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IC Catholic Prep Honors Sister Thomas Leo Monahan and the Late Jim Lemense

Wall of Honor ceremony was held during Catholic Schools Week.

IC Catholic Prep held its biennial Wall of Honor presentation—a key event in the celebration of Catholic Schools Week—on Jan. 30. This year’s ICCP Wall of Honor recipients were Sister Thomas Leo Monahan, O.P., principal of Visitation Catholic Grade School in Elmhurst; and the late Jim Lemense, former ICCP teacher, coach and administrator.

Sister Thomas Leo and Kathy Lemense (wife of the late Jim Lemense) joined the IC Catholic Prep school community for a special Mass, held in the IC Chapel. At the conclusion of the Mass, ICCP President/Principal Pamela Levar introduced the 2013 Wall of Honor recipients.

Surrounded by her family and former students now at IC Catholic Prep, Sister Thomas Leo spoke of her childhood and her commitment after high school to join the order of Adrian Dominicans in 1951. It was in 1972 that Sister Thomas Leo came to Visitation Catholic Grade School, and for more than 40 years she has dedicated herself to Catholic education within the Visitation community.  Throughout this time she has mentored hundreds of teachers and has touched the lives of thousands of children. 

She is respected, loved, and admired by the families of Visitation School and the Elmhurst community alike. Sister Thomas Leo closed by saying that she has no regrets about the life she chose to lead and feels blessed to have had the opportunity to work with so many wonderful students, teachers, and families over the past 40 years.

Joined by family and friends, Kathy Lemense attended the Mass in honor of her late husband Jim Lemense. Speaking on behalf of the Lemense family was Andrew Wycislak, husband of Kathy’s sister, and current ICCP Board Member Trisha Cassidy (Class of 1980).

Andrew spoke fondly of the caring, thoughtful and intelligent man Jim was and his genuine love of educating young men and women in the Catholic faith. Jim taught history, coached football and served as an administrator during his tenure at IC Catholic Prep back in the 1970s. He was just starting a lifelong career in Catholic education, but he quickly became a vital part of the IC community and his legacy lives on among those whose lives he touched. While it has been more than 20 years since Jim succumbed to ALS, many people in the IC community recall the tremendous impact he had on the lives of the students he taught and the teachers he worked with.

Sister Thomas Leo and Kathy Lemense also will be honored guests at the 43rd annual ICCP Knight of Jewels Auction Saturday, March 2, in the IC gymnasium.

Source: Immaculate Conception Catholic Prep

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