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314 Turner Road  †  Salem, VA 24153  †  (540)387-0491  †  Fax: (540)389-8237  †  E-mail

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The OLPH iHerald

Gifted and called by our Baptism, we dedicate ourselves to minister to the diverse needs of all God's people through every dimension of our worship, formation, fellowship, stewardship and service.

The OLPH web site fairly presents who we are and what we believe. But there was a void, which is filled by the OLPH iHerald. On these pages, we modestly and humbly show guests and ourselves what we do and how we live our beliefs, and remind us that there is yet more we can do.

The iHerald currently consists of short articles, with a picture or collage and an optional slideshow, that record what we have done to live our beliefs.

The iHerald is for us and about us. It is also by us. If you have high-resolution pictures and a story about an OLPH community-related event, you can email them to the website maintainer if the packet isn't too large. Larger packets can be burned to CD or DVD and delivered via the church office.

A Hearty Welcome to Fr. Kevin

July 11, 2009—Photos by Wade Thompson

On July 10 and 11, we gathered again, this time to welcome our new pastor, Rev. Kevin Segerblom, who was transferred from the four cluster parishes in Portsmouth, Virg., where he served as parochial vicar since his ordination in June, 2007. On July 1, he was busily unpacking boxes in his office and the rectory. Remember, whenever you see Fr. Kevin, be sure to introduce yourself and offer a hearty welcome!

Feast of Our Lady Of Perpetual Help

June 27, 2009—Wade Thompson

With a liturgical allowance from the diocese for our church's namesake, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church celebrated the crowning of Blessed Mother Mary after Mass on Saturday, June 27th. After an explanation of the process in the sanctuary by pastor Remi Sojka, the Knights of Columbus Color Corp (Knights James Brown, Dan McBride, Joe Brogan and Joseph Nieves leading with flags and in full regalia), escorted the crown bearer (Amanda Johnson), clergy (Fr. Remi and Deacon Surat) and parishioners to the statue of Mary located in front of the Social Hall. After a Blessing by Fr. Remi, the crown was placed on the head of Mary and prayers were said.

A Fond Farewell to Fr. Remi

June 21, 2009—Photos by Wade Thompson

After serving OLPH in faith and with love for ten years, Fr. Remi has been reassigned. With the help of many volunteers, we gathered on June 20 and 21 to remember what Fr. Remi brought us, to thank him for all he has left us and to bid him a fond farewell and best wishes in his new assignment at St. Mary's Church in Blacksburg, Virg. ┼╗egnajcie!

It's Confirmed! The Confirmation Class of 2009 Is Confirmed in April

April 23 2009—activity photos by Jean Denton

The 2009 class was confirmed by Msgr. Thomas Shreve at the Confirmation Mass held at OLN on April 23, 2009.

Below is a collage of the 2009 class, including the official picture and memories of their various activities during their journey.

This year's Confirmands are (L-R in the official photo): Elizabeth Surat, Erin Boggs, Justin Williams, Kara Schweitzer, Lucas Zobroinski, Claire Sexton, Kane Kennedy, Connor Kennedy, Stephanie Logan, Alyssa Pinello, Jacob Kingery, Erin Jenkins, Sandi Ponjavic, Tien Pham, Douglass Beach.

Volunteer Crew Floored By New Look In Social Hall Kitchen; Men's Room Isn't Cracked Up So Much Any More

September 13, 2008—iHerald Staff

Last Sunday, a crew of OLPH volunteers emptied the Social Hall Kitchen of most equipment so that a new epoxy floor could be installed during the week. Today, the crew finished reinstalling the equipment and furnishings. In an unrelated, yet parallel event, repairs to the men's room wall and ceiling are close to completion; unexplained shifts had caused the drywall to crack.

Crew chief Marlene Vonderhaar said the new floor in the kitchen is a vast improvement over the original painted concrete floor. "The old floor was rough and uneven. And slippery when wet. We had to put in a proper floor before someone got hurt," she added. The new floor is an industrial sand and epoxy coating with a non-slip sandy surface. It should provide many years of service before it needs repair.

As with many tasks here at OLPH, volunteers from the parish removed most of the furnishings and equipment in the kitchen to leave the fewest obstructions for the installers to work around. And they came back a week later to reinstall it all. "Wow! This is a nice floor!" exclaimed a very impressed Norm Ata. "I didn't realize how bad the old floor was!" The old floor didn't look too bad until one tripped on one of the many ridges in the concrete.

On Friday, Tom and Neal got a head start on the job, moving a few of the large pieces back in, vacuuming up remaining pockets of ground concrete and sand and wiping down the walls with a damp cloth. Later, Marlene and her crew came in and cleaned even more.

On Saturday, the re-installation went smoothly for a while. Pat and Tom reinstall the freezer and bring other pieces back in. Norm, Pat, Glenn and Neal install the stove. Then Norm, Neal and Glenn tackle re-installing the sink by the door, figuring it to be a short, simple task. That must have been when the one who shall remain nameless came in.

"OK, the faucet is connected and tight. Turn the water on. Whoa! Shut it off! It leaks." Off to the hardware store for new nipples.

"OK. It's back together; turn the water on. Cool! It doesn't leak. Now put the plug in and put some water in the sink. Whoa! Shut it off! It leaks." The drain leaks. Take it apart again. Take the sink outside to work on; the drain is stuck on with ancient, dried plumber's putty; a larger hammer is needed. Finally get it apart and wire-brushed clean. Put a bead of putty on the drain and re-install the sink.

"OK. Plug it and put some water in the sink. Whoa! Shut it off! It still leaks." Take it apart again. Clean the putty off and put a large bead around the drain hole. Carefully cinch it down. Ah, a nice bead of putty oozes out.

"OK, Try again. Great! It doesn't leak! Let the water out. Whoa! It leaks!" The trap has a crack in it. Off to Walmart to buy a new one. Install the new trap. Fill the sink. Let it drain.

"Hurrah," cry the erstwhile plumbers in unison! "Praise the Lord! Hallelujah! It's all dry!" Three hours for a simple 10-minute job.

Meanwhile, Tom was in the scullery dealing with another leaking drain, which took him about as long as the three working on the little sink. And Marlene was bustling about putting up supplies and cleaning and scrubbing. Glenn pitched in, scrubbing the stainless workbench 'til it shone brightly. Mark was here and there, patching divots in the wallboard in between working on repairing large cracks in the men's room down the hall.

Finally it came down to final sweeping here and there, vacuuming the Social Hall carpet, a little more cleaning and scrubbing, and stowing of odds and ends. It's done. It's ready in time for the Haitian Dinner this evening.


Church and Baby Freed After Brief Captivity!

June 8, 2008—by Jean Denton & Staff; photos by Wade Thompson & The Liebers

"It's incredible what we've done here," Father Remi said shortly after burning OLPH's mortgage on Sunday, June 8, to the cheers of parishioners just before Mass. Incredible, he explained, because the parish paid off its $1.16 million debt in just five years—fully 10 years ahead of schedule.

The ceremonial mortgage burning took place in the church parking lot just before Mass. It capped the OLPH building program, Project 2000, which began 17 years ago. Later, inside the sanctuary, Finance Council chairman Wade Thompson recounted highlights of the project, and the pastor thanked and congratulated parish leaders and members who made special contributions to the construction and completion of the church along with the entire community.

At the end of Mass, Pastoral Council member Paul Purcell offered thanks to Father Remi for his guidance and perseverance in completing the project. Parishioners showed their appreciation with a standing ovation.

The parish family continued the celebration after Mass with a barbecue. A DVD made by Wade Thompson, telling the full story of Project 2000, was shown. Anyone who would like a free copy may request one through the office.

Also today, the parish family welcomed Abigail Grace Lieber, daughter of Nikki and Dan Lieber, to the waters of baptism. Jean Denton, the previous director of OLPH's Youth Ministry, reported, "Today really was a fitting day to baptize the child of a couple who grew up in the parish, met as teens in youth ministry, married at OLPH, are leading our youth ministry and now are bringing their child into Christ's family in our community. How cool is that?" It's way cool!

Returning to Nature, Growing in Faith

June 1, 2008—by Tommy Denton; photos by Wade Thompson

In the splendor of the Blue Ridge Mountains, 85 parishioners of Our Lady of Perpetual Help gathered May 31-June 1, 2008 at Wilderness Adventure in Craig County for the OLPH Family Campout. The rustic setting provided both children and adults an abundance of opportunities for fellowship, recreation, reflection and worship. Members of the community paddled canoes on the pond, hiked the mountain trails, played volleyball, waded in Craig Creek, roasted marshmallows and sang at the Saturday evening campfire, and enjoyed at all times of day the distant vistas from the ambience of the lodges.

Deacon Mike Ellerbrock conducted instructions Saturday morning and afternoon on the role of nature in Christian theology. A dozen hearty souls gathered at 6 a.m. Sunday to hike to the overlook for a prayer service, followed by the celebration of Mass by Father Remi.

To build upon the success of the event, the Christian Formation Committee has set plans in motion for the 2009 Family Campout. Don't miss it!


Confirmation Class of 2008: Young Quackers Confirmed

April 23 2008—by Jean Denton

Today, ten young OLPH parishioners received the Sacrament of Confirmation at Our Lady of Nazareth Church.

Below is a collage of the 2008 class at the Confirmation ceremony and during their December retreat in Newbern, VA.

We are proud of our Confirmands who committed themselves to the 2-year preparation process. They blessed their leaders and sponsors with the depth and seriousness of their efforts toward spiritual growth. We welcome them into active ministry in our church and are thankful for the gifts each one brings to our faith community.

This year's Confirmands are: Derek Abdelnour, Sarah Aicher, John Andrade, Michael Brightwell, Sarah Chauvin, Emily Green, John McElmurray, Matt Siska, Kyle Schwizer and Zach Zoller.

Thank you to their special mentors as they prepared: Youth Ministers, Nikki and Dan Lieber, Sunday night catechists Paul Paradzinski and Joe Waugh, and sponsors Tim Abdelnour, Elizabeth Fukumoto, Critchell Ocrullo, Hollie Brightwell, Eileen Schwizer, Mary Anne McElmurray, Pat Lewis, Glenn Schwizer, Suzanne Rowland and Eric Surat.

Confirmation Class of 2007 Confirmed After Two-Year Journey

May 8, 2007—by Jean Denton

This was the first time a Confirmation Mass was held in the new OLPH worship space. We hosted 45 candidates from OLN, Francis of Assisi in Rocky Mount and Resurrection Parish in Moneta who were confirmed by Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo along with the 17 Confirmands from OLPH on May 8. The young people prepared for the sacrament in a two-year faith journey of study and prayer, highlighted by an overnight retreat in Newbern, VA, and a ministry day in which they worked on the grounds of Madonna House, putting in a garden and beautifying the property.

Each candidate had a sponsor who attended all classes and accompanied them on the spiritual journey. Thank you to these adult mentors who, along with candidates' parents, formed our Confirmation 2007 faith community: Rita Harris, Jim Sullivan, Paul Paradzinski, Daniel Turk, Sarah Edwards, Dan Lieber, Kevin Logan, Danny Cobb, Ginny Mammi, Tom Deane, Shannon Edwards, Brandon Shutters, Mary Faron, Susan McKnew, Ashley Brightwell, Faye Conn and Jackie Azar.

Candidates, pictured the evening of the Confirmation Mass, are (L to R): Leanna Minix, Cory Kennedy, Kenny Lampert, Chuck Farabaugh, Elizabeth Fukumoto, David George, Tim Shen, Tristan Macdonald, Maria Surat, Christopher Riquelmy, Chelsea Lyle, Hollie Brightwell, Thomas Faron, Katie Hairfield, Danielle Reed, Amanda Sixbey, Michelle Fame.

2006 Confirmation Class Charges Ahead At Their Retreat

April 8, 2006—by Jean Denton

The 2006 Confirmation candidates gathered for a class photo at the end of their retreat at Hardie Retreat Center in Newbern, VA, on April 8. Pictured are bottom, Travis Aicher; seated (l to r), Katie Jenkins, Emily Boggs, Annemarie Zoller, Kristen Horan, Logan George and Zachary Aicher; standing, Kevin Logan, Mark Peery, Michael Hochkeppel, Joseph Sexton, Steven Laub and Will Secor. They will be confirmed at a Mass at 7 pm, Wednesday, April 26, at St. Andrew's. All parishioners are invited to come and celebrate with them.

Moral Theology 101: More For The Masses Than Theologians

January 31, 2006—OLPH Staff

Over 100 people attended our first course in the Catholic Theological Series introducing moral theology, taught by Deacon Mike Ellerbrock. During each two-hour session, Dr. Ellerbrock used his dynamic style to draw his students into the discussions, which were often lively and spirited. Deacon Mike introduced topics covering the history and development of auricular confession in the Church, St. Augustine's teachings and legacy and the concepts of natural law and supernature. He reviewed some of the Church's internal strife, as evidenced by Jansenism and Gallicanism, and the development of papal and episcopal authority. He also introduced subjectivity, the language of law and the impact of Humanae Vitae. Employing his verbal deftness, Deacon Mike lead his students around and through these topics and others, showing them the foundations of moral theology and how it relates to their daily lives.

If you missed this first course in the Catholic Theological Series, you missed a very good introduction to the basics of moral theology, what it means to us, and how it affects our lives. Be sure you don't miss the next course: Spirituality 101, presented by Jean Denton. It starts Tuesday, February 21, 2006, at Our Lady of Perpertual Help Church.

2006 Confirmation Class Gets the Matthews Splattered, Not Plastered

January 27, 2006—by Jean Denton

The 2006 Confirmation Class is doing active ministry as a group this year. With the help of parishioner Paul Paradzinski, the 15 members of this year's class are making some needed improvements to Becky and Wes Matthew's house. Wes has Multiple Sclerosis and in recent months has had to go from crutches to a wheelchair. With Paul coordinating, the young people and several individuals and other groups are sharing in the work project which includes painting, refinishing, putting in a door, and building a porch, wheelchair ramp and outdoor walkway.

The Confirmation candidates and their sponsors had two Saturday workdays at Wes' in January and will finish up in April. Besides the work, they've enjoyed spending time with their gracious host and interesting conversationalist Wes. Others involved in the effort are Wes' Cursillo group, a group of Roanoke physicians and parishioners Mark Murphy, Joe Waugh and David Walsh.

This year's candidates are Travis Aicher, Zachary Aicher, Emily Boggs, Logan George, Ivana Grgic, Michael Hochkeppel, Kristen Horan, Katie Jenkins, Steven Laub, Kevin Logan, Mark Peery, Will Secor, Joseph Sexton, Cameron Trout and Annemarie Zoller. Please keep Wes, Becky, all their friends and the Confirmation candidates in your prayers.

2005 Confirmation Class Retreat

April 10, 2005—by Jean Denton 2005's Confirmation Class held its retreat on April 8 & 9 at Hardie Retreat Center on Claytor Lake in Newbern. They were accompanied by Confirmation leaders Mike Chiglinsky and Jean Denton.

Shown in the picture are (L to R) front: Chris Smith, Ryan Abdelnour, Austin Sixbey; standing: Emily Mashburn (of St. Andrew's), Andy Boggs, Jay Fukumoto, Philip McElmurray, Maria Curran, Tim O'Connell, Elise Bernlohr (St. Andrew's), Andrea Flack, Eric Michael Surat, Kyle Siska, Paul Shen. Not pictured: Kevin Schweitzer.

All parishioners are invited to join them at the Confirmation Mass at 7:30 pm Thursday, April 28, at St. Andrew's with Bishop Walter Sullivan officiating.