Monsignor Raymond Wahl is the son of Leo and Verna Wahl. He attended St. Mary’s Grade School in Sterling and then Community Catholic High School. After high school graduation in 1945, he attended St. Ambrose College in Davenport, Iowa, and then St. Mary Seminary in Baltimore, Maryland. There he received his B.A. in philosophy. Later he received his Licentiate Degree in Sacred Theology. He was ordained into the priesthood on March 8, 1952. Later he studied in Rome where he earned a doctorate in Canon Law and Master’s Degree in Religious Education. In 1961, he was appointed a Papal Chaplain by Pope John XXIII. Monsignor Wahl has served many parishes in northern Illinois. He has also served as the Diocesan Chancellor and Officials, Officials for the Tribunal, Director of Education, Diocesan Director of Vocations and Director of the Society for the Propagation of Faith. He was a past superintendant of the Freeport Catholic School for many years. He is also a published author and received the Donaghey Award for Outstanding Service in 2000.
Helen Long Blomberg graduated from Community Catholic High School in 1952. Mrs. Blomberg is the daughter of William and Florence (Sweeney) Long-Buckley from Harmon, Illinois. She was named the valedictorian of her high school class. She attended Marycrest College from 1952-1956 and received a Bachelor’s Degree in elementary education. She also received minors in English, Social Science (history) and Theology of St. Thomas Aquinas. She also did extensive post graduate studies at Northern Illinois and Western Illinois Universities. While attending Marycrest, Mrs. Blomberg was chosen Kappa Gamma Pi, which is a national honor society for graduates of Catholic women’s college. She spent 35 years teaching at Sterling Community Unit School District #5. She was selected to present her unit on “Language Arts in Outdoors” by Dr. Maurice Kellogg, professor of Outdoor Education at Western Illinois University. Mrs. Blomberg was very involved in the Whiteside County Spelling Bee, and was the pronouncer for the Spelling Bee for many years. A highlight of her final year of teaching was when one of her students came in second in the National Spelling Bee in Washington, DcC. Mrs. Blomberg was married to James “Jim” Blomberg (deceased 8/19/99) and brother, Richard “Dick” Long ’56 (deceased 9/24/2000). She resides in Sterling, Illinois.
Monsignor Daniel Hermes graduated from Newman Central Catholic High School in 1961.
Msgr. Hermes hails from the Walton area where he attended St. Andrew School for his 7th and 8th grade years and then attended Newman Central Catholic High School. He was ordained May 17, 1969, at St. Patrick Church in Dixon by Bishop Arthur J. O’Neill.
He has served at Holy Family Parish in Rockford, at Christ the Teacher/Newman Center in DeKalb and St. Thomas the Apostle in Crystal Lake, where he currently serves. Additionally, he was the founding pastor of St. John Neumann Parish in St. Charles.
He was a member of the Diocesan Board of Consultors, and received the title of “monsignor” in 1996.
Kimberly Koehler Freitag, the daughter of Jack and Carol Koehler of Sterling, Illinois, graduated from St. Mary School in Sterling and then attended Newman Central Catholic High School. She graduated from Newman in 1976 and was named Valedictorian of her class. Mrs. Freitag attended Marquette University where she received a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in 1980. Three years later, she graduated from Northern Illinois University with her Master’s in Education. Since that time she is attending Northern as a doctoral student.
Mrs. Freitag has been selected to serve on the Illinois Math and Science Academy Admissions Committee, is listed in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, has authored six articles published in professional journals, and is an Illinois Principals Association and First Amendment Society curriculum development committee member. Currently, she is the chairperson of two CCSD #93 District-wide Committees, Past Chairperson of Rockford Diocese Elementary Social Studies Curriculum Committee, Adjunct Instructor for National Louis University, The Connecting Link/St. Francis University, and Skylight/St. Xavier University. In all, Kim has 20 years experience as an educator – teacher, principal and gift coordinator at U.S. public and parochial schools and international schools.
Kim, along with her husband, Bob, serves as a Marriage Preparation Couple for St. Charles Borromeo (SCB) Parish in Hampshire, Illinois. She has been a Eucharistic Minister at SCB for six years, at All Saints Parish in Berlin Germany for three years, and at Marquette University for two years. She has served as a Parish Council Member for two years at All Saints Parish in Berlin, Germany, and a Judge for Illinois Historic Preservation Society History Fair-Regional Fair at Northern Illinois University for five years. Also, she proudly established and continues to support the Natalie Gaffron-Smith Scholarship Fund at John F. Kennedy German-American School in Berlin, Germany. This scholarship is in memory of a young woman who babysat for Kim’s daughter when they resided in Berlin and who passed away in her mid-20’s from Hodgkin’s disease.
Along with her teaching career, Mrs. Freitag taught at Newman for two-and-half years, along with at St. Anne in Dixon for two years. She also served as Principal at St. Charles Borromeo in Hampshire, IL for three years. Currently, Mrs. Freitag is a gifted program coordinator for the Carol Stream School District.
Michael Stotzer, son of William and Barbara Stotzer of Sterling, graduated from Newman Central Catholic High School in 1987. During his senior year at Newman he served as class president and National Honor Society president. He attended University of Notre Dame – Engineering School and graduated in 1991. After several years working in Chicago, he returned to medical school and received his M.D. from the University of Illinois in 1998. At graduation, he received special recognition for excellence in basic science research. He then spent two years in General Surgery training at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. His urology residency was also completed at Wayne State University in 2004.
Dr. Stotzer is trained in laparoscopic surgical techniques and has a particular interest in laparoscopic urologic oncology. During residency, he was responsible for maintaining the training lab and taught other residents laparoscopic surgery. He also has extensive training in endourological surgical techniques for the treatment of stone disease. Dr. Stotzer is a member of the American Urologic Association.
Dr. Stotzer, his wife, Julie Smith, and their daughter reside in Lexington, South Carolina.
Kenneth Wasilewski, son of James and Rosemary Wasilewski grew up in Dixon, Illinois, and graduated from Newman Central Catholic High School in 1993. He shared that his greatest influences in becoming a priest were Fr. Francis McDonnell and Fr. Matthew VanderBleek. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Immaculate Heart of Mary College Seminary in Winona, Minnesota. He was ordained in 2003 and then appointed parochial vicar pro temper at St. Patrick Parish in Dixon. Fr. Wasilewski completed further studies for a licentiate in Sacred Theology at Pontifical North American College in Rome after his ordination. In July 2004, he was named associate pastor at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Rockford and in December 2004, he became an adjunct instructor at St. Anthony College. Currently, Reverend Kenneth Wasilewski, STL, is a Pastor at St. Laurence Catholic Church in Elgin, Illinois.