Monday, October 26, 2009

Mission Ministers: Holy Rosary Dillingham, AK

By Father Scott Joseph Garrett

Every parish has ministers. At Holy Rosary parish in Dillingham nearly every parishioner is a minister and practices stewardship in one form or another. Here are a few members of Holy Rosary Catholic Church who have brought "Stewardship" to a whole new level. All our ministers are volunteers.

Dr. Dan (general practitioner) and Dee O'Connell just rode their bikes to Mass in freezing snowy weather. These two are very athletic and very helpful around the parish. Currently they are Extra-Ordinary Eucharistic Ministers and Dee is the minister of linen...she has washed and ironed linen long before I arrived in Dillingham in 2005. Dan has just received National recognition for his medical service to the native communities.

Jackie Chase is one of our un-sung heroes. At Holy Rosary people volunteer to clean the church for an entire month. Jackie is always on the list for at least a few months every year. Part of cleaning the church involves hosting a fellowship with food and beverage after every Sunday Mass.

Spruce is our music minister (councilor at the hospital). She has many God given talents including singing, piano, flute, and violin. She is continually working on bettering the music at mass. She came to us last year from Bethel, Alaska. Spruce has just received National recognition from the Department of Veterans Affairs for her creative talents.

Here are, from left to right, a few of our "chomping at the bit" altar servers, Brian, Anthony, and Walter. Alter server 2 takes care of the "4 Bs" book, bottle (water), bell, bowl (water) and altar server 1 is "EE," everything else.

Bernie Venua (Nushigak Electric employee), here posing with his wife Angie (our accountant, see below), has helped with numerous maintenance projects around the parish and rectory including installing new windows, fixing the water tank, and building a rack for the linen. Bernie is always lending me tools and, oh ya, I still have a couple I need to return.

Pat Durbin is the lead maintenance worker and extremely valuable to our parish. He does everything from sheetrock, to plumbing, to electrical work, to mowing the cemetery. A great guy to have around and what a kind hearted and generous person!

Angela Clark (left), has single handedly spear headed the Blessing of the Dillingham fleet every year. It is a lot of organizing and hard work. She is also on the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council.

Next to her is Angie Venua (Nushigak Accounting employee), our Accountant. Angie has donated many hours of her time to help Holy Rosary with the Logos Accounting. She handles all of the accounting and book keeping for Holy Rosary and Saint Theresa.

Patrick (Fish and Game) and Aileen Walsh are two more valuable assets to Holy Rosary mission. Aileen prepares to offer a Communion Service every Sunday in case the weather turns bad and I get stranded out in the bush. Patrick takes care of the grounds around the church, mowing, fertilizing, and trimming the trees.

Michael Swaim (Fish and Game), is one of our four lectors. He does an excellent job of reading. His wife, Dianna (not shown because she was sick when I took this picture) counts the Sunday collection every week and deposits it at the Wells Fargo bank. Their daughter Katelyn (five years old) brings up the gifts with several other children.

Kristen is one of the few teens we have in our parish this year. She has helped to increase those numbers by inviting her non-Catholic friends to accompany her to mass every Sunday. Kristen was Confirmed in 2007.

Dr. Matteo Guarino is our artist. He has created some beautiful art work for Holy Rosary Catholic Church. He is currently working on some pictures of the mysteries of the Rosary. He has completed the Annunciation and is working on the Visitation. He is a pediatrician at the Hospital.

Stewardship is not just a seasonal experience where we make a special effort to donate a little extra money to the church. It is a life-long commitment of utilizing the talents God has given us to build up the Kingdom of God. Stewardship means acknowledging that God has made each of us special and that our unique talents, together with our neighbor’s talents, can make our world a better place to live. Thank you everyone at Holy Rosary Mission for being
great stewards!


Chris said...

Fr. Scott,
Sure looks like you are doing a great job out there and have an aweful lot of great help, too. Maybe one day I could come visit and meet these wonderful stewards. Who knows, I might even stay for a while and become one of them !!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanx Chris. Yes, there are such wonderful people out hear and they love our church. Come and visit! Fr. Scott