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Brothers beautify St. Alphonsus

Church for Eagle Scout projects

When the light filters through St. Alphonsus Church in Satanta, and the many colors from the newly placed stained glass windows wash across those gathered inside, two boys, who chose serving the church as a means to earn their Eagle Scout rank, can step back and be proud of that accomplishment.
John and Sam Ricketts, 17 and 16 respectively, are two of six sons of Chris and Diana Ricketts of Sublette.  For the last few months, the two boys --with the help of several volunteer laborers and the kind donations of a multitude -- have been working to replace the antiquated, Plexiglas windows with colorful stained glass trimmed in oak befitting the church, which celebrated the 40th anniversary of its first Mass on Oct. 12.

While he couldn’t install the new windows for insurance reasons, John’s Eagle project was to organize a group of gracious volunteers to remove the 16, 18 x 54 inch windows.  Once the windows were installed, John and volunteers painted the interior walls of the church.  The donations for the project were provided by the parishioners of the parish.  Once John told them of his desire to work on this project, the money came in abundance.
In fact, the money came in excess, so Sam’s Eagle project was born.  His primary role has been to lead volunteers in building oak casing to be placed around all the windows to add a finish look.
“It’s been pretty hard work, but it has been fun,” John said.
“I’ve learned a lot of different things, like how to use different tools,” Sam said.  “We still have to work quite a bit on them.  We have a lot of sanding to do, and still have to stain and install them.  It’ll be a little while.”
The two are expected to receive their Eagle Scout rank sometime next year.
John and Sam aren’t the first Ricketts boys to offer their time and talent to the church, and probably won’t be the last.  The boys’ older brothers, Tylan and Zach, also chose to serve the church for their Eagle project; Tylan re-padded all the kneelers in the church and Zach made oak hymnal holders.
“We always thought if they were going to be Eagle Scouts, then the projects should benefit the church,” said Chris, owner of Sublette Lumber & Supply.  “The two youngest boys are also scouts:  Quentin and Vincent.  I hope by the time it’s done, all six receive their Eagle rank.”
Father Jim Dieker, sacramental minister of St. Alphonsus Parish, said that “Sam and John both have excelled in the quality of the work offered to the parish through the help of their parents, Chris and Diana.  They both continue to serve at the altar and are exemplary young men in their demeanor and attitude.”
“It is true that their brother, Zachary, did a wonderful work of adding hymnal holders to the pews, again with the able supervision of his parents,” he added.  “Tylan, the oldest child of the family, refurbished the kneelers in the Church for his Eagle Scout project.  
“Parishioners seem very pleased with the windows, if not ecstatic.  It is a very traditional design, and has remarkably transformed the sense of worship in the church.
“Out of the six boys of a family of such faith, there is great hope that God has planned for one or more Catholic priests,” Father Dieker added.     
“Our parish has been very generous,” Diane said. “Our family has been so thankful for the opportunity to do these projects.”

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