Meet the couple who serve as ‘the face’ of the 2011 Appeal

| March 3, 2011 | 0 Comments

Mary and Patrick Regan, pictured in their Hastings home, are the chair couple for this year’s Catholic Services Appeal. selor and mentor at the Total LifeCare Center in Hastings. Photo by Dave Hrbacek / The Catholic Spirit

After Patrick and Mary Regan received a surprise phone call from Archbishop John Nienstedt inviting them to lunch at the chancery a few months ago, the Hastings couple wondered how they landed on the archbishop’s guest list.

Archbishop Nienstedt didn’t immediately tell the Regans what he had in mind, only that there was something he wanted to discuss with them, Patrick said.

When the couple arrived for lunch, the archbishop and Father Peter Laird, vicar general, warmly greeted them at the archdiocesan headquarters on Summit Hill overlooking downtown St. Paul. It was then that the archbishop asked them if they would serve as chair couple for the 2011 Catholic Services Appeal.

“We considered it an honor,” Patrick told The Catholic Spirit.

A 2007 winner of this newspaper’s Leading With Faith Award for business leaders, Patrick, 52, owns Minnesota Coaches, Inc., and several other bus companies in the state. His family also owns Premier Banks.

For many years, the Regans, parishioners at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Hastings, have contributed to the archdiocese’s main fundraiser, which supports everything from Catholic schools to the archdiocesan mission in Venezuela.

Helping local people

The goal for the 2011 Catholic Services Appeal is to raise $9.3 million.

Mary, 52, said she likes that the money goes to help people in the local community. “Not that I don’t want to give money to people in Africa, but we know that there are so many people so close to home that need help,” she said.

Catholic schools and the Total LifeCare pregnancy resource centers, which the Appeal supports, are especially close to the Regans’ hearts. The couple first met as students at Hill-Murray School in Maplewood, then sent their four children to the school. And, Mary volunteers as a counselor and mentor at the Total LifeCare Center in Hastings.

As chair couple, the Regans are “the face of the campaign,” Patrick said. They appear in a video about the Appeal to be shown in parishes this weekend, work with deanery representatives and the archdiocesan Development Office, and attend various meetings.

On Feb. 23, the couple donated five of their buses for a day, giving potential donors and parish volunteers an opportunity to tour sites around the archdiocese where Appeal money is being put to work.

Because individual parishes are required to appoint Appeal chairpersons, the Regans also have volunteered to serve as chair couple at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.

A concerted effort

Serving as Appeal chair couple requires a significant time commitment, the Regans have found. But they’re quick to point out that it takes hundreds of people volunteering their time and talent to make the Appeal a success.

“It’s been an eye-opener for us to see the people who work on this campaign year after year after year,” Patrick said.

“They don’t get many accolades, but they really are the strength behind the campaign. . . . They’re living their faith through this work.”

As to why people should donate, Patrick summed it up: “As an archdiocese, we can do so much together. It’s a real good way for people to put their faith into action.”

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Category: Catholic Services Appeal