Eleven Knights were in attendance at the recent Catechist Appreciation dinner to cook (warm actually) and serve a wide variety of appetizers and a full Mexican/American dinner with all the side dishes to the catechists and their teen helpers. The gymnasium was decorated with a Southwest motif with sombreros, cactus and other reminders of the Southwest – it was very impressive.
While the efforts of Frank Salazar, Jesse Radillo, Allen Reitmeier, Rey Estrellas, Jim Richardson, Leo Mattingly, Larry Balagna, Art Senato, Andy Goza, Jack Ramsden and Ray Rivera were recognized and appreciated, the real star of the show was Deborah Garrison. Deborah is the Coordinator of Children’s Faith Formation and organized this gala affair as a backdrop for the real purpose of the Catechist dinner, which was to appreciate all catechists and teen helpers and to particularly recognize and reward those who have served as catechists for long periods of time. This year, 25 catechists were recognized for teaching 5 years or more, with one person having been a catechist for 25 years. There are a total of 89 catechists and 55 teen helpers who instruct and nurture the young children (pre-kindergarten thru 6th grade) every Sunday for at least 27 weeks starting with the first Sunday during the regular school year. Classes are held from 9:15am to 10:30am (16 of them) and from 11:15am to 12:30pm (14 of them) every Sunday morning. Deborah has been doing this work going on 17 years and says “it is very rewarding.” She went on to say “it is more challenging each year as the culture of the parish changes with the demographics of the area.” “On the other hand,” she adds, “those challenges are fun because they allow us an opportunity to introduce new programs.”
From this writer perspective, the whole evening was a roaring success and while the Knights of Columbus helped make it successful, the success of the party hinged on the efforts of Deborah Garrison who came through with flying colors. Thanks to all who participated and the Knights look forward to helping again next year.