IN THIS ISSUE
From the desk of
Fr. Louis Studer, O.M.I.
The Way of Lights
Christ is Alive...
Finding God in
Healing & Hope
Why Do We...
Healing & Hope
An Unexpected Blessing
When Korky Buhr agreed to be St. Nicholas for the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows Christmas festivities, he thought he was just volunteering for one night. Yet this Christmas, more than ten years later, Korky will be donning the Christmas robes, miter, and crosier, of the Christmas Saint once again to share the blessings of Christmas with Shrine visitors.
This unanticipated Christmas tradition doesn’t surprise anyone who has known Korky. “Korky has always enjoyed sharing happiness with others,” says Bill Magrath who has known Korky for over 20 years. “Korky has always been there to help out when someone is in need.”
When Korky was just a young school boy in Hillsboro, Missouri, he was raised with Christian values of love and kindness. It was these values that inspired young Korky to spend his spare time helping others. Korky spent much of his time visiting the nuns and priests in his community and helping them whenever he could. He also took over the school janitor’s duties when he fell ill. In addition to buffing the floors and shoveling snow for the nuns, Korky spent much of his youth with the senior citizens in the community learning from them and keeping them company.
When Korky was older, he again shared his time and talents by becoming a counselor at a summer camp for children and adults with disabilities. For many summers thereafter, in addition to his regular work at the Chrysler plant and some time in the military, Korky says his life was enriched by many people he met while volunteering at the camp.
Korky says his life was enriched again when he was invited to work with the Missionary Oblates at the Holy Guardian Angel’s Church in an underprivileged area of downtown St. Louis. During his work there, Korky again found himself blessed by those around him and discovered that the best way for him to return the gift was by giving them himself. For six years, Korky did just that. He served with the Oblates by offering his talents to the people of the community. He was a repairman, a bus driver, a friend, and much more to the people in the community.
As the pages of his life turned, Korky found himself continuously enriched by enriching the lives of others. He partnered with the Oblates through his service with the Victorious Missionaries. He has even accompanied several groups of pilgrims with disabilities to the Holy Land and is currently working with several churches in St. Louis.
Yet each Christmas, Korky is granted another blessed opportunity. He brings his two favorite blessings, his wife and his son, to the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows and shares the Christmas spirit with hundreds of pilgrims both young and old. He lends them his ear while filling their hands with sweets and pauses to give them a Christmas blessing.
“Being St. Nicholas at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows is a blessing that I look forward to every year. It is a chance to spread Christ’s blessings with others,” explains Korky.
|Pilgrims from all over the area come to the Shrine to see St. Nick during the Christmas season.|
“Each year people rave about the wonderful St. Nicholas who is making everyone smile,” explains Shrine employee June McGeehon.
Perhaps the reason that Korky is such a perfect St. Nicholas is because he is a true example of Christ’s love, which is truly the gift of Christmas. It is a gift which Korky embodies not only as St. Nicholas, but every day of his life.