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PERRY COUNTY – In the fall of 1962 a Catholic Family Movement group was organized in Tell City by the Rev. Paul Voigt, an associate pastor at St. Paul’s parish. This fall of 2012 marks 50 years this study group has been meeting on the second Sunday of every month, from September through May.
There are two original families still in the group, they are Carol and Ron Voges and Judy and Joe Hagedorn, both of Tell City.
The remaining four families have been members for 40 or more years. They are Mary Jo and Tom Schaefer, Tell City; Alene and the late Joe Dauby; Betty and the late Lloyd Hauser and Jean and the late Gerry Thomas.
In these families there are 32 children, 65 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.
Although most members are now retired, a great variety of careers were represented in the group, including; teacher, banker, nurse, insurance agent, beautician, politician, engineer, secretaries, superintendents and social service workers, which involves the group in practically all walks of life. Many are volunteers in various church, civic and political organizations. Both political parties are represented, so the views of the entire community are well represented.
The variety of subjects discussed at the meetings are far too numerous to mention, but they have included church, family, current events and others. At some of the sessions the children were included; their input was sought and was much appreciated.
The normal meeting format is an hour to an hour and a half for a program and discussion. Then, social time for card playing and catching up on numerous family experiences and events.
The secret to the longevity of the group is confidentiality, that is respecting each other’s privacy, and not repeating anything outside of the group that pertains to individual or family matters. Now our children are raising families of their own and beginning their own traditions.
Several priests from St. Paul’s and surrounding parishes have served as advisers and members of the group, attending numerous sessions and becoming dear friends and mentors.
In the summer months, there was usually a family party, picnic and Mass at a lake, providing many wonderful times and memories. As the children are getting married, starting their families and moving to all parts of the country the parties and picnics are not as frequent as we would like. Also, the couples would take short trips or mini vacations to a destination, not too distant, for a weekend. But, it seems the grandchildren now take a lot of our time. However, we will have our annual Christmas party.
The group has had many sad and happy times together, which has increased the bonding of our families even more. Most believe it is an extension of their own families and that is an experience that cannot be duplicated.
The club recently celebrated our 50th anniversary with the families by having a picnic at the lake with Mass celebrated by the Rev. Father Ralph Schipp. A wonderful time was had by all.
Submitted by Joe and Judy Hagedorn