Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Our Lady of Lourdes Cheerleaders--1956

In September of 1956, five young ladies from Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School assembled in a backyard to practice for the most exciting football game of the year. Every autumn, the Catholic Youth Organization hosted a football jamboree on the west side of Indianapolis for all Catholic schools in grades six through eight. The local diocese owned land across from Bush Stadium on West 16th Street so that local Catholic high schools could have a "home" field.

Lynda Foster (820 North Layman Avenue), Terry McDonnell (419 North Bancroft Street), Judy Lindeman (5234 East Michigan Street), Mary McDavitt (655 North Ritter Avenue), and Katy Grothaus (340 North Ritter Avenue) all worked very hard for the big day. Terry McDonell Wilgus Knisely recalls that one of the most exciting moments came when the parade of teams began and the cheerleaders rode in the back of a convertible waving their school colors of blue and gold as Our Lady of Lourdes families cheered along. Each young lady then walked across a small stage as their name was called over the loudspeaker. Teams from schools like Little Flower, St. Joan of Arc, Christ the King, St. Patricks, Holy Spirit, and numerous others would scrimmage for about ten minutes. Teams who scored could have bragging rights the next day.

All five girls faced a big decision that year as they would have to decide where they would go to high school. Lynda Foster, Terry McDonnell, and Judy Lindeman chose Scecina High School while Mary McDavitt selected Our Lady of Grace in Beech Grove. The Grothaus family moved to Mississippi so Katy attended a high school there. The young women had no inkling on that autumn day in 1956 that they would not all be together again in one room for fifty years! They reunited at an Our Lady of Lourdes class reunion in 2007 at DuFour's Restaurant in Irvington and three of them gathered to pose for a photograph. 

The photographs and the memories of this day are courtesy of Terry McDonnell Wilgus Knisely.

Our Lady of Lourdes Cheerleaders posed in the backyard of the McDavitt family at 655 North Ritter Avenue in September of 1956.  Pictured from left to right: Lynda Foster, Terry McDonnell, Judy Lindeman, Mary McDavitt and Katy Grothaus

Our Lady of Lourdes Reunion Photo in 2007. Pictured left to right: Katy Grothaus Boeding, Judy Lindeman Johns, Terry McDonnell Wilgus Knisely  


  1. You captured it exactly as I remember it! Thanks so much.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your photos and memories!