2/20/2013 12:51:00 PM Gervais school names distinguished graduate
Sacred Heart School photo Clarence Schlechter has been named a distinguished graduate of Sacred Heart School in Gervais.
GERVAIS — Sacred Heart School here has been educating students in faith, academics, and service for 130 years. Each year during Catholic Schools Week, a distinguished graduate is selected from among the many who have graduated. This year, the honor went to Clarence Schlechter, a 1950 graduate.
School officials say Schlechter has continued to be a good role model in his family, within the parish and for students.
He and wife Sandra have been married for 52 years and have three children, Charles, Antone, and Victoria, all of whom attended Sacred Heart. The Schlechters also have six grandchildren, four of whom attended Sacred Heart.
Faith has always been important to the Schlechter family. When Sacred Heart Church opened its adoration chapel more than 25 years ago, Clarence immediately signed up to take an hour – at 3 a.m. He has worshiped in the chapel during the wee hours ever since. Sacred Heart is home to an active Knights of Columbus Council, which has served for almost fifty years. It was Clarence Schlechter, along with Phil Berning, who began the council. He is currently a 4th degree Knight. Clarence is also on the board of directors and is a groundskeeper for the Sacred Heart Cemetery.
While at Sacred Heart School, he learned how to be an altar server and later helped to train altar servers. As the need arose, he continued to step forward and serve throughout his adult life.
It's important, he explains, to receive a Catholic education when one is young because its values stay with one through life. His own life bears witness to that.
Clarence remembers that each year he and other students would load the basement of the school and the church — as well as the convent’s woodshed — with stacks of wood for the furnaces. The job was always done during recess so the pupils wouldn’t miss classes. Once a year there would be a paper drive at the school and students would bring string to tie newspapers in bundles.
A fond memory is the annual school picnic, held at Pat’s Acres in Canby. A local farmer would bring his farm truck with racks on the side and all the school children would climb in the back and he would take them to the picnic. The school thanked Clarence his years of "faith-filled" service. "He has certainly been an excellent example of how Catholic Schools educate people to take active roles in their faith community," officials said.