By Fr. Christopher Kubat
Recently, I visited Dr. Gianna Emanuela during her trip to the United States when she visited Denver. She extends her greetings to all of us in the Lincoln diocese especially the Marian sisters, volunteers, and supporters of St. Gianna’s Women’s Homes. While driving back, I stopped in Imperial, Nebraska where we have our westernmost office and thrift store, St. Isidore Gift & Thrift.
While in Imperial I visited Bill Sullivan, Kate Davis and some of our stellar volunteers at the thrift store. After saying a few prayers of thanksgiving and before leaving I was given a nice going away card with some great comments and a box of delicious home-baked cookies. They did not last too long.
After this trip, I traveled to northern Wisconsin with our longest standing volunteer, Marguerite Kellett, who has been volunteering at CSS for over 30 years. She helped start our food pantry when it was a closet at Sacred Heart parish in Lincoln. As she labored, she witnessed its expansive growth over the years. She currently works in the accounting department. I will not divulge her exact age, but she is in her ninth decade. She is very active and swims six days each week unless roads are snowy or icy. I recently taught her rummy and have a difficult time beating her.
Since she wanted to visit her older sister Annabelle in northern Wisconsin, Ed and Joan Malk and myself accompanied her to Rhinelander, Wisconsin. Once there, we visited Montreal, Wisconsin and saw the house she was born in, and the little church where she was baptized and where she attended school. Of course the trip would not have been complete without visiting Joe’s Pasty Shop in Ironwood, Michigan for a pasty. If you have never heard of such a dish, join the club. We even visited Little Girl’s Point in the Upper Peninsula, overlooking Lake Superior, where we had a little picnic.
Now that we have returned to Lincoln, she is back to both swimming and volunteering for Catholic Social Services. I would like to thank her and all of our volunteers for their many hours of hard work. Last year, 660 volunteers across the diocese donated 25,228 hours which translates to $275,742. This is truly amazing! We simply could not do all what we do without our many volunteers. I bet that if any of you volunteer over 30 years at CSS, a trip like this may be in your future!