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Beloved principal honored with a legacy fund

July 24, 2018

Elizabeth Wiehe is still talked about as one of the most exemplary principals and mentors the Paso Catholic Schools has ever had. Former student and parent Erika Duran had this to say, "I was fortunate to have her as a principal, as well as my daughter. St. Raphael is a family and Mrs. Wiehe was the mother, always there for her kids." The devoted educator dedicated three decades of her life to St. Raphael School and it is said that she knew every student's name, their hobbies, and interests. According to Christa Moeller, "I was in Mrs. Wiehe's 1978 kindergarten class. What is most amazing is that one day when I was in college at UTEP she stopped me in a parking lot. She remembered me! I couldn't believe it. She was an amazing woman."

In 2017, an anonymous donor created the Elizabeth Wiehe Scholarship Fund for St. Raphael School as a way to give back and to keep Mrs. Wiehe’s legacy alive for years to come. The fund was inspired by the beloved founder, teacher, and longtime principal of St. Raphael School and will provide scholarships for young students who could not otherwise afford to attend St. Raphael.

Elizabeth M. Wiehe was born in New York, New York on May 31, 1934. After graduating from Cathedral High School in New York City, she married the love of her life, Stephen Wiehe. As a military wife for over 30 years, Elizabeth traveled extensively and finally settled in El Paso, Texas. An active member of St. Raphael Parish, she was a part of the Women's Auxiliary and the Altar Guild, and served as Lector and Eucharistic Minister.

After receiving her B.A. and Master’s in Education from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), she assumed the role of pre-kindergarten teacher at St. Raphael School in 1976. From that small beginning, Mrs. Wiehe built St. Raphael Catholic School into one of the finest Catholic schools in El Paso. She became the principal in 1990 and dedicated the last 36 years of her life to St. Raphael School, its staff, and the students she loved. Mrs. Wiehe had three loves in her life; God, her family and St. Raphael School.

Mrs. Wiehe inspired countless students, teachers, parents, staff, faculty, and clergy during her years at St. Raphael School and she lives on through the lives she touched. When you give to this fund, you create more opportunities for Elizabeth Wiehe Scholars to attend St. Raphael School. Gifts and pledges of all sizes are welcome.

Griselda Vega-Carey, a former parent, notes, "Mrs. Wiehe was a woman of faith and abundant kindness who wouldn't hesitate to offer you help in time of need. I was very fortunate to work under her leadership as a teacher's aide and substitute and later obtained a career in teaching because she gave me an opportunity to envision what a beautiful and rewarding profession teaching can be. She was also an inspiration to my children who went to St. Raphael from K-8 and who are wonderful individuals because of the great example and strong foundation they received at St. Raphael."

Show your appreciation with a gift in memory of Elizabeth Wiehe and help ensure that her vocation, name, and legacy live on.

Join us for a St. Raphael School reunion and celebration of the life and legacy of Principal Elizabeth Wiehe, and the launch of the Elizabeth Wiehe Scholarship Fund for St. Raphael School. You're cordially invited to Mass at 5pm at St. Raphael Parish followed by a reception in the parish hall. 

For more information contact Catholic Foundation Major Gifts Officer Sofía Larkin at 915.872.8412 or slarkin@elpasodiocese.org.


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