That’s how Sue and Steve Taylor responded when asked to help out at the annual picnic a few years after joining St. Bernadette Parish in the late 1970s. Within a couple of weeks they found themselves in a steamy tent pitched in the middle of the school playground serving brats, burgers and beverages to a few hundred hungry people. They were back in the same spot the following August, and the August after that, and the one following that. In fact, that simple answer led the Taylors to a gig that stretched across 30 Augusts - the final 25 of which they served as directors of food service.
Both Sue and Steve were raised in homes where the responsibility of sharing God-given gifts was an imperative. As a young girl, Sue was deeply impacted by the Franciscan sisters in her hometown of La Crosse. Inspired by their kindness and dedication, she relished the tranquility she felt in their presence and saw in them exemplars of the qualities she aspired to. In Steve’s family, the importance of serving God by helping others was instilled at an early age. He grew to love the sense of achievement he felt when pitching in to solve a problem or serve a need.
Sue and Steve believe that stepping up to answer a call to service is key to deepening personal faith and advancing the Church’s mission. “We just feel it’s important to take our turn when an opportunity arises,” said Sue. Their record of participation certainly bears out that belief. Both have served on Parish Council as members and office holders - including president. Sue also served on the parish Board of Education, taught Kindergarten at St Bernadette School, and was a religious education teacher for many years. in addition to his time on Parish Council, Steve was also a parish trustee. Together they serve on the Mission Committee, work as FOCCUS facilitators for marriage preparation, sell Scrip, are designated sign distributors for the rummage sales, and raise their voices in God’s praise as members of the Renewed Spirits choir.
In the Taylor’s case, “Sure” led to a long list of service and engagement, but they’ll be the first to point out that service has absolutely nothing to do with keeping some sort of tally or count. Rather, it simply involves taking your turn when an opportunity arises. There will always be legitimate and understandable reasons for saying, “I can’t help out right now. Maybe next time,” but the Taylors will tell you that if you can find a way to say, “Sure,” you’ll be rewarded beyond measure.
Sue and Steve, enjoy your parking space in the north lot as a small token of our appreciation.