Helping hands…

You may have occasionally seen an unknown face around the St. Ann campus recently.  It belongs to a man named Kevin McLaughlin.  Kevin is a member of St. Gerard Magellan Parish and he is good at ‘fixing things.’  I ran into my old soccer coach, Fr. Tom Bryant, while I was at a meeting there, and was telling him about some of the minor maintenance work that, despite the best efforts of our local volunteers, never rose to the importance of ‘it really needs to get it done now’ status. (Dave Marstall is very good at making sure those IMPORTANT repair items are taken care of.  Thanks, Dave!)  “Make me a list of things that you want to get done,” he told me, “and I’ll figure out a way.” That is how we came to have Kevin’s services.  He’ll show up every so often to do those jobs that fall through the cracks – like replacing ballasts on florescent light bulb fixtures, changing  out defective 3-way light switches in the rectory, or touching up paint in the church.  So if you see a tall man, in his late 40’s(?) walking around with a tool kit in his hand, introduce yourself and tell him: “Thanks!”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. day found us once more recipients of some labor from UMSL’s celebration of Dr. King’s life.  In its second year of running a service component to the celebration, UMSL enlists the volunteer energy of students, faculty and staff to help at various sites around the city.  Under the supervision of Bob Reid, the science lab got a good cleaning, chair rails and walls were given fresh coats of paint, doors and lintels were spruced up, and a lot of general clean up happened.  THANKS to them and to all our St. Ann parents who showed up to help during the day.  The school looks great, just in time for the open house at the end of the month.

Finally, there have been two tragedies that have once more brought out the best in St. Ann parish.  One of our 8th grade student’s apartment was severely damaged in a fire.  Many have come forward with donations, clothing items, and basic necessities to help them put their lives back together.  Secondly, with the death of Mr. John Wiedmann, our 8th grade teacher, there has been an outpouring of love and prayers for the family, as well as the planning of a few fundraisers to help John’s family during this time of loss.  Thanks for being such good ‘helping hands’ to these families in need.