It was probably your high school or college graduation when you first heard someone tell you that if you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life. Most of us aren't lucky to enjoy that experience, but then most of us aren't Bill Rapp who has managed that feat twice!  

Upon graduating from SSPP, Bill matriculated to Marmion (then known as Marmion Military Academy) where he was an all-area football player, and then to Notre Dame where he majored in History and German. After his time in South Bend, he matriculated to the University of Toronto to earn a M.A. in European History. He continued his education at Vanderbilt from where he received his Ph.D, also in European History.

During his educational journey, when he took a break from his course work, thesis, and dissertation, he relaxed by reading detective fiction, especially those written by Raymond Chandler and Ross McDonald. The impact of those enjoyable respites would prove most influential in later years.

Bill began his professional life as an academic, teaching European History at Iowa State University. After one year he decided to shift his efforts to something less settled and moved to Washington, D.C. and, in 1981, began a thirty-five year career working for the Central Intelligence Agency as an analyst, diplomat, and senior manager - Director of Intelligence.

His career with the spy agency has taken him to Berlin, Ottawa, Baghdad, and London. He witnessed first-hand the fall of the Berlin Wall and Germany's reunification. While in England he also served with Gina Haspel, the current head of the CIA and its first-ever female director. Bill retired last year and was awarded the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal for his contributions to our country.

Married and living in northern Virginia with Cynthia, his wife of 32 years who also works for the CIA, and two daughters, Bill knew what the second act held for him and transitioned to a career as a writer and began taking night classes to learn about plot layout and character development.

Undaunted by a string of rejection notices from publishers, his first book, Angel in Black, was finally released in 2006. It centers on Bill Habermann, a private investigator from Naperville who takes on a client who suspects her husband of having an affair. When the subject ends up dead, Bill attempts to find the killer. Not only is it an enjoyable read, but familiar Naperville sites play a prominent role in the mystery. There are two other books in the Habermann series, A Pale Rain and Burning Altars.

Bill then turned his energies into writing Cold War spy novels drawing upon his experience with the Central Intelligence Agency. "Fortunately, I was able to apply my affinity for our past throughout my career with the government, while it also inspired much of my writing" observed Bill.

While he enjoys watching movies and television series which feature spy work such as The Americans
or Homeland, he is quick to point out discrepancies when he sees them. "Most are very well done, but among the most obvious mistakes is the blatant reliance on cell phones.   Anyone doing espionage would never use a cell phone because it becomes too easy to track their location," he shared.

Although Bill relies on his CIA experiences to add color to his books, he shared an interesting hurdle that his recent books must overcome. "When you work for the CIA," he said, "you sign a security agreement that you are bound to for life. Consequently, everyone of my manuscripts must first be cleared by government officials before I can share them with my publisher."

Although writing essays, reports, and papers came natural to him while a student at Saints Peter and Paul School, his advice to would-be novelists is to "read, read, read." "There is no better preparation for being a successful writer than to be able to draw on the experiences, styles, and nuances of good authors," quipped Bill. Asked to name other authors who influenced his writing, he quickly responded by naming British author, Eric Ambler, and Charles McCarry, a friend and former operative for the CIA.

Bill's books can be found at Anderson's Book Store, one of his stops when he was on tour with the Bill Habermann series. His most recent visits in the midwest have been in Dubuque and Galena. He promises to meet with our Jr. High students on his next trip to his hometown.

    Volume 6, No. 3
   August 7, 2018


Registrations are now being accepted for the
30th Annual 
SSPP Golf Outing 
scheduled for Thursday, 
September 13,
at Cress Creek.

First-time golfers can register at the introductory 'founder's' price of $185.30



If you are age 70 ½, or older, you are able to transfer up to $100,000 from a traditional IRA, tax-free, to charity each year. 

 Simply tell the administrator of your 
IRA of your wishes and it's done.  

It will count as part, or all, of your required minimum distribution for the year and will not be added to your adjusted gross income.  

The gift won't be subject to tax, as it would if you were to take the distribution and then donate the cash to SSPP School.

Have you remembered 
Saints Peter and Paul School in your will?


We have 65 benefactors who have provided a gift to Saints Peter and Paul School in their estate plans by way of a will, charitable remainder trust, gift annuity, or life insurance policy.

This is an easy way for alumni, current or former parents to create a legacy of support for our school.


When our school was founded in 1853....

.....students couldn't aspire to a career in government service by working with the CIA as the Central Intelligence Agency was first created on July 26, 1947, when President Truman signed the National Security Act into law.  A major impetus for the creation of the CIA was the unforeseen attack on Pearl Harbor.