The longest running Lay Ministry program in the country was just one of the questions participants in a unique form of the game show Jeopardy had to answer as part of the 15th annual kick off for the Regina Archdiocesan Appeal. It took place September 23 at Our Lady of Peace Church that sits across the parking lot from the Chancery Office.

Instead of the just the usual speeches, distribution of materials and sometimes a skit or two organizers of the annual kick off decided on something different and came up with their own version of Jeopardy. The Youth Ministry was charged with putting together the program and came up with five categories; 100 Years of Faith; Service to All; Changing Times; The Size of Germany and Follow the Leader. Three volunteers from the audience, Marianne Gordon from St. Lawrence Parish, Maple Creek; Jeannine Nelson Our Lady of Grace Parish, Sedley and Paul Ponak of Holy Child, Regina competed. Holy Family Youth Minister Kaylene McQuaid played the role of quiz master. The audience was divided into three groups and was allowed to participate by shouting answers all of which added to the entertainment. The winning group won the right to be first in line for supper.

The main business was to announce the goal for the appeal; $1.4-million the same as the previous year’s goal and to distribute appeal packages to all the parishes. The 2014 Appeal raised $1.3-million with just 21% participation. “Imagine what could be raised if more participated,” said Vicar General Reverend Lorne Crozon. He listed some of the ministries supported by the appeal and noted particularly the $35,000 cost for the eight seminarians. “This is the largest number we’ve had since the 1950s, ” said the Vicar General.

The slogan for this year’s appeal, Serving as One, sets the tone encouraging participation to support the 33 ministries including several third party groups which the Archdiocese supports. The largest amount, $145,000.00 supports hospital chaplaincies followed by Priest and Moderator Placement and Travel at $121,000.00.

The new appeal video was also unveiled and will be available to all parishes who are encouraged to play it for their congregation. Regina Archbishop Daniel Bohan in the video reminded everyone that with appeal funds “we will be able to carry out the role Jesus has given us.”

The Appeal actually runs for the calendar year and Crozon noted that $240,000.00 or about 14% has already been raised. But the real push comes in the fall of each year with the official kick off when parishes receive all the materials.

This year the appeal featured Saskatchewan Roughrider Defensive End John Chick who talked about how his faith has guided his career and his life. 

Saskatchewan Roughrider Defensive End John Chick is best known for his prowess on the football field but as he told the people attending the annual Archdiocesan Appeal kick-off, it’s his faith that defines and guides him. “Everything I have in life is because of Him.” John Chick was the guest speaker at the 2015 Annual Appeal Kick-off held September 23rd in Regina. 

Chick was born and raised in Gillette Wyoming a city of about 32,000 in about the centre of Wyoming. He excelled at sports, especially football, in high school and Utah State College which led him to the pros. He signed with the ‘Riders in 2006 but left in 2010 for teams in the NFL before returning to the Green and White in 2013. Along the way he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. It was one of what he said are the three pillars of his life. “Overcoming diabetes has made me stronger in other areas of my life.” The other two he said are biblical verses; Matthew 6 25-27, 34 and Jeremiah 29-11. The Matthew verses talk of God feeding the birds while 34 says not to be anxious about tomorrow.  Jeremiah gives words of peace, end and patience. “They carried me my whole life,” said Chick.

He and his wife have seven children with the eighth due in December. “I have four Canadians now,” he joked. His faith, he says won him his wife. They met in College. As a Catholic he was surrounded by the Mormon faith including his wife. He was impressed how well Mormons practiced their faith and it made him passionate about living his, “the way they are.” He convinced his future wife to attend church with him and four years later, in his senior year, she was baptized and confirmed at Easter and they were subsequently married.

He described his move to Saskatchewan of which he knew nothing, “as such a God thing.” When he first crossed the border he said he wondered what he was getting into. “There was nothing. It was wide open.” They grew to enjoy life here and said they were trying to make it their permanent home, “but there are a few things we have to arrange.”

Of course he talked about football, starting with the Kent Austin ‘Riders and the 2007 Grey Cup. “No one expected us to even reach the play-offs but Austin taught us to believe and we won the Grey Cup.”  As of this writing the team is 1-11 but he says neither he nor his team members have given up. “When you’re not winning you learn what kind of a person you are.”

“Everywhere we have gone; our Catholic Faith has been awesome.” The family attends Resurrection Parish. 

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