Kathleen Calder has received the St. Louis Medal from Archbishop Gregory Aymond, becoming the third faculty member from De La Salle High School to get the honor. The others were Johnny Altobello, a coach, who was honored in 1980, and Warren Caire, dean of the faculty, who was honored in 1983.
The Order of St. Louis IX award was established more than 40 years ago to recognize and honor members of the laity who have contributed their time and talents to the Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of New Orleans.
Calder was nominated for the Order of St. Louis IX by Monsignor Andrew Taormina, pastor of St. Francis Xavier Church in Metairie, where she serves as lector and extraordinary minister of Holy Communion.
Recently, she completed a 32-page book on the 90-year history of the parish. “When I retired from De La Salle after having completed 25 yearbooks there ... I thought I was done with yearbooks,” she said, laughing, “but ‘Father T’ had other ideas.”
After six months of research, she finished the parish history, and it arrived the first week of August.
Although officially retired, Calder still volunteers at De La Salle, organizing the Sports Hall of Fame and doing publicity articles for the school. On alternate days, she volunteers at St. Francis Xavier with the Sharing Program, also doing publicity and odd jobs.
“I guess old war horses don’t retire; they just get involved in other projects,” she said, “but I’ll admit I miss working with the kids.”