Her faith and family intertwine

By | January 27, 2009

While the church was still St. Mary’s, her husband, Patrick, was the maintenance person, and the entire family joined in a special ministry helping to care for the church and grounds.

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Donna Krohn (Sam Lucero photo)

“We’ve done a lot as a family and also me as an individual,” Krohn said. She, her husband and her children – Christopher, 20; Jacob, 16; and David, 14 – went together to do the snow plowing at the church. Some would run the snow blower, others would shovel.

“We had to be sure we didn’t bury our youngest in the snow!” she said.

Oftentimes, the family finished shoveling just before the 4 p.m. Mass, and the boys came into the church soaking wet. The ushers helped them take off their outer clothes and put them over the register to dry during the service.

“They really enjoyed it,” Krohn said. “We have fond memories of snow plowing over there.”

The boys also looked forward to buffing the floor with their father and setting up scaffolding to change light bulbs or clean bird debris off the roof and gutters.

Your Catholic Neighbor

Name: Donna Krohn

Parish: Most Blessed Sacrament, Oshkosh

Age: 49

Favorite saint: Mary Magdalene

Words to live by: “I know God won’t give me something I can’t handle. I just wish he didn’t trust me so much.”

“It was all service, just helping out,” Krohn said. “They have great memories of church.”

Krohn helped out around the church and with the church picnic. Now, with the merger of the St. Mary, St. Peter and St. Josaphat sites into Most Blessed Sacrament Parish, the family doesn’t have all the responsibilities they used to have. But Krohn still helps out with opening and locking up the St. Mary site as needed, is an extraordinary minister of holy Communion, is in charge of changing the votive candles at the St. Mary site and plays in the handbell choir at the St. Peter site.

“I’m never bored, that’s for sure,” Krohn said. “I never know which direction to turn first. I’m not one to just sit at home. I love to be torn in a lot of directions. I think it seems the more you give the more you receive back.”

Her sons still help out, too. If she’s unable to get over to lock up the site, one of her sons will go.

“I like my sons to know that volunteer work is important,” Krohn said. “I think they have gotten a good sense of that going to Catholic schools. I would like them to continue that going into adulthood, that service is an important part of life.”

She helps instill that same sense of service in her students at Cabrini. Students have participated in service projects such as penny wars during Catholic Schools Week, collecting potatoes for Father Carr’s Place 2B food pantry, purchasing animals for Heifer International, and doing projects to benefit the humane society, nursing homes and mental health institute. The school also won a local Coats for Kids collection contest.

The projects are important for the students, Krohn said, “so that you don’t isolate yourself, that you look at the world as a bigger place that we all are a part of, and we all need to take responsibility of taking care of each one of us. I want them to know that they can make a difference, that they can help somebody even as young as they are.”

Her fifth-graders help to straighten up the St. Mary site and replenish literature each week.

Krohn said her desire to serve was instilled by her mother, who died last summer after a car accident.

“My mom was a very religious woman,” Krohn said. “She instilled that sense in all of us. You just do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do. You’re always living by the Bible, the Ten Commandments and the way that Jesus would want you to live.”

She said the sense of the belonging that her family has for their church also played a big role. “I don’t want the church to become a business but still have that feeling of family, ownership and dedication,” she said. “I think you get a feeling of accomplishment. It’s a sad world when everybody sits back and waits for somebody else to do something. I like to just help when I can. I hope when it’s my time to leave this world, I’ve left it in a better place.”

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