SIDNEY — The Lehman Catholic High School Alumni Association is proud to announce the school’s tenth annual Lehman Hall of Fame Induction. This year’s inductees include three alumni, one former principal, and a school board president who was instrumental in merging Holy Angels High School and Piqua Catholic High School to form Lehman.
Since beginning this tradition, the Hall of Fame committee has sought to honor not only alumni but outstanding faculty and supporters of Lehman Catholic. The five distinguished individuals of the Lehman Hall of Fame class of 2016 — Sister Patricia Mirsberger, John Frantz, Frank Gilardi Jr., Rev. Dennis Jaspers, and James McClain — will be inducted during festivities on Saturday, Aug. 6.
The Hall of Fame evening will begin with Mass at 5:15 p.m. in the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Chapel on campus. Mass will be concelebrated by Rev. Benedict O’Cinnsealaigh, a former Lehman chaplain who currently serves as Rector of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Cincinnati, and Rev. Dennis Jaspers, one of the Hall of Fame recipients. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be served at 6 p.m. with dinner to follow at 6:30 p.m. in the Cianciolo Family Gymnasium. The dinner will be catered by The Spot.
The first inductee to the 2016 Hall of Fame is Sister Patricia Mirsberger, Holy Angels High School class of 1966. Known to anyone who met her simply as “Trish,” Sister Patricia was nominated by her sister, Ginny Mirsberger Mertz, and her friend and classmate, Elizabeth Kohlhorst Edwards.
Immediately following high school graduation, Trish followed her heart and love of God to join the Sisters of Charity, based in Cincinnati. She took her final vows in November, 1977.
After completing her degree at the College of Mount St. Joseph, Trish taught business classes at Marion High School in Cincinnati for 11 years. Her next position was executive secretary to the vice president/treasurer of Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati. She served in that capacity for 16 years before becoming the Congregational Secretary of the Sisters of Charity, a post she held for the last 10 years of her life.
In 2001, Trish made two trips to Romania as a volunteer in the National Council of Bishops’ efforts to help the Church in Eastern and Central Europe. She obtained assistance from Microsoft to obtain and install computers for the Congregation of Sisters in Romania.
Diagnosed with breast cancer in 1993, Trish continued her good work while undergoing treatments, only to be diagnosed a few years later with ovarian cancer. She courageously fought cancer for over 14 years. Few people knew the seriousness of her condition because of her positive attitude, lighthearted sense of humor, and relentless dedication to helping others.
Trish was active on a number of boards and committees including Sisters of Charity Corporation Board for Sponsored Ministries, Bayley Place Senior Care Corporation, Good Samaritan Hospital Employee Pension Plan committee, and St. Joseph’s House for special needs board. In 2006, Trish was one of 15 appointees to the newly-formed Board of Limited Jurisdiction for Lehman Catholic High School. She was delighted to serve her consolidated Alma Mater in this way, but unfortunately, she was unable to complete her term due to her illness. She passed away April 29, 2007, at the age of 58.
Soon after her death, Trish was honored posthumously with the Sister Jean Roach Award from Bayley Place and the Bethany Beacon Award from Bethany House in recognition of her service to both institutions.
Lehman Catholic was never far away from Trish’s thoughts as she traveled to Sidney often to cheer on her niece Sarah Mertz Roy (LCHS ’99) and nephew Bill Mertz (LCHS ’01) at various sporting events. “Her life was one of joy and life-long service given with humility and subtle humor,” said her sister Ginny Mertz. “She modeled the qualities that are cultivated at Lehman Catholic, an enthusiastic life of commitment and service, enhancing the love of God and love of family within the community.”
“No matter what tragedies she met in life, Trish would make new friends from it,” said friend Elizabeth Edwards. “She would always say ‘it is all part of the adventure.’” Indeed, it was an adventure that ended too soon, but a meaningful life filled with joy and faithful service that is very deserving of the Lehman Hall of Fame honor.