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 pre-Cana classes and participated in the Couple to Couple League.
Parish: Immaculate Conception Church, Fort Smith
Ages: Pat, 38, and Allison, 39
Family: Pat and Allison have been married 14 years and have five children: Ellie, 9; Mari, 6; Anna, 5; Miguel, 2; and Meg, 9 months.
Arkansas Catholic’s theme this year is “The Truth will set you free.” What is your favorite Bible verse?
Pat: “My favorite verse is Matthew 9:13: ‘Go and learn the meaning of the words ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.’”
How long have you been a member of this parish? Have you been Catholic all your lives?
We are both cradle Catholics and joined Immaculate Conception Church in 2014.
What influenced you to focus on ministry to the poor as a family practice physician?
Pat: Allison and I moved to Houston, Texas, after graduating from college. When I got laid off from Enron, I took a job with Catholic Charities that really opened my eyes to the plight of the underserved. Allison was working in a very poor school district and seeing the same things. We both committed to making a difference, and I know Riverview Hope Campus will make a difference in the lives of poor people in this community.
Why do you like being Catholic?
Pat: Faith is the foundation and center of the rest of my life.
What are some ways you pass on the faith to your family?
Allison: My father has always modeled the importance of family prayer. He started a beautiful tradition. Every Sunday at 7 p.m. my parents meet on a conference call with me, my seven brothers and sisters and our families to say the rosary together. We make this family prayer time a priority in our lives. We also try to be models of prayer and service to our children. When our girls started Immaculate Conception School, they brought a practice from Christ the King School in Little Rock — reciting the Divine Mercy Chaplet every Friday — to their new school. Ellie is an altar server and choir member.
What is the best thing about your parish and school?
Allison: “We were welcomed with open arms and enveloped in the school community.”
Pat: “When we got to Fort Smith, we were greeted by Father John (Antony, pastor) who had married us 14 years ago. He said, ‘Hey, I’m already here.’”
What are your hobbies?
We like going on family adventures, biking on the local trails, having movie nights and participating in fun local activities at the art museum and other spots.
Who is your favorite saint?
Allison: “My favorite saint is St. Teresa of Kolkata.”
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