Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302
Secretary for Otis Orchards parish has witnessed community’s phenomenal growth
by Mitch Finley, Inland Register staff
(From the Sept. 11, 2008 edition of the Inland Register)
Carolyn Rohr has been the office manager for St. Joseph Parish, Otis Orchards, since 1984. (IR photo courtesy of St. Joseph Parish)
Carolyn Rohr began serving as parish secretary/office manager at St. Joseph Parish, in Otis Orchards, east of Spokane, in 1984. At the time, the parish was located in Trentwood; it moved to the current location in 1994.
“It was quite an experience moving up from a small parish to the growing parish that St. Joseph has become,” she said.
A fulltime employee of the parish, Rohr first heard about the position being available through an announcement in the Sunday bulletin. “I was the first secretary hired,” she recalled, “and I am still on the job. I have never worked for another parish. Just too happy at St. Joe’s.”
Rohr grew up attending St. Paschal School, in what is now Spokane Valley. Subsequently, she graduated from East Valley High School. For many years she worked at a bank and was a single mom.
“I have three grown sons and a daughter,” she said, “plus two grown stepdaughters.” Rohr recently remarried, and her husband, Chuck, is from New York. “He takes an active part in church, along with me,” she said. “We love being Sunday greeters and taking part in the many activities that St. Joseph’s offers.”
Typical for parish secretaries and office managers, Rohr says that her job description is all over the map. “I do the secretary work,” she said, “keeping records, ordering supplies, the weekly bulletin, registration of new members, helping set up funerals and weddings, helping with parish functions, greeting whoever comes into the office or calls on the phone, and give assistance wherever it is needed. Mainly the biggest part of my job is being here for Father (Michael Kwiatkowski, pastor) and the parishioners.”
“Carolyn has been a treasure trove of information for this newly appointed pastor,” Father Kwiat-kowski said. “She knows everyone as well as so much parish history. Her smiling, caring presence is just the right fit when people call or come in.”
Rohr insists that “the greatest thing abut this job is being such a part of the many parishioners’ lives. I have felt so much love and joy from being a part of this parish. The saddest part is when something bad happens in one of the parishioner’s lives, or when one passes away. It is so hard to lose that special person.”