St. Bernadette Parish

22331 Lourdes Drive, Appleton, WI  54915                                                                                                                                    920-739-4157


With enthusiastic spirit and welcoming hearts, we join together in our Catholic Faith to know, 
love and serve God through worship, education, service and mission opportunities for all. 

With enthusiastic spirit and welcoming hearts, we join together in our Catholic Faith to know, 

love and serve God through worship, education, service and mission opportunities for all. 

Profile of Service

May's Profile of Service

Rosemary Cummings

Ask Rosemary Cummings about volunteering, and typical of her desire to deflect attention from

herself, she may tell you the story of one particular visit she made to Manor Care Health

Services. Although she’d thought her lone mission that day was to share the Eucharistic, she

soon found herself at a table laughing and swapping stories with a small group of residents as

they sorted and folded towels together. To Rosemary, the women and their stack of linen

validated her strongly held belief: When volunteering, you learn and receive more than you can

possibly hope to give. The lessons she was reminded of that day - joyfully serving others and

finding purpose in seemingly small labors - was taught by Esther, an especially spirited

octogenarian, who’d noticed staff members attentively caring for residents while trying

unsuccessfully to complete their laundry duties. Not one to let painful arthritis or waning

eyesight get in the way of helping others, Esther had gone to work on the pile of towels, and

before long a few friends, including her Eucharistic Minister, Rosemary, had followed her

example and joined in to relieve the overburdened staff. “Sometimes we judge people,”

Rosemary observed, “You may meet someone who you think is in need, and yet they’re helping

others. You meet such giving and caring people.”

Just as Rosemary will tell you that Esther’s actions epitomize a core tenet of service: Putting

personal beliefs and values into action, those who know Rosemary or have simply been

touched by her kindness and commitment will tell you she’s a pretty fine example of that tenet

herself. Raised in a family where caring for others was taught and nurtured, her sense of service

was formed at an early age. By the time she was a senior at Marquette University, she was

recognized as her sorority’s volunteer of the year.

Once the Cummings settled in Appleton and joined St. Bernadette Parish more than 50 years

ago, the day in, day out responsibilities of being a mom and teacher made finding time to

volunteer more and more difficult. Difficult, but not impossible. In Rosemary’s eyes service was

always just another of those responsibilities. She served as a “scout” mom, sang in choirs,

taught religious education classes, held numerous offices in Catholic Daughters, knitted prayer

shawls, took Communion to housebound parishioners, participated in Women’s Fellowship,

served meals at the Homeless Connection, volunteered at the Warming Shelter, and just for

good measure, raised a remarkable loving family.

For Rosemary, volunteering has always been a way to show respect and care for others,

maintain a positive outlook, remain open to possibilities, give back to her community, and meet

great people. “If you surround yourself with positive people,” she advises, “your life will be more


So what does she recommend for those thinking about volunteering?

“Just give it a try,” is her simple suggestion. She even has a recommendation for you to

consider: Eucharistic Minister to the Homebound - the very ministry that led to her temp job

folding towels with Esther.

Rosemary, please enjoy your parking space in the north lot as a small token of our appreciation.

*** For information on becoming a Eucharistic Minister to the Homebound, contact Gloria Koth - ***

Nominate a St. Bernadette Parish

Profile of Service

Do you know someone that should be a St. Bernadette Parish Profile of Service? If you do, we want to hear from you!

Click on the "Nominate Now" on the right to print a Nomination               Form or Nomination Forms are available on the table in the hallway under the mailboxes, next to the Parish Library.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to nominate a well deserving       St. Bernadette Parish Volunteer.