DELPHOS — After Sunday morning Mass at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Landeck, an unincorporated village on the outskirts of Delphos, parishioners walked across the street to the closed Landeck Elementary School for a baseball field dedication and naming of Sister Immacolata Field, honoring parish manager, Sister Immacolata Scarogni, who has been battling thyroid cancer.
“The dedication was to show appreciation for everything Sister Immacolata has done for this community for the last six years. She’s really been the force that has energized the community,” said Father Dennis Walsh, the parish’s pastor.
She did this despite spending the past year and a half shuffling back and forth to Cleveland Clinic for chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
The dedication was a well-kept secret and came as a complete surprise to Scarogni.
“I am beyond surprised. I am never speechless, but I was today,” she said. “I’m so shocked my name’s up there.”
“The funny thing is, they had it covered in a blue tarp, and I’d been asking for that tarp to come down for months, saying ‘That tarp doesn’t look nice, so pull it down.’ When Sister Mary Edward Spoher and I pulled it down today, there was my name on it with my community!”
While continuing to project a positive, upbeat, and capable disposition to others, cancer has taken its toll and made life more difficult for Scarogni.
“Before, when people told me about their health issues, I understood with my mind. But now I understand with my heart and body.”
“Cancer as a disease has been destructive in my life,” but as one of many patients currently being treated at the hospital, “I’ve also connected to people at Cleveland Clinic,” Scarogni said.
The creation of the baseball field was a parish effort. About three years ago, Delphos City Schools chose to merge the two elementary schools, enrolling all students at Franklin Elementary and closing Landeck Elementary.
Ed Paxton stepped up to lead the baseball field renovation, adding grass, the baseball diamond, bases, netting, and poles.
According to Scarogni, Paxton was “instrumental” and “headed up this project with many other parishioners and people outside the community, and it’s really been a team effort.”
“We’re raising money so that over the next two months we can add lights to the field. If we have enough money, we’ll add in benches and lighting and do more activities,” Scarogni explained, as area businesses have already made donations and ball field banners are planned to recognize donors.
According to Mary Lou Paxton, Ed’s wife, “Sister Immacolata’s just been a Godsend to this parish. She’s just a super person. Everybody around here has nothing but good to say about her. She’s just one of a kind.”
Sister Immacolata throws the first pitch at the restored baseball field across the street from St. John the Baptist church in Landeck, which was dedicated to her on Sunday morning.
Reach Shannon Bohle at 567-242-0399, by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @Bohle_LimaNews.