For Lisa Kehler, serving the parish during Mass has truly been a wonderful opportunity to grow in faith.
“It truly gives me joy to be able to help in certain areas of Mass,” Lisa says. “Although I do enjoy sitting in the congregation and being still, I love being a part of the celebration also.”
Having been a parishioner here at St. Leo’s for about eight years, Lisa actively serves in several capacities — as a lector, an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, a photographer, and in the Music Ministry.
Lisa grew up just outside of Greeley, in the former town of O’Connor.
“All that’s left is the old Catholic church, the rectory, where my family lives, and a gym,” she says. “My parents, Francis and Teresa, still reside there. My two brothers, Terry and Dan, live there also and farm with our Dad and uncles. My sister, Dawn, is buried in the cemetery down the road.”
Growing up, Lisa recalls not taking her faith very seriously. Although she went to church on a weekly basis, she says she wasn’t actively involved or engaged.
“Getting involved has helped me better appreciate the different ministries that bring the whole Mass together,” she says.
Here at St. Leo’s, it was Fr. Don who helped Lisa initially get involved. The two had known each other for years, from when he was the pastor in Greeley prior to his assignment here in our parish.
“He’s always known my love of singing, so always nudged me to join the Music Ministry,” Lisa says. “I wasn’t sure about it, but I finally joined and am so glad I did. They are like a small family!”
Being involved in the parish community has helped Lisa to connect with others. She enjoys meeting new people, learning their names, and getting to know them better so that she can, as says, “be a piece of the St. Leo’s puzzle of people.”
“There is always someone there who will help me if I need help with serving, and someone always gives me a word of encouragement and support when I do my best and take part in Mass,” Lisa says.
Some time ago, Lisa experienced a difficult situation and had been absent in our parish for at least a year, but now wishes to extend gratitude to the parish family for their support.
“I just want to say, ‘thank you’ to each and every one of you who welcomed me back with open arms after being absent for at least a year,” she says. “I was worried about being judged because of the tough situation I had been in, being in a toxic relationship and getting out of it before marriage. But all I received when I returned was warm hugs, words of affirmation, and smiles. It was in those moments that I knew that St. Leo’s was truly my home!”