“It brought back memories of my own childhood when teachers and priests would read to us,” Bishop Ricken said with a smile while standing outside the school. “It was a great blessing to be able to come here and visit.”
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To view a gallery of photos from Bishop Ricken’s visits to Kiel and New Holstein, go to this link.
The elementary school students thanked Bishop Ricken by performing a musical routine and presenting him with a gift basket.
He began his visit to the area earlier in the morning by touring Divine Savior’s middle school in New Holstein. The school’s two locations have a combined 82 students.
“It was a real blessing to have him come here,” said Divine Savior principal Gary Stepanek. “He’s so personable and down to earth. We wanted the students to see that he’s very approachable, as well as very genuine and friendly.”
Divine Savior office manager Jennifer Stephany extended the invitation for Bishop Ricken to visit the campuses. He was accompanied on the trip by his sister, Carol.
Sandwiched between the school visits was a tour of the Salvatorian Mission Warehouse in New Holstein. There, Salvatorian Br. Regis Fust, director of the Mission Supply Program, and Sr. Dora Zapf showed him the inner workings of the mammoth facility, which ships supplies to needy people around the world. Since last June, dozens of volunteers have organized and shipped more than 1.5 million pounds of supplies to places ranging from Panama to Tanzania.
“I couldn’t believe not only the volume of the goods, but how much they turn it over and get so much shipped out so often,” Bishop Ricken said. “It’s a prime example of living the Gospel.”