Because We Are Catholic: Forever Thankful, and Paying It Back By Serving Others

Christine LeClair and her children John and Reagan at St. Joseph of the Panther Valley, Summit Hill.

On any given day, you might find Christine LeClair hauling a couple of dozen donated turkeys to the food bank, or helping with military honors at a veteran’s funeral, or placing wreaths on graves at the Indiantown Gap National Cemetery.

Or, the mother of two might be visiting nursing homes, or advocating for veterans in Carbon County Court, or organizing meals and clothing for the needy. In her spare time, she’s also on her local library board.

Some of her volunteer activities spring from her involvement in the St. Vincent de Paul Society at her parish, St. Joseph of the Panther Valley, Summit Hill. Her deep-seated desire to serve is consistent with her Catholic faith, she says, and prompted by her background in the Army.

“Veterans will always volunteer,” she says. “It’s the nature of the service. We leave the military but we still want to serve our community, and other veterans.”

A natural question is how does someone raising two elementary school children and working full time find room in her life for so much service to others?

Two important factors play a key role, she says: Her kids enjoy coming along and helping, and her parents live next door, providing a generous supply of babysitting and support.

“I deployed twice to Iraq, and came back safely. Many of my friends didn’t,” she says. “I am forever thankful for my health, and for my kids. I see my volunteer work as repaying that debt of gratitude.”

“Because We Are Catholic” tells the stories of how the people of the Diocese of Allentown make a difference in the lives of others, bringing the Light of Christ to each other and to our community.