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Chris Barrett (left) and Joe Day came to Resurrection in the summer of 2003. Courtesy of Kay McNulty
Friday, August 16, 2013
This summer marks a special anniversary for two people who have dedicated their lives to service and work. Chris Barrett and Joe Day each recently celebrated their 10-year anniversaries at Resurrection Catholic Church in Moneta . Barrett is the parish’s deacon and senior pastoral associate. Day is the church’s business administrator.
Barrett came to Resurrection in July 2003 from Lynchburg College , where he did community outreach through the school’s Center for Community Development and Social Justice. Barrett, who has a Master of Divinity , did both his graduate and undergraduate studies at the University of Notre Dame.
“The longest I’d ever been in one ministry is six years,” said Barrett. “But Resurrection Catholic Church has been a perfect fit, and this is a great parish. It’s been wonderful.”
Day started his paid work with the church in August 2003. He had been volunteering since he moved to Bernard’s Landing with his wife, Roxanne, in 2001. He retired from Georgetown University at the age of 52 from his position as director of educational media.
“I kind of always had it in mind that I would look for work when we moved here,” recalled Day. “I had been volunteering in the church and served on the church finance committee for a while, and when I heard they were creating a position, I thought this fits in with what I had in mind for post-retirement employment.”
“Joe does all the stuff I’m no good at,” added Barrett. “He does all the financial stuff and the facilities management. My predecessor did both jobs for 11 years. The time of my arrival was a time of transition, and we created the position that Joe has held for 10 years.”
“I handle all the business affairs — financial, purchasing, monitoring the budget, consulting with our finance counsel for financial planning , as well as the operational side of things, including buildings and grounds maintenance and facilities use, as well as coordinating those events,” said Day.
“Joe works extremely long hours,” Barrett said. “He is extremely efficient, and at the same time, extremely sensitive and patient with the many, many interruptions he gets every day from parishioners about one thing or another . He’s smooth. He just handles the pressure. There’s a lot of activity here. It’s a hustling and bustling community.”
Day had praise for his co-worker.
“Chris is a very caring and compassionate individual,” he said. “For him, I think those are intrinsic parts of his personality, but they also make him very well-suited for his job. He provides spiritual guidance, and he is really the spiritual leader of this parish — not only in the formal sense, but also in terms for setting a tone for living a good life and doing things to help people.”
Barrett has been married for 30 years to Anne Gibbons, the associate chaplain at Lynchburg College.
“I am entrusted with the day-to-day pastoral care of the parish,” said Barrett . “In Catholic canon law, there’s always a priest who is the pastor of the parish. We have never had a priest in residence at this parish. We still don’t. In situations like that, the bishop may appoint a lay person or a deacon to be entrusted with the pastoral care. And that’s what happened.”
In his first seven-and-a-half years at Resurrection, Barrett was a lay minister. He was ordained as a permanent deacon more than two years ago. The Catholic Church has two forms of deacons: A transitional deacon is in his last step before becoming a priest, and lay people such as Barrett who study and can become ordained as a permanent deacon.
“The bishop was here recently for my annual interview, and I asked him: ‘I’ve been here 10 years; Do you think for the good of the parish there should be new leadership? ’ said Barrett.
Barrett said the bishop said no, that recent studies show consistency in leadership is one of the main characteristics of an excellent parish .
Resurrection Catholic Church has grown from a handful of families in the 1980s to 530 household s. And after 10 years of ministering to them, Barrett knows their stories. He has cried with them and celebrated their triumphs.
Day has no plans to retire from his post-retirement career. In his position at Resurrection, Day said, like Barrett, his favorite part of the job is working with the parishioners.
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