Natalie Dunn started her “volunteer career” at SFDS in 1986 when she converted to Catholicism and was confirmed. The pastor at that time was Father Yaniak. “I was lucky to receive one on one instruction from Brother De Sales,” she explained. This started her on the path to strive to learn more about the Catholic faith…which is still her passion today!
A teacher by trade, Natalie taught for over 20 years, 16 of those as a teacher at the Elkhorn Middle School. She met her husband Terry in college in Iowa and they have 3 children and 2 grandchildren.
Natalie’s talents and contributions to our parish run deep and span decades! In the late 1980’s, when Father O’Brien was our pastor, Natalie played the piano (and a little organ!) at a Sunday morning Mass. In the 1990’s, during Fr. Braun’s term, she taught High School CCD classes for several years. She served on the School Advisory Committee and worked with a group that met once a month to write the petitions for Mass. Around the year 2000, when Fr. Terry was our pastor, she became a Eucharistic Minister and trained to be a Lector. Natalie continues to carry out these ministries today.
Natalie currently volunteers as a member of the Arimatheans, the group from our parish that attends our Parish funerals to support grieving families. “Rita Leahy was such an inspiration to me. I joined the Arimatheans to honor her memory.”Natalie has also led some of our book studies as well as some of the Thursday morning communion services. She is a member of Cursillio, an international group that offers retreats, support for one another, and evangelization and prayer, bringing others to Christ. In 2017, Natalie went on the group pilgrimage to Rome with Bishop Jim and Archbishop Listecki.
In addition, Natalie volunteers with Katie Alder in the Jail Ministry. They go to meet with women who are incarcerated to pray, share the Sunday Mass readings, talk about the saints and coming to Christ. Because the program is optional for inmates, each group is different. Sometimes a question will come up that requires her to research to find an answer. “It helps me to learn even more about our Catholic Faith.”
What’s next? Natalie will be starting her second year of a two year program in the fall to earn her ministry formation certificate.“By taking these classes, it’s my hope to become a better lector, a better teacher, and a better leader.” She continues to learn so that she can teach and help people be closer to God and their faith. Thank you, Natalie, you are an inspiration!