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Sacred Heart parishioner was born to help others

By Jaclyn Twidwell
For The Catholic Voice

For Sacred Heart parishioner, Carl Ruebush, volunteering as a member of the RCIA team, a lector, a greeter and an extraordinary minister of holy Communion is just the beginning. Since joining the parish 12 years ago, his volunteer work has taken on a life of its own. Photo by Jaclyn Twidwell

For Sacred Heart parishioner Carl Ruebush, service to the church is not something he simply does, it is something he was born to do.

After retiring and selling his store, Mailboxes etc., three years ago, Ruebush, who is just shy of 70, turned his energies toward helping his parish.

Ruebush, who was raised in the Church of Christ, learned to give back and get involved at an early age. 'My mom and dad were heavily involved in the church when I was growing up," he said. 'It is a natural thing for me to be involved in the church because my parents taught me to give back."

He converted to the Catholic faith 12 years ago when he met his wife, Bobbie, and got involved at Sacred Heart soon after joining the parish. But after his retirement, he took on even more responsibilities.

He is a member of the RCIA team, a lector, a greeter, an extraordinary minister of holy Communion, works in the marriage preparation program and is always helping with fund-raising efforts. But his work for Sacred Heart doesn't end with what might be called his official assignments.

'He helps behind the scenes," said Joyce Glenn, pastoral associate at Sacred Heart. 'Others who volunteer can see that because when they come forward they see that Carl is already in the group doing the work."

'When Bobbie and I decided to get married (both had lost their first spouses), I started to go to RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) here at the parish," said Ruebush. 'There was just so much electricity here and I wanted to join."

As a convert to the Catholic faith, Ruebush is now the go-to-guy on the RCIA team when fellow converts have questions.

'Some of the candidates have reactions to church teachings that I may not perceive correctly," said Glenn. 'He has wisdom through life experiences that I have come to rely on."

For Ruebush, giving back to the RCIA program by being a team member is one of the more rewarding parts of volunteering because the RCIA program gave so much to him.

'RCIA brings me the most satisfaction because it brings me into the church, you get to know so many people and it is so much more that just going to Mass," he said. 'Seeing the young people grow and manifest their feelings is a wonderful gift."

Not only does Ruebush, and his wife volunteer at Sacred Heart, they are involved in the community as well. 'Madonna House sells honey once a year and we buy a few cases and give them out at church," he said. 'It helps Madonna, so we do it."

Ruebush is also a notary, and takes pride in notarizing documents for people in the community. 'Of course, we don't charge them if they are members of the church," he said.

He is also a member of the TIPS club, a group where business people get together and talk about what is going on in town.

'He is very humble and is always ready and willing with a generosity that is not begrudging or judgmental," said Glenn. 'He is a model of service."

Ruebush and his wife were recognized by the parish in 2005 with the Pillar Award. Given annually, the award honors those who 'exhibit faithfulness, commitment to others and to Sacred Heart Church, and can be described as a bright light that encourages and supports others," said Glenn.

Ruebush and his wife have nine children, 24 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and one great-grandchild on the way.

'I think that we are all supposed to be examples for each other," he said. 'If you don't live the life, it is hard for others to see what kind of life they should be living."

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