Tony Molter, 78, a member of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Milwaukee, suffered a lateral stroke in 1990 leaving him a paraplegic and reliant on a wheelchair, but he continued to volunteer in committees at his parish and served as chairman and volunteer coordinator for the parish festival. “Putting others first comes naturally for Tony Molter” Several weeks after our story appeared, on May 27, 2009, Molter died. (April 2, 2009)

2annaAnna Tarnowski, 6, and her family, members of Holy Name of Jesus Parish, Sheboygan, are grateful for the powerful prayers and all of the support they’ve received from their parish and church communities since Anna’s June 2008 diagnosis of a bone marrow disorder called myelodysplasia, fibrosis in bone marrow, or scarring, and an abnormality in her chromosomes called monsomy 5. Anna was clear of myelodysplasia and monosomy 5 in October 2008 and told the fibrosis should disappear in time. “Power of prayer evident in girl’s recovery” Since the story ran, the Tarnowski family is still in need of prayers as Anna suffered a relapse and continues treatment. (Jan. 8, 2009)
Mark Brandl, 49, who belonged to Good Shepherd Parish, Menomonee Falls, entered the priesthood and was ordained May 23, 2009, after drifting away from Catholicism for 20 years and then realizing that retirement at age 55 was no longer his dream. Fr. Brandl is associate pastor at St. Alphonsus Parish, Greendale. “Mark Brandl can say, ‘I understand what you’re going through.’” (April 30, 2009)

2leboufGene Le Boeuf, 85, awakes every morning at 3:30 as he trains for his next competitive run/walk. In July, he was training for the GermanFest 5K run/walk to raise money for St. Ben’s Community Meal Program, a Capuchin ministry that feeds Milwaukee’s homeless. He’s jumped out of an airplane, gone power parachuting, hang gliding and more. After his first heart surgery in 1980, exercise became a regular, important part of his day and he decided to eat healthy and get in shape to beat the odds of recurring heart disorders. “No plans to trade running shoes for slippers” (July 23, 2009)
Sr. Linda Ann Marzolo, 68, who joined the Marist Missionary Sisters in 1968, has lived her faith through her devotion to prison ministry in Peru where she has taught arts and crafts to prisoners, established a chaplaincy for inmates, introduced a drug rehabilitation program, human values, family and self-esteem classes and instituted a five-month-long healing workshop to help prisoners change their lives, discover themselves and put a face on their victims. “Missionary drawn to serving prisoners in Peru” (Oct. 22, 2009)

2PromFamily_eJonah Prom, 12, survived almost-fatal injuries to his head – he was not wearing a helmet – caused by a fall from his skateboard in the summer of 2008. His family, members of St. Francis Borgia Parish, Cedarburg, and now vocal helmet advocates, said that prayers were the reason his life was saved. “Prayers help family cope with near skateboard tragedy” (May 2009 Parenting)
James Congdon, 39, was an inspiration to Holy Assumption Parish, West Allis, as he entered into full communion with the Catholic Church during the 2009 Easter season after walking alone for much of his life because his now deceased alcoholic father left the family when he was 8 or 9, his mother died 18 years ago, he barely speaks with his only sister, he went through a failed marriage, and struggles with depression, epilepsy and blindness – he lost all vision at age 27 from Restinoblastoma – cancer of the eye – that developed when he was 2. The way Congdon perseveres, in spite of his challenges inspired many at Holy Assumption, according to Bob Schram, Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults director for St. Florian and Holy Assumption parishes. “There are so many people who complain about little things, like walking up a couple steps, but then, look at this guy. He was on board from the get-go and never complained,” said Schram. “West Allis man is guided, guides others by faith” (May 7, 2009)

2MARIANNEAUERMarianne Auer, 80, member of St. William Parish, Waukesha, is an inspiration to many because of the way her faith helped her through the Holocaust when her father was drafted into the German SS and told her mother to take their three daughters and run. Mass is a part of her daily life as is helping out at church with funerals and singing in the choir. She always thanks God for every bite of food she eats. “Faith, family helped Catholic escape Holocaust” (Aug. 6, 2009)

Frank John Germinaro, 61, received a kidney transplant in 1970 after suffering from kidney problems that required dialysis at age 19, is, to date – 39 years later – the longest surviving patient from a cadaver kidney on record and spends his time giving back to his Kenosha community. Even after battling prostate cancer, the principal of St. Mark Elementary School in Kenosha continues to speak with patients and their families who deal with kidney disease and prostate cancer, serve in the music ministry with his wife at their St. Mark Parish, serve as a board member of Celebrazione Italiana, the Italian Business and Professional Association, serve on the steering committee for St. Joseph Academy and is active in the Italian American Society. “With gift of kidney came commitment to stewardship” (Nov. 19, 2009)