When some people consider volunteering their time, they think of it as a chore. Modern society tells us that we should be paid for our work. But, as good stewards, we know that isn’t necessarily true. We all have talents that we should give back to our parish. Gordon and Marge Patton believe any opportunity to serve is a blessing. They know there is no shortage of ministries in which you can be involved at our parishes. Gordon and Marge were members of St. John’s in 1985 and St. James in 1989. They moved to Ponca City and returned to St. John’s since Gordon’s retirement in 2020. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2023 with a special blessing at Mass.
St. John’s is a special place for both Gordon and Marge. For Marge, it’s the traditional feel of the building and the friendly, welcoming nature of parishioners. Gordon loves how welcoming everyone is — people don’t judge.
“I think this could be said about many parishes, but I love how the Church levels the playing field, so to speak,” he says. “Regardless of your status in the community, or your wealth, everyone’s the same, and at St. John, everyone is friendly.”
Gordon serves as a lector and is in the Knights of Columbus, while Marge is active in providing funeral meals and helps with the Food Pantry. This fall, Marge helped with the Catholic Women project to provide gloves, hats, and socks to a local school. In the past, she helped with youth group meals, and was also a member of the Wednesday Faith Group. Gordon is also a substitute teacher at St. John’s Catholic School.
“Being involved gives me a stronger feeling of belonging, that I am paying back what the Church is doing for me,” Gordon says.
“To be able to give — either monetarily, spiritually, or physically, of my time and talent —makes me a stronger person,” Marge says. “It has helped to make me more confident in sharing my faith.”
Marge especially enjoys the community with the other Food Pantry volunteers. She and Gordon would encourage others to find a ministry they enjoy and take that step to get involved. Marge credits her parents for setting an example of looking out for others.
“I feel that service to the Church and others is the right thing to do,” she says. “Perhaps it is a case of doing unto others as they would do for you.”
The couple has several hobbies to occupy their free time. Gordon enjoys building model railroads and riding trains. He also goes fly fishing and plays golf. Marge quilts and reads. They both enjoy visiting historic places and spending time with family.