Mission Commission History
The Mission Commission began its association with Fr. Terry Hoppenjans more than 45 years ago when the Paul Edelmann family met him while vacationing in Natural Bridge State Park. Father was serving the people in the Appalachian mountains at that time. The friendship continued after that first meeting and as Father worked in parishes in Eastern Kentucky, the needs of his parishioners became apparent. Recognizing that OLSH could help support the people of Eastern Kentucky, Janet and Paul enlisted help of fellow parishioners to help meet those needs.
Over the last 40 years, OLSH has provided Christmas to the people, especially the children, of Father’s parish. Blanket Sunday was founded when Father told of people in need of warmth who were without basic blankets and bedding.
Most recently OLSH has supported Fr. Terry’s efforts at St. Michael’s parish in Paintsville, Ky. In addition to his parish work, Fr. Terry keeps a Catholic grade school open to serve the families and promote a Catholic education.
Funds to keep the school open come from money raised at the Mountain Store. The “store” as it is known, sells donated items such as shoes, clothing, books, small appliances, furniture, toys and bikes at prices that are manageable but protect the dignity of the people. Most of the items come from the generous people of OLSH. Without our support, there would be little to sell and little profit to support the school.
Over these 45 years, other needs within the community have been recognized. Many of these ideas include Meatloaves to help feed those in need in Over The Rhine, samples to the homeless shelters and Christmas gifts to Children served by Valley Interfaith. These needs have been suggested by members of the parish who saw the needs and wanted to step up.