By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
BETTENDORF — For some families, Lourdes Catholic School has become a tradition passed from one generation to the next.
Sarah Snyder is a teacher at Lourdes. Although she did not graduate from Lourdes, her father Tom Hughes did and three of her four children are currently enrolled at the school.
Tom Hughes’ parents moved their family from Des Plaines, Ill., to Bettendorf in 1961. Tom and his siblings enrolled at Lourdes right away.
Jerry Hughes graduated from Lourdes in 1962 and Assumption High School (Davenport) in 1966; Mary Ellen (Hughes) Smith graduated from Lourdes in ‘64 and from Assumption in ’68; Kathy (Hughes) Kelley graduated from Lourdes in ’65 and Assumption in ’69; Tom Hughes graduated from Lourdes in ’66 and Assumption in ‘70 and St. Ambrose College in ’78; Dan Hughes graduated from Lourdes in ’68; and Sally (Hughes) Peterson graduated from Lourdes in ’70 and Assumption in ’74.
Tom’s daughter Sarah attended Catholic schools in Garland, Texas, and Alexandria, La. The family then moved to the Quad-Cities, where she graduated from Assumption in 2000. She is in her 11th year teaching at Lourdes. Her husband, Mark Snyder, graduated from Lourdes in 1996 and Assumption in 2000.
The couple’s children enrolled at Lourdes are Elizabeth Snyder, a fifth-grader; Kathryn, a fourth-grader; and Grace, a first-grader. Thomas will be enrolled in the three-day preschool this coming fall.
“Our Lady of Lourdes is a close knit community. As members of the church and school, Lourdes is like a second home to us,” Sarah said. “There is such a strong sense of ‘family.’ It is important for us to have our children experience a faith-filled community as part of a complete education.”
Technology has been embraced, with the use of iPads, laptops and computers in the classroom, Mark Snyder said. “The involvement on multiple levels between the church and school has increased.”
Jacob Hintze is another teacher at Lourdes. His great-great grandfather, Andrew Klauer, was a founding member of Lourdes Catholic Church, along with several other families. The first family member to graduate from Lourdes Catholic School was Doris (Klauer) Hintze, Jacob’s grandmother, who was a student in the early 1940s. Her siblings included Herb Klauer (a current member of the parish); Paul Klauer (now deceased); Jim Klauer and Marie Klauer Epping (now deceased).
The children of Doris (Klauer) and Marvin Hintze children attended Lourdes. Their sons are Joseph Hintze (Jacob’s father), who graduated in 1967; Steve Hintze, who graduated in ’68 and Dennis Hintze.
Joe said Lourdes prepared him well for Assumption High School and his undergraduate and graduate studies. He feels Lourdes has continued to offer a good education that his grandson, Levi, is receiving.
“Lourdes prepares you to be successful in the future,” Joe said.
He remembers as a student watching the current church being built. Masses were held in the lower level of the building that now is the school library. After the church opened, the seventh- and eighth-grade classes moved downstairs. Additions to the school over the years have provided for improved educational and instruction learning, he said. “We left the area, so Jacob did not attend Lourdes. But we came back and we have family still here,” Joe said. Jacob’s son Levi is the current generation to attend Lourdes.