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Larry & Marion Burns

Larry and Marion BurnsContinuing our series of conversations with the St. Stephen family, we talked with Larry and Marion Burns about their thoughts on the Renew + Restore + Rejoice campaign.

Larry and Marion are long-time parishioners. They joined in 1969, just after the last major renovation of the sanctuary. Marion recalled, "Larry had interned at Metro Hospital and we attended IHM. But when we came to St. Stephen, it felt like family."

Their six children all attended St. Stephen school and Larry and Marion credit this experience with their strong Catholic faith today, "All oru children attend church regularly, and we see them involved in their children's school, just like we were."

Larry and Marion share fond memories of St. Stephen, including fun times with family and friends at the school carnival (Editor's note: Don't miss this year's on February 2nd!). Larry recalled, "I remember all the parishioners crowded in a small space, laughing, joyful, enjoying the games..."

Marion shared a story of when Monsignor Alt taught her daughter about Joseph's coat on the way into school one day. "That was a precious memory," she said.

Marion reflected on their history with St. Stephen, joining when the current sanctuary was brand new and looked to the future: "It's time to move on. We need to update the church and school so that we can be welcoming to others."

Larry eloquently expressed his commitment to the Renew + Restore + Rejoice campaign, and drew on his own experience to explain: "I'm supporting the campaign because I remember the church I went to growing up. I remember thinking, 'This is a nice building, I like the stained glass...Where did it come from?' and realizing my grandparents sacrificed to help build it. And later, my parents sacrificing to build the parish hall. Someone did this for all of us, and we are able to enjoy and take advantage of these facilities. I think it's our turn. And I'm enthusiastic because it's part of what we do as a Christian community: suppor the parish for the people coming behind us."

Marion, "I'm excited about the invisible, internal aspects - fresh heating and cooling, knowing we have a modern system to support our parish."

Larry, "One thing I liked from the drawing - and I'm old school - but I want a church to be quiet. I know there needs to be socializing - I lik there's a separate space for gathering, but a quiet, reverent space for Mass and prayer."