Name: Barbara Wragg
Parish: St. Joseph Parish, Fayetteville
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 ago; today, she supervises the janitorial staff for the church and school (but she’s a working supervisor who still helps with the actual cleaning) and serves as wedding coordinator for couples married at the church.
In her own words
Arkansas Catholic's theme this year is "Catholic Beyond Sunday." How do you remain committed as a Catholic beyond Sunday?
I don’t necessarily believe you have to go to Mass every day, (but) I do understand you have to receive the sacraments to get through the Pearly Gates. I just try to be the best person I can … to be a soldier of Christ (as we were taught for confirmation). I pray every day when I leave my house for work, cleaning houses and the church. I pray for people in my family and also, I pray for the holy souls who have died, those without any family to pray for them. I think you can be anywhere and pray. I know God is everywhere.
What do you like about this parish?
I love this job, I love the children, the teachers. I love it here. This is home. I came to work here 10 years ago when my husband of 36 years asked for a divorce and I had no money. I asked the parish priest, Father Paul Worm, for a job cleaning because I knew how to do that. I do the work of a janitor but that’s not who I am. I have loved all the priests here.
Do you have hobbies?
My family is my life. After Saturday evening Mass, my three grandsons go with me out to eat, then to Wal-Mart for snacks and home for the evening. My son, Eliot, who also works for the parish, is being married in June to Erin Lowrie, science teacher at the church school. Erin has been attending RCIA classes and became a Catholic at Easter this year. I always prayed God would send my son a warm, kind and generous woman, and Erin is all those things. My parents were amazing people who lived and breathed the word of God. They were quiet people but good Christians and Catholics. My father was a baker for 53 years and my mother helped neighbors in many ways, including preparing bodies for burial so I was never afraid of that.
Do you have other interests?
I got a computer for Christmas and by the end of the day, I was doing Skype. I love my life. All I need is good health and the ability to do a good job. I have macular degeneration and pray God will give me the sight I need to be able to do a good job. I’m the lucky one.
Please read our Comments Policy before posting.Article comments powered by Disqus
Sister ministers on the Mexico border as Jesus would
Goal: CPR, first aid training for ushers across diocese
Catholic leaders concerned over new state child labor law
Catholic faith a front runner in Oaklawn Park backstretch
Your baby's name ‘almost like a prayer for their life’
Fort Smith Knights host Stations of the Cross
Women's retreat at Subiaco Abbey
Singer Donna Cori Gibson visits Bentonville
Dr. Edward Sri speaks in Bentonville
Prayer, fasting help put aside sinful ways
Overcome temptation first, then comes holiness
Jesus loves bad people the same as good people
The mess and miracle of Santo Niño de Cebú
We are recipients of God's providence, can share it