Carol Barber has seen a lot of changes in her church through the years she has been volunteering there.
When she started volunteering it was Corpus Christi Church. Barber was there when Corpus Christi merged with other local parishes into the Catholic Team Parishes of Webster County, and now as all the Catholic parishes in Webster County have become the Holy Trinity Parish, with individual worship sites.
In the 1970's Carol and Ray Barber got involved in the Cursillo movement which began in 1944. Cursillo is a three-day retreat designed to help lay people become effective leaders in the church.
Carol Barber wrote the history section in the sesquicentennial cookbook for the Catholic Team Parishes of Webster County.
Later, the couple's first big involvement was through RENEW, a program of small faith sharing groups. They and another woman helped organize the local RENEW.
The couple continues to be active in the church and four years ago were asked to take over a Bible study group started by a local priest who has since been reassigned. They will be starting a new Bible study in September. "I just love it. I love Bible study and I hated to see it end because I was familiar with it and I know the format," she said.
"Carol is a faith-filled woman who truly desires to share her faith with those around her. She is a very unassuming person who, along with her husband Ray, give great energy to the Scripture studies at Holy Trinity Parish", said Holy Trinity Parish Team Pastor Monsignor Kevin C. McCoy. "They research available resources that can be used to deepen people's appreciation of the Sacred Scriptures for the Christian's ongoing spiritual enrichment as well as utilizing the sacred text as a spring board for personal prayer. Holy Trinity Parish is fortunate to have people such as the Barbers to facilitate this opportunity."
Swimming with Princes Di is available through Sojourn Books, www.sojournbooks.com, most online book dealers, or through Carol Barber, 515-573-5797.
A couple years ago Carl Barber was asked to serve on the parish vocational committee which encourages people to look at their own vocations and how they can best use their gifts in the Church. "People used to think it was up to the priest. Now there is a shortage of priests," she said. She also serves on the parish spirituality committee.
Barber wrote the history section of the cookbook for the Catholic Team Parishes of Webster County sesquicentennial. The book has 1,900 recipes.
The couple have also been involved with Christ Renews His Parish: described as a spiritual renewal weekend to help individuals grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ and with others in their faith community.
The church has always been an important part of Carol Barber's life. "A church helps give you the tools for coping with life," she said.
Barber also volunteers outside her local parish. Last year she began helping people sort out the Medicare changes.
"Every year with Medicare you can choose a new prescription coverage plan. I realized so many of the older people don't know how to go to the computer to do that. So I put it in the church bulletin that I'd be happy to help anybody who didn't have a computer, to get information on Medicare prescription coverage. I had about 15 people call." Understanding Medicare can be very intimidating for people who don't have computers, she said.
"Every year you can change," she said. "It benefits about 85 percent of the people who do change." She encourages people to take a look at it annually because plans and benefits change. "Some people save anywhere from $20 to $1,000."
"As a result of that SHIP asked if I wanted to get the training so I could help with that," she said. SHIP is the Iowa Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program. She has applied for the training and will be a volunteer for SHIP through Trinity Regional Medical Center. She will be willing to help people again this fall when the time for Medicare change comes.
Her latest project is a book she wrote about her father who had senile dementia. Entitled Swimming with Princes Di, the book is a compilation of stories her father told while in a nursing home.
"What I try to project in the book is a positive attitude about it in dealing and coping with it," she said. She is available for talks about the subject.
About Carol Barber
Carol Barber attended Julia Richman High School in Manhattan, an all girl public high school. "There were about 750 in my graduating class," she said. Today Barber tutors non traditional students at Iowa Central Community College in math, English, computers and other subjects.
She and her husband Ray Barber were married 43 years ago in New York City where he served in the Navy and she worked as a secretary. They soon moved to Fort Dodge, his hometown. Formerly they owned Barber Business Machines but sold the business. He now works for Phase One Office Products. The Barbers have two grown children and four grandchildren.