Wednesday, August 14, 2019

The Cooperator Promise

Frank, Beth, Fr. Jeff, Karen, and Trich

It’s been about a month since four of us made our promise for the first time as Cooperators. Karen, Trich, Beth and I (Frank) made the promise in Charleston at the Pauline Books and Media Center on the Feast of Saints Peter and St. Paul on June 29. It was remarkable in several important ways.
First, it was in the deep South. We’re in the Bible Belt. There are not a lot of Catholics here yet, though the numbers are definitely growing. Second, it was the feast of St. Paul, and we’re all part of the Pauline Family. And last and certainly not least are the people.
That’s my main memory from that day. God willing, we will make the promise again many more times. But starting with the “media nuns” who helped greatly during inquiry and preparation, and who planned and hosted this event, the people were just amazing.
Frank makes his Promise

I was very impressed that several of our Cooperator friends from Boston flew in to spend the weekend in Charleston and be a part of this. Also, Fr. Jeff Mickler, from the Society of St. Paul, came in from Staten Island. He celebrated mass for this event, heard confessions, and just offered himself as a friend for many hours of fine conversation.
Food! It’s always spectacular in Charleston, and the many people who helped feed all those who visited for the weekend did not fail us. Yummy! 
Fr. Jeff celebrates mass for the Cooperators
Beth shared some comments with me that I am including here. She told us, “One of the amazing things about this journey was the community of the Pauline Family. I still cannot believe that so many of them made the effort to come to Charleston to be with the sisters and to be with us. At the top of the list was Fr. Jeff and the other Cooperators."
“Not just making our Promise in the family we've come to love so much,” Beth continued, “but the time of preparation, spending time getting to know the sisters and our fellow Cooperators. How cool!  And what a blessing it is to be in this Pauline Family!”
Karen Luhrs also shared a few comments with us. She remembered, “Our Promise Weekend to join the Pauline Family as Cooperators was one of the most significant weekends of our lives. To actually be considered a part of this special family and to have the mission of spreading the Gospel of the Lord is awe-inspiring and one that none of us takes lightly." 
“We all (Frank and Beth Lengel, Trich Schellman, and Karen Luhrs) began the weekend of June 25 with a Mass that was followed by a dinner and reception. The next morning we were treated to a delicious breakfast prepared by Sisters Margaret, Jennifer, Lupe, and Lucia. And we were joined by the visiting Cooperators from Boston." 
“What wonderful new friends and fellowship we experienced. We even had a question-and-answer period with Fr. Jeffrey.”
We’re sorry to say that Trich was not available for comment when I (Frank) was putting this article together. We know she would have had something interesting to add. And Trich was very much in the middle of all that took place that special weekend. We all look forward to working, praying, and having fun together in the years ahead.
The newly Promised Cooperators and their Pauline Family

It’s hard to close this article without remembering our founder Blessed Fr. James Alberione. We can’t be sure that he foresaw the wonderful time we all had together as Paulines in June, but we know for sure that he was a man of great vision.
In Christ!

After a career in the military, Frank and Beth Lengel started a business 30 years ago to train career advisers and help people discover their life’s purpose and work. Frank uses caricature as a way of encouraging others to think about their true identity. The couple is also active in the "Catholic Roads" apostolate where they enjoy traveling together, writing, drawing, and meeting lots of wonderful people. Beth and Frank are all about the “shrines, wines, and interesting people" of life and want the whole world to know that it's really cool to be Catholic! They have two sons and six wonderful grandchildren. Beth and Frank live in South Carolina and plan to make their first promise this June (2019).

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