Share your Service has become DuServe and we need your help! Let’s see how long it takes us to record 175,000 hours of service, among our alumni, our faculty and our staff! We know that Duhawks are doing things every day to better the world, on large and small scales. We want to hear from you. Record your hours and tell your story at www.loras.edu/duserve
and help inspire others to focus on what they are doing for others! Here’s a story to inspire you and help you think about the everyday or every once in a while things that you do to improve your community. Duhawks DuServe!
“Approximately nine years ago my wife Stephanie (Graber) Klapatauskus
(’05) and I went on a diocesan led retreat for engaged couples. We were young, madly in the love, and excited about this wonderful opportunity for the two of us to reflect, pray, and talk about significant topics that were perhaps being overshadowed by less important wedding preparations. The retreat strengthened the foundation of our relationship and primed us for the early years of our marriage.
Approximately four years ago, Stephanie and I were invited to an informational meeting in regards to our diocesan Pre Cana retreats. We were still in love, but...we were tired. We had two young boys, and on top of that I had just started working at Loras College and was dealing with the typical stress and fatigue that accompanies the transition to a new job. However, we remembered the positive impact of our own experience. Plus, the lure of a nice meal and an evening away from the kids was tempting. We said “yes” even though our motivations at the time were somewhat selfish. Saying yes
, I will
or even I do
is often a commitment to the unknown and little did we know that agreeing to speak at Pre Cana retreats would become one of our favorite ways of serving others, with each other.
Our Loras College education emphasized active learning, reflective thinking, ethical decision making, and responsible contributing—which occurs at every Pre Cana retreat. Stephanie and I share our struggles and joys, do’s and don’ts, and a few humorous anecdotes, bust most importantly we simply try to create a comfortable environment to better assist couples with their preparation for this very important sacrament. We are there to serve others, but it is also a chance for the two of us to reflect, pray, and talk about significant topics that are often overshadowed by the busyness of everyday life. Each retreat strengthens our foundation and primes us for the challenges that lie ahead. Loras College was right—we are lifelong learners.
But there’s more to it (which is often the case when serving others). There are many individuals and couples who volunteer throughout the four retreats that occur each year. During each retreat bonds are formed, and over time, these bonds have developed into a wonderful community. Often times, Loras students and alums attend with their fiancés. (On separate occasions a former student worker and a former advisee of mine were in attendance.) It is a privilege and blessing to serve at the crossroad where the Loras community, the Pre Cana community, and a much larger community converge.
The impetus to serve others varies with each situation and individual. In my life there have been many reasons to justify saying no, but saying yes has often led to many unforeseen joys. Serving with Stephanie has been one of those joys.”
Academic Success and Retention Coordinator
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