Volunteer of the Month
Head Usher 10:00 AM Mass
What is your relationship with OLPH? Family?
I have been going to OLPH church since I was a baby, my Mom, Dad and Brother are both members as well " Susie Wheeler, Kevin Wheeler, and Anthony Wheeler". They attend the 8AM mass. Many of my Aunts and Uncles also attend OLPH. One being my great Aunt Francis Shackleford, who is a staple at the church. I attended OLPH from kindergarten thru 7th grade and part of my 8th grade year. After OLPH, I attended East Ridge Middle and then East Ridge High School. I graduated in 2007.
How and why did you become an Usher? How did you get started? How long is your tenure?
When I left OLPH in 2002 as a student the current priest was Fr. Mike Nolan. He wanted me to continue my service to the church as I was an altar server for many years with Fr. Mike. I had stopped altar serving so Fr. Mike thought it would be a good idea for me to help out in the back with Ralph Runge, the current head usher at the 10AM Mass. That's how it all got started.
I helped out in the back from 8th grade all the way thru high school and into my early 20's. I can’t recall the exact date but Ralph left for a job out of state about 8 years ago so when he left, I became the head usher of the 10 AM Mass. So, it’s been roughly 17 years of ushering, more than half my life.
What is the most rewarding aspect of being an Usher?
The most rewarding part of ushering for me is being able to serve the church and have an active role in the Mass. Also, being able to include the youth is also important to me as well.
How has this ministry role changed you?
Ushering was so vital in keeping me going to church every Sunday and keeping the faith. Going to public school was a hard transition for me in that there were no religion classes that took place. If it wasn't for Ushering there really is no telling where I would be spiritually. I always will be thankful for the opportunity to serve the church!
What would you say to someone who is considering a ministry role at OLPH?
Anyone considering a role in the church should embrace the opportunity to give back. There are so many ways to be a part of the church and help make a difference in someone’s life.