We have many volunteers at St. Matthews who faithfully help the parish, with little recognition. Al and Kathy Schowalter are an example of that type of volunteer. Each week as parishioners arrive for the Saturday or Sunday Mass, and go to light a vigil candle, they never have to search for a candle to light. Every Saturday, 52 weeks of the year, Al and Kathy come to the church to clean the used vigil holders and place in them fresh vigil candles. They do the same every Sunday morning. Knowing that there is always an awareness of “fire safety” they will return to church late Saturday evening to make sure all the candles are extinguished. They repeat this same procedure Sunday morning. Putting new candles in clean candle holders and cleaning the used vigil candle holders. They have left family gatherings to go and make sure the vigil candles are burnt out and all is well!
Al and Kathy have been married for 43 years. Al attended Sibley HS and Kathy went to Humboldt. They have two children, Brian and Michelle and six grandchildren.
Kathy is a member of the Rosary Society. She and Al work the Fish Fry every year. Kathy helps Sister Anne with whatever needs to be done. Al & Kathy both chair the Bottle Lotto booth at the Fall Festival each year. They spend the entire year looking for candy and prizes to fill the bottles. They both serve as Eucharistic Ministers, and Kathy is also a Sacristan. If there is painting to be done on the St. Matt’s campus, each can be found with a brush in their hand. They take pride in the appearance of the church property and work to keep the parking lot and surrounding areas clear of trash. The weekend the People of Praise moved into the Parish Center apartments there was a party in the Social Hall. The next morning Kathy picked up the beer cans in the parking lot. She said, ” We want to make a good impression!” When a call goes out to clean the church they are there. They take part in helping to decorate the church for Christmas and Easter.
The Saturday before the Festival, after they spent the morning helping to paint the Parish Center doors, they traveled to a relatives farm and spent the afternoon picking apples. They then drove 50 miles back to St. Matt’s. They wanted to get back before the 4:00 pm Mass finished so that after Mass people could pick up the apples to use in pies for the Pie Booth! Al & Kathy are 2 of our “unsung volunteers”. Today we sing their praises!