Volunteer Project at Sgt. Wilson s Home

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1 Our Lady of LaSalette Newsletter Volume 1 Issue 1 Spring 2013 Featured In this issue: Introduction Paint n Polish Sgt. Wilson s House Our Faithful Benefactors Woman of the Year Teacher of the Year Velbeck Room Introduction to Newsletter One of the items that came out of the Parish Survey was the need for better communication, and greater recognition of persons who contribute their Time, Talent and Treasure to the parish. This newsletter is an attempt to improve those areas. An ad was placed in the weekly bulletin for help. Some very talented people responded with excellent bios. As you read this first edition, you will see articles written by some of these talented parishioners. Others volunteered to act as proofreaders, edit and assist in getting the articles ready to send to the company that publishes the parish bulletin. There is no additional cost for publishing the newsletter, as the current contract includes this. If you have a particular topic you would like to suggest for the newsletter, you can contact either Fr. Victor or Joan Rush at or at Please enjoy reading this first issue of our newsletter and perhaps getting to know more about Our Lady of LaSalette and some of your fellow parishioners. Paint n Polish Our Lady s house has begun showing its age and, like good stewards, we have started to spruce things up.in recent months, we have replaced the main doors to the Parish Center and a few of its windows that were beyond redemption. We also replaced an exterior door in the Velbeck Room and a window in one of the restrooms. The doors to the Parish Center and the church have been repainted to give them a fresh and inviting appearance. The church building has had some major issues and, as with many older structures, solving one problem reveals another. With our building being wooden, some of the siding had begun to decay as a result of water damage, sun, and humidity. The window near the music area was removed, all of the siding and some of the substructure were replaced both on the side and front of the church. We have more to do to keep Our Lady s house a warm and friendly place for us to worship and socialize. Yes, we are planning for a new church, but as a community, in these difficult economic times, we are not quite ready for that undertaking. Until then, let us hope that the tears of Our Lady of LaSalette are only for the wayward faithful and not for a crumbling house. Bob Rush

2 Volunteer Project at Sgt. Wilson s Home By Bernadette Connolly Don Bryan & Luis Herrera at work. After completing two tours of duty in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, Sgt. Herbert Dale Wilson returned home with a service-connected disability that has prevented him from doing any heavy manual labor. His modular home is located in a rural area near Waleska. His closest neighbors are a herd of 19 goats plus the three dogs that guard them. The home was in dire need of some major repairs and he was unable to do them himself. In response to his need, volunteers from Our Lady of La- Salette Church in a joint endeavor with Home Depot gave of their time and talents to help this veteran. Home Depot also contributed a grant in the approximate amount of $9,800 to cover the cost of the building materials that were used. Sgt. Wilson, age 35, was born in Michigan, one of four siblings. Most of his schooling and growing-up years were spent in Alabama where his parents still reside. They were not wealthy people and he soon learned the basics of carpentry, electrical work, auto mechanics, etc. from his father out of financial necessity. He is the father of a 13 year old girl who currently lives in Michigan. Herbert joined the Marines in his early 20s and served 8 years with the Corps. He later enlisted in the Army Reserves and served 5 years in convoy logistics, communications and food service. His military service has stood him in good stead, enabling him to work both with computers and in food service. He is knowledgeable enough regarding computers to rebuild them, set up a network, etc. He is presently able to work on a part-time basis as a cook for an assisted living home in Woodstock. Sgt. Wilson suffered a pinched nerve in his back during his last tour in Iraq. It was further aggravated during his tour in Afghanistan. He can no longer do any heavy lifting, prolonged driving or anything that places stress on his lower back. He is receiving chiropractic and pain-management treatment through the VA hospital, but tries to keep the amount of pain medication he takes to a minimum. The first work party in May 2012 had approximately 40 volunteers from our parish and the Home Depot come out. They poured new footings and constructed a new porch, steps and railings on the front of the house with lattice below the decking. Next, the existing roof line was extended out over the new porch and gable ends. The old roofing shingles were removed and approximately 25% of the sub-roofing was replaced because of prior water damage. Only then could a new roofing shingles be installed. Numerous volunteers from OLOL logged a total of 440 man hours over 6 long, hot days in summer. After these construction jobs were completed on September 29th, volunteers from Home Depot returned to paint the new structures. Sgt. Wilson expressed his gratitude to Our Lady of LaSalette, the St. Vincent de Paul Society, the Home Depot and to all the numerous volunteers who made this project successful. His wish is to eventually get his home in a better state of repair, to pay off the mortgage and to construct an out-building behind his home where he can do light automotive repairs. He also stated that he would like to pay it forward and do anything he can to help others who, like himself, are in need. Luis Herrera, Wayne Poore & Tom Connolly

3 Our Faithful Benefactors Sarah Elizabeth Steele Lee s (Sally Lee) Bequest to Our Lady Of LaSalette Church Everybody doesn t like something but nobody doesn t like Sara Lee is an advertising slogan that many of us may remember and which can aptly be applied to Sarah Elizabeth Steele Lee, a former parishioner who went to her eternal reward on Jan 31, Sally, as she was known, bequeathed to Our Lady of LaSalette Church, a substantial sum from her estate. Born in Michigan Sally, often visited her grandmother in Florida where in the 1940 s she met and later married Harry Steele. When Harry retired, they opened an antique store in downtown Roswell. After more than 50 years together, Harry died in Sally, in 1998, married Quentin Lee, a lifelong friend who had also been widowed. Sally sold her house in Roswell and moved to Quentin s home in Lake Arrowhead. Q, as Sally called him, was one of the original parishioners of Our Lady of La Salette and was quite involved in its formation. When they married, Sally converted to Catholicism and Q often referred to her as The best convert he had ever seen. She had great faith. Sally and Q were married for 4 years when Quentin became very ill. She cared for him until his death in After Quentin died, Sally moved to Riverstone Place where she quickly assimilated into the community. She swam, played bridge and was beloved by her neighbors and friends. She loved her home, her dog, her adopted family and her church. Sally was a very gracious lady with never an unkind word. She believed in living life to the fullest and loved God, life and people. She especially loved her weekly bridge games with her dear friends. She also had a very soft spot in her heart for animals, especially dogs and always shared her home with man s (woman s) best friend. The community of Our Lady of LaSalette will always remember Sally for her devotion to her church and the blessings she brought to all during her time with us. We will keep her in our prayers and in our hearts.

4 Woman of the Year Award Goes To Christine Crosby History of the Atlanta Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women (AACCW) The first Diocesan Council of Catholic Women in Georgia was organized in Savannah by Bishop Gerald P. O Hara Savannah and Atlanta Councils were reconstituted into two separate councils. Christine is a long time parishioner of Our Lady of LaSalette. She is involved in various ministries and has been an Usher Coordinator for several years. Even though Christine doesn t consider herself having any special talents, she has helped us to accomplish many tasks through her involvement with the Discipleship Committee and the Ministry Fair. Through her efforts, along with the work of others, the fair was a great success. Quoting Sr. Joan Chittister We are alive for one reason only, to pour out our talents on the rest of the human race for their joy, for their use, for their happiness, as well as our own. The Woman of the Year Award is given by the Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women, an arm of the National Council of Catholic Women which was established in 1920 by the U.S. Council of Bishops in recognition of the widespread influence on church and society already exerted by American Catholic Women. Every year, each parish nominates a woman for this honor. In recent years, we have nominated Joanne Montero, Alicia Azula and now Christine (who was reminded that when younger, she was co-honored with her sister for Youth of the Year award.) All the nominated ladies in the Archdiocese are acknowledged at a Mass and Reception sponsored by the Archdiocese of Atlanta. As Christine, herself pointed out, there are many other women in our parish who deserve recognition. She considers herself an extremely blessed person to be surrounded by wonderful people and is honored to be recognized as OLOL Woman of the Year Council s name was renamed, the Atlanta Diocesan Council of Catholic Women. Upon the elevation of the Diocese of Atlanta to the rank of Archdiocese, the Council s name was changed to the Atlanta Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women (AACCW) By definition of the Revised Bylaws of the AACCW, membership consists of Catholic organizations of women, enjoying Episcopal approval, within the Archdiocese. As stated in the minutes oft the first meeting of the Savannah Council in October 1938, the intent was to gather under one aegis, parish organizations of Catholic women throughout of the State of Georgia for the purpose of federating these organizations with the National Council of Catholic Women Most Reverend Wilton Daniel Gregory, Archbishop of Atlanta, declared that all Catholic women registered in a parish or mission in the Archdiocese are ex officio members of the AACCW. Therefore, this includes all the women who are registered at Our Lady of LaSalette. The Women s Guild here at our parish has adopted their by-laws based on the AACCW guidelines. Members are also encouraged to attend the annual AACCW convention each year to learn about the organizations charitable endeavors. Each year the Archbishop of Atlanta will host a luncheon at his residence for the Presidents of the Women s Guild from all the parishes in the Archdiocese. It is an amazing and humbling experience to be honored with so many other Catholic women.

5 Teacher of the Year Award Goes To Mary Beth Smith Parishioner Mary Beth Smith was recently named Teacher of the Year at Queen of Angels Catholic School in Roswell, where she has been a middle school paraprofessional, religion teacher and robotics assistant since She has given much of her time and talents here at Our Lady of LaSalette by her continuous service to the Religious Education Program since 1994 as DRE and presently as a catechist. She also serves as EMOHC, has been a facilitator for engaged couples and a lector. Back in 2002 her daughter was looking for a service project as she was working on the Catholic religious medals in Girl Scouts. Father Neil Jones, who was the pastor at Our Lady of LaSalette at the time, suggested My House as a project. Laura completed the badge requirements to earn the religious recognitions, but our hearts were so deeply touched by the children and their unfortunate circumstances, that we became advocates for them through the annual collection of baby items and gift cards at LaSalette. A native of southwest Ohio she comes from a large extended family Cheaper by the Dozen, and is #5 of 12 children (seven brothers and four sisters). She and her husband of 32 years lived in Colorado Springs, Colorado before moving to Georgia in Besides their pet love bird, Cricket, the family is now interested in another pet: the UGA football bulldog mascot as Laura, their daughter is a pharmacy student at the University of Georgia. Some of her educational qualifications include a B.S. Management, Master Catechist and Life Long Learner. She lists some of her favorite things as spending time with my family, travel, reading books, using tech devices, gadgets, and gizmos, growing vegetables and flowers, bird watching, caring for Cricket and sewing. Mrs. Molly Carlin, principal at Queen of Angels, said the following about Mary Beth, She embodies a woman with a strong Catholic faith who is always willing to help out students, parents and other teachers. We at Our Lady of LaSalette also wish to extend our congratulations to her. Mary Beth, Phillip and Laura Smith The Story of My House In 1990, Donna Carson, a nurse in the Intensive Infant Care unit of Grady Hospital, saw a need for a long-term, transitional home for babies born to addictive parents. My House allows them to be discharged into a safe, home-like setting until permanency has been made. Otherwise, some children were boarded at the hospital, rather than being discharged to families who could not provide adequate care for them. The home was first located in downtown Atlanta near the Fox Theater. It would be partially funded by the state, but the rest would have to come from private donations. In 1999, a new house was purchased in Northwest Cherokee County around Milton with some acreage and a swimming pool that is used for therapy. So far there have been 152 children with serious medical problems or suffered abuse who have been lovingly cared for at My House. Ms. Carson said that school children may tour the facility which gives them a valuable insight into the problems of other children. She has also offered the same opportunity to members of OLOL. Contributions are required to keep My House running. Additional information regarding tours and volunteering is available at Madeline Korff

6 The History of the Velbeck Room The church s Crying Room/Kitchen Pantry is known as the Velbeck Room. Thanks to the recall of a few parishioners and research, some minor insight is offered as why the room was named for Marjorie (Margie) Velbeck. Mrs. Velbeck was a significant donor both prior to the church s building and after. She lived in Ohio and was a friend of Father Thomas Carroll. Father Carroll was a LaSalette Missionary and Director of the Shrine in Ipswich, Massachusetts before becoming pastor at St. Francis in Cartersville, Ga. Included in his assignment at St. Francis were two mission churches, Our Lady of LaSalette in Canton and St. Clement in Calhoun. As Father was apparently a very prominent person, he must have crossed paths with Mrs. Velbeck. She was a contributor to the Shrine in Massachusetts and later became one of our benefactors. When the time had come for the missions to become parishes, he wrote to his patrons up North. She responded with a letter- writing campaign to her friends, resulting in numerous donations. It was then that the ground was broken for our church in Canton. She was so pleased that the church would be named Our Lady of LaSalette that she was in attendance for its dedication on April 24, Part of her donation was used to build the then classroom (now the crying/ pantry room). When she passed, evidently another large sum of money was again designated for our church. It is interesting to note that donations from the North helped to build a church in the South! There is a plaque on the right-hand wall of the Church s entrance that lists Mrs. Velbeck s name as well as other benefactors who also donated their time, talents and funds. Did Mrs. Velbeck feel a particular kinship with the two French children that Mary appeared to on the hillside in LaSalette, France? Was she possibly a witness to a special miracle involving Our Lady and hence her intense interest? Or was she just a very generous believer who took up the cause of the LaSalette Missionaries, and that was to Spread the Word of God? We know Mrs. Velbeck did not have children and that she was a resident of the Buckeye state. However, this is just a short biography of a very generous woman to a church so far from her home. If there are other parishioners who may have more information on Mrs. Velbeck, we would welcome hearing from you. Mary Ann McKinney Our thanks to those whose contributions made this newsletter a reality. They are: Gene Bernard, Bernadette Connolly, Landine and Miranda Dominick, Elizabeth Garner, Madeline Korff, Mary Ann McKinney, Joan and Bob Rush. Newsletter Contributions Welcome If any parishioner would like to write an article of interest in their native language (Espanol, French, etc.), please send a Microsoft Word document as an attachment and to the editor at

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