I always wanted to develop and experience my spiritual life to the fullest. After thirty-plus years at Abbott and with three of our four sons out of college, I felt I could retire and become completely available to commit as a Permanent Diaconate candidate. I applied and was accepted to the training program for lay deacons. Four wonderful years later and before my sixtieth birthday, I was ordained. Father Jack welcomed Susan and me to Saint Anne in 2003. Since then, we have had unlimited opportunities to continue our favorite ministries and to join some new ones.
Father Bernie suggested the Sharing Board, our official outreach group to the other parishes of the archdiocese. The Sharing Board is not just about transferring money to another parish. The Sharing Board has developed deep, long-term relationships with a womenʹs shelter, a food pantry and a parish and school. These relationships have endured through changing pastors, principals and key partners. Our faith binds us together and our activities bring us joy. The Christmas party at the womenʹs shelter brings a childlike joy to all of us. The St. Columbanus food pantry now supports over 500 families every week. This is an enormous ministry which our food drives support. Personally distributing the food gives me a direct answer to the question, “Who is my neighbor?” The families of the students at St. Frances of Rome make substantial sacrifices for a high quality Catholic education. 100% of these students qualify for assistance under the Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship program. Many of our parishioners could benefit from this program and help these families. If you enjoy putting your faith into action, join the Sharing Board.