Days later he was talking about the experience with the owner of a Christian book store in Oshkosh. “The gal asked me, ‘Were you praying the rosary? Do you know what happened? You received Our Lady’s blessing. If you receive her blessing you will smell the scent of roses all day long.’ I just got the chills down my spine. When I left there I knew that this is what God wanted me to do. Not only with the prayer packets but with everything else I was doing.”
The Catholic Heart Work Camp proved to be a pivotal experience for McFaul. “When I went to my first Catholic Heart Work Camp I really had a very life-turning experience,” he said. “I literally met and became Christ’s follower. I was searching for something in my life because I could see something was missing and once I found it was volunteerism I jumped on it and went with it.”
From that point on McFaul began to devote a significant amount of time to volunteering, including participating in six more work camps.
“My wife takes care of the home front while I’m doing all the volunteer stuff,” said McFaul, who works full time as a journeyman tool and die maker at Fox Valley Tool and Die. “She also inspires me if I have a question or if I get frustrated with something. She always comes in with God’s wisdom to make sure I stay on the straight and narrow path.”
The Holy Spirit Parish picnic, the third weekend in August, is one of McFaul’s bigger volunteer projects.
“I take care of the concession stand along with a couple of my close friends. There’s probably a list of over 20 things that we serve — hamburgers, hot dogs, brats, ham sandwiches, soup, French fries, assorted candies. I’m in charge of ordering the food, getting the stand set up at the start, running the stand, watching the food quality to make sure it’s safe, watching the workers to make sure it’s a safe and enjoyable work environment so when they come in it’s a good experience for them, and tearing the stand down when the picnic is over.”
McFaul has also been co-chair for the parish Lenten fish fries for six years. He’s taught sixth grade religion for eight years, he helps out with youth ministry retreats, is an extraordinary minister of holy Communion, brings Communion to the homebound and helped start and supports the monthly Sunday Suppers for the less fortunate.
Your Catholic Neighbor
Name: Dick McFaul
Parish: Holy Spirit, Darboy/Kimberly
Favorite saints: Peregrine, Anthony
Words to live by: “I’m just a tool in the Advocate’s hands.”
Outside the parish, McFaul cooks 70 to 80 turkeys a year for Father Carr’s Place 2B in Oshkosh and cooks a meal for COTS and the emergency shelter in Appleton every other month.
“Pray first, give service to the different ministries second, give thanks third,” is McFaul’s mantra. “Everything I do I try to have a spiritual base to it. Otherwise it’s somewhat pointless to me to just go and do something without praying on it — praying if it’s God’s will,” he noted.
“My volunteerism reminds me of how fortunate I really am compared to most. Sometimes we lose sight of that,” said McFaul. “At first it was very scary because you have no idea what you’re stepping into. That’s when I learned to offer my fears and thoughts up to God and let him take care of it. I try the best I can to get people to know Christ. I’ve always received much more than I’ve ever given and I do see the face of Christ in all the people I work with and all the people that I help. It’s very satisfying.”