A Tribute to Martha Simmons-2018

Martha Simmons-A True Martha
“As Jesus and His disciples were on their way, He came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to Him.  Martha had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said.  But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.  She came to Jesus and asked,  ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself?’ Tell her to help me!”~ Luke 10:38-40

St. Luke could easily have been talking about a present day Martha we all know and love. Our own smallish bundle of energy and sweetness is, and has been, the face of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church for over four decades.  We admire Martha, and many of us feel like St. Luke’s Mary.  We feel guilty because we just can’t keep up. And, the fact that our Martha has a few years on most of us only magnifies our feelings of guilt.

Martha and her family moved to Zachary in 1970 and joined St. John the Baptist Catholic Church at that time.  That was the beginning of Martha's extraordinary journey of Christian Service. 

One stands in awe when considering Martha’s resume’ of contributions to our Church parish while she was also a wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and career woman: 

+  Altar Society President for 32 years 
+  Bereavement Committee Team Leader           
             +  Building Committee member
             +  Choir member 
             +  Coordinator of receptions and parties 
             +  Eucharistic Minister 
             +  Homebound/Nursing Home Visitor
             +  Sacristan Coordinator 
+ Seamstress 
              + St. Joseph Altar Volunteer
              +  St. Matthew’s Guild member 
              +  Vacation Bible School Volunteer

During her presidency of the Altar Society, the treasury of that organization grew from about $1,000 to over $20,000. The projects she directed kept the treasury, used to support various ministries, growing in a positive direction.  Her famous fig cakes and jams alone have probably brought in thousands of dollars!

Fr. Jeffery Bayhi presents a plaque to Martha at a reception following Mass

Mentoring has been a vital part of her personal ministry.  Over the years she had the ability to recognize talent in others and encourage them to give of those talents.  Her daily willingness to use her gifts and abilities has strengthened our stewardship. 

One could never list everything that Martha has done and continues to do for St. John’s. In her retirement, Martha has spent countless hours in service.  She can often be seen cleaning the holy water basins, changing burned down candles and other behind the scenes chores that are seldom noticed.   She is a “true Martha” as illustrated in Luke’s Gospel.  Her steadfast faith and love for Christ shines through in everything she accomplishes in His name.  

The St. John the Baptist parish community is very thankful for Martha’s dedicated service of over 40 years.  She is a "true Martha" as demonstrated by her willingness to serve. 

She has been a constant who has been a light to all.  The Parish of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Diocese of Baton Rouge, LA presented this award in recognition of her Life of Service to our Church.

We Love You, Martha!  Your generosity with your time and talents has been an inspiration to everyone you have met along the way.    

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