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Kudos Corner is a means of acknowledging those in our parish who share their time, talent and treasure to spread the Good News of God's unconditional love. It is intended to lift up and celebrate the actions of individuals and groups within our faith community who touch hearts and make a difference.


Author: Bill Tonnis

Bill Tonnis's Article

This month’s Kudos Corner recognizes John Metz. October 2016

This month’s Kudos Corner recognizes John Metz.


John has no doubt ministered to you, even if you didn’t realize it. John has generously donated his gift of artistry to the parish in many ways.

Have you seen the beautiful murals on the library walls? John designed those for us. He designed and painted the set for the school’s performance of Beauty and the Beast and also designed incredibly beautiful sets and props for our school’s Christmas concerts for the past five years.

If you’ve had a chance to read Fr. Mark Burger’s wonderful second book, Falling Awake, you have been treated to John’s work again! He designed the cover of the book and then gave Fr. Mark his original painting that was reproduced on the cover. As the parish’s Awareness Coordinator, John is designing new banners and brochures that are being used parish-wide. You may have seen some of the sacramental and ministry brochures that we now have: Marriage, Outreach, Liturgy and Worship, and RCIA – all produced from John’s donated time and talent! One of our staff members put it this way: “Any design project I ask of him he willingly does. He is a very generous man.”

But that’s not all! John is also heavily involved in our Stephen Ministry. He was part of the first class of Stephen Ministers undergoing the 50 hours of training in order to be a care-giver to those in need. He spent three years meeting with care-receivers and then last January took part in a week-long training session to become a Stephen Ministry Leader.

John and his wife, Cindy, who both tragically lost their first spouse, were blessed by God in finding each other. After a career in graphic design, John is now a professional artist. His paintings have been purchased around the country. His work is frequently on display at Malton Art Gallery on Edwards Rd. across from Rookwood Commons. If you haven’t seen his beautiful work, check out his website: www.Johnmetzart.com.

On the site, John writes: “My work explores concepts of timelessness, energy, beauty and spirituality.” If you know John, you know that “beauty and spirituality” shine from his soul.

Kudos Corner thanks and salutes John Metz for sharing his time, talent and treasure with the parish in ways that uplift, comfort and inspire!


This month’s Kudos Corner recognizes Diane Williams.

Diane is retiring after 25 years of service to the parish as our Business Manager. She has led 3 building projects and is helping with the 4th project now underway. But while we could enumerate a myriad of accomplishments due to her talents to “manage,” all who know Diane can attest to how she has made an even bigger difference due to her desire to “minister.” 

Diane has reached out to help many in need. Those who have received from her generous heart know this. Under her leadership, our St. Vincent de Paul group has done countless good works. As one member of the staff put it, SVDP “came alive” under her influence. 

Through two bouts with breast cancer, Diane has shown a deep faith in God’s deliverance. From her deeply spiritual experience she saw the need for a cancer support group. As a member of that group, Gina Huseman Donovan, tells it: 

“In 1997, almost twenty years ago, when first diagnosed with cancer, Diane was recommended to attend a support group by her doctor. She did and benefited from it; but the group was not supposed to mention God. So she consulted Sr. Gert and together they initiated the Cancer Support Group at Visi, one that had God as an integral part. This support group featured: Meetings that started and ended with prayer; prayer services, healing Masses and special blessings; speakers; videos; monthly meetings; support for one another; rides to appointments when necessary; information on services in our community; an annual Christmas dinner and, of course, attendance at the funerals. Diane still organizes and runs every meeting, arranges the speakers and agendas and hosts the yearly swim party. She has received an "Unsung Hero" award from Cancer Family Care for her selfless work...in one instance taking a late-stage cancer patient into her home temporarily when accommodations for her were delayed. She has been, and remains, the guiding spirit of the ministry.” 

Diane has also shared her spiritual insights through a longtime involvement in the Women’s Christ Renews His Parish program. Besides that, she and her husband, Chris, who have four sons, are the coordinators for FOCCUS, a program that helps guide engaged couples. 

After being trained and then serving as one of the Stephen Ministers here in the parish, Diane currently serves as the “Referrals Coordinator” and will continue in that role in retirement. 

Topping it off is a fitting honor! Diane has been named one of the 100 “Champions of Mercy” in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. She was selected by Catholic Charities of Southwestern Ohio and will join the other 99 at a ceremony on October 1st at the Cintas Center. The event is a celebration of 100 years of Catholic Charities being God’s mercy in the community by highlighting the charitable works of others. 

Diane leaves behind a long list of successes as Business Manager, but she leaves behind an even larger legacy of love and service as a Minister

Kudos Corner thanks and salutes Diane Williams for her many years of dedicated service to the parish in sharing her time, talent and treasure in ministry!


This month’s Kudos Corner recognizes Luke Striebich. August 2016

Luke is an outstanding example of a servant of Christ. As Jesus said, “Whatever you did for the least of these, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40)…so Luke has been serving Christ through his dedicated service to those in need. 

Ever since being inspired through his involvement in the 8th grade A.C.T.S. program…he has continued volunteering at the St. Francis Seraph Soup Kitchen in Over the Rhine all through four years of high school at St. Xavier. He does it year-round…even during the summer.  

Luke expanded his service to include volunteering with the English as a Second Language program at St. Leo’s and also helping with the religion prep program here at Visitation. He has also been involved in the Outreach Ministries Committee as well as serving as the “Youth Representative” on our Parish Council. 

At St. Xavier, Luke has been in charge of the “Shadowing” program for incoming students for the last two years and was also a Kairos leader this year. 

Topping it off…Luke recently received the prestigious “Jesuit Network Award” at graduation. This award goes to one student who exemplifies the profile of an Ignatian educator by: animating the Ignatian vision; caring for the individual; modeling Ignatian pedagogy; discerning ways of teaching and learning; and building community and fostering education. 

Luke will be majoring in Mechanical Engineering this fall at the Ohio State University. 

Kudos Corner thanks and salutes Luke Striebich for his dedicated service to the parish as well as all he’s done in living his Catholic faith and making a huge difference!


This month’s Kudos Corner recognizes the Children’s Choir. June 2016

We are blessed by the beautiful singing provided by our Children’s Choir here at the parish! There are 31 students in the 3rd-4th Grade Choir (some of the kids had to be turned away this year because there wasn’t enough space in church to fit more in!). The 5th-8th Grade Choir has around 20 members.

3rd and 4th Grade Children's Choir

“I am proud of all of my students in Children's Choir,” said Music Director, Mrs. Kathy Parsons. “They work hard in rehearsal, they have enthusiasm for music and singing, and they are amazing witnesses to their classmates, parish, and each other, as they praise God in song.”

"Choir is like praying twice as much, since it is singing prayers!" said fourth-grader Lucy M. "I think little people’s singing makes others happy."

Mrs. Parsons says she can’t say enough about the time and energy her students have generously given. “The 8th graders in choir this year started singing in Children's Choir in 2nd grade—that's seven out of their eight years at Visi—a huge commitment and exceptional dedication! Six of my former Children's Choir members continue to sing regularly in Adult Choir at 10:30 Mass and at the 4:00 Mass.” Mrs. Parsons’ daughter Emily not only sings at the 4:00 Mass…but also plays guitar along with Mr. Tonnis.

Most of the choir members are also soloists or cantors. This takes a lot of preparation.
Mrs. Parsons says that besides the time they spend on these solos at rehearsal and often before or after rehearsal, all soloists receive an mp3 (recorded by Mrs. Parsons) of their solo so that they can practice at home. “It takes guts to stand up in front of 800 students and sing at school Mass or up at the ambo on Sunday,” said Mrs. Parsons, “Preparation is the key!”

The choirs rehearse every Monday evening in church. Each choir rehearses for 45 minutes a week…sometimes more if there are special upcoming events such as First Communion. Many of the 5th-8th grade choir members sang for the First Communion celebrations on April 9 and 16.

5th and 6th Grade Children's Choir

The choirs alternate singing at the weekly all-school Masses on Tuesday mornings. They also sing at four Sunday Masses per year, alternating months throughout the school year. While the children enrich our worship experience…they are also enriching their own. "Choir helps me deepen my relationship with God. We have a lot of fun in choir and all get along. It helps us to get to know other students in different grades who like music,” said sixth-grader Julia P. Third-grader Marisa P. added, “I enjoy singing because I feel God closer to my heart…and it makes me smile. I always hope that other people in church feel the same way when we are singing with them!”

Kudos Corner thanks and salutes the Children’s Choir for their beautiful ministry of music!


This month’s Kudos Corner recognizes Bob Luchsinger. May 2016

Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “Turn your scar into a star”? That’s exactly what Bob has done…thanks to family, friends, parishioners and, of course, the grace of God.

Bob and his wife Terry tragically lost their 11 year old daughter Katie in a house fire in 1999. Katie, a sixth-grader here at Visi at the time, saved the lives of her two siblings by waking them in time for them to escape the blaze…but she was unable to save herself.

Family friend Jim Botuchis wanted to honor Katie in some way. He and Larry Schirmann organized a golf outing benefit. Then Visi's Diane Williams suggested the funds be used to create a Memorial Garden behind the school. Bob has steadfastly supported the project ever since in an effort to provide a special place of prayer for all Visi parishioners…especially for those who have also lost a child. “Hopefully they can come here and grieve a little and find some comfort,” said Mr. Luchsinger as he recently stood in the Katie Luchsinger Memorial Garden on a beautiful sunny morning. “It’s all about the children.”

Bob said he couldn’t have done this without friends like Jim Botuchis and Larry Schirmann as well as local firefighters who helped with fundraisers…and “without the people of the church here…I’d never been able to make it through.” 

The memorial garden was designed by parishioner Gina Huesman Donovan of N-r-G Landscaping. Recently two “bubbling boulders” and an angel statue with Katie’s name engraved at the base have been added to the garden. 
(Photo “Memorial_Garden_May_2016”)

Fr. Mark had a special blessing ceremony at the garden following the 4:00 Mass on Saturday, April 30th. Parishioners can support the project by donating $250 to pay for a paver engraved with the name of a departed loved one…which then becomes part of the walkway in the garden. “It’s very rewarding to our family to have the support and backing of the parish, friends and neighbors. You’d never survive without them,” Bob said. 
He hopes his kids and everyone else’s will keep this tradition alive and he’s “100 percent sure it’s going to happen.” Bob added, “If anyone wants to know what love is…just drop by the garden and look. You’ll see it.” And so will parishioners for years to come!
 
Kudos Corner salutes Bob Luchsinger for being a missionary of mercy!