Lay witness speakers begin sharing their faith with others


This past June at the Stewardship Summit, Bishop Robert Gruss commissioned our first set of lay witness speakers. They were sent out this fall to the parishes to give their testimony on how they have experienced hospitality and how they extended hospitality to others. Our lay witness speakers are scheduled to speak or have spoken in 39 parishes. They were well received by parishioners and pastors alike. Here are some of the comments we have received in regards to our lay witness ministry program which is part of our Stewardship Initiative.

“The witness talk about stewardship was excellent! She gave a very personal and wonderful witness at all the weekend Masses, both on Saturday and Sunday.”

“He is a good speaker, people enjoyed his message.”

“They did a clear, humorous and pointed message about the importance of continuing to invite. I had several say they enjoyed it.”

“Great talks! Lots of good feedback! Thank you for getting them to give witness talks!”

“They did an awesome job. They spoke of prayer and the need to visit with Jesus, as well as the importance of visiting with each other as we build stronger and more welcoming communities.”

“He did an excellent job and his talk was well received. Thank you for coordinating the details.”

“I had a great deal of positive feedback. It seems the more a person does this adventure, the easier it seems to become.”

“This has truly been a humble and rewarding time in my life.”

“I really enjoyed our time with their church families.”

Our plan is that every parish will experience a lay witness speaker at least three times a year. This year we will continue to focus the witness talks on generous hospitality. By the end of next year, we plan to move into lively faith — prayer, study and formation.

If you are interested in learning more about the lay witness ministry program in our diocese, are interested in becoming a lay witness speaker, or know someone you feel would be a good witness to others, please contact the Office of Stewardship at 605-716-5214, extension 233, or Fr. Mark McCormick at

Those who have been part of this new and exciting ministry come from parishes across the diocese:

Blessed Sacrament, Rapid City:

Julie Bernard

Dave Elkjer

Tom Hilt

Denise Maher

Cathedral, Rapid City:

Paula Clark

Maureen Yantes

St. Rose of Lima, Hill City:

Clare Ten Eyck

St. Anthony, Hot Springs:

Joyce Bussmus

St. Joseph, Spearfish:

Carol Athow

Mary Anne Herrboldt

Jan Carlson

St. Paul, Belle Fourche:

Carrie Donovan

Sacred Heart, Philip:

Marianne Frein

St. Mary, Milesville:

Nina Pekron

Our Lady of Victory, Kadoka:

Janet VanderMay

St. Joseph, Gregory:

Roxie Chocholousek

Andy and Patty Clark

Sacred Heart, Burke:

Mary Horn

St. Anthony, Fairfax:

Tony Koenig

St. John, Ft. Pierre:

Wade Pogany

Our Lady of the Rosary, Trail City:

Bill and Lynn Hahne

St. Joseph, Faith:

Josh Lee

Brad and Mandy Lemmel

St. Mary, Isabel:

LuAnn Lindskov

Holy Cross, Timber Lake:

Ray and Jean Tehle

One last note: Our priests are going to jump into the mix as well by swapping parishes from time to time to speak about “A Catholic Way of Life” through the three lenses of stewardship — hospitality, faith and discipleship. Look for one of them at your parish during the coming months.