Archdiocese Local

Called to serve

Couple named honorary chairpersons for the Archbishop’s Call to Share


by Kara Hansen

LOUISBURG — When George and Etta Karnaze were first asked to serve as the honorary chairpersons of the 2011 Archbishop’s Call to Share, they were not too keen on the idea.

“When Lesle Knop called me and asked me to consider supporting Call to Share this way, my initial reaction was we would prefer not to — we would rather continue to do things privately,” said George.

But after the idea had a moment to settle and the Karnazes got over their initial surprise, George and Etta responded as they always have over the years when the church has asked something of them — with a yes.

“We were very honored and humbled to be asked to do this,” said Etta.

George said he has experienced the benefit of the Archbishop’s Call to Share directly, since he is supported through it in his studies to become a permanent deacon for the archdiocese.

“We need to support Call to Share in any way we’re being asked to,” said George. “We told Lesle we would do whatever the stewardship office asks us to do.”

Every year, pastors are asked to submit nominations of couples from their parish for consideration as honorary chairpersons. The nominations are reviewed by Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann and the Clergy Advisory Committee for the Archbishop’s Call to Share.

“This year, their unanimous recommendation — the Karnazes — reflects the committee’s concern for the impact a couple can have on their community by living their lives gratefully and responsibly — lives of Catholic stewardship,” said Lesle Knop, executive director for the archdiocesan office of stewardship and development.

The Karnazes were honored by Archbishop Naumann at the annual Crosier Society Mass.

When George and Etta Karnaze were first asked to serve as the honorary chairpersons of the 2011 Archbishop’s Call to Share, they were not too keen on the idea.

“When Lesle Knop called me and asked me to consider supporting Call to Share this way, my initial reaction was we would prefer not to — we would rather continue to do things privately,” said George.

But after the idea had a moment to settle and the Karnazes got over their initial surprise, George and Etta responded as they always have over the years when the church has asked some- thing of them — with a yes.

“We were very honored and humbled to be asked to do this,” said Etta.

George said he has experienced the benefit of the Archbishop’s Call to Share directly, since he is supported through it in his studies to become a permanent deacon for the archdiocese.

“We need to support Call to Share in any way we’re being asked to,” said George. “We told Lesle we would do whatever the stewardship office asks us to do.”

Every year, pastors are asked to submit nominations of couples from their parish for consideration as honorary chairpersons. The nominations are reviewed by Archbishop Joseph F. Nau- mann and the Clergy Advisory Committee for the Archbishop’s Call to Share.

“This year, their unanimous recommendation — the Karnazes — reflects the committee’s concern for the impact a couple can have on their community by living their lives gratefully and responsibly — lives of Catholic stewardship,” said Lesle Knop, executive director for the archdiocesan office of stewardship and development.

The Karnazes were honored by Archbishop Naumann at the annual Crosier Society Mass.

“George and Etta Karnaze have responded humbly and quietly to the call to serve their parish community throughout their lives in the small town of Louisburg, Kansas,” said Archbishop Naumann.

George has worked for the First Na- tional Bank of Louisburg for 35 years, serving the last 15 as president. Etta works for the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan. They have two children — Christopher, 30, and Kelly, 28.

“Both George and Etta have been consistent sacrificial supporters for the Catholic Education Foundation; for A Future Full of Hope, our last archdiocesan capital campaign; for the Archbishop’s Call to Share; and for various ministries in support of the mission of the church, as well as for their parish and many community and worthwhile civic causes,” said Archbishop Naumann.

George is a member of the first class of laymen studying to become perma- nent deacons for the archdiocese in April, and has served in various areas of financial ministry at Immaculate Conception Parish in Louisburg.

The Karnazes believe in the impor- tance of their faith and in the Archbishop’s Call to Share in helping others experience Christ.

“Whether someone is giving a small contribution or a large one, they will all go to help the archdiocese, and anyone can reap the benefits personally by giving to others,” said Etta.

George agreed.

“I would encourage everyone to consider participating in Call to Share in whatever way they can,” he said. “Everybody is touched by what Call to Share does; everyone can reap the benefits. It’s not just about money; it’s about giving your time, talent and treasure. All God is asking is to share what he has given us.”

That commitment to their faith is what made the Karnazes a natural choice to be this year’s chairpersons, said Knop.

“George and Etta are quiet and faithful servants who have made a differ- ence for their parish and community,” she said. “I think the humility and sincerity that George and Etta have shown in their support of the Archbishop’s Call to Share, the church, and their parish are commendable. Their example is inspirational.”

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Kara Hansen

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