October 1, 2023 | Local News, Your Stories
Fr. Stephen Van Lal Than

Fr. Jamie Dennis, pastor of St. Mary Magdalene Parish in Sorgho, is all smiles after receiving a gift from parishioner Mary Ann Ebelhar. On the one-of-a-kind t-shirt is “St. Mary Magdalene,” printed in textured Braille. The parishioners did not tell Fr. Dennis what was on the shirt, so he was thrilled to read it with his fingers. COURTESY OF MARY ANN EBELHAR

Parish presents unique gift to new pastor


When substituting for previous pastor Fr. Augusty Valomchalil in 2022, Fr. Jamie Dennis mentioned to the parishioners of St. Mary Magdalene that he could see himself living in the beautiful Sorgho community and shepherding the parish, adding that, “The layout of the campus lends itself well to a 37-year-old blind priest.”

We all know the saying: “Be careful what you ask for…”

In June 2023, parishioners warmly welcomed new pastor, Fr. Jamie Dennis, to St. Mary Magdalene Parish, as he made his new home in the one-story, smartly laid-out rectory.

This being his first parish on his own, and his first time living alone, Fr. Jamie quickly mastered the six-acre country campus which encompasses the rectory, church, office, parish hall, and men’s club building. Parishioners were amazed that within only a week or two, Fr. Dennis appeared to be totally settled and excitedly happy with his new assignment.

When he is in need of drivers to take him to visit the sick, hospital and schools, there is never a shortage of parishioners volunteering and accepting the task as an enjoyable ministry.

Welcome, Fr. Jamie! It’s interesting seeing the world through your eyes!

Lavida Mischel is the administrative assistant at St. Mary Magdalene Parish in Sorgho.

Originally printed in the October 2023 issue of The Western Kentucky Catholic.

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