By Teresa Fickas
Article written for The Shepherd’s Call-April 2018
Good Shepherd will be sending another group of parishioners to El Salvador this summer. There are seven people who will be traveling June 5-13. While the itinerary isn’t finalized, there are several items the travelers would like to do. They would like to meet the students that are recipients of scholarships that Good Shepherd provides for further education and visit the University of Central America. The delegates also plan to go to Capilla Divinia Providincia where Oscar Romero celebrated Mass and was murdered. There are plans to visit his burial place as well. Then, they will travel to our sister community of El Buen Pastor. While there, our travelers will be able to experience the daily lives and discuss any needs and concerns our brothers and sisters may have.
Those traveling this year include:
Donna Cornett: I have been a member of Good Shepherd Parish for over 30 years. I am originally from Chicago, Ill. My hobbies include cooking, gardening and hiking. I have been employed at Nordstrom Rack for over 20 years and oversee the Children’s Department. At Good Shepherd, I teach second-grade Religious Education. I am a member of the Christian Formation Commission and the El Salvador Ministry. I work with the Good Shepherd Donation Garden and coordinate the Heavenly Dusters at church. I have travelled to El Buen Pastor before and this will be my fourth trip. I am looking forward to walking in solidarity with our Brothers and Sisters there.
Annemarie Gremminger: I have been a parishioner of Good Shepherd since 1997. Rob, my husband, and I have been married for 16 years. We met through the small faith-sharing group, Emmaus that Good Shepherd sponsored. I am a Special Minister of the Eucharist and a member of the Worship Council. I work with the English as Second Language learners on Monday nights. I have been involved with the refugee programs. I am a member of the El Salvador Ministry as well. I have been involved with the delegates from El Buen Pastor and UCRES, the Union of Rural Communities in Northern San Salvador, who visited Shawnee in October.
My daughter Morgan and I traveled to El Salvador last summer, and this year Rob and I are going together. For many years, I have been interested in Good Shepherd’s relationship with the people in El Salvador, but I felt like I had nothing tangible to offer. However, I have learned through the time spent with the El Salvador Ministry that it is most important to listen, to be compassionate and to do what we can to speak up for others.
Robert Gremminger: I have been a member of Good Shepherd Parish for 26 years. The most special part of my time at Good Shepherd is when I met my wife, Annemarie, in a Renew 2000 small sharing group. Other areas that I have been or am currently involved in are Kids’ Creed, the Fall Festival and Lollapalooza. I have been involved with the Golf Tournament, as well. I have many friends who have traveled to El Buen Pastor and have come back with many stories. I want to experience it for myself. My wife and daughter went last year, and as they shared their experiences, it has created the final bit of motivation that I needed.
Linda Mayer: I have been attending Good Shepherd for 13 years. I am a Eucharistic Minister and take communion to patients at Shawnee Mission Medical Center. I am a member of the Caring Ministries Council and a Catechist. I retired from KU Medical Center after 37 years, mostly in the Critical Care Unit. I have three children and three grandchildren. My hobbies include quilting, gardening, crafting and music. I am so excited to finally go to El Buen Pastor. I love to meet people and to travel to other countries and learn about their culture. This visit is very special since I will get to know our sister community in El Buen Pastor.
Ellen McAndrews: My family and I have been members of Good Shepherd for 28 years. I have three children and one grandchild. I taught school for many years and now tutor at the Learning Club of Kansas City, Kan. I am a volunteer at Garden Terrace, praying the Rosary and distributing Communion for the Catholic residents. During the time I have been a parishioner, I have always been intrigued by our relationship with El Buen Pastor. My son went with Good Shepherd when he was 17 and my daughter has had several business trips to El Salvador. Now, it is my turn to learn about this area and the people who live there. I hope this trip will help me to understand their concerns and take an active role in helping them meet their needs.
Jerry McAndrews: My family and I have been members of Good Shepherd for many years. I am involved with the Knights of Columbus. I am still practicing law. I enjoy golfing and spending time with my family. We recently experienced the birth of our first grandson, Henry. We have enjoyed the friendships we have made and wish to make many more, especially on our trip. I am making the trip to learn about other cultures and share my time and interest with the people of El Buen Pastor.
Jasmin Pulido: I have been a parishioner at Good Shepherd for over three years. I am currently a sophomore at Johnson County Community College, working toward my bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. Outside of school, I work full-time as a teacher at La Petite Academy. In the parish, I am part of the childcare team during the 12:15 Mass, I am an aide for the First Communion classes, and I am currently helping out with the start of the Quinceañera retreats. I have decided to go to El Salvador for various reasons. Not only do I want my faith to grow, but I am also interested in helping those who have undergone hardships and experiences. Among other things, I am eager to learn, build new relationships and see another side of the world.
The travelers ask for our thoughts and prayers as they travel to and from El Buen Pastor. They plan to share all their travels and experiences with the parish on July 22 after the 5 p.m. Mass. There will be papusas served. Come and share our travelers’ stories and experiences.