On Christmas Day, Father Angelus Minj, sacramental minister for St. Bernadette parish in Hermitage and the Mission of Our Lady of the Snows in Climax Springs, blessed the baptismal font in St. Bernadette Church and dedicated it in honor of Deacon Kent Boettger, parish life collaborator at St. Bernadette.
The honor is “in recognition of his dedication and commitment” to the parish.
“There is no one who is more deserving of this honor,” parishioners said of the dedication.
A permanent deacon ordained for the Archdiocese of Omaha, Nebraska, Deacon Boettger moved to Hickory County in 2009, and Bishop Emeritus John R. Gaydos assigned him to assist the pastor of St. Bernadette parish.
A deacon has many roles and responsibilities, including service to the community, something Deacon Boettger takes very seriously.
A member of the Board of Directors of the Hickory County CARES, which operates a food pantry and thrift store since 2011, he has functioned in several capacities, including treasurer, and was elected president of the board in 2017.
He is active in Knights of Columbus Fr. Donald Powers Council 13786 in Hermitage, serving as recorder and more recently as financial secretary.
He helps with community projects including assistance to people who are at risk of not having a safe and healthy home environment.
He has worked as the local case manager for Catholic Charities, seeking assistance for those at risk of being homeless or in need of repairs to their homes.
He also ministers to people preparing to become Catholic and for those seeking a better understanding of Catholic Christianity through the Right of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).
As a certified Master Gardener, he also takes care of the flower garden outside the Preston post office.
Last year, in light of financial difficulties at St. Bernadette, he volunteered to oversee at no cost the overall day-to-day pastoral care and administration of the parish.
Bishop W. Shawn McKnight appointed him parish life collaborator in July 2018.
The baptismal font came from St. George Church in Linn, which recently underwent an interior renovation.