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You will be surprised to learn that Kathleen has been a parishioner here at St. Francis de Sales for only 4 years! She has jumped right in as an amazing volunteer, active as a middle school religious education leader (including a summer program), a liturgical dancer, a Eucharistic Minister, a (2 term) member of Pastoral Council, and a willing helper with the Human Concerns Committee. In addition, she is a representative of our parish for the Deanery and gives status reports at their quarterly meetings. She is very grateful to those who have reached out to her, recruited her, trained her, and continue to work with her including Katie Ploch, Liz Amann, Bishop Jim, Carole Nevin,Jeanne McCarron, Lori Glass, Michael Deane, and Claudia Chavez. “It’s not about me”, says Kathleen. “It’s about everyone else. They just make you want to be a part of it. Everyone is so kind and enthusiastic about their faith and this Parish!”.
Kathleen has a masters in Social Work from Dominican University and works as a Hospice Social Worker. She and her husband, Jim, live in Lake Geneva. She was introduced to many of the people she works with at SFDS while attending 7:00 a.m. daily Mass.
Kathleen loves all that she does here, but probably the thing that she is the most proud of is that (for the past 2 years) she has planned and organized Divine Mercy Sunday at our Parish. Celebrated on the Second Sunday of Easter (also known as Octave Sunday), Divine Mercy Sunday is a day that celebrates the merciful love of God shining through the whole Easter Triduum and the Easter mystery. It is a day of declaration of reparation for all sin, thus the Day of Atonement. With a special bi-lingual liturgy that includes liturgical dancers and the Divine Mercy Choir, it has been a wonderful collaboration of all people in our parish community. “I pray the Divine Mercy chaplet almost every day. It has gotten me through some difficult times in my life. When our parish was chosen to have a Holy Door, I knew that we needed to have a Divine Mercy Sunday here. I felt a tugging at my heart to lead the way even though it was way out of my comfort zone.”
Kathleen is very enthusiastic about St. Francis de Sales Parish, and sees herself as a “Salesian”…a member of the Society of St. Francis de Sales founded by St. John Bosco in Turin, Italy in the 19th century and devoted chiefly to education, the youth, and the poor. “I feel very at home at this parish. I wish we could go beyond our doors to bring people in to see all of the wonderful things that go on here”. Thank you Kathleen for all that you do, and for bringing the spirit of St. Francis de Sales to us in so many ways!
You might recognize this young couple from their many hours of volunteering at our parish. Their participation at Mass is evident…sometimes as servers, sometimes as ushers or Eucharistic Ministers. They seem to always be aware of the needs and step up to help.
What you might not know is that they lead also weekly discipleship group of Hispanic teens. About a dozen kids (ages 14-18) meet with Monica and Israel every Thursday evening. They usually do an hour of fun activities, ranging from playing sports outside to charade games to water gun fights. After that they do about an hour of readings from the Bible followed by discussions.
Monica and Israel are both bi-lingual so they can easily help clarify some of the concepts from the Bible passages which are read in English. Monica and Israel met at Badger High School. They are currently attending Gateway College and both are working toward nursing degrees. Monica also works at Burlington Memorial Hospital as a CNA on the medical/surgical floor. Israel was recently certified as an EMT and will soon be working with the Lake Geneva Fire Department. In his “spare” time he also works at Oakfire restaurant in Lake Geneva.
They are very dedicated altar servers and have volunteered for many special liturgies as well as help to train the younger altar servers. What is their favorite Mass? Israel says “By far the Easter Vigil. I love how the Mass goes from darkness to light. You can feel the joy in everyone’s hearts that Jesus has risen”.
Our parish is blessed to have such special people as Monica and Israel lighting the way for our youth. Please let them know how grateful we are for all that they do the next time you see them at Mass!
Meet Will Murray, St. Francis de Sales’ summer college intern! Will is currently a sophomore at St. Mary’s University of Winona, Minnesota, majoring in Theology. The son of very active parish volunteers, Tom and Kathie Murray, Will attended SFDS grade school from 4k thru 8th grade. He is a graduate of Catholic Central High School. Will is an avid fisherman and also enjoys bowling and golfing.
Will is planning on helping out with the religious education programs this summer. Under the direction of Michael Deane, he will be assisting the staff for the children’s Vacation Bible School and also will be attending Stuebenville with the high school kids. In addition he will be helping to organize, file, and do some computer work. He has some new things he hopes to introduce as well. “During my first year at college there were many opportunities for college students to be involved with the Church. Some of the opportunities I attended at St Mary’s, of which I hope to bring to St Francis, are Fitness&Witness and Cor Jesu. Fitness&Witness gives high school and college students an opportunity to be active during the week and also gives the participants the opportunity to be a witness to God’s Word. Cor Jesu, meaning the Body of Christ, is recognized and utilized throughout the United States. Cor Jesu gives people the opportunity to participate in Adoration with Christian contemporary music, have confession, either have Mass or listen to the day’s readings, and finally having an ice cream hospitality afterwards.”
We are very grateful that Will is volunteering his time and talent this summer at our parish. What does he hope to get out of it? “My hope is that during my internship I will find out whether working in a Catholic Parish is the route I will take post-college.” We are thrilled to have a person of Will’s age and experience to work with the youth in our parish this summer. Please give him a warm welcome!
Daryl has quietly been steering the administrative side of St. Francis de Sales parish for 20 years! Joining the parish with his wife Geri in December of 1996, he was asked by Father Dave Braun to Co-Chair the Finance committee right off the bat in 1997. He has also been the Treasurer Trustee on and off since 2002 (often stepping up when someone could not serve), and, after taking a break from 2006 to 2012, he is currently serving our parish in that capacity.
Daryl has been the catalyst for setting up many systems within our parish to create more efficient accounting, including Quick Books and Excel. He has conducted stewardship surveys and extracts information from the parish database for mailings and other studies. He created a system for invoicing tuitions. He was a tremendous help in establishing our Parish email database. He works with the finance committee on the parish budget and watches carefully for trends or issues. He works carefully with our office manager on all types of data entering and analysis.
Most recently he served on the Project 2017 committee and is a consultant in the School Choice program. Daryl has a degree in electrical engineering from Marquette University, but his career took him down the business management path. What you might not know is that Daryl is also a very talented woodworker, and has donated this “talent” to SFDS as well.
His projects include the cabinet in the sacristy, the corner table in the conference room, the window in the confessional door, the sink area in the sacristy, the sacrarium, and more. His most recent creation was to modify the Hymn board (that he originally built in 2006) with a drawer at the bottom to hold all of the number cards—genius!
Thank you Daryl for all that you do for our parish! We so appreciate all of your hard work in keeping St. Francis de Sales technologically up to date and for all of your beautiful woodwork donations. Most of all, we appreciate your steady support—always with a smile!
Last Sunday, just a few minutes before Mass was supposed to start, the scheduled altar servers hadn’t arrived yet so Bishop Jim asked to see if anyone out in the pews could fill in. As they have done countless times in the past, Nathan and Jacob Hicks immediately stepped up. The twins are now sophomores at Waterford High School. They’ve been altar servers since 4th grade and are still happy to help out.
You see, “the twins”, have been stellar volunteers at St. Francis de Sales Parish. They have helped with the KC breakfast, Irish Fest, Advent Breakfast, special liturgies, the Fall Festival, and collected for the baby items drive. Instead of slowing down they are more involved than ever. During the recent church renovation they were a tremendous help moving and hauling things around each week. They have assisted with the youth group fundraisers and attended last year’s mission trip to Harlan Kentucky to help with a building project for families in need. They sang in the Journey to Hope Concert on May 12 with the SFDS choirs. What was their favorite volunteer job from over the years? For Jacob, it was bussing tables at Farm Technology Days with Bishop Jim. For Nathan, it was serving with Archbishop Listecki for Fr. Jim’s installation Mass.
Nathan and Jacob look enough alike that many adults have a hard time telling them apart. They both love to tell the story of “a prank for the books” which happened on April Fools Day in 8th grade. They switched glasses, hair styles, and desks and were successfully able to trick the teacher into thinking each one was the other for the entire day! Their sense of humor shines through in everything they do!
What would they like people to know about the Steubenville trip and Mission trip that they attended last summer? Nathan says, “I would definitely encourage kids if available to try and attend both because Steubenville 100% eliminated any doubts that I may ever had in my faith, and then on the mission trip that very next week I was able to live out my faith and serve others.”
The twins come from a family who lives by example. Parents Chris and Michelle are active volunteers with our parish school events. Michelle is a cantor with the Chorale and Chris is a lector. Jacob sums it up, saying “I love being involved with my Parish. I think that it has definitely made my faith stronger, and I absolutely recommend it to other people my age. Not only is it fun and enjoyable, but at the same time you are getting so much closer to God in so many ways”. Thanks guys for all that you do! We can’t wait to see what wonderful things the future will bring for you both!
If you regularly attend the 7:30 Sunday Mass, there’s a good chance you received Holy Communion from Elaine Johnson. Being a Eucharistic minister is just one of the many ways Elaine has chosen to serve our parish.
Elaine works at the Keefe Realty office on Edwards Boulevard office assisting real estate agents with most of the paperwork associated with real estate transactions. “ I have a realty license because I am required to have one in order to show real estate but I am more involved in doing the clerical details and assisting agents”, she told us recently. One of those agents is Elaine’s daughter, Debbie Cobian. Elaine also has three other grown children another daughter and two sons.
Elaine’s faith journey began with being raised Catholic, receiving the sacraments, getting married at a young age, having four children and being a wife and mother. But then it took a turn. A difficult marriage contributed to her being less active in the church and eventually to finding herself a divorced mother with four children. Her journey back to a more active faith life came with guidance from our former pastor, Father Dave Braun. He encouraged her to take the steps necessary to clarify her marital status and to get involved in the RCIA.
Since her return to active membership in the church, Elaine has found many ways to contribute to our parish family. In addition to being a Eucharistic minister Elaine regularly launders the albs worn by the altar servers. She has been active in Catholic Daughters and has served as an officer in that organization. Her involvement with Catholic Daughters led her to co-chair the Prayer Shawl Ministry. Women who knit or crochet make shawls for those who are in need of comfort due to illness, loss of a loved one, emotional distress or birth of a new baby. While producing the shawls, the women pray for those who will receive them and then pray when presenting the shawls. Elaine’s commitment to serving others is reflected in part of that prayer : “May the Holy Spirit guide us as we share of our time, talents, prayers and love in this Prayer Shawl Ministry.”