Christmas at Good Samís

I was invited by Judy Janish of Victoria to put December 13th on my calendar for a 1:30 p.m. musical rendezvous in a chapel setting at Good Samís in Waconia.†

Thatís Judy on the far left with the short dark hair, singing her heart out with other people from St. Victoria.

The Good Samaritan Society and Westview Acres is a longtime established facility in Waconia that provides care and services for seniors and others.

Iíve visited the place several times over these past decades, since itís where many people from Victoria go to live after theyíve moved from their home to a place that provides more specialized care.† At this gathering, I knew Clarence and Dorothy Kelzer in the front row up by the choir and Maddy Schalow in the back row in the pink and white striped sweater.

Judy Janish told me that a group of parishioners from St. Victoria would be singing Christmas carols at Good Samís and, afterwards, Father Bob White of St. Victoria would say Mass for residents, with the singers from St. Victoria leading the hymns.† My part in the afternoon would† be to take pictures for the Gazette.

The pianist is Jennifer Burke.† For 34 years I was the accompanist for the choir at the St. Victoria Catholic Church and for every weekly choir practice, and I accompanied every soloist at other Masses.† I shanít forget it, I donít regret it, and I also donít miss it.† If interested in the details, check out the January 2016 issue of the Gazette.


My initial response to Judy was, ďI really canít be available for every wonderful activity related to Victoria, but Iíd be happy to publish whatever you would personally send to me.Ē

Judy pushed a little harder and because of our longtime friendship, I said, ďSure!† Iíll come and take pictures but I canít stay for very long.Ē

As it turns out, once I arrived at Good Samís for the occasion, I couldnít leave.† I stayed for everything except the cookies.† Nearly 20 parishioners of St. Victoria showed up to entertain with Christmas carols, and at least 40 residents of Good Samís were on hand for the Christmas Serenade and then Mass.

Judy said that Father Bob says Mass at Good Samís every second Wednesday, and a group of volunteers bring and serve cookies and juice, and converse with the residents.† ďItís a fun gig,Ē she added.† ďMy dad was in assisted living and I enjoy visiting at Good Samaritan each month.† Other churches do Services, too, so thereís one each week at 2 p.m.Ē

Father Bob has been saying Mass at Good Samaritan since he arrived at St. Victoria, so thatís 21 years.

Father Bob brings Arlo almost everywhere with him, and he also brings Communion to residents at Good Samís.

Those parishioners from St. Victoria who joined Judy Janish in the Christmas Serenade and Mass at Good Samís included Director Tom Stumpf, Wanda Baldus, Bryan Olson, Diane Robinson, Jennifer Burke, Jerry Burke, Gary Foehringer, Jeanette Hay, Claudia McCabe Derr, Mary Riley, June Henning, Bonnie Mohr, Sheila Sorenson, Joel Hulke, Margaret Hanson, and Roger Leuthner.