Pastor sees through eyes of others

| Father Bob White | June 8, 2011 | 0 Comments

Good News at St. Victoria

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Fr. Bob White with parishioner Mary Bishop

Father Bob White, pastor of St. Victoria in Victoria, looks over a Gospel reading with parish volunteer Mary Bishop, who has been printing the Gospel readings for Mass in large type so that Father White, who has a vision problem caused by a hereditary eye condition, can read them. Photo by Dave Hrbacek / The Catholic Spirit

Talk about great volunteers! We have the best at St. Victoria and I am one of the beneficiaries!

In 1996, I was diagnosed with “angioid stripes,” a disease affecting my vision. By 2000, I had only a small amount of central vision remaining in one eye. No longer could I jump in the car, read a book or look to the rear of our church and recognize my parishioners.

The call went out for help. To date, I have had nearly 300 drivers who have driven me everywhere from a quick hop to the grocery store to destinations hours away from Victoria. What a wonderful way to get to know people, and, I think, I offer wives of newly retired husbands a great respite!

There are 60 people on the “drop-off dinner” list and I can’t count the number of invitations to parishioners’ homes. Since my culinary skills were always in question, this is nothing short of fabulous.

Countless people read for me, tape-record books and materials, and a faithful volunteer puts everything in large type that I need for my liturgies. Along with a great staff and adaptive equipment, I’m able to do all that is expected of a priest with a growing parish — one that has nearly tripled in size since 1996, and during that time, we built a new church.

And, lest I forget, there’s my faithful dog, Miss Betsy White. No, she’s not a seeing eye dog, but she is a dog that sees a need to be a loving and faithful companion.

Sure, there are days I would like to jump in the car or pick up a book, but then I stop and think of all my blessings and thank God.

Father Bob White is pastor of St. Victoria in Victoria.

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