The following is an interview by Jane Schizcik, SDDCW President with Father Jayanna Kanna, Parochial Administrator at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Rib Lake, WI.
While visiting Fr. Jayanna Kanna in his office on a peaceful Monday morning Fr. Kanna and I had the chance to exchange pleasantries and get to know one another. He was most helpful and gracious when answering my many questions.
Fr. Kanna is from the Diocese of Guntur and village of Mutlur. He explains a village is about 10,000 people with 1,500 – 2,000 of the population being Catholic. He had been working in the Diocese of Kadapa. He proudly states he has been a priest for 29 years, ordained on April 20, 1993. Fr. Kanna beams as the states, “I always enjoy what the Lord has given me.” After ordination, he worked first as an Associate Pastor and then was promoted to Parish Priest in a village that needed a church, rectory, school, and orphanage. He was able to accomplish those building projects in 6 years and was assigned to another area that needed a church and rectory, which he accomplished and then was given a third area again needing a church and rectory. He was much like St. Francis in the building of a church for our Lord. Fr. Kanna also adds he encourages vocations. During the time he was working in the Diocese of Kadapa, he sent 5 young boys to the Seminary, 2 of whom became priests.
Fr. Kanna just smiles when he asks me how old I think he is! I almost guessed his age correctly, but he then readily tells me his birthday is June 10, 1963. His father is deceased, his mother is 82, and lives with his younger brother. He is the oldest sibling. He describes his mother as very spiritual and still at age 82 is insistent about attending church. Fr. Kanna attributes the great faith of his parents, past priests, and nuns in the convent in the village for guiding him on his journey in becoming a priest. Fr. Kanna is very thankful to Mary Fitzpatrick and Fr. Rudolph Ablisser for the support they provided him for his seminary studies.
Fr. Kanna has resided in the Diocese of Superior since April 2021 and spent a short time in Merrill before coming to Rib Lake. He had been in the United States in 2003 – 2008, in Tampa, Florida, where he served as an Associate Pastor. He enjoyed the heat and humidity of Florida as it is very similar to the climate in India. In 2008, he returned to India.
Fr. Kanna is getting adjusted to our northern winter climate. This is first time he has been in this cold of a climate and is learning how to dress in layers. The parishioners in Rib Lake make sure he has the proper clothing to wear to stay warm. It is also the first time he has experienced ‘snow’ which he describes as beautiful. Driving on snow covered roads is not a problem for him – he just takes his time and drives slowly.
Fr. Kanna has now experienced all 4 seasons since coming to Wisconsin. He had never experienced seeing how the leaves change colors in the fall and described that as beautiful. Hands down – fall is Fr. Kanna’s favorite time of year.
Fr. Kanna is fond of chicken and fish, salads, and vegetables and enjoys foods more on the spicy side seasoned with chili powder and an Indian spice. He does not prefer sweets and desserts.
In his spare time, he enjoys reading, walking outdoors, photography and bird watching. He has a bird feeder positioned outside his window and enjoys watching the birds visit his bird feeder. He also loves listening to music and is so appreciative of those who provide the music and singing for Mass.
Fr. Kanna remarks how wonderful he finds the people of Rib Lake and feels blessed to be able to serve them as their Sacramental Minister. He and Fr. Patrick McConnell work hand and hand as they minister at the 4 parishes clustered together: Good Shepherd – Rib Lake, Holy Rosary – Medford, Our Lady of Perpetual Help – Whittlesey, and Sacred Heart – Stetsonville.
If you see Fr. Kanna out and about, please take the time to introduce yourself to him and get to know him. Once you meet him – you will find a most gracious man who only wants to share the love of the Lord with you!
Congratulations to our 2021 Parish Stewardship Award Recipient . . .
Each year a stewardship award is presented to a parishioner that has gone above and beyond. There are many exceptional volunteers at Good Shepherd, so when one is chosen, they are a true blessing to this parish family.
Chris has been teaching religious education classes since about 1987. She began as a substitute at Chelsea when the first grade teacher was unable to continue teaching, and she has been teaching ever since.
For a time, Chris taught second grade and prepared her students for Reconciliation and their First Holy Communion. Teaching, as all catechists know, involves not just showing up for class, but also preparing lessons in advance. Teaching younger students includes working with the Christmas play each year. It also includes making crafts, teaching through storytelling and more. She has even made prayer pillows for students over the years! When Good Shepherd parish came into existence in 2005, Chris stepped up to the plate and served as Coordinator of Religious Education.
But this person’s gifts go beyond Catechetics. Through the use of her financial background, Chris served a number of years on the parish Finance Committee and continues to serve as parish Finance Trustee at Good Shepherd. This individual also audits our parish finances on a regular basis. She also serves as a Eucharistic Minister at the parish.
She is one of the main organizers and assistants for all our parish fundraising raffles. From set up to finish, she is there. Everything she does, is done well!
This person’s heart is always with her family. We hear she is an exceptional cake decorator. Whether it be family birthdays, weddings or anniversaries, she is the one being called on for a special cake. (Now that the parish knows about this, she better beware!)
This person is also involved in community work. She is the treasurer of the Chelsea SWAT Snowmobile Club and has been for many years. She has also helped with many other community fundraisers.
She is friend to many, and foe to none. She is a prayerful and humble friend and neighbor among us. If you don’t see her in our pews on a weekend, you can bet she will be in the pews somewhere else. Her witness indicates that God comes first in her life.
Our many thanks and congratulations to our 2021 Stewardship Award recipient, Christine Wille!
A message from Father Raj…
“Dear Parishioners, It has been over a week since we have been able to celebrate Mass together as a parish family. Despite the restrictions at this time, know that you are not alone. You are not left as orphans. Each of you is kept in prayer every day! Read more.
Mary B. Thums!
This year’s parish stewardship award winner has been active in the Church since a youth. But we will focus on this person’s current ministries in the parish at this time. Much of her involvement includes the assistance of her spouse, which is the case with so many couples in this parish.
This person has been a Eucharistic Minister at the parish for many, many years, sometimes taking Holy Communion to the homebound, as needed. Other involvement at Mass includes being a Mass counter and sacristan. There are times this lady has been called upon to make baptismal stoles for adults or older children, and do special sewing projects, such as making new cloths for our offertory table—even so far as making the Corpus Christi canopy that was used in the past. We expected to use it again this year, but COVID-19 has pushed it off until next June.
Her sewing abilities have been put to many good uses, including quilt making. Every year’s Fall Festival included a homemade quilt for our large item raffle. Quilts are continually made by her and donated to many causes, including the Abiding Care Pregnancy Resource Center’s Receptions for Life. This person was also a former board member for that organization, and continues to support their efforts. She is also involved with POPS and their annual garage sale, and supportive of the efforts of many other community events.
This individual has a special heart for our young people, and her husband has also been involved with this as well. While she serves every year on our Vacation Bible School committee helping our youth with crafts, her husband makes sure their grandchildren are rounded up for a week of fun during that time. Their love for all their children and grandchildren is demonstrated by their involvement in each of their lives.
This person has been involved in the ministry of our parish food pantry for many years. She and her husband shop for the pantry whenever it needs to be restocked. They also supplied the pantry with many personal food items as well. She is a frugal and smart shopper, which has also benefited her position to serve on our parish Finance Committee. When special needs arise in the parish, she and her husband are often there to make those needs a reality.
This individual also works at most funeral dinners and is often seen working in the kitchen at our Fall Festivals along with her husband.
Through the difficulties and challenges in her life, her faith has remained rock solid. She helped her mother as she struggled with cancer. She took her father and deacon into her home before his battle with cancer ended. She and her husband supported their son through his debilitating and tragic accident and personal struggles, and now encourages him in his accomplishments in the World Wheelchair Curling Championships. She is cheerleader for her children and grandchildren in all of life’s encounters. She is friend to many, a person with a big heart, a big smile, a positive attitude, and a kind word.
Our many thanks and congratulations to our 2020 Stewardship Award winner, Mary B. Thums!
This year’s parish stewardship award goes to a man who has been a lifelong member of this parish community. Like a number of our parishioners, this parishioner will drop what is being worked on at home to come and help whenever help is needed at the parish or for a friend or a neighbor.
This parishioner has served on the parish council in years past, and currently serves on the Buildings & Grounds Committee—having been there since its inception. He is also an usher/greeter.
Although this individual isn’t afraid to tackle any job, most of his work includes special help with fixing our outdoor church bell and lighting and electrical issues. He is familiar with our PA system and was instrumental in seeing to its installation. Whenever help is needed with microphones or clip-on mics—whether it be for our Christmas plays, assistance with visiting priests, or parishioners needing to learn to use the ear buds to hear better during Mass, this person is right there. He was there for our larger projects as well—like work involving our old church windows, our new stained glass windows and the church ceiling. We’ve seen him cutting debris from our ditches, and helping cut down dead trees. And let’s not forget about the snow shoveling on our roofs in the winter and how he used his equipment for snow removal from the lot and removal of brush and other debris during grounds clean ups—at no charge! We have seen him build anything we need out of metal and he also does welding repairs at the church. He has been working on hall doors and entry doors and you can see him on ladders changing out lights both indoors and outside. When the timers for our outdoor lights need to be adjusted, we call upon Andy. He is there to help with fall and spring clean ups. He is our eyes for the needs of our church and grounds. He is a friend to many and he is always willing to help.
Our thanks and congratulations to Andy Dums, our 2019 Stewardship Award recipient. He truly is a “Handy Andy” that we are blessed to have among us. God bless you, Andy!
Congratulations to our newly initiated members of the Catholic Faith during our Easter Vigil celebration on April 20, 2019:
BAPTISM, CONFIRMATION & HOLY COMMUNION
Timothy Filipiak (Sponsor: Hannah Schmidtfranz)
PROFESSION OF FAITH, CONFIRMATION, HOLY COMMUNION
Kristen Diamond (Sponsor: Peter Kauer)
Benjamin Greiner (Sponsor: Mary Kauer)
Carolyn Jones (Sponsor: Rocky Jones)
Ezra Kazee (Sponsor: Larry Ulczycki)
ADULT CONFIRMATION OF A CATHOLIC
Marshall Fuchs (Sponsor: Jon Rezutek)
First grade students made beautiful thank you letters to God. How often do we thank God for all He does for us?
The beatitudes are some of the most recited verses from the Bible. This is because they carry a good message that serves as a model for living a humble life and describe the rewards that will come from doing so.
Each of the following 4th grade students created a booklet that tells us what the beatitudes mean to them. Click on the links to view their booklets!
Once again, we were blessed on Christmas Eve by the talents of our many musicians here at Good Shepherd. The 4:30 pm service began with band members led by Lori Krueger followed by the choir accompanied by Diane Niggemann on the organ. Chryllyn Dums provided guitar accompaniment to the choir at the second service at 7:00 pm. What a wonderful way to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
We are pleased to announce our 2018 Parish Stewardship Award Winner:
Stewardship Award 2018
This person has displayed the true meaning of stewardship for many years. Of all the gifts this person has, they are used to bring glory to God. She and her husband attend Mass each weekend and often attend weekday Masses too. You will often see her at adult formation classes, because of her eagerness to learn more about her faith. She and her husband also share in a number of parish ministries.
So what makes this person so special? Well, she is humble, compassionate and sincere about all she does. You will find her serving as a reader, usher, Eucharistic Minister and sacristan. You will find her serving on the Decorating Committee, working especially during the Advent and Christmas, and the Lent and Easter seasons. You will find her watering plants at the church.
This person helps set up and assist at funeral luncheons. She is one of our money counters for the weekend collections. She serves on the Parish Council. Not everyone knows that she also mails out our parish bulletins each week to the homebound, at her own expense. She cleans the rectory and mends our pastor’s clothes when it is needed.
This lady was a Confirmation catechist a number of years ago, and this year is taking on a new catechetical role at the parish. She will be assisting students that have fallen behind in preparation for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Communion. She has taken Holy Communion to the homebound when there was a need.
Family is also very important to this lady. Since retiring, she has had more time to enjoy and care for her grandchildren. She takes her mother to appointments and is there to support her in many other ways.
This lady taught elementary school for many years before retiring a few years ago. She and her husband passionately support the Abiding Care Pregnancy Resource Center by attending their annual reception, and at one time she even helped at their office. You will see her working at the Senior Citizen Center. She is an officer at the local American Legion Auxiliary and serves at all their fundraisers and other special events for both the Legion and Auxiliary.
We would imagine there are other things she does that we are not even aware of. We ask that you join us in congratulating and thanking CHERYL EISNER for her demonstration of love for family, parish and community.