Vanceburg View: News From the Glenmary Farm

Posted: 3/11/2011

An Update From the Director of Glenmary's Volunteer Office

Joe Grosek Glenmary Director of VolunteersWinter 2011

I hope everyone had a blessed and peaceful Christmas season. I thought to drop you an update on the recent happenings of the Glenmary Farm.

Alex “El Scorcho” Choperena Completes His Term as Glenmary Farm Manager

After a year plus two months, Alex Choperena completed his term as a Glenmary Farm Manager. Alex was a joy to work with and did a superb job at the Glenmary Farm. His sense of humor, collaborative spirit, and hard work were a boon to the Glenmary Farm, the community of Lewis County and the many volunteers who come and serve with us.

Alex’s first nine months at the Glenmary Farm were quiet, smooth, and peaceful as Farm Managers terms go. Then May 2010 hit and things got a little bit more interesting: two floods affected the Farm over the summer. Alex worked his tail off to get the Farm up and running after both floods. His sense of humor and great organizational skills will be missed. I wish the best for Alex in his future endeavors.

Wild Woman Welcomes 10,000th New Visitor to Her Farm on Trace Creek

Since 1989, Edith “Wild Woman” Smith has welcomed volunteers from the Glenmary Farm to her farm on Trace Creek. Volunteers share in Wild Woman’s hospitality, Appalachian knowledge and her always-tasteful jokes—and get to feed her cows. Wild Woman is a true asset to our mission at the Farm and has always been there for the multiple volunteers and Farm Managers who serve with us. She is an example of investing time in others and a different type of service than most expect when they come and serve with us at the Glenmary Farm.

On Nov. 18, 2010, while volunteers from Bishop Watterson High School in Columbus, Ohio and St. Catherine’s High School in Racine, Wis., were serving with us at the Glenmary Farm, Wild Woman welcomed her 10,000th new visitor to her Farm. Students from Bishop Watterson and St. Catherine’s, Farm Managers, and Glenmary vocation director Brother David Henley, a former Farm manager, enjoyed a night of celebration marking this very impressive milestone.

Food Pantry Breaks Record with Thanksgiving Food Handout

On Nov. 20, 2010, Lending a Helping Hand Food Pantry served 410 families with food boxes and turkeys for the Thanksgiving handout. Though there were some traffic issues at the beginning of the handout, it went quite smoothly considering the number of people who were served.

George Calvert, president of the Lending a Helping Hand Food pantry, would like to thank all those who have donated time, food, and funding to make the pantry the successful operation it is today, especially in light of diminishing donations and increased need for food in Lewis County.

Glenmary Farm Dog, Beaglesworth, Dies

In December, our beloved Beaglesworth passed away. The beagle wandered onto the Farm seven years ago and created a bond for the ages with Bonzo, kept the Farm safe from many unseen dangers in the middle of night, was a world class barker and an eager consumer of the Glenmary Farm slop pile. He will be missed.
Beaglesworth replacement is Aurora, a female half black/half yellow lab. Aurora is doing great with the volunteers and is in the process of chewing up everything in sight at the Farm, playing soccer, and stealing hats and gloves of the volunteers who serve with us.


Work continues at Keith’s trailer. We have fixed eight water leaks under his trailer and replaced the sub flooring in two of four rooms affected by those water leaks. The Farm will replace the flooring in the kitchen and the living room during March Madness, when we will have a lot of volunteers to turn over those rooms quickly

 of the Cross

Glenmary’s Holy Redeemer mission in Vanceburg is looking to repair the Stations of the Cross completed by local artist Charlie Campbell. These unique stations connect the passion of Christ to local landmarks in Lewis County. The stations are starting to show some age and Holy Redeemer is looking for assistance in repairing them. If you are interested in learning more about this project contact Michele Bertot, pastoral coordinator at Holy Redeemer.

Father Larry Goulding

Due to health issues Glenmary Father Larry Goulding, sacramental minister for Holy Redeemer mission, is now living in Cincinnati near Glenmary’s Headquarters. Please keep him in your prayers. Father Larry is a true gift from God and an amazing priest who has always been there for the Glenmary Farm, the parishioners he serves, and those in need in the county. I cannot stress how much the Farm Managers and I enjoyed working and serving with Father Larry. As a final gesture to the mission of the Glenmary Farm, Father Larry donated his tools to the Farm to help those we help. He is a pretty amazing individual.

Wish List

  1. Funding to continue work on Keith’s

  2. Lumber for projects in the community

  3. Lawnmowers

  4. Weed eater

  5. Books about spirituality, faith, reflection materials

  6. An end to this cold, I feel like I am back in Minnesota