Health Care Ministry

St Mary of the Assumption Health Ministry

Mission of Health Ministry: Provide health related content and interventions that address the physical, mental and spiritual needs of our parishioners without duplicating services available in our community.


  • Mary Bradley
  • Sue Campbell
  • Bernadette Cole
  • Tricia Drenth
  • Geralyn Doskoch, Co-chair
  • Dawn Fletcher
  • Joy Halverson
  • Kathy Lame
  • Kathy Lauwers, Co-chair
  • Diane McMahon
  • Peggy Spang
  • Julie Shippy
  • Chris Warstler (School Nurse)
  • Fr. Peter Wigton

End of Life Issues, Sunday May 21, 2017
There is a complimentary Soup and Salad Dinner at 5:30 pm followed by a program sponsored by St. Mary of the Assumption Health Ministry.

The program features a discussion on end of life issues.  Joining us will be Dr. Douglas Wigton, a Deacon in the church and a physician.  He is the father of both Fr. Peter and Fr. Matthew Wigton.  Dr. Wigton will speak on a range of issues including the Catholic teaching related to suicide, euthanasia, capital punishment, and other end of life issues.  Geralyn Doskoch, MD will discuss the Five Wishes document and how to take control of your desires in life threatening situations by preparing oneself before the need occurs.  Patty Furtaw will discuss the Rite of Christian burial, including cremation.  This is a much-needed program.  Please invite your family and friends!

High Risk Health Behaviors Series of Talks and Prayer
St. Mary of the Asusmption Health Ministry has planned a seven part series of talks and prayers focused on serious high-risk health behaviors including:
Substance Use Disorder
Eating Disorder
We will examine the factual information, the personal stories, the challenges, the choices, the enabling behaviors, the therapeutic behaviors, the resources and spiritual gifts available in our community.
The Goals
During this series you will learn to:
1. Know that addiction is a brain illness
2. Use appropriate resources to assist with your needs
3. Pray with persistent determination to surround you and your family with spiritual strength
The Program Format
5:00 pm Mass in the Church followed by the program in the Gym:
5:30 Refreshments
6:00 Program
7:00 Closing Prayer
7:15 Adjourn

Hold the dates! Plan to Attend!  Bring your family and friends!  
May 24       Overview the Series with a Personal Recovery Story
June 7        The Challenge and Scope of High Risk Behaviors
June 21      The Physical Effects of High Risk Behaviors
July 12        The Impact on Families
July 26        Community Support and Resources
August 9     Expert Panel Discussion
August 23   What does a Healthy Person Look Like?

“Ask, and it will given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knows it will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8
Planning Team:  Fr. Peter, Fr. Symeon, Paul Wood, Nelson Fletcher, Joy Halverson, Kathy Lame, Dawn Fletcher, Peggy Spang, Bernadette Cole, Geralyn Doskoch, Sue Campbell, Kathy Lauwers, Scott Kelly

Monthly Blood Pressure Checks:
Tricia Drenth RN is the coordinator for our Blood Pressure Checks.  Volunteers are available after each Mass the first full weekend of the month in the Parish Office.  This is a confidential reading with health education materials and a card to record all BP readings for personal use.  The volunteers are:
Barb Bales, Mary Bradley, Bernadette Cole, Geri DeYoung, Geralyn Doskoch, Tricia Drenth, Chris Good, Beth Krakowski, Kathy Lauwers, Diana Lentz, Rose Peters, Pat Phillips, Julie Shippy, Rachel Swanson, Mary Terryberry, Mike Wright.

We appreciate all our volunteers and thank them for the support of this program.  New volunteers can contact Tricia Drenth at to join this effort.  God Bless our Volunteers!


Health Ministry Transportation Service
Do you need a ride to a medical appointment?
We have a list of many volunteer drivers who happily donate their time and service to help our parishioners who need a ride to and from a physician or therapy appointment.  All of our drivers have received clearance from the Gaylord Diocese.
If you need a ride please call Marann and Paul Stephan, 231-547-9689. They will answer your questions and schedule your driver.
God Bless our volunteer drivers for helping our parishioners!

Complex and Confusing Healthcare Issues
Healthcare can be complex and confusing. Often there are many healthcare providers involved with multiple different diagnoses. If you are in this situation or a similar situation, it maybe helpful to talk with a volunteer, healthcare professional who will listen to your situation to:

  • Discuss questions for you to ask your providers that will help with clarity and reduce confusion
  • Coach you with tips on what to do when in over-whelming situations i.e., write down your questions; ask for references and teaching aids….
  • Suggest resources for you to use that will teach you more about the subject/issues
  • Provide other options that will help you consider all of the choices you have

Our approach is not to direct your care but to offer considerations for you to make your own decisions. This service is confidential. You begin by contacting Fr. Matthew Wigton who will connect you with our volunteer healthcare professional.


Grief Support

The loss of a loved one can be paralyzing for us. This happens whether we have a loved one dealing with a terminal condition or a very unexpected death for example.

If you are struggling with profound loss we have a Mental Health Professional who can help. A Grief Support Group is also possible. It is very therapeutic to help each other in times of unexplainable loss.

Contact Fr. Peter  Wigton and he will connect you with this service.


Hand Hygiene

Many of you know we are approaching the flu season. We also know there are many infectious “bugs” in our environment. The Health Ministry Team has been discussing the importance of reducing the risks of infection and promoting tips for staying healthy. We have suggestions for your consideration:

  • If you have symptoms of respiratory illness or flu we encourage you to stay home and recover. You do not want to be responsible for spreading your illness.
  • Many of our parishioners are at risk for contagious conditions. If you are concerned about the hand shake spreading unwanted germs that is very understandable. You do not need to shake hands or feel apologetic about not shaking hands. We understand and support you! Perhaps a warm smile and your words of “Peace Be With You” is all you need to do.
  • If you have symptoms of potentially contagious conditions, receive the Host at Communion and prayerfully bow at the Precious Blood as you return to your seat.


“When the sun was setting, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying His hands on each one, he healed them”   Luke 4:40

Health Ministry Proposed 2017 Goals
1.  Deliver the series of talks on the Catholic perspective of High Risk Health Behaviors
2.  Prepare a talk on Planning for Catholic Burials
3.  Repeat the 5 Wishes presentation
4.  Continue with repeating the Healing Liturgy for the Sick and include the Music Ministry and perhaps a handout for parishioners participating
5.  Consider a Blessing of Pets in the fall
6.  Evaluate the need for a Grief Ministry approach
7.  Collaborate with other Ministries Councils and partners in addressing the Health Needs of our parishioners
8.  Support and collaborate with the Eucharistic Minister Program on their education plans related to the hygiene needs
9.  Be attentive to the Health Needs of our parishioners and assess actions to respond
10. Help to celebrate and appreciate the volunteers who make this parish community vibrant