“If someone would have told me at the age of 15 that church would be like a second family and so important to me, I would never have believed it” said Angie Clouser.
Raised Catholic in Coon Rapids, Iowa, Angie Clouser attended Annunciation Catholic Church. The church of her youth left her uninspired. At the age of 24 when Angie married Mark, church was still not a big part of her life.
Angie and Mark have 12 year-old twin daughters Grace and Emily. Mark was baptized Methodist and supports Angie’s efforts to raise and educate the girls in the Catholic faith. Mark is there for those important steppingstone church events in his girls’ lives.
Angie is a School Liaison Officer for the Earlham and Panora school districts in conjunction with juvenile court. Since her high school days, she has found solace in helping others even when her own world was lacking. Trying to help keep children safe, knowing you can’t save them all is intense work. That is where church supports her. Angie says, “Nothing in my week can come close to the feeling of what I get at Mass. If I miss Sunday Mass, the girls and I do what we call our “drive thru” Mass on Tuesday evenings.”
Joining St Boniface was life changing. Angie’s first volunteer effort in the late 1990’s was the Fall Turkey Dinner where she worked with older members of the parish to wrap silverware. She moved on to help the “take out crew” and continues to do so today. Now, Grace and Emily happily volunteer alongside her. Angie is a catechist, sharing her faith with her 7th grade girls’ class. Her reason for teaching has changed over the years. “I can’t imagine not teaching and sharing my faith with my daughters and other students” said Angie. Angie shares the rosary with her class as a way to pray anytime or anywhere until they find their own special form of communication with God. Angie had the privilege of sponsoring Kole Fogo as a confirmation sponsor. When asked to write his letter to the Bishop, Kole chose Angie as his topic. At the confirmation Mass, his letter was picked and read by the Bishop. Angie was very moved and surprised. A relationship with Kole continues today. This is the second year he has co-taught with her.
Angie instills values in her girls with a once a month food-shopping spree for the Food Pantry. Her husband, Mark, gets very excited about the Angel Tree project. Their family shops together for their angel. A girl the age of Grace and Emily is picked, reminding them how much they have and the need to share with others. Angie looks forward to the day the girls and she will share their family musical talent with the church choir as pianist and flutist.
There is not a bigger fan of the St. Boniface Turkey Dinner than Angie. It has been tradition that her grandmother, mom, the girls, and she attend the dinner each year. When Angie’s grandmother passed away, she invited Gerald and Sadie Meineke in her grandmother’s place. Angie and the girls met Gerald and Sadie at Mass where they now purposely sit together. A friendship blossomed. They are considered part of her family, grandparents for the girls, and an inspirational part of her faith life. Angie loves St Boniface and plans to become even more involved as time allows in the years to come. St. Boniface is her second family and she wouldn’t have it any other way.
By Dena Forret