Andrew and Ruth Freyholtz have been parishioners of St. Joseph for 18 years, and have been married for 19 years. They were married on June 12, 2004, at St. Ann’s in Wadena. They have been blessed with nine children, ages 8 months old to 18 years old. Over the years, they have been involved in many different aspects of parish life.
“We have both served on the Parish Council at different points,” Ruth says. “We both taught Religious Ed. Andrew served on the ACC Pastoral Council and Cemetery Committee. Currently, Andrew is an EMHC, lector, involved in the Knights of Columbus, and helps with many youth events and trips. I am the Parish Life Committee Chair, I helped with VBS, and I am a member of Christian Mothers. We have also helped with, and received, the Mommy Meals Ministry in our parish.”
For Andrew and Ruth, getting involved in parish life was easy. They feel that as members of a small parish, it is important to do what they can to help everything run smoothly.
“We all need community, and we feel having that community centered on Christ is a great opportunity for us to grow in our faith journey,” Ruth says. “We also get to support others along the way.”
Andrew financially supports their family. He works in engineering for BWIS and is the Director of Innovation for North America. Ruth is a homemaker and homeschools their children. As a family, they farm and also enjoy traveling, walking, hiking, biking, canoeing, and playing kickball.
“It is sometimes difficult to find a balance,” Ruth says. “And there are times when we are more or less involved. We try to make time for things that are important. There are so many good things we could be involved in. We try to remember that there are different seasons of life and different areas we can help with at different times.”
It is important to Andrew and Ruth that their children know the importance of community. They want their children to understand that it is important for them to help their community and the parish. So, whenever they serve, Andrew and Ruth typically include their children if possible. In addition, three of their boys — Johnathan, David, and Caleb — are altar servers.
As parents to nine children, Andrew and Ruth understand that they are called to live out stewardship within their parish, in addition to their home. They have been blessed by their children, and strive to share that call to stewardship and community with their kids.
“Being open to life has been a huge part of our marriage and God has blessed us greatly,” Ruth says. “Our children are our greatest treasure. We feel so blessed to get the opportunity to lead them to Christ. God lets us take part in the creation of life. What bigger honor is there, than to create a soul that will last for all of eternity?”