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Rosemary and Joe Czejkowski

Rosemary and Joe Czejkowski have always felt called to the family life ministries at St. Francis. Rosemary says, “I am involved with Faith Formation, and I continue to work with the youth program where I met Christ and his transforming love.” She is also involved with the Diocesan team for Family Honor, which teaches parents about the virtue of chastity. At the parish, she and Joe mentor engaged couples preparing for marriage. She is also involved with the Women’s Ministry and Bible Study and serves as a lector. Rosemary says, “We are called to serve the spiritual needs of our community; as a community, we are fortunate and have great resources, but sometimes we don’t know what we need, which is Christ.”

Rosemary’s and Joe’s faith drives their service. “I encountered Christ in a way that changed me, and I want to be that for someone else,” says Rosemary. “I want to be part of their journey and their change. I want them to know who loves them the most in the world.” She laughs when she recalls asking God, “What do you want me to do? Is it time to move on from this ministry?” His answer is ‘Not yet,’ so she and Joe continue in their many ministries because, as she says, “Belonging is what our hearts long for, and getting involved gives a sense of being part of something bigger than oneself. I belong and have a place where I belong. I know the stories of people’s lives, and they know mine; we are called as individuals but live in communities that are vital for our well-being and faith.”

A self-described ‘Fr. David McBriar groupie,’ Rosemary knows the most extraordinary charism of St. Francis is ‘welcome.’ “People who don’t feel welcome elsewhere,” she says, “Feel welcome here.” Father David’s spirit of empowerment led this parish out into the community. To those interested in being involved, she offers, “Find one small thing you can do, and “Just Do It!’”  To those involved now in ministries, she encourages them to go out and invite people in: “That’s when people come in. We are huge, and they don’t know how to get involved. I have invited couples in Church to couples ministry as mentors, and that has had great results.” At an inviting parish like St. Francis, ‘an invitation’ is what people sometimes need to join.

Author: Mike Watson