Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of July 14, 2008
Kroetche transformed from proud businessman to listening soul
- WCR photo by Glen Argan
Stan Kroetsch provides a listening ear for the elderly.
By GLEN ARGAN
Stan Kroetsch listens. He listens in prayer and he listens in his ministry with the elderly.
When he and his wife Darlean were students at the John Paul II Bible School in Radway in 1989-90, Stan learned to listen. Prior to that, he had been in sales and management and, looking back, he sees pride as his primary motivator.
But at Radway, he spent three or four hours a day in the chapel. "That really quickened my listening skills. For me, prayer has to be listening, rather than speaking all the time."
It is through listening that the voice of the Spirit is heard. Those times of prayer and reading God's word are crucial to knowing God's will.
One of Stan and Darlean's ministries through St. Charles Parish is to take Communion "and ourselves" to those in seniors' residences.
"They need to be able to see Christ in our eyes. If in some way, they're able to see Christ in us, then we're being successful," he said.
When Stan and Darlean go to visit her dad in a seniors' complex in Gibbons, they visit with other seniors too. "A lot of the seniors are almost cast aside. What they're lacking is care and attention.
"All it takes is a decision to give them some time. They don't ever complain that it's not long enough. All that they care about is that 'You stopped in to see us.'"
The list of ministries in which Kroetsch, 62, has been involved since he joined the charismatic renewal nearly 35 years ago is impressive - Marriage Encounter, Christopher Leadership course, marriage preparation, student at the Bible school, director of the Bible school, street evangelism in the Philippines, leading funeral vigils and leading services at the inner city Hope Mission.
That's just a few.
"In each of those ministries we taught them together as a couple," he said.
"I'm very fortunate that I have a servant's heart and that's what's necessary" to be a deacon.
More than 15 years ago, it came to the Kroetschs in prayer "that we don't belong to ourselves anymore. Jesus bought and paid for us."
The changes in their lives just seem to happen. Providentially.
In 1989, the work that Stan had done for a company paid off so handsomely that the firm no longer needed his services. In August, he received the golden handshake.
He had planned to spend September golfing when the director of the Bible school said their names had come up in prayer and that they should attend the school.
The couple prayed about it. "I got up and said, 'Darlean, I think we should be at the Bible school.'"
They put their Calgary home up for sale. It had to be sold within four days for them to go to Radway. The next day, it was sold. They immediately found a home to rent in Radway. The next weekend, all their possessions except a garden hose sold at a garage sale in Calgary.
"Since then, it's been some wonderful times."
Although a woman told Stan 30 years ago that he should be a deacon, he paid no attention when the program was introduced in the archdiocese.
"I was kind of oblivious to it," Kroetsch recalls. Then he read in the WCR about an information night on the diaconate. He attended to see what it was all about. "From there, it was just one step after another."
Kroetsch's first act as deacon came July 6. The grandfather of nine baptized his latest granddaughter.
It's the start of a ministry of service. And you can be sure that Deacon Stan Kroetsch will spend a lot of that ministry listening. Listening to others and listening to the Lord.