It is very exciting to finally see the light at the end of our cold Minnesota winter. Spring is a season of awakening and renewal–a time of new beginnings–though sometimes, it also reminds us of the things we’ve left behind. When it comes to what we pass down to those we love, I think we too often focus on physical things like money and possessions. While heirlooms can be important and meaningful, we also leave behind something less material but more powerful: our legacy.
Maybe I’ve been thinking about legacies because Lent is is here and that reminds me of my friend, Don Schoeller. As many of you know, Lent is the season of Friday fish frys in our area. Don was a very active member of his parish Men’s Club at St. John’s/ St. Genevieve’s in Hugo and was an important part of organizing and volunteering for their fish frys.
Don was always urging me to join the men’s club but the timing was never quite right. So, when Don passed away in 2014, I finally realized that there is no time like the present and joined the club. I am there because of Don–that’s legacy. His beloved fish frys are now named for him which is a fitting tribute that shows how much Don gave of himself to his parish and how much they loved him.
I found a great article that discusses the many ways we can create a legacy that will last for years, if not for generations, after we are gone. It’s called “5 Ways to Leave a Great Legacy,” by Joan Moran, and you can find it on the Huffington Post website. Ms. Moran advocates for the importance and value of legacy-making and suggests these ways for building one:
1. Support people and causes that are important to you.
2. Reflect and decide on what is most important in your life.
3. Share your blessings with others.
4. Be a mentor to others.
5.Pursue your passions because they are infectious.
When I think about Don and his fish frys, it is clear he hit upon all five of the above points. Don cared deeply about his parish, and he saw the fish frys as a way to share his blessings with those in his community. The members of the men’s club always talk about what a leader Don was, and how eager he was to share knowledge and experiences with them. He was never less than extremely passionate about his club, as I know from all the times he told me what a great group of people it was.
I also try to meet these criteria when I think about what I am going to leave behind. Striving to be a mentor to my staff is important to me. I have a depth of professional experience that I hope my employees can borrow from and make their own. I am incredibly dedicated to the service we provide here, and I definitely hope that Mueller Memorial will keep doing a great job for decades to come.
With spring on the horizon, take time to reflect on what you do in everyday life to create your legacy. Right now-all the time-you’re planting the seeds of your future through the people you surround yourself with, the way you speak, and the actions you take. So when everyday decisions or opportunities present themselves take a moment to ask your self, “If I do this, am I plating flowers or weeds?” Don’s legacy isn’t a product of happenstance, it’s the result of a lifetime spent planting flowers–and frying fish.
– Scott Mueller
Local Fish Frys
Don Schoeller Memorial Fish Fry
Fridays March 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 & April 7, 5-8pm
St. Johns’ Church in Hugo
14383 Forest Blvd. N. (Hwy 61 & Frenchman Rd.)
$11 Adults, $9 Senior (60+), $7 Junior (6-12), Free for Kids (5 & under)
Enjoy perfectly fried Icelandic cod, baby red potatoes, french fries, coleslaw, macaroni ‘n cheese, pickles, rolls, cookies, milk, coffee, water, & pop. For more information call the church at 651-429-7937
St. Pascal’s All You Can Eat Fish Fry
Fridays March 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 & April 7, 4:30-7pm
St. Pascal Baylon Catholic Church in St. Paul
1757 Conway St. (in Briochi Hall)
$11 Adults (12 & up), $4 Children (6-11), Free for Kids (5 & under)
Classic fish fry menu includes fried and baked cod, macaroni ‘n cheese, potatoes, mixed steamed vegetables, coleslaw, dinner roll and dessert. Coffee and water included with your meal. Milk, bottled water, and pop $1 each. Stations of the Cross at 7pm.