just didn’t play well,” said West Union coach Ashley Russell, whose team helped St. Al by committing seven errors in the series. “We just didn’t do the things we did all year that got us here.”

After two quiet innings, St. Al tied the game with a pair of runs in the third and then blew it open with a five-run outburst in the fourth.

Blake Haygood brought in the go-ahead run with a fielder’s choice, and a bases-loaded walk to Stephen Evans made it 4-2. That brought catcher Sean Weaver, a five-year starter and one of only three seniors on the team, to the plate.

Weaver sent a sinking liner to center that West Union’s Dalton Harris dove for and missed. The ball rolled all the way to the warning track, allowing all three runners to score to make it 7-2. Weaver ended up at third with a triple that broke the Eagles’ backs.

“That was big,” Russell said. “I still thought if we could stop the bleeding then we had a shot. We just never could get it stopped.”

West Union got out of the inning without further damage, but the result seemed academic. St. Al tacked on six more runs in the top of the fifth inning to make it 13-2, and won the game by the mercy rule.

As the countdown began to the final out, St. Al’s rowdy fans began the celebration. They clanged cowbells, sang and danced in the stands between innings and shook purple and gold pom-poms. About 1,000 of the estimated 1,200 fans in attendance wore St. Al’s colors, and they filled up nearly every section of seats on the right side of the first base line.

“The fan support we had this year has been unbelievable. I think it’s made all the difference for us,” Weaver said. “They can swing a game, and they’ve definitely done that all season long.

”The party continued long after the game. While awaiting Wilkerson’s postgame talk, Weaver laid on his belly and did a turf angel in right field. Later, he jokingly tried to smuggle away the championship trophy under his shirt. Even after most of the stadium had cleared out, fans lingered on the concourse an hour after the final out was recorded, not wanting the night to end.

The team itself lingered on the field for about 45 minutes, long enough for the grounds crew to finish its postgame work and the outfield sprinklers to kick on. The water doused players and coaches alike, but they didn’t seem to mind one bit.

“They could have dropped acid on us and I wouldn’t have realized it,” Wilkerson said with a wide smile. “I’m just caught up in the moment.”

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Christian Witness

My Dear Classmates, 5/13/09

I have been investigating the Pro-Life support services in the State of Mississippi over the last two week. The state has much to be proud of in this endeavor. There is a level of success which I doubt is matched in any other state and certainly not in Missouri or Florida. I have spoken with Birth Right Jackson, Right to Life Mississippi and the Center for Pregnancy Choice(CPC). I also spoke with Pro-Life Mississippi. This is an interesting organization which began as a national Right to Life organization which subsequently joined forces in an ecumenical association with the Protestant and Catholic churches in Mississippi in the 1980's to form the current Pro-Life Mississippi site. All of these sites survive by donations and are essentially grass root activists and live by word of mouth and are successful by camping out in front of the one abortion clinic in the entire state of Mississippi located in Jackson. There are only several doctors remaining in the state who perform abortions at this one clinic. The Professional Board of Registration for doctors in the state has apparently been able to pull the medical licenses of some doctors who performed abortions, albeit poorly. Hundreds of unborn lives have been saved in Mississippi. This has also been possible as well by the social services afforded to these pregnant moms by Christmas Village and Bethany which provide shelter, food, job assistance and counseling to those most in need.

It is ever more urgent that we defeat the Freedom of Choice Act whenever it is introduced into the 111th Congress. All of the gains Mississippi has enjoyed from parental notification, to counseling, to ultrasound viewing, to a waiting period will be wiped out to allow abortion for any reason at any time to include the late term abortion or so called partial birth abortion.If you know of anybody who does not know what this is please explain it to them. We need to become activists in writing to our congressional Representatives in the Senate and the House in a never ending cacophony as example to our kids and grandchildren.

I would encourage you to donate to Christmas Village and Bethany as you are able or to any of the other right to life organizations. If there is any interest in donating as the 1959 50th year graduating class to honor the 2009 graduating class and present an example we hope they would follow let me know. This would have to be most of us.

The clearest statement on "human rights" is perhaps found in a passage from Donum Vitae quoted by the Catholic Catechism. Human rights are not dependent on the individual nor on his/her parents; nor do they represent a concession made by the society or the State; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took origin. The natural law established in the heart of all men and established by reason is universal in its precepts and its authority extends to all men. The dignity and life of all human beings is dependent on God's law not man's law although the Declaration of Independence does so eloquently and rightly reflect this in one of the most, if not the most quoted statement of all time " We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." There is no moral relativism in the value of the life of any human being.

Amen! Can you say Amen! Semper Fi! God Bless!


Mississippi has an excellent program similar to Florida. You can change your license plate at any time during the year to a custom plate which states "Choose Life." Some of you may have seen my Florida license plate. Part of the cost is donated to Right to Life programs in Mississippi as is done in Florida. This is a great way to witness to the cause and regain our Christian and Catholic dignity and identity. Pass the word!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Thank You from Jack Hebert

Today I received a really nice thank you note from Jack Hebert, (ex-Brother Cecil S.C.) and he had this to say:

Dear Marian,

Thank you so much for sending me the Reunion Booklet!

I can't tell you how much I enjoyed reading the post-high school biographies of my former students at St. Aloysius.

The reunion was very enjoyable, especially the picnic because of the relaxed atmosphere.

Thanks again.


Jack Hebert
(ex-Brother Cecil S.C.)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Baseball Going To State!

7-5 victory over Stringer in the Class 1A South State championship series. The win cinched a berth in the Class 1A championship series at Trustmark starting Thursday. (Gary Haygood/For The Vicksburg Post)

St. Aloysius baseball players celebrate their 7-5 victory over Stringer in the Class 1A South State championship series. The win cinched a berth in the Class 1A championship series at Trustmark starting Thursday. (Gary Haygood/For The Vicksburg Post)

St. Aloysius beats rival Stringer in Game 3
By Ernest Bowker
Published: Monday, May 11, 2009 6:49 AM CDT

STRINGER — St. Aloysius exorcised a demon, vanquished the Devils, and moved one step closer to baseball heaven.

Pierson Waring went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and a clutch two-run double, and Ryno Martin-Nez drove in two runs with a double and threw two innings of scoreless relief as St. Al beat the Stringer Red Devils 7-5 in Game 3 of the Class 1A South State championship series on Saturday.

The victory sends the Flashes (26-4) into the Class 1A finals for the first time since 2002. They’ll play either West Union or Ingomar in a best-of-three series starting Thursday at 1 p.m. at Trustmark Park in Pearl.

“It feels amazing,” said Waring, who also earned the victory in two innings of effective relief work. “We’ve been working since the seventh grade to get here and it finally came.”

Part of the reason for St. Al’s long gap in championship appearances was Stringer. The Red Devils (21-6) had knocked St. Al out of the postseason twice in the past five years and seemed poised to do it again after taking Game 1 of the series on Thursday.

The Flashes battled back, though, winning Game 2 on Friday at Bazinsky Field before taking Game 3 on Saturday. It was the first time St. Al had faced elimination this postseason.

“It’s not over yet. Our ultimate goal is two more wins. But it feels pretty good to get here,” said St. Al catcher Sean Weaver, one of only three seniors in the starting lineup. “They had our number for how many years? I don’t know, but it was a bunch. To come down here and win it here makes it a little more sweet.”

The Flashes also had to go through nemesis Andrew Pierce, who had shut them out for nine innings in Game 1 and been a thorn in their sides for several seasons.

Pierce returned in a relief role in Game 3 and struck out 11 batters in 5 1/3 innings. The only time he faltered was in the fifth inning, when an error, a walk and a sacrifice bunt by Regan Nosser set up Waring’s two-out double to center. The hit brought in two runs and gave St. Al a 7-4 lead.

Pierce coaxed a groundout by Blake Haygood to end the fifth, then retired the next six batters in order — five of them on strikeouts. Before the fifth inning, he had set down seven of the eight batters he faced.

“We got runners at second and third, and that’s the RBI round. We had an opportunity to get some runs and we had our best hitter at the plate,” St. Al coach Clint Wilkerson said. “But it was different guys getting it done at different times and battling. Regan Nosser getting the bunt down and Pierson battling, those were both huge.”

Stringer got a run back in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI double by Kolby Waldrop, then left two runners on in the sixth. In the seventh, junior Martin-Nez — the winning pitcher in Game 2 — set the Red Devils down in order to clinch it.

Martin-Nez got Waldrop to look at a curveball for strike three for the final out, sending the Flashes charging toward the mound and into a huge dogpile. The Red Devils, who have reached the South State finals twice in five seasons but not advanced beyond that, looked on helplessly from the third base dugout.

“That last inning there was a lot of adrenaline pumping. I finally settled down and threw strikes,” said Martin-Nez, who allowed one earned run in seven innings on the mound in the series. He added of the last out, “It was a good feeling. I’ve been thinking about that since last year.”

The game was a slugfest early. St. Al jumped on Stringer starter Derek Bynum for five runs in the first two innings before Pierce relieved him. Stringer countered with two unearned runs in the first inning and a two-run homer by Darius Beavers in the second to make it 5-4.

Stringer had a runner thrown out while trying to score on a wild pitch in the fourth inning, then hit into a double play right before Waldrop’s double in the fifth cut it to 7-5. In all, the Red Devils either left runners in scoring position or had someone thrown out on the basepaths in five of the seven innings.

“We just didn’t get the real big hit when we needed it,” Stringer coach Tommy Perkins said.

Also a Big Congratulations to the St. Al Golf Team for winning State and to Senior Price Blagg for qualifying for State in Track!

It was a big week-end for the Flashes!

Go Flashes!

Patty Mekus
Development Director & Alumni Affairs
Vicksburg Catholic School
St. Aloysius / St. Francis Xavier
1900 Grove St./ 1200 Hayes St.
Vicksburg, MS 39183
Office: 601-630-9762
Fax: 601-631-0430

For all of you who live out-of-town - I thought you might want to read this!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day Classmates!

Edward "Ed" Habert '59

Dear Marian,

Would you be so kind to once more forward this message for me to all the magnificent mothers in our class as well as to all the wonderful mothers who have become a part of our life by their marriage to one of our classmates. All of you are a true reflection of the Creator's plan
"Be fruitful and muliply, and fill the earth and subdue it" (Gen 1:28). May all of you have a wonderful day with your family. God bless! Keep the faith!

Judy and Ed

Robert "Bob" Witty '59

I think we all feel this way-Happy Mothers Day to all you wonderful Mom's!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Memory Book Thank You's

I recently mailed out 14 memory booklets to classmates and received a nice thank you via Facebook from Libby Hess who is Kay Hess Simms, '59, sister, who lives in Colorado. This is what she had to say:

Marian, I have so much enjoyed the memory book and clippings today. I can still see all of you at St. Francis and remember attending a Christmas party in your classroom where you were all singing carols and I have a Holy Card written to me from Sister Mary John. It's in my St. Joseph's missal I keep next to my bed. Thank you so much for mailing that to me. Your class is really lucky to have you take care of so much and you did a fantastic job. ~Thank you Libby~

Florence Murphy Boren '59

Dear Marian,

Many thanks to you for sending me the wonderful booklet you compiled of the Class of 1959. I have enjoyed reading it, and I love your Class of 1959 blog. It's so interesting to see where everyone is now, and what they have done since graduation. The pictures of the reunion are great, and everyone still looks the same--just a bit more mature. I'm sorry I had to miss the fun. You and your helpers did a great job.

If you go to any of the St. Al High School football games this fall, look for my granddaughter, Blakele Palmertree, on the cheerleading squad. She will be in the 9th grade, and is growing up way too fast for me!!

Thanks again for keeping us all informed.

Love, Florence

Friday, May 01, 2009

Thanks From Our Guest Speaker Ed Habert '59

Dear Marian and Reunion Committee,

Sight was unconsoled and produced a farce of the reality that I was hearing. The charade I was seeing did not match the spirit and character of the voices I was hearing. The joyous voices of our youth are still audible and strong and brings one back to our youth, that happy time we shared without care or worry. When you look more carefully you can see the ravages of time but these go unnoticed in the crevices of our character. The Glass Kitchen and Johnnies were popular hangouts. The Joy theater, Saenger? and Strand theaters were places we dated and the drive-in by the arch and the end of Clay street was the place for more serious sweethearts, innocent none the less by today's standards. We hung out in groups at the Martins, the Banchettis and the Wilsons just to name a few. We lived with each other for twelve years supporting each other and ,yes, at times we were merciless in our teasing. I wish ,Gordon, you could have been there; I know without a doubt you would have enjoyed our respect and love. It saddens me to hear that you are in a wheel chair. Bill, you know we teased you too much as well.

That walker did nothing to dim the spirit of Roy and his beloved, Katherine. Look around at all the magnificent couples we have represented in our class, the very epitome of marriage between a man and a woman. We have well over two hundred children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Where were you when the lights went out? The faith formation in our homes, the first Tabernacle of God, and in our religious education was prescient to the challenges we would face in our lives. A few of the challenges were war, racism, civil disobedience, death of a spouse and the worst of all, the death of a child. No one should have to bear that pain. Walter out did himself with a masters in theology from Spring Hill College in2004. My theology degree was obtained in a car with Father Glynn on the way to Edwards and my reward was a magnificent breakfast and a true sense of Christian community without the palpable visceral fear that must have been present in the catacombs. My remembrance of Spring Hill College, however, is quite different from Walter's. My daughter, Kristen, selected this college after high school. She mentioned some female to male ratio that was quite appealing to her. This was a fine Jesuit school with a course in sailing and a golf course on campus which was plainly visible as one entered the main gate. Two months into the semester I received a phone call from the Dean of Students. Kristen had been caught smoking pot at midnight with some other boys and girls on the first hole of the golf course as you entered the gate of the university., Sometimes you just can't fix stupid. I don't mean smoking the pot. I mean using flashlights to see how to role the reefer. I owned her from then on.

Dr. Mildred Jefferson has been the President of the National Right To Life Movement since I can remember. She is a wonderful black Protestant Ob-Gyn doctor who knows the cost of abortion spiritually and emotionally and physically. In her last letter to me she sees our cause reduced to the primitive conflict of good versus evil not just abortion versus life. I painted for you a wanton disregard for all life globally, nationally, in our civil society, in our families and in our core being. The Freedom of Choice Act will wipe out thirty-six years of regulations and advancement of the right to life movement to include varying regulations depending on the state on parental notification and the ban of partial birth abortion among many other important statues as I outlined at the banquet. The most recent slap in the face by Mr. Obama is the appointment of Gov. Sebelius of Kansas as secretary of Home and Human Services Department. She is a professed Catholic who honored Dr. Tiller the "killer" in the Kansas statehouse. His specialty is late term or partial birth abortion for five thousand dollars.

I am on my knees begging and praying that my classmates will take up the cause and help defeat the Freedom of Choice Act whenever it is advanced and it will be in spite of what was said at last night's news conference. I challenge you to go to the website "Priests For Life"under Father Frank Pavone's guidance and "The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform" and look at the face of abortion and you will join me on your knees. We must stop killing the Lord God's children!

Marian and committee, kudos, for you exceeded your own aspirations. You folks provided an atmosphere of conviviality and libations and sustenance fit for royalty as well as for the fine folks who actually enjoyed them. Louis's slide show was entertaining and revealing and a reminder of a simpler, innocent time of first loves, Red Top dances and Friday night football games. Does anybody remember who was Homecoming Queen? Growing old doesn't bother me. It's the growing up that's the pits!!! Stay vertical til we meet again. No dirt naps!!! Semper Fi!

I love you guys,
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