joanne Ripke Pastrana

  • commented on Contact Us 2023-11-27 08:14:50 -0500
    Good Morning, I am inquiring about the status of St Peter’s Grammar School and the demolition process. I graduated the Class of 1980. I lived with my grandparents John and Anna Ripke on Wayne Street. My father John and Uncle Carl both went and graduated from St Peters. During my high school years I moved back to my mom in Paterson but for a brief time my junior year when I returned after my grandfather’s death. Every year on my birthday I ride into the city and stop at the places that were special to me as a child. During my high school years and after, I returned for church and just because I missed home. I was broken hearted when the church was sold to Prep. I still occasionally went back for mass. In 2015 I was diagnosed with a serious heart condition and recently diagnosed with cancer, hopefully they got it all. Throughout my trials and celebrations a trip HOME was always on the agenda. I still return. The happiest times of my life were spent in Jersey City and so I return to my happy place during my worst times for assurance all will be well. So far I have been lucky. God is good. I miss the church and would be heartbroken not to be able to see the school on my trips in. We were a poor school in a poor neighborhood and this demolition goes against the Jesuit teachings on poverty. This church and school are a part of my history, my foundation. The core of who I became and am. Can Prep not spare the school? To see what’s become of the church is insensitive enough. These building might be old and useless to some but to past students and residents like me they are a part of our being. I understand sometimes progress means moving forward but it is also motivated by looking back.. In my darkest I have driven in to spend time by those buildings and the waterfront and come away relieved and hopeful. Thank you for your work.

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