LeClaire parish wins walk challenge

Parish nurse Cathy Thennes of Our Lady of Lourdes, Bettendorf, left, walks along Davenport’s riverfront with fellow parishioners Mary Decker, right, Larry Decker (behind Thennes) and other participants of a summer walking and healthy eating program. Lourdes and three other parishes — Holy Family, Davenport; St. Ann’s, Long Grove; and Our Lady of the River, LeClaire — celebrated conclusion of the program last month.

Four Scott County parishes concluded a friendly summer-long walking challenge with a picnic in Davenport, and their parish nurses hope to inspire more parishes around the diocese to participate next year.
Our Lady of the River Parish in LeClaire won this year’s “Walking with Jesus – A Summer Walking and Healthy Eating Program” with an average of 80,167 steps per participant per week. Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Bettendorf followed with an average of 76,059 steps. St. Ann Parish in Long Grove averaged 69,629 steps and Holy Family Parish in Davenport averaged 64,337 steps.
Parish nurses Cathy Thennes of Our Lady of Lourdes and Mary Fritch of Holy Family initiated the challenge several years ago between their parishes. Our Lady of the River and St. Ann’s joined in this year as a result of networking among Catholic parish nurses.
“We hope next year more parishes will join us,” said Thennes. “This was great fun.”
“All who participated are winners,” said Jennifer Hildebrand, volunteer parish nurse at Our Lady of the River. “To take the initiative to register and participate speaks to the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. The act of simply wearing a pedometer brings an awareness of our daily movement or lack thereof. Obesity and diabetes are increasing at an alarming rate in the U.S. and it is time the Church reclaims its healing mission and starts taking an active step in promoting health.”
Her parish included a weekly bulletin insert with topics for participants to reflect on during their journey toward wellness: faith life, medical, movement, work, emotional, family and friends and nutrition. Hildebrand thanked Thennes for organizing the event and hopes that it will become a diocesan-wide event.
Here’s a look at results from this year’s challenge:
• Our Lady of the River – Hildebrand said the top three finishers who completed all 12 weeks were Barb Arland-Fye with an average of 173,226 steps per week, Sylvia Cripple with an average of 120,280 steps per week and Michael Majchrzak with an average of 118,591 steps per week. Other award winners – most improved, most and least experienced, youngest and oldest, etc. – will be announced Sept. 29 at the parish.
• Our Lady of Lourdes – Thennes said the top walker was Maddie Suetter, who averaged 157,471 steps per week and walked a total of 1,889,655 steps for the summer. Helene Robinson was next, averaging 150,987 steps per week, and totaling 1,811,853 steps for the program.
• St. Ann – Parish nurse LaNae Ramos reported top winners were Barb McFate with a 12-week total of 1,394,000 steps; Ron Sebastian recorded 1,384,987 steps; LaNae Ramos recorded 1,363,605 steps; Julie Hoegar recorded 1,323,346 steps; MaryAnn Currean recorded 1,254,140 steps; and George Ramos recorded 1,190,759 steps. In the kids’ category, Alexis Ramos recorded a total of 2,021,979 steps for the 12 weeks.
• Holy Family – Fritch reported that Mary Jo O’Connor and Mary Bailey recorded the most steps for women while Richard Bailey and Jim Schebler recorded the most steps for men. Joan Resnick and Beverly Gadient recorded the most steps for seniors.
Each participant in the program was also asked to record the number of fruits and vegetables he or she consumed daily as part of a healthy living program.
The walking program has concluded, but the parish nurses are continuing their efforts to promote a holistic approach to health in the parishes around the diocese. On Sept. 29, parish nurses and trained health ministers who serve in Catholic parishes are invited to a gathering at Our Lady of Lourdes to learn, share ideas and promote health ministry in the diocese, Thennes said. For more information, contact Thennes at (563) 359-0345, at home at (563) 332-6273 or email lourdesnurse@qwestoffice.net.

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