Go-to guy gives back to his parish

story by Todd Habiger
photo by Lori Wood Habiger

PAOLA — Bob Gregory surveys the new tile floors at Holy Trinity School here and smiles. He can’t help but feel a little pride.

This summer, Gregory — a member of Holy Trinity Parish in Paola — and a team of people laid the new tile. In the end, because of the time crunch to complete the floor, the project cost Gregory the summer vacation he had planned to Virginia, but it was worth it.

“I went to school here. My kids went to school here. I feel like this is my way of giving back to the parish for the support they gave me over the years,” Gregory said.

Gregory has become the go-to guy for getting things done at Holy Trinity Parish. But it didn’t happen overnight.

For years, Gregory was a self-described “Sunday” Catholic, until he was encouraged by former pastor Father Keith Lunsford to get more involved. He wound up on the parish council.

Later, he and his wife became a marriage prep lead couple for a while. When Father Ric Halvorson became pastor, he asked Gregory to chair the building and grounds committee.

Around the time Father Halvorson left, Gregory retired and suddenly he had the time — and, more importantly, the desire — to take on more for his parish.

“I’ll move bulletin boards for the teachers,” Gregory said. “Today, they have an electrical outlet that’s not working. We have cafeteria tables that have feet that are marking our new floors, so I’ll fix them. It’s just those little odds and ends.”

Before he retired, Gregory was a project manager for a mechanical company. He puts those skills to work when it comes to the big projects. And, he stresses, that this isn’t something he does alone.

“There are a half dozen guys that come here and help me whenever I call on them,” he said.

It’s working with a team of people on projects that benefit the church that provides Gregory with the greatest sense of satisfaction.

“A fun day is when a bunch of us are here working together,” he said. “When you have a few friends working and having fun, it’s all worth it.”

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