This month Kudos Corner recognizes Lea Brinker.
Even if you don’t personally know Lea Brinker, if you come to the 4:00 Mass on Saturdays, you have surely seen and heard her. Lea has been a regular lector at this Mass for a long time. As a matter of fact, she has been a lector for more than 40 years…first at St. Aloysius Gonzaga, then here at Visi. She also leads the training for new lectors. “I was told a long time ago in a liturgy course I took, that the Scriptures were meant to be heard as much as read,” Lea told me. “So to proclaim the Word in such a way that it touches people’s hearts and minds is a real privilege.” I can attest that she proclaims the Word from her heart…because it’s woven into the fabric of her life.
Lea volunteers at the St. Leo Food Pantry every Wednesday afternoon. “I’m the volunteer coordinator, which means I figure out what needs to be done and assign our super-duper volunteers to the various tasks. I am so humbled by the folks I’ve met there, both volunteers and clients. I don’t know if I could deal with some of the things our clients have to face with as much grace and resilience as they show. It also saddens me when I see former students or their families coming in search of food. It tells me that life and circumstance have not been particularly kind to them.”
Lea says she’s been volunteering at the pantry for about 5 years…ever since retiring from a long teaching career. “I taught for over 40 years, first in parochial schools and then for the last 25 years of my career at Western Hills High School. In fact, I started my career at Visi in 1969 when Sister Dominic asked me to fill in for a teacher on maternity leave. Boy, did I have a lot to learn! I did come to realize that my time at West High was where I was supposed to be. I also learned that when someone asks me to consider doing something…like applying to Cincinnati Public Schools…I really should listen and follow up. I truly believe that’s how God lets me know what I’m supposed to do. That’s happened so often throughout my life that it certainly can’t be coincidence!”
Lea has been an excellent addition to our Outreach Ministries Committee where she brings her enthusiasm to follow Jesus in reaching out to those in need. Lea has also been a long-time member ofParish Council and has served twice as chairperson. She was also involved with the Worship Commission for many years.
Lea and her husband Steve have been parishioners for around 35 years, and have been married for 50 years. “We met in high school, when he was a soda jerk at a local pharmacy where I waited for my ride home. We are blessed with two wonderful sons, a lovely daughter-in-law, and our precious granddaughter.”
Our Lady of the Visitation has been home to Lea for a long time. Her parents were parishioners…so she attended grade school here. I think we can all agree that she has been a gift to us in many ways…as well as a blessing in the lives of the hundreds of students she taught!
Kudos Corner thanks and honors Lea Brinker for her dedicated service to the parish!