Sue Taylor raised three boys at our parish and was deeply involved at Our Lady of Perpetual Help during that time. Her involvement allowed to her to meet countless other parishioners and she took great joy in learning their stories. In her words, “I knew everyone.” She was clearly that familiar face at PTO meetings, bake sales, and generally helping at the parish.
However, her boys soon began to leave for high school, college, and careers and Sue’s involvement with the parish likewise began to wane. While attending Mass a few years ago she looked around and suddenly realized that she did not recognize a single familiar face in the congregation.
Around that same time, Sue was looking for a new job and a friend mentioned the parish was looking to hire a new receptionist. She applied for the position, was hired, and has worked in that role for six years. In addition to simply answering the phones, the receptionist, “is a lot more than you would think.”
In fact, one of Sue’s greatest challenges is the constant interruptions, something I can attest to. As we were speaking in the basement, Sue tilted her head and said, “My phone is ringing upstairs.” She laughs and adds, “You can never get away.” Apparently, the technology department has wired Sue’s hearing aid into the phone system so there is no escape from it. That is what I would call dedication!
In Sue’s service and work, I am reminded of Martha, “Now as they went on their way, he entered a village; and a woman named Martha received him into her house. And she has a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving…” (Lk 10:38 – 40) Clearly sitting at Christ’s feet and listening to His words are extremely important, but someone still needs to prepare the meal, or answer the phones.
As part of her paperwork, Sue is also responsible for maintaining records for Protecting God’s Children. This is a vitally important safeguard run through the diocese. It ensures that anyone working with children or vulnerable adults has undergone comprehensive training and a thorough background check prior to that work. Sue further explains the requirements are vigorous enough that almost everyone must undergo the process before doing anything even remotely associated with the school. Maintaining those records is obviously extremely important in the parish, and Sue is happy to do so.
Anyone interested in more information on Protecting God’s Children can find it at Virtus Online.
Sue is also a familiar face and a familiar voice for new parishioners seeking to join Our Lady of Perpetual Help. One of her favorite phrases is, “Let’s get you registered.” She is also familiar with the parish office staff and frequently helps new and existing parishioners to navigate whatever processes they need to. One of her greatest joys as our receptionist is to be that familiar face and “getting to talk to and know” the people that walk into the office.
With her magic wand or best friend genie, Sue would use her one wish for world peace. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (Jn 14:27) The pandemic and uncertainty with pastoral leadership have been challenging for her. “It has been very difficult not knowing what’s going to happen.” However, Sue is excited at the recent announcement that Father Joe Yokum will be joining Our Lady as our pastor.
In her free time, Sue enjoys quilting and sewing, something my departed grandmother would have greatly appreciated. I have a handful of her quilts and they are literally tapestries to our past. There have been numerous times when my father or uncles have visited our home and recognized a swatch in one of those quilts and commented on whose clothes it came from. Also connecting our past into our future, Sue loves spending time with her grandchildren.
She would like everyone to know that she is friendly and easy to approach and loves meeting new people. Again, being that first familiar face you will see in the parish. However, she is contemplating retirement and, nearing seventy, does not want to work for the rest of her life. She hopes to use her retirement spending more time with her grandchildren and traveling, particularly to Toledo where some of those grandkids are. “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Mt 11:28)
By Eric Brooks