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 to keeping up with the church’s new text message and emails alerts. Chris teaches First Communion and confirmation classes, as well as Sunday school and Catholic Youth Ministry classes on Wednesdays. In the past, she was the church’s secretary for nine years.
IN HER OWN WORDS
Arkansas Catholic’s theme this year is “Tools for Discipleship.” What religious items or tools do you rely on regularly to inform and inspire you?
I’m an avid reader of spiritual materials and they may not be a prayer book or the Bible but they’re spiritually rich — saint books and things like that.
How long have you been Catholic?
I was a cradle Catholic, brought up outside of Boston. I was raised in a very strong Irish Catholic environment. There were seven of us, I was in the middle.
You graduated from the Little Rock Theology Institute?
There are two of us that were the very first graduates of the Little Rock diocesan theology program. Anne Thomisee (director of religious education at Our Lady of the Holy Souls Church, Little Rock) and I started in 1996 and I graduated in June 1999. It was a three-year intense study — everything from theology, Scripture, parish life, we did Church history. I have to say when I first started I thought it was more than I could do. We’d go down one weekend a month and stay at St. John’s (Center). It was a really tough. But looking back, it was one of the most rewarding experiences I have done in my lifetime.”
Why do you like being Catholic?
I’m Catholic down to my toes, I can’t imagine anything else. I’m just crazy about this new Pope Francis. He’s on the cover of Rolling Stone, how awesome is that? It’s something the young people here can relate to. He really reaches out to the people and lives like the people … We’re a sacramental Church and we have the roots. (I love) our foundation, the sacraments, history.
What is the best thing about St. Peter’s?
(The youth) they’re all so faith-filled and the little ones I work with are so innocent. They’re like little sponges and absorb everything you say and the youth on Wednesday night (Catholic Youth Ministry), they’re proud to be Catholic.
How do you handle all the responsibilities (from teaching to making the meals for children) as religious education director?
With me teaching both on Sundays and Wednesdays, there isn’t any way to do this job without Bruce being there. He’s my clean-up person, watches the kids when they have to leave the classroom, he helps me feed the kids on Sunday morning.
What’s a funny story or memorable one you’ve had working with the children?
It was so precious and just shows you how innocent those kids are. It was my little (student) Will, it was around Christmas and I was asking them, ‘OK, do you know whose birthday it is? Whose birthday is on Christmas Day?’ They went, ‘Jesus.’ And I said, ‘Do you know who else’s birthday is on Christmas? Mine.’ Then they went, ‘Are you as old as Jesus? How old are you?’ Then Will was so dead serious counting on his fingers and said, ‘Oh, no, no, no, Mrs. Chris, you are not as old as Jesus because Jesus is 2,000 years old.’ I just cracked up. I’m the only one laughing because the other kids didn’t get it.
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