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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.


June 2015, This month’s Kudos Corner recognizes Linda Leisring.

After many years of service in our parish’s religious education programs…Linda is taking a much deserved break! Linda has been doing catechetical work since she was 17, first at her own parish, then here at Visitation ever since she got married. She helped Sr. Mary Tewes with the PREP first Sacrament Preparation sessions from 1992 until Sr. Mary retired in 2012. Linda also helped with the Sunday morning program some of that time. She also helped with the Summer PREP program some of those years…even leading the music sessions when there wasn’t musician available to serve. Linda also served as Sr. Mary’s secretary on occasion. Linda and her husband Paul raised two sons and two daughters, including Laura Hampel, our current Pastoral Associate for Youth Ministry. 

According to Sr. Mary, “Linda had become a pleasant presence in my office, when she came to help. We have become friends over all this time. I really appreciated Linda, her love for the Church, Our Lady of Visitation Parish and all the people.” 

Linda’s daughter Laura says Linda had an amazing impact on her life. “She has such a profound love for the Eucharist and a deep love and trust in God and that bleeds into every aspect of her life...how could it not?! At some point all of us kids helped in her PREP classroom and it was so mesmerizing to see our mom in that setting, talking about reconciliation and what it means to be close to God.”

When asked about her many years of service here, Linda said, “It is a joy to help children understand how exciting their Catholic faith can be and that they can have a best friend in Jesus.”

Think of all the students Linda has influenced over her years here at Visitation!

Kudos Corner salutes her!

 


May 2015, Kudos Corner recognizes Dick and Bert Tepe.

Dick and Bert Tepe 
 Dick & Bert Tepe

They have been organizing a “Jail Ministry” here at the parish for the past 24 years! They were originally involved in Jail Ministry at St. Leo’s through Dick’s sister. But when it was no longer feasible there, the couple reached out to Visi’s pastor at the time, Fr. Jack Wessling, who gave them the go ahead to begin the ministry here. That was 1991.  









Don and Rita Griffin 
 Don & Rita Griffin

They were joined right from the start by several others including Don and Rita Griffin who continue to be a part of jail ministry to this day! As many as 20 parishioners have been involved at certain times over the years…going out in groups of 2 or 3 to the various facilities including the Hamilton County Justice Center, the old Cincinnati Workhouse, River City Correction Center and the various Talbot Houses. In 2014, jail ministry teams from Our Lady of the Visitation visited and prayed with 319 people incarcerated in the Hamilton County jails and Talbot Houses. Altogether, OLV team members spent 66 hours holding services in area jails last year. Our parish also has been contributing around 65 plates of homemade cookies to the jails each Christmas. Visitation is one of the relatively few Catholic churches involved in Jail Ministry locally. Thanks to Dick and Bert’s leadership, enthusiasm and organization…dozens of Visi jail ministers have made quite a difference in the lives of many who were in desperate need of a spiritual lift!


Kudos Corner salutes them!


April 2015, This Kudos Corner recognizes Kerry Finley

This Kudos Corner recognizes Kerry Finley. It was her idea to start weekly tutoring at St. Leo’s. Thanks to her idea, involvement and inspiration…this outreach has been thriving each Tuesday evening from 6:30 to 8:00! Teachers, parents and students are now volunteering to take part in the one-on-one tutoring to help grade school and high school students from St. Leo’s and surrounding area.

 


At the root of this great endeavor was the involvement of Kerry’s son, Cole, in helping at the English as a Second Language program at St. Leo’s back in 2012. Through this, Cole forged a wonderful friendship with Alex, a refugee from Burundi and a parishioner at St. Leo’s. At that time, Alex was a freshman at Withrow High School. Alex has since become like a “big brother” to Cole’s other siblings.

Through the tutoring program at St. Leo’s, many other Visitation parishioners have been inspired to get involved. We have seen bridges form across what often are divisions due to culture, race, language and neighborhoods. The kingdom of God has broken into the present! Kerry heard the call in her heart…and responded! What has resulted has been a blessing to many! Kudos Corner salutes her!

 


March 2015, The Visi Retreat Core Team

The “Visi Retreat” is a high school retreat phenomenon that has been inspiring, evangelizing and energizing our youth for the past 25 years. Tom Darnell is the founder of the retreat which has involved hundreds and hundreds of our high school youth. Upon graduating, some of these same young people have then enthusiastically returned to the retreat as college leaders. But a core team of dedicated adults has always held the whole thing together. 

This first Kudos Corner honors them all…but especially a few who have given many years of service. For the past 20 years since they were in college themselves, Tom’s son Tim Darnell and Sean Tierney, a religion teacher and volleyball coach at Elder High School, have tirelessly donated their time and talents to this amazing program despite not being members of Visitation Parish. Having been a part of the core team myself, I can attest to their giftedness in this regard. Another person who has selflessly given of her time since the retreat’s inception is Carolyn Menner. She has been the backbone of the group! Carolyn’s husband, Don, has also volunteered that entire time. 

Other adults who have dedicated many years to the retreat include Becky Bill, Dan Altenau, and Kyle Isaack. Youth Ministers here at Visi who have organized the weekend over the years include Rachel Busam Haber, myself, and currently Laura Hampel. I speak from experience telling you that the retreat could not happen without the wonderful team of adults (many others not mentioned here) who have donated hours and hours of time with no financial gain. They are truly disciples of Jesus and inspirations to us all! Kudos Corner salutes them!

~ Bill Tonnis