Kudos Corner is a means of acknowledging those in our parish who share their time, talent and treasure to spread the Good News of God's unconditional love. It is intended to lift up and celebrate the actions of individuals and groups within our faith community who touch hearts and make a difference.

April 2015, This Kudos Corner recognizes Kerry Finley

This Kudos Corner recognizes Kerry Finley. It was her idea to start weekly tutoring at St. Leo’s. Thanks to her idea, involvement and inspiration…this outreach has been thriving each Tuesday evening from 6:30 to 8:00! Teachers, parents and students are now volunteering to take part in the one-on-one tutoring to help grade school and high school students from St. Leo’s and surrounding area.


At the root of this great endeavor was the involvement of Kerry’s son, Cole, in helping at the English as a Second Language program at St. Leo’s back in 2012. Through this, Cole forged a wonderful friendship with Alex, a refugee from Burundi and a parishioner at St. Leo’s. At that time, Alex was a freshman at Withrow High School. Alex has since become like a “big brother” to Cole’s other siblings.

Through the tutoring program at St. Leo’s, many other Visitation parishioners have been inspired to get involved. We have seen bridges form across what often are divisions due to culture, race, language and neighborhoods. The kingdom of God has broken into the present! Kerry heard the call in her heart…and responded! What has resulted has been a blessing to many! Kudos Corner salutes her!


March 2015, The Visi Retreat Core Team

The “Visi Retreat” is a high school retreat phenomenon that has been inspiring, evangelizing and energizing our youth for the past 25 years. Tom Darnell is the founder of the retreat which has involved hundreds and hundreds of our high school youth. Upon graduating, some of these same young people have then enthusiastically returned to the retreat as college leaders. But a core team of dedicated adults has always held the whole thing together. 

This first Kudos Corner honors them all…but especially a few who have given many years of service. For the past 20 years since they were in college themselves, Tom’s son Tim Darnell and Sean Tierney, a religion teacher and volleyball coach at Elder High School, have tirelessly donated their time and talents to this amazing program despite not being members of Visitation Parish. Having been a part of the core team myself, I can attest to their giftedness in this regard. Another person who has selflessly given of her time since the retreat’s inception is Carolyn Menner. She has been the backbone of the group! Carolyn’s husband, Don, has also volunteered that entire time. 

Other adults who have dedicated many years to the retreat include Becky Bill, Dan Altenau, and Kyle Isaack. Youth Ministers here at Visi who have organized the weekend over the years include Rachel Busam Haber, myself, and currently Laura Hampel. I speak from experience telling you that the retreat could not happen without the wonderful team of adults (many others not mentioned here) who have donated hours and hours of time with no financial gain. They are truly disciples of Jesus and inspirations to us all! Kudos Corner salutes them!

~ Bill Tonnis