Tell us a bit about your family.

We (Dick & Bernice) have been married for 51 years.  We have two sons, two daughters and two children in heaven. Northwestern Bell Telephone Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota was the meeting place. Dick’s career led us to New York, New York; Denver, Colorado; Omaha, Nebraska; New Orleans, Louisiana and finally on to Trophy Club, Texas. Our current occupation is “Retired”. Our greatest blessing has been our children and 10 grandchildren. Sunday is our family day – we attend Mass, followed by a breakfast, lunch, or dinner together. This is our traditional family affair. This started in Omaha where we all resided with all four in either high school or college and has continued with the two children who are living near us in Texas. In high school the boys were taught by the Benedictine Monks and Jesuits. The girls were taught by the Servants of Mary. Everyone including Dick graduated from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska and Bernice from the University of Minnesota. Dick is a “Cradle Catholic” and Bernice is a “Converted Catholic” of 51 years.

Do you have any fun or interesting family traditions? 

Family and traditions have always been a focus for our family; the most important tradition being our Catholic faith. Birthdays, baptismal dates, patron saints days, and confirmation dates are all recognized with a call or a short text message of congratulations. Our oldest granddaughter related that she was the only senior in her class at school who knew her confirmation date.

What is a favorite scripture passage for your family?

To whom much is given much is expected. A pressing need to do more for others led us to service ministries in our parish. So for us a favorite is “So here I am Lord I come to do your will” (Hebrews 10:9).

What is an interesting fact about your family that people may not suspect or know?

After we retired, we decided we should begin taking grandchildren with us on our religious pilgrimages. Our grandchildren have traveled with us to the Holy Land, Rome, Assisi, San Giovanni Rotondo, and our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico. Genealogy is an outlet for Dick and has led us to discover our heritage.  We are Irish, English, Finnish and German. Dick’s Irish channel goes back to year 1390 and Bernice’s Scandinavian channel back to 1566. Amazing right? We were able track our first granddaughter‘s fraternal family back to St. Margaret of Scotland. She adopted St. Margaret as her confirmation Saint.

What parish ministries are your family involved in?

We have served in almost every ministry in the parish. The Marriage Ministry has been a beautiful blessing in our lives. It gave us the privilege of working with some of the finest Catholics in our community. In our damaged and suffering world we worked side by side with the Holy Spirit to help create holy and healthy marriages and families: the hope of the world. In 1998 Father Ken asked us if we would coordinate the Marriage Sponsor Sacramental process at St Francis. After three Pastors, four Family Life Directors, five marriage prep books, 141 sponsors, 531 couples sacramentally prepared and nineteen years later, we have become Sacramental Preparation Coordinators Emeritus! Bernice coordinates the Hospitality Ministry, along with many faithful volunteers, serving funeral receptions and dinners for other services when priests are visiting. We also serve as Eucharistic ministers and as a Knight, Dick has organized the recitation of the Rosary before all Masses at St Francis. We hope between the two of us we have had the privilege of doing it all and sharing His generous gifts.

What do you love most about the parish?

We have enjoyed the people we have shared moments with and we are proud to say St Francis is our parish home. Thank you for being that community, haven and home for us.

This family spotlight was originally published in the March issue of the St. Francis Grapevine.