No matter the size of a parish, there are many ways in which parishioners can be involved. Our parishes need care and attention, whether cleaning the sanctuary or adding to the Mass with a gift of music. St. Francis de Sales parishioners Matt and Josie Dingmann realize that we all need to get involved to make our parishes the best they can be.
Matt is an usher, and Josie is an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. Josie also used her education experience to teach religious education classes for 13 years. Josie is the elementary principal at Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa schools, and Matt works for the Kandiyohi Public Works Department. The couple has three children. Ashton attends Gustavus Adolphus College and plays basketball. He also plays baseball for the Elrosa Saints. Luke is a high school senior and plays football, basketball, and baseball. Teagan is a high school freshman and plays volleyball, basketball, and softball.
Even though they are a busy family, the Dingmanns still find time to be involved in the parish and attend Sunday Mass. Ashton and Luke have stepped in to help Matt usher when they are short.
“We know that we need to do our part to help at our parish,” Josie says. “Just like in volunteering for our schools or in other community organizations, we need everyone to come together and share their talents. Everyone can help in some way.”
The family also makes prayer before meals a priority. Josie has also carried forward a tradition from her childhood. Her mother wrote a prayer that they would say as they walked the driveway to get on the bus. Josie and the kids always prayed it together on the drive to school.
“I’d love for my kids to take that tradition to their families one day,” Josie says.
Josie and Matt were married at
St. Francis de Sales 20 years ago. Matt grew up in the parish, and Josie attended St. Donatus as a child. The couple loves the small-town feel of St. Francis de Sales. People are there for each other and know one another.
“As an elementary principal, I know all of the local kids at church, and they know me,” Josie says. “I enjoy when they wave and are excited to see me. I feel blessed to be a positive role model for them in this aspect of my life as well.”
The couple hopes that they are setting a good example for their children. They’d love to see them involved as adults at their future parishes.
And it’s a family affair at St. Francis de Sales — the couple has immediate and extended family who attend. They all enjoy the opportunity to worship together.
“We especially love to see our young nieces and nephews there,” Josie says.