Sending letters and cards through the mail is quickly becoming a lost art. But it’s one meaningful way to honor someone, whether they are celebrating something happy or going through difficult circumstances.
St. John’s parishioner Patti Andraschko was asked to mail out birthday cards to any parishioners that turned the age of 90 and over. Parishioners also receive a card if it is known they are sick or having surgery. Patti also has a committee that helps with this.
“We feel it is important to send these cards out to our parishioners so they know that their church family and community care and that we were keeping them in our prayers,” she says. “We want everyone to know that in a time of need or celebration, we also care.”
Another ministry at all three parishes sends out cards to people after they have lost a loved one. Rosella Spencer does this at SS. Mary and Hyacinth. A volunteer follows up with the person throughout the year following the death, sending cards for holidays and anniversaries.
Rosella was a recipient of this ministry when her daughter and husband passed away in the same year. She didn’t even know the ministry existed before that.
“Getting cards for those holidays and the first anniversary of death — oh my goodness, how sweet,” Rosella says. “It was uplifting to receive those cards in the mail. It’s neat to be on both ends of this ministry.”
This ministry is open to volunteers at all the parishes. Patti is working to gather these ministries all into one ministry. It’s a work in progress, but she and the other ministry members want people to know they are there for them through whatever life throws at them.
“Our goal and hope is that all parish members and their families feel the love and support that our church and their fellow parishioners have to offer — whether it be saying a prayer, needing someone to visit with, a ride to church, or anything else they might need,” Patti says. “Often in life, we find ourselves being lonely or questioning who we can turn to, and we would like the answer to be ‘your church family.’”
To all ministry members, this is an important ministry of hospitality. It’s another way to make people feel heard, seen, and cared for.
“We want everyone to feel a part of our church community and know that we sincerely care about their wellbeing and we are always here for them,” Patti says.
Patti estimates that St. John’s ministry members send 20 to 30 cards per month. This is making a big impact across our parishes. Many of the cards are donated by parishioners.
“We are very fortunate that we have parishioners that share their time and talent of making cards and dropping them off at the church office for us to utilize and some parishioners that buy cards and share them,” Patti says. “We couldn’t do it without all the support of everyone.”
This ministry makes both the receiver and the sender feel good. Patti looks forward to putting these ministries under one umbrella and doing even more to make parishioners feel loved.
If you would like to have a card sent to someone who is sick or going through a tough time, just call the parish office or contact a ministry member.
To get involved in this ministry, contact Patti Andraschko for St. John’s at 715-216-5144 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Rosella Spencer for SS. Mary and Hyacinth at 715-216-0193; Melissa Schlegel for St. Wenceslaus at 715-539-1868.