New playground blessed at St. Jude Catholic School, Peoria

Just try keeping children off of brand new playground equipment until the adults get done praying for its safe use and then enforcing those petitions by sprinkling holy water on it. It can’t be done.

That’s what parents, benefactors, principal Winnie Pratt and Father Patrick Henehan, pastor, found out last Sunday when the St. Jude Catholic School Playground in Peoria was blessed and dedicated in memory of Dr. Theresa Falcon. Designed and installed by Rainbow Play Systems of Central Illinois, the $30,000 playground was made possible through parish fundraising and a major gift from the late Dr. Falcon’s five daughters.

“My mom always wanted to help St. Jude,” Belinda Falcon said of Dr. Falcon, an obstetrician and gynecologist in the Peoria area for 30 years. The well-known philanthropist died last August.

“This was what she did — she liked to give. We wanted to continue what she did in her memory,” Belinda told The Catholic Post.

Among those sharing their memories of Dr. Falcon were Diane and Doug Oberhelman. Diane recalled that her friend often said she gave gifts without remembering and received gifts without forgetting.

While Father Henehan said he was happy to be able to celebrate the growth of St. Jude Catholic School, he reminded his listeners that what is done for the school is done for one purpose.

“We have the opportunity to give the students a greater knowledge of the Lord, the church and the world,” he said.

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