|| By Matt Rousso
Deborah Legaux of Hahnville, La., is a person who is true to her word. Almost 13 years ago, she made a promise to send a monthly donation to the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers. “I have not missed one month since June 2001,” Deborah says proudly.
Deborah, who grew up in Vacherie, La., says her trustworthiness is one of the many gifts she inherited from her grandmother. “My grandmother always taught me to do what I say I will do,” Deborah says. “She would tell you plainly what was right and wrong.”
Deborah, a member of the Highway Baptist Church in Vacherie, felt it was right to help support the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers as soon as she heard a Maryknoll priest explain the work of the mission society. She vividly remembers that day.
She says she was visiting her daughter Deirdre, a Catholic, in Seattle, Wash., at the time. “One Sunday Deirdre took me to the Catholic church in the nearby city of Kent,” Deborah recalls. “A Maryknoll priest gave a talk and showed some pictures of children who need food, clothes and education.
He explained how Maryknoll missioners help children like these around the world, and invited us to give a donation to help in Maryknoll’s work.” Immediately Deborah signed up to be a Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers’ Partner in Mission.
Meanwhile, Deborah is a missioner herself, doing her own share of service to others. For the last 30 years she has been an usher in her church. She and her husband, Clyde, update the church bulletin board every month. “We try to make it something inspirational,” she says.
Deborah also has her own ministry to elderly people. She visits those who are homebound on a regular basis and serves as a sitter for the elderly when their caregivers need to go out. “I also take one 93-year-old woman to lunch each week,” says this dynamic Christian woman. “We both enjoy it.”
Deborah is concerned about the younger generation too. A retired high school math teacher and the mother of three grown children of her own, she continues to care for youth through her generosity not only to Maryknoll but also to other charitable organizations as well, including Children International. “I want all children to have a chance to better themselves,” she says.
Looking back on her teaching days, Deborah recalls how she always had MARYKNOLL magazine on her desk so she could read it during whatever free periods she had. “There was one girl in my class who
was always into something,” Deborah says with a chuckle. “Often she would just take my magazine and
read it to herself while I was trying to teach. But I didn’t say anything. At least, I felt, she was reading
And Deborah says she is happy she will continue to receive the magazine as she supports our mission work. “I am impressed how Maryknoll missioners dedicate their lives to helping those in need, with no consideration of themselves,” she says. “I’m impressed that somebody would give up everything to serve others.”
Maryknoll missioners are equally impressed that Partners in Mission like Deborah are willing to give of their time, talent and treasure not only to assist us but also to serve in their own way. Deborah explains what motivates her.
“I wish everyone would have the opportunity to do for others,” she says. “That’s why God put us here: to take care of each other.”
(Featured Image: Through her compassion, Deborah Legaux reaches out to people of all ages. (W. Pierre/U.S.))