Sapphire & Gold Gala
Thank you to everyone who supported the 34th annual Sapphire & Gold Gala. It truly was an unforgettable evening.
Please save the date for the 35th annual Gala, which will be held on Saturday, February 24, 2024.
Contact Sheila Price for more information.
The annual Sapphire & Gold Gala is St. Luke School’s largest fundraiser. Parents, teachers, alumni, and friends come together and raise money to help St. Luke School continue to provide a quality Catholic education. All money raised at the event goes directly toward the operation of the school. These funds help offset increases in operating expenses, while maintaining our outstanding programs.
About the Sapphire & Gold Gala
2023 Gala Honoree: Fr. Leroy Wickowski
Ask parishioners to describe Father Leroy and you’ll hear many answers. He’s the priest who begins every homily with a joke! He’s the priest who enjoys playing bocce with the Prime Timers, which he helped create. He’s the priest who willingly spends hours– day or night– comforting families who have lost a loved one. He’s the priest passionate about Catholic education. Yet these impressions and many others offer only a glimpse of Father Leroy.
He is a graduate of Chicago’s Saints Peter and Paul School, where he received the call to priesthood. He delights in remembering that every parish in which he has served has had elementary schools that continue to offer Catholic education. The son of Sylvia and Albert Wickowski, he weighed in at a whopping 10 pounds three ounces. One of five siblings– all who have passed on– today his family are his niece Becka Shipp of Chicago, and his nephew George Wickowski of Arizona. Yet Father Leroy is quick to add that he is part of a much larger family since he considers parishioners his extended family.
Following his graduation from Quigley, then St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary, he was ordained in 1966 and assigned as associate pastor of Saint Tarcissus Parish. He then served as associate pastor at Holy Name Cathedral, pastor of St. Robert Bellarmine, Chaplain of Holy Family Villa, associate pastor of St. Giles, and associate pastor of St. Luke Parish until his retirement in 2010.
For ten years, Father Leroy also had the honor of serving as Director of the Archdiocesan Office of Hospitals. While at the Cathedral, he served as Master of Ceremonies for Cardinals Cody and Bernardin, as well as at other liturgical services around the Archdiocese. He also oversaw construction of the new church, after a fire destroyed the church at St. Robert Bellarmine.
When he is not serving the parish community, Father Leroy enjoys travel, theatre, movies and reading mystery novels.
Today Father Leroy resides at the St. Luke Rectory and, in retirement, he continues to celebrate Masses at St. Luke and St. Bernardine churches, and to be a proud member of the unified parish. The people of each of the parishes and ministries he has served are profoundly grateful for his service. His life has been and continues to be one of faithful and generous priestly ministry.
We honor Father Leroy Wickowski this year for his special dedication to Catholic education, to St. Luke School, to St. Luke and St. Bernardine Parish and most especially to the vocation of the priesthood.
2023 Heart of St. Luke Honorees:
John & Ann Morrissey
Ann and John Morrissey have been proud St. Luke parishioners since moving to River Forest in 1998.
Ann was born in San Diego and has two older brothers. Her father worked with the Department of Defense and their family lived in several different countries when she was growing up, including Taiwan, Australia and Japan. John grew up in Oak Brook, the oldest of three other siblings in his family. John's 87-year-old father is a proud St. Luke graduate from the class of 1950! The Morrissey family lived at 1122 Jackson in River Forest during the 1940's and 1950's. One of the stained glass windows in the church, as well as the marble statue of Jesus located at the corner of Lake and Ashland, were donated by the Morrisseys at that time.
Ann and John first met in the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish (Chicago) young adult group. At the time, John was living in Wrigleyville and finishing his MBA at Loyola University, while Ann was working for Northwestern University Medical School after graduating from San Diego State University. Their first date was dinner and a Chicago Blackhawks hockey game on November 5, 1995 and John still has the hockey ticket from that night. They were married two years later at their downtown parish in October of 1997. The following year they bought their first home in River Forest, and have loved living and raising their kids in the community ever since.
All three of their children, Jack, Aimee, and Molly, attended St. Luke School at various times from 2005-2018. Ann served as the St. Luke FSA President in 2011, helped with various school activities, and was a room parent in her children's classes whenever possible. John has served on both the St. Luke Pastoral Council and St. Luke Finance Council. In addition, he has been the St. Luke School cross country head coach for the past 10 years, and has also been an assistant coach of the St. Luke School track team, now in his sixth year in that capacity. John’s dedication to and unwavering enthusiasm for his student athletes has inspired dozens of Bearcat runners.
Ann’s interests include caring for the family, gardening, and paddle. John's interests include tennis, running, and, of course, coaching our talented St. Luke Bearcat student-athletes in both cross-country and track.
Ann & John are extremely humbled in accepting the ‘Heart of St. Luke School’ award, knowing the many past recipients of this honor that have done so much during the school’s rich 101 history.