St. Mary’s Legacy Clinic honors volunteers

Emily Booker News

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Father Bill Gahagan commends St. Mary’s Legacy Clinic volunteers for being the face of Jesus to their patients.

St. Mary’s Legacy Clinic honored its many volunteers for their ministry of service on Monday, Nov. 7, with a volunteer appreciation Mass and luncheon at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Lenoir City.

Father Bill Gahagan, pastor of St. Jude Parish in Helenwood, celebrated the Mass. “We come together to recognize the blessed gifts that God has given us to share with so many people who are longing to see the face of Jesus,” he said.

He also commended the volunteers on reaching out to the needy and on recognizing the dignity and worth of each person. It is through the ministry of service that we can be the face of Jesus to others, he said.

Sister Mariana Koonce, RSM, MD, director of the St. Mary’s Legacy Clinic, told the volunteers, “You really care for the patients, and that is so important—that they feel cared for…uplifting the dignity of our patients, making them feel like a person, a real human being and not a number—that is so important. It’s so critical to what we do.”

Lynn Venafro was honored as the 2016 Volunteer of the Year. She volunteers at the Crab Orchard clinic and manages the mobile clinic’s supplies.

St. Mary’s Legacy Clinic provides free health care to the uninsured and underinsured in East Tennessee, making monthly visits to mobile clinic sites in Athens, Decatur, Rutledge, and Washburn and semimonthly visits to Crab Orchard. You can learn more about the mobile clinic here.