In 1861, Luxemburg School District #36 was created. The school was called the Luxemburg School. The schoolhouse was built on parish grounds even though it was a district school. It accommodated 16 students and one teacher. In 1903, a new school was built to accommodate the growing numbers. In 1951 the school became a Catholic school, and in 1963 the existing building was constructed.
St. Wendelin School currently has 36 students in preschool through grade five. The school has four full-time teachers, a part-time music teacher, an administrator, cook, aftercare supervisor and part-time custodian. The preschool teacher is also the physical education teacher and computer specialist.
Lynn Rasmussen, who has been with St. Wendelin since 1991, with her last nine years as principal, answered the following questions about the school.
Q: What is a unique program, event or tradition at your school?
A: Our Christmas program has been a tradition for more years than I can count. Sister Marius Hiltner directed the program for 35 years. Laura Lund, our music teacher, has taken on the role as director and continues to share a beautiful Christmas story. Our music program also extends to our weekly Masses. Mrs. Lund brings our music alive with students playing the handbells, guitar and/or piano. Add that to the dancing feet of Father Ron Weyrens, and we have a pretty lively celebration.
Q: Tell about a time when you witnessed or heard of students who lived out their faith in action.
A: I have always been amazed at the way our older students take care of the little ones. Without asking, you may witness someone helping a preschooler put on their coat or tie their shoe. On the playground they are pushing them on the swings or playing catch with them. “We are small, but we are mighty” has been my saying for our school. Our “small-family” feel is evident in the caring, nurturing actions of our students.
Q: What is an interesting anecdote or historical fact about your school?
A: In 1881, Benedictine sisters came to Luxemburg to teach, even though it was a public school at the time. St. Wendelin was blessed with the presence of Benedictine sisters until 2013 when Sister Marius Hiltner (40 years of service to St. Wendelin) and Sister Theodora Nelson (39 years of service) retired to St. Scholastica Convent in St. Cloud. Their presence in the building has been missed.
Q: What is one prayer intention you’d like to have offered for your school?
A: My prayer for our school is to increase our enrollment so we can continue to provide the students in our community an excellent learning experience and growth in knowing and loving God, ourselves and others.
Q: What do you look forward to as part of the Catholic Community Schools system?
A: Catholic Community Schools has already had a positive impact on our school. Our teachers have been collaborating and are creating great things. Their excitement is contagious. We are working together to make our school system even better. This, in itself, will help our schools grow.