The Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Little Rock
   

A Catholic You Want to Know

A Catholic You Want to Know is a monthly series in Arkansas Catholic, featuring some of the individuals and families who make our parishes tick and give back to their families, parishes and communities.

 

A Catholic you want to know: Elden Lee Blakely

By Alesia Schaefer, Published: April 17, 2017   

Why you want to know Elden Lee Blakely: Elden has been involved in a ministry that serves the homeless in Rogers since its beginning in spring 2016. The “8th Street Motel Ministry,” so-called because of the location it serves, offers a meal, resources and counseling for those who are temporarily without a place to live and for those who continue to struggle with other issues of poverty. Elden serves as a social advocate in the ministry More... 

A Catholic you want to know: Justin White

By Fran Presley, Published: March 18, 2017   

Why you want to know Justin S. White: Justin is one of the founders of a faith formation class for parents and singles eager to learn more about their faith and to be of support to their parish family. He and his wife Kelli also teach a baptism class. He is the co-chairman for St. Edward’s capital campaign and helps with other fund-raising efforts. He is also active in First Choice Pregnancy Center, an ecumenical More... 

Catholics you want to know: Montiel family

By Maryanne Meyerriecks, Published: February 13, 2017   

Why you want to know Pat and Allison Montiel: Dr. Pat Montiel, currently completing his family practice residency, will be the director of Mercy Clinic at Riverview Hope Campus, providing comprehensive services to impoverished people, beginning in August. He is also on his parish council. Allison Montiel, a former nurse and teacher, is a member of Fort Smith Catholic High School Committee and chair of Immaculate Conception’s Catholic Schools Week activities. Together they have led More... 

A Catholic you want to know: Kathy Webb Kordsmeier

By Aprille Hanson, Published: January 28, 2017   

Why you want to know Kathy Webb Kordsmeier: Kathy Webb Kordsmeier founded what is now called Beacon of Hope Ministry for the bereaved at St. Joseph Church in Conway in 2004. After years of working as a licensed psychological examiner, a series of losses and changes in her life led her to fulfill God’s call of ministry to the bereaved and sick. She became a chaplain, working at Hospice Home Care in Little Rock until More... 

A Catholic you want to know: Pohlmeier family

By Alesia Schaefer, Published: December 19, 2016   

Why you want to know Erin and Jason Pohlmeier: Before becoming the principal of St. Joseph School in Fayetteville in 2014, Jason served as principal at St. Edward School in Little Rock for five years. Erin is a stay-at-home mom. The couple is also the state chairmen for the Arkansas chapter of the Couple to Couple League, the nation’s largest provider of information and training for natural family planning. But more recently, they took on another More... 

A Catholic you want to know: Jose Perez

By Fran Presley, Published: November 11, 2016   

Why you want to know Jose Perez: Jose is a key to the smooth functioning of the Hispanic choir. The choir sings each Sunday at the Spanish Mass. He also contributes to Hispanic fundraising efforts to benefit St. Edward. Parish: St. Edward Church City: Texarkana Age: 27 Family:  Parents, Jose and Maria Perez; three younger brothers and one younger sister   IN HIS OWN WORDS Arkansas Catholic’s theme this year is “Grow in your Family of Faith.” What are some ways you More... 

A Catholic you want to know: Chase Hawkins

By Aprille Hanson, Published: October 25, 2016   

Why you want to know Chase Logan Hawkins: Chase Hawkins, a cradle Catholic, does not just say he’s pro-life — he takes action. Hawkins has gone with his family throughout the years to pray in front of the abortion clinic in Little Rock and corresponds with a death-row inmate. Along with his mother, he also teaches faith formation to 16 third-graders. Hawkins graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 2012 with a More... 

A Catholic you want to know: Patrick Sweeney

By Aprille Hanson, Published: August 16, 2016   

Why you want to know Patrick Joseph Sweeney: Patrick Sweeney has been volunteering 21 years with Kairos Prison Ministry, an international ecumenical ministry that addresses the spiritual needs of the incarcerated and their families. Sweeney spends four to five hours at a time visiting with inmates at the Randall L. Williams Correctional Facility in Jefferson County once a month. According to kairosprisonmin istry.org, recidivism rates have lowered in certain areas thanks to the ministry. Sweeney More... 

A Catholic you want to know: Tami Ashcraft

By Brenda Clark, Published: July 16, 2016   

Why you want to know Tamara D’Annette Lynn “Tami” Ashcraft: Tami, raised Catholic, has been active in the Hispanic community and is a registered nurse care coordinator at Ouachita Valley Family Clinic in Camden. She is enrolled in the UAMS College of Nursing Accelerated RN to BSN/MNSc program. Parish: St. Louis Church, Camden City: Hampton Age: 54 Family: Married to Tommy for nine years; three adult children and nine grandsons   IN HER OWN WORDS Arkansas Catholic’s theme this year is “Grow More... 

A Catholic you want to know: Fran Searcy

By Aprille Hanson, Published: June 14, 2016   

Why you want to know Fran Louise Searcy: At 21 years old, Fran Searcy joined the Church at the Cathedral, serving in various capacities including still being on the cleaning committee, dusting pews and adjusting the books. In March, Searcy was honored with the 2016 Oldest Volunteer award from the Arkansas Gerontological Society. She has been volunteering at the Maumelle Senior Wellness Center for 11 years, cooking and serving lunch to fellow seniors on Wednesdays. More... 

A Catholic you want to know: John Barnes

By Aprille Hanson, Published: May 24, 2016   

Why you want to know John Curtis Barnes: For 35 years, John Barnes has been director of music, serving as the organist and choir director at St. Peter the Fisherman Church in Mountain Home. Except for the church’s first pastor, Barnes has played for every pastor (nine) whose name appears on the doors of St. Peter and 14 associate pastors. In 2014, he retired from Roller Funeral Home, where he served as regional manager and More... 

A Catholic you want to know: Annette McCandless

By Fran Presley, Published: April 9, 2016   

Why you want to know Annette McCandless: Annette is the director of St. Edward Outreach Center. She has taught religious education to 7- and 8-year-olds for nine years. She prays in the adoration chapel and has served as a Eucharistic minister since 2006. Parish: St. Edward Church City: Texarkana Family: Two grown daughters, Melissa Girdner and Elizabeth Bowman; four grandchildren   IN HER OWN WORDS Arkansas Catholic’s theme this year is “Grow in your Family of Faith.” What are some ways More... 

A Catholic you want to know: Belinda Ortner

By Aprille Hanson, Published: March 15, 2016   

Why you want to know Belinda Ortner: Belinda, director of religious education and RCIA coordinator for St. Anne Church in North Little Rock, was recognized in January by the Diocese of Little Rock’s Office of Faith Formation for 20 years of service to religious education. Ortner, who was born Catholic in Kansas and was later a “revert” back to the faith, said the close-knit community at St. Anne’s is what she has loved about the More... 

A Catholic you want to know: Mike Massey

By Aprille Hanson, Published: February 23, 2016   

Why you want to know Mike Massey: For three years, Mike Massey has led the Frassati Society of Young Adult Catholics at St. Joseph Church in Conway. About 19 young adults, ages 18 to 39, attend the weekly meetings regularly, which include a meal and Bible study or discussions on Church teachings as well as monthly social events. He converted to Catholicism in college and worked as a youth minister for a few years at More... 

Catholics you want to know: Austin & Laura Kellerman

By Aprille Hanson, Published: January 25, 2016   

Why you want to know the Kellermans: Lifelong Catholics Austin and Laura Kellerman grew up in Texas, about 20 miles apart, but did not meet until college. For the past four years, Austin has been the news director for television stations KARK 4 and Fox 16 in Little Rock. Laura is the community service awards producer for the station on a freelance basis and is a portrait photographer for Lyndsey Sullivan Photography in Little Rock. Laura More... 

A Catholic you want to know: Marvin Salinas

By Alesia Schaefer, Published: December 28, 2015   

Why you want to know Marvin Salinas: Marvin has served as the president of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of the Mother Teresa Conference for the past five years. He is also serving in his second year as treasurer of the District Council of the Arkansas Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Born in Managua, Nicaragua, Salinas has seen the face of poverty in his home country. Currently, the society serves 1,000 families each More... 

A Catholic you want to know: Mary Ann Sladek

By Aprille Hanson, Published: December 1, 2015   

Why you want to know Mary Ann Sladek: Mary Ann spends most of her time volunteering in the community and for the church. After 10 years at Baxter Regional Medical Center she has accumulated about 6,000 volunteer hours and serves on the HOPE (Hospitality, Orientation, Placement and Encouragement) committee. She continues her adoration hour that she started with her husband about 10 years ago every Friday night and quilts for the church. She helps with More... 

A Catholic you want to know: Dr. Dennis F. Holt

By Sarah Morris, Published: August 20, 2015   

Why you want to know Dennis: Dennis, a dentist in Pocahontas, is known throughout the Catholic charismatic community for providing praise and worship music during charismatic events. He and his wife Janet also support overseas ministries. Parish: St. Paul City: Pocahontas Age: 65 Family: I have been married to my wife, Janet Baltz Holt, for 43 years. We have four children, Dr. Brent Holt, Denise Holt Dawson, Mark Holt and Luke Holt. We have nine grandchildren. IN HIS OWN WORDS Arkansas More... 

A Catholic you want to know: Dr. Milburn Haynes

By Fran Presley, Published: July 10, 2015   

Why you want to know Dr. Milburn Haynes: Milburn is an expert cook and has cooked for numerous functions at St. Edward through the years. He is always willing to provide food when called upon. Milburn is also a dentist with a busy practice, who takes time to gives his services to those who cannot pay. Parish: St. Edward City: Texarkana Age: 65 Family: Wife Mary Catherine, married 44 years; three adult children and four grandchildren IN HIS OWN WORDS Arkansas More... 

Connie Jones said love of music started at birth

By Aprille Hanson, Published: June 23, 2015   

Why you want to know Connie Sue Jones: For 40 years, Connie shared her love of music as a teacher. In June, she retired after 35 years as the Our Lady of the Holy Souls School music teacher where they named the music room in her honor. She also served as the music director at Our Lady of the Holy Souls Church in Little Rock for 11 years. Parish: Our Lady of the Holy Souls Church City: More... 

Al Ostergaard volunteers for parish despite disability

By Brenda Clark, Published: May 12, 2015   

Why you want to know Allen “Al” Ostergaard: In spite of numerous health problems, Al continues to volunteer every day at the Holy Redeemer Thrift Shop that he started in the parish. Parish: Holy Redeemer City: El Dorado Age: 70 Family: Wife Judi, five grown children and four grandchildren   IN HIS OWN WORDS Arkansas Catholic’s theme this year is “Worth it.” What investments of time or money have you made to enrich your faith? I am limited because I’ve got lots More... 

A Catholic you want to know: Pro-Lifer Sheila Pursell

By Alesia Schaefer, Published: April 27, 2015   

Name: Sheila Jane Pursell Parish: St. Vincent de Paul Church City: Rogers Age: 58 Family: Married to husband, Arthur Pursell, for five years Occupation: Part-time benefits consultant for Colonial Life Insurance Why you want to know Sheila: Sheila has been involved with the respect life movement for more than 30 years, first becoming active as a college student. Currently, she is the executive director for the Northwest Arkansas Catholic Respect Life Council and has been president since 2010. She is also More... 

Richard Millé carves ambry for home parish, God

By Maryanne Meyerriecks, Published: March 23, 2015   

Name: Richard Millé Parish: St. Boniface Church City: Fort Smith Age: 67 Family: Richard has been married to Judy for 45 years. They have two daughters, Resa Green, and Danielle (deceased); and two grandchildren Why you want to know Richard: He just completed building and installing a hand-carved ambry (holy oils cabinet) of alder wood in his church. The ambry matches the hand-carved altars that were imported from Germany many years ago. It was blessed at Mass Feb. 15. In his More... 

Chris Thomas looks for sacred in everyday life

By Fran Presley, Published: January 19, 2015   

Name: Christine “Chris” Thomas Parish: St. Edward Church  City: Texarkana Family: Married to David Thomas for 34 years; and three children, Andrew, 29; Mark, 26; and Catherine, 18 Why you want to know Chris: Chris uses her many talents to serve the Lord both in her parish and in the community at large. For several years she was a faithful worker in the community garden, a project of several downtown churches to grow food to feed needy people. She More... 

When you need a hand, Phyllis Garris is there

By Dwain Hebda, Published: December 5, 2014   

Name: Phyllis Garris Parish: St. Andrew Church City: Yellville Family: Husband Larry Why you want to know Phyllis: With volunteer activities ranging from Arkansas Right to Life, Shoebox Ministry, Operation Rice Bowl, Ministerial Alliance of Marion County and Operation Christmas Child to visiting the sick and serving as a extraordinary minister of holy Communion, the Michigan native and former General Motors assembly line welder is tireless in service to others. Bolstered by study in the diocese’s School of Spiritual Direction, More... 

Hoelzeman’s reputation growing in liturgical art

By Dwain Hebda, Published: November 18, 2014   

Name: George Hoelzeman Parish:  St. Mary Church City: Saint Vincent Family:  Wife Cheryl and daughters, Anja and Heidi Why you want to know George: From a single set of Stations of the Cross plaques carved for a priest friend, George has grown into one of the most sought-after liturgical artists in the country. Largely self-taught, his wood carving and design are on display in churches around the country. In each, the Morrilton native who once discerned a vocation to More... 

Jimmy Rogers: Charity increases love, care for others

By Aprille Hanson, Published: October 9, 2014   

Name: James Jackson “Jimmy” Rogers IV Parish: St. Joseph, Conway Family: Wife Jill and 9-month-old son Jackson Rogers V Education/career: Bachelor’s degree in environmental science from the University of Central Arkansas; works as an environmental scientist for FTN Associates in Little Rock. Why you want to know Jimmy Rogers: For approximately four years, Jimmy, 33, has been at the helm of the St. Joseph Community Assistance program, helping to organize meetings and report to the church council. Rogers oversees More... 

Sil Gomez strong from time in war, surviving cancer

By Fran Presley, Published: September 8, 2014   

Name: Silfida “Sil” Gomez Parish: St. Edward City: Texarkana Family: Single Why you want to know Sil: She is active at St. Edward, serving in the past on the Parish Life Committee, as leader of a Sunday study group and as a volunteer at the Outreach Center. She is now the parish’s youth minister. When she approached Father Paul Worm about getting more involved in the parish, he knew she was an answer to prayer. He said, “I knew More... 

Jim Miles instills social justice into health care role

By Zita Taitano, Published: August 14, 2014   

Name: Jim Miles Parish: Christ the King Church City: Little Rock Age: 70 Family: wife Patricia; two children, Barbara and Steven; and six grandchildren Why you want to know about Jim: About 25 years ago, Jim converted to the Catholic faith. Jim has been involved with his parish as a men’s group leader and lector. Additionally, he instills his faith in his company Covenant Medical Benefits in Jonesboro and looks forward every day to helping others. In his own words: Arkansas Catholic’s More... 

Regalado rallies Hispanic Caballeros in Fort Smith

By Maryanne Meyerreicks, Published: July 21, 2014   

Name: Roberto Regalado Parish: Immaculate Conception City: Fort Smith Age: 38 Family: married to Laura 14 years, father to daughter Brianna, 13; and sons Esel,10, and Christopher 2½. Why you want to know Roberto: He is the grand knight of Caballeros de Colon (Knights of Columbus) Council 15453, established two years ago and including members of four River Valley parishes: Immaculate Conception, Christ the King and St. Boniface Churches, all in Fort Smith, and St. Michael Church in Van Buren. More... 

St. Edward musician thankful for God’s gift of music

By Dwain Hebda, Published: July 3, 2014   

Name: Manuela Negrete Parish: St. Edward Church City: Little Rock Age: 49 Family: Husband Miguel, married for 23 years; four children, daughters Mary Carmen and Maricruz and sons Miguel Jr. and Isidro Why you want to know Manuela: A self-taught musician, Manuela is the director of St. Edward’s Hispanic choirs that sing at the parish’s Spanish Masses and various bilingual liturgies throughout the year. In 22 years she’s also become highly sought-after to perform at various Spanish religious events around More... 

VP Jim Pomeroy keeps Christ in Christus Health System

By Fran Presley, Published: May 12, 2014   

Name: James “Jim” Pomeroy Parish: St. Edward  City: Texarkana Family: Wife Trudy, married 45 years; three adult children; and four grandchildren Why you want to know Jim: Jim is vice president of mission integration at Christus St. Michael Health System in Texarkana. In that role he has many opportunities to show Jesus’ mercy to needy people both in Arkansas and Texas, including the coordination of charity events. IN HIS OWN WORDS Arkansas Catholic’s theme this year is “Tools for Discipleship.” What More... 

Jean Pappas' work served poor, hungry via food pantry

By Alesia Schaefer, Published: April 17, 2014   

Name: Jean Pappas Parish: St. Vincent de Paul Church City: Rogers Age: 56 Family: Married to Dr. John Pappas for 30 years, two adult children Why you want to know Jean Pappas: After 10 years of volunteer service and expansion with the food pantry at St. Vincent de Paul Church, Jean, a lifelong Catholic, retired from recruiting, training, scheduling and coordinating volunteers to spend more time with family and broaden her scope of ministering within the Church. Her background in More... 

Chris Langley loves Church, shares it with others

By Aprille Hanson, Published: March 17, 2014   

Name: Christine “Chris” Therese Langley Parish: St. Peter the Fisherman Church, Mountain Home Family: Husband Bruce, married 43 years; two adult sons and one adult daughter Why you want to know Chris Langley: Chris has been active in religious education at St. Peter for at least 28 years. As religious education director, she keeps busy as a catechist, VIRTUS parish coordinator, as well as anything the church needs — from designing and developing the new St. Peter website More... 

Pullam tells story of the Cathedral, a tour at a time

By Dwain Hebda, Published: February 25, 2014   

Name: Margie Pullam Parish: Cathedral of St. Andrew City: Little Rock Age: 64 Family: Husband Tom, married for 42 years; two children, daughter Elise Cooley and son Zachary; and three grandchildren Why you want to know Margie: As chairman of the Docent Committee of the parish Ladies’ Guild, Pullam and her cadre of volunteer docents, or tour guides, show Catholic and non-Catholic groups alike the historical, liturgical and architectural wonder that is the official mother church of the diocese. In her More... 

Taffy Council: Evangelizer for perpetual adoration

By Dwain Hebda, Published: January 23, 2014   

Name: Taffy Council Parish: Our Lady of Fatima City: Benton Age: 65 Family: Husband Tony, married for 44 years; four children, Kristen McConnell, John Council, Sarah McConnell and Justin Council; six grandchildren Why you want to know Taffy: A desire for a close personal relationship with Jesus led Taffy to establish a perpetual adoration ministry at her parish. Since then, she has become a recognized authority on the process, helping parishes throughout Arkansas and beyond start or resuscitate their own More... 

Guy Riga is a volunteer Jonesboro can always count on

By Zita Taitano, Published: December 11, 2013   

Name: Guy Riga Parish: Blessed Sacrament Church City: Jonesboro Age: 74 Family: Widowed (wife Martha died in 2009) with four children, eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Why you want to know Guy: A longtime parishioner of Blessed Sacrament, Guy is an active member of the Knights of Columbus and a volunteer at the Blessed Sacrament School. He admits he is a private person but goes out of his way to help the faculty, staff and students of the school whether More... 

Victoria Shelton bridges English- and Spanish-speakers

By Fran Presley, Published: November 25, 2013   

Name: Victoria Vieiro Shelton Parish: St. Edward Church City: Texarkana Family: Widowed for eight years (married to the late Marvin C. Shelton Jr.) and one adult son, Hugh Why you want to know Victoria: As a secretary in the parish office, Victoria serves as a bridge between English- and Spanish-speaking parishioners. She is a native of Caracas, Venezuela, and is fluent in Spanish and English. Father Paul Francis Worm, pastor, said of her: “Victoria has been a great help More... 

Rose Mimms works to make abortion ‘unthinkable’

By Aprille Hanson, Published: October 23, 2013   

Name: Rose Marie Mimms Parish: St. Theresa Church, Little Rock Age: 59 Family: Married 39 years to Larry Mimms; two children and six grandchildren. Why you want to know Rose Mimms: Rose is a voice for the voiceless —- the roughly 1.2 million babies killed each year in the United States from abortion. Since the 1990s, her mission has been education on pro-life causes as executive director of Arkansas Right to Life in Little Rock. In her own words Why is More... 

Stuttgart Catholic passionate about parish, education

By Sarah Morris, Published: September 12, 2013   

Name: Kathy Lorince Parish: Holy Rosary Church City: Stuttgart Age: 52 Family: Husband David and son Alan Why you want to know Kathy: Lorince is the principal at Holy Rosary School and teaches kindergarten and first grade. She is in the church choir and the chairwoman for Gala Circle, which she described as the working women’s altar society. She also administers Communion to the sick and is a member of Delta Kappa Gamma. In her own words Arkansas Catholic’s theme this year More... 

Rosalyn Pruitt keeps things humming at St. Augustine

Dwain Hebda, Published: September 3, 2013   

Name: Rosalyn Pruitt Parish: St. Augustine Church City: North Little Rock Age:  57 Family:  Married to Tim for 31 years; and two sons, Tim, 28, and Jordan, 22 Why you want to know Rosalyn: For almost 25 years, Pruitt has been the hub that keeps wheels spinning as director of religious education at St. Augustine Church, an urban parish in North Little Rock. She’s also a driving force behind the Diocesan Council of Black Catholics, planning and implementing events to More... 

Tom Jakobs puts extra into ordinary lives in Church

By Maryanne Meyerriecks, Published: July 22, 2013   

Name: Deacon Tom Jakobs Parish: Christ the King City: Fort Smith Age: 55 Family: married to Diane for 30 years; one son, Eric Why you want to know Tom: Deacon Tom Jakobs, who was ordained on Nov. 17, 2012, enjoys the ministry of adult faith formation, RCIA, Theology on Tap and adult classes and guest lecturing for Little Rock Scripture Study on Job, Isaiah and Psalms. His company, Invotek, has been creating technology for disabled people for 25 years. Recently, More... 

Betsy McNeil: the face of Jesus from behind the desk

By Alesia Schaefer, Published: July 5, 2013   

Name: Betsy McNeil Parish: St. Vincent de Paul Parish City: Rogers Age: 61 Family: Married to Don McNeil for 29 years, widowed for 12 years; three adult children; and seven grandchildren. Why you want to know Betsy: McNeil works as the “face” of the second largest parish in the diocese as the information coordinator at the church’s front desk. She is the warm smile, kind word and caring voice that greets every parishioner who walks through the doors of St. More... 

David Mounsey: Texarkana parish's supreme volunteer

By Fran Presley, Published: May 20, 2013      

Name: David Mounsey Parish: St. Edward  City: Texarkana Family: Wife Karon, married 41 years; three grown children, Patrick, Benjamin and Katie; and four grandchildren Why you want to know David Mounsey: Pastor Father Paul Worm says of him: “I appreciate David’s commitment to the parish, which he exhibits in many different ways. I remember the day I arrived at St. Edward’s with my moving van. He was one of the first parishioners to greet me and he helped me More... 

Dr. Kevin Forte: Medicine, music, family feed his soul

By Marilyn Lanford, Published: April 18, 2013   

Name: Dr. Kevin Forte Parish: Christ the King City: Little Rock Age: 52 Family: Wife Judy, 15-year-old twins, Matthew and Catherine, and mother Agnes. Why you want to know Kevin: He loves his work as the music director and organist at Christ the King Church in addition to being a radiologist at Baptist Medical Center. On Memorial Day weekend, 26 members of the Christ the King Chancel Choir will travel to New York to perform at Lincoln Center in the More... 

Little Rock’s Jack Dallas has yet to meet a stranger

By Dwain Hebda, Published: March 13, 2013   

Name: Jack Dallas Parish: Our Lady of Good Counsel Church City: Little Rock Age: 86 Family: A widower, Jack has four grown children, daughters Janie Koesy and Jeanenne Dallas and sons Johnny Dallas and Jimmy Dallas; 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Why you want to know Jack: In the dozen years he spent in the restaurant business managing The Embers, a famed Little Rock steakhouse, Jack’s sense of hospitality set a welcoming tone for his customers. In the 35 years More... 

Paladino volunteers four decades in Center Ridge

By Dwain Hebda, Published: February 9, 2013   

Name:  Theresa Paladino Parish:  St. Joseph Church City:  Center Ridge Age:  57 Family:  Widowed, with no children. Why you want to know Theresa: A product of one of the founding families in the area, Theresa was just finishing high school when she was approached to volunteer as church secretary. That was 40 years of evenings and weekends ago. She fills her days as a full-time customer service representative for an insurance company in Little Rock. In her own words: Arkansas Catholic’s theme this More... 

Ashdown pastor, parish rely on Veldah Eberwein

By Fran Presley, Published: January 12, 2013   

Name: Veldah Marie Eberwein Parish: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church City: Ashdown Family: Divorced mother of Stephanie Marie, 34, who is the director of religious education at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church. Why you want to know Veldah: Veldah's pastor, Father Paul Worm, said of her: "I don't know what I would do without Veldah in Ashdown. She and her two sisters, Rosemary and Eunace, are mainstays at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church and take care of just about More... 

Hoyts keeping faith and family together in Rogers

By Alesia Schaefer, Published: December 15, 2012   

Names: Deacon Ronnie Hoyt, wife Sharon and son Tony Parish: St. Vincent de Paul City: Rogers Ages: Ronnie, 50; Sharon, 50; and Tony, 24 Family: Ronnie and Sharon have been married 27 years and have five children, Hillary, Andrew, Tony, Clay and Cameron, and three grandchildren Why you want to know the Hoyt family: As members of St. Vincent de Paul Church for the past 27 years, the Hoyts have watched their family grow up in the parish. But the More... 

In work or health, Annette Tracy knows God has a plan

By Dwain Hebda, Published: November 17, 2012   

Name: Annette Tracy Parish: Our Lady of the Holy Souls, Little Rock Age: 50 Family: Husband Tom of 22 years and two children Eryn, 18, and Morgan, 14 Why you want to know Annette: For the past 18 years, Annette has seen the cruelty of which humanity is capable as a crime scene specialist with the Little Rock Police Department and before that as a member of the California Highway Patrol. But regardless of what the day brings, she More... 

Woman accompanies husband on diaconate journey

By Alesia Schaefer, Published: October 13, 2012   

Name: Rosario Castrejon Parish: St. Vincent de Paul City: Rogers Age: 45 Family: Arturo, husband of 22 years, and two children, Jessica, 20, who is married, and Arturo, 17 Why you want to know Rosario: After leaving California in 2006, Rosario and her family left behind a close-knit parish family to move to Rogers. What they thought might be a vacation turned in to much more. Now, six years later, the couple plans to celebrate Arturo's ordination as a permanent More... 

Tom Devine: Committed Catholic, defender of justice

By Dwain Hebda, Published: September 8, 2012   

Name: Tom Devine Parish: Our Lady of the Holy Souls City: Little Rock Age: 54 Family: Wife of 32 years, Mary, and four children, Tom IV, Katie, Michael and Megan Why you want to know Tom: After walking away from a potentially lucrative career as a trial lawyer, Tom has been a fixture in the state's public defender's office for the past 27 years. In so doing, he has stood up for those who could not, due to financial or More... 

Faith and family are key to Duge Gramlich

By Maryanne Meyerriecks, Published: August 11, 2012   

Name: John Franklin "Duge" Gramlich Parish: St. Boniface Church City: Fort Smith Age: 81 Family: Married to Gertrude 61 years, eight children: Cindy Toth, Debbie Hudson, Charlotte Weisenfels, Dianna Williams, Jeff Gramlich, Jim Gramlich, Maria Lau and Greg Gramlich; 23 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren Why you want to know Duge Gramlich: Gramlich was recently honored by his parish for a lifetime of service, as a trustee of the Endowment Fund and for his work in parish sports and school programs, missions More... 

Father-daughter duo praises the Lord together at St. Mary's

By Heather Strojek, Published: July 21, 2012   

Full Names: Al Espinda and Kristi Gonzalez Parish: St. Mary Church in North Little Rock Home: Sherwood Age: Al is 62; Kristi is 30 Family: Al is married to Mary and they have five children, Mele, 39, Alika, 37, Alvin Jr., 31, Kristi, and Laura, 28; and eight grandchildren. Their second-youngest daughter, Kristi, is engaged to Joseph Acosta, and she has two sons: Joseph, 7, and Cristian, 3. Why you want to know Al and Kristi: Al and Kristi are More... 

Boeckmann dedicates days, weekends to parish

By Sarah Morris, Published: June 16, 2012   

Name: Henry Boeckmann Parish: St. Peter Church City: Wynne Age: 42 Family: Mother, Gerta Boeckmann Why you want to know Henry: As the parish's office assistant, Henry Boeckmann is ready to help pastor Father Arokiasamy Madhichetty Irudayaraj and administrative assistant Louise Hess with office and liturgical duties. On Sundays he is a lector and extraordinary minister of holy Communion. He occasionally takes Communion to the homebound and sick. In his own words Arkansas Catholic's theme this year is “Catholic Beyond Sunday.” How More... 

Sam Maranto sees no limits in his parish job

By Fran Presley, Published: May 12, 2012   

Name: Sam Maranto Parish: Our Lady of Good Hope City: Hope Age: 60 Family: Wife of almost 38 years, Rebecca, and two grown children Why You Want to Know Sam Maranto: Maranto's influence as church secretary affects everyone in the parish and, as the administrator of the church's food pantry, he affects many outside the parish. Maranto was born with cerebral palsy and is also legally blind. His pastor, Father Alphonse Gollapalli, said, "He overcomes his disability by being active More... 

Barbara Wragg: In Fayetteville with an Irish heart of gold

By Patricia May, Published: April 14, 2012   

Name: Barbara Wragg Parish: St. Joseph Parish, Fayetteville Age: 66 Family: One daughter, Kelly, and her husband, Gene Gangluff; one son, Eliot, and his fiancé, Erin Lowrie; and three grandsons Why you want to know Barbara: A native of Northern Ireland, Wragg married an Englishman and lived in South Africa for a number of years before the family moved to Arkansas, first to Pine Bluff and 15 years ago to Fayetteville. She began cleaning at the church a decade More... 

McElyea: 30 years of forming faith in Little Rock

By Dwain Hebda, Published: March 10, 2012   

Name: Marianne McElyea Parish: St. Theresa Church, Little Rock Age: 62 Family: Husband of 42 years, David; one daughter, Natasha; and one granddaughter, Mia. Why you want to know Marianne: A native of the Netherlands, Marianne came to the United States with her native Arkansan husband in 1971. After his conversion to Catholicism, she looked for a way to give thanks through action for his entering the Catholic Church. She chose teaching and has been involved with the faith More... 

Bunting leads in the black Catholic community

By Phyllis Hemann, Published: February 11, 2012   

Full name: Verdell Bunting Jr. Parish: St. Bartholomew Church in Little Rock City: Sherwood Age: 38 Family: Verdell has a goddaughter, Hannah Jenkins. Father Warren Harvey of Pine Bluff is his cousin. Why you want to know Verdell Bunting: Since 2008, he has served as president of the Diocesan Council for Black Catholics. He has been a member of St. Bartholomew Church for almost 30 years, where he serves as extraordinary minister of holy Communion, sings in the adult choir, More... 

Capshaw: Sharing a joyful noise for 40 years

By Fran Presley, Published: January 21, 2012   

Full name: Chrys Capshaw Parish: St. Edward Church City: Texarkana Family: Chrys and attorney Don Capshaw were married in 1975. They have two grown children, Kyle Capshaw and Meredith Santucci, and two grandchildren. Why you want to know Chrys Capshaw: A former public school fine arts teacher, Chrys has been one of St. Edward's organists since 1972, and for many years also served as choir director. She has been involved in many other activities at St. Edward and takes More...