Name: Veldah Marie Eberwein
Parish: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church
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 every aspect of the community's life, from writing the checks to singing in the choir. Veldah is a joy to work with -- always pleasant and cooperative.
"But she can be firm, too. Just yesterday she told me kindly, but firmly, to go see a former parishioner in the hospital because she was close to death. She wouldn't hear of me delaying. Then she gave me directions to the hospital."
In her own words
How do you remain committed as a Catholic beyond Sunday?
I turn to my faith. It is my strength and my refuge. Also I pray to St. Ann and St. Theresa, and they help me make it through.
How long have you been a member at this parish?
I have been at my parish 21 years. Our church building was built in 1991, with the hard work and fund-raisers from all the parishioners.
What is the best thing about this parish?
We are like a family. There are only 25 or 30 people now. We have a potluck lunch every first Sunday of the month, and everyone brings something. This brings us close together as a family. We also have fellowship after our weekly choir practice. We also share vegetables and flowers with each other like a family would. We are always there for each other.
We also work together to help needy people. We have a family we sponsor, and one of the children has cancer. We help them financially and with prayers. They are a wonderful family. We also always get the name of a needy family from the Department of Human Services. This year, we helped a family who had a fire. And we plan to assist the Randy Sams Homeless Shelter in Texarkana.
In the past, our choir has sung at nursing homes and various other places. Our church also hosts Christ Renews His Parish, which has its meetings here once a month. And we always swap holy day services with Sacred Heart Church in Foreman. All these activities draw us close together.
What is your educational background?
I attended through the 12th grade at St. Thomas Academy in Memphis.
What are your hobbies?
I like yard work. My daughter Stephanie and I have 71/2 acres. We have some of it bushhogged, and the two of us keep the rest looking good.
Did you make a New Year's resolution this year?
Yes, to try to be a better person.
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