RURAL PARISH WORKERS OF CHRIST THE KING
ARE DEDICATED CATHOLIC WOMEN who live as a family engaged in apostolic action for the development of Christian homes and the strengthening of parish life.
Are motivated by dedication to God through vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.
Are enlivened by their spiritual life based on the Liturgy of the Church, the Rule of St. Benedict and personal prayer.
Keep in mind the motto "to restore all things in Christ" as they witness Christian ideals to all those they meet.
Help the distressed and sorrowful by listening, encouraging and responding to the need.
Work for solutions in partnership with community leaders and agencies.
In 1942 Alice Widmer and LaDonna Hermann left St. Louis for Cottleville, Missouri with the blessing of John Cardinal Glennon to serve the needs of rural families. They saw the need for practical application of the Gospels in an increasingly secularized society.
In 1949, at the request of Archbishop Ritter they moved to Fertile, Missouri where the community has continued to thrive with the help of additional workers, volunteers and benefactors. Their ministry is multi-faceted, going beyond the basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter. Along with archdiocesan and civic work, they work within the parish to strengthen family life.
Today, the group consists of five Catholic women who have taken vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and live under the rule of St. Benedict. They include LaDonna Hermann, Natalie Villmer, who serves as president and directress, Neva Calvert, Doris Ann Bequette and Monica Pashia, who as an oblate shares in the prayer and work life. With the help of a network of other workers, volunteers and benefactors, the ministry serves more than 3,000 people in Washington County each year. The Rural Parish Workers also benefit from the Annual Catholic Appeal.