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Everyday Evangelists: Couple lives out Gospel by helping others

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Friday, September 3, 2010

By Paul McKibben

ST. FRANCIS DE SALES DEANERY —Taking the Gospel message to heart is important to Kinnaird and Kathleen McQuade. Members of St. Robert Bellarmine Chapel, the couple strives to put their faith into action at every opportunity.

“I think in living your faith it’s really important that you don’t just go to church and hear these words and listen to Christ’s message,” said Kathleen McQuade.  “And the teachings of Christ are really important. You see those bumper stickers, ‘what would Jesus do?’ Well, what would Jesus do and how are you living that out in your life and being real?”

Kathleen and Kinnaird McQuade
Kathleen and Kinnaird McQuade (CT/Paul McKibben)

It’s those kind of questions that motivate McQuade and her husband to help others of all ages, sharing their time, talent and treasure. Kinnaird McQuade, 77, is retired from Prestige AV & Creative Services. Kathleen McQuade, 62, owns KLM Productions Inc., a video production company.
Among the organizations that the McQuades assist is Bayley Place, a retirement community in Delhi Township that is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity. Kinnaird McQuade has served on the board of Bayley Place for about nine years.
The Greater Cincinnati Planned Giving Council recently honored the McQuades with a Voices of Giving Award for their contributions to Bayley Place. The award recognizes individuals who, out of selflessness, generosity and foresight, have chosen to make a bequest to their favorite charitable organization.
Kathleen McQuade said she was surprised and honored that they were recognized. Kinnaird McQuade said the reward is just that — a reward. He said the more meaningful thing is they had a chance to leave a legacy.
The McQuades’ love for Bayley Place goes back to the care that Kathleen McQuade’s late aunt, Virginia G. Friendship, received there. She suffered from Alz­heimer’s, and her niece wasn’t happy with the care Friendship was receiving at another facility. Bayley Place was recommended as an option by others who recounted the compassionate care offered to residents and the respect and dignity with which they are treated by staff members.
While at Bayley Place, McQuade said her aunt had a beautiful room, a clean and odorless environment, access to the outdoors, nutritious meals with staff to help her and professional nursing care. Her activities included daily Mass, music therapy and pet therapy.
Friendship loved Bayley Place and the people there, McQuade said, and  Bayley Place provided emotional support and helped her understand and cope with her aunt’s illness.
“To be treated with dignity is so important, and for them to have so many different outlets, whether it was pet therapy or, I know it sounds crazy,  just throwing balls or just interacting with people (was beneficial),” McQuade said. “My aunt was very social.”

Grateful for the care Friendship received, the McQuades now strive to give back to Bayley Place. They play in the organization’s annual fundraising golf tournament and have encouraged others to become involved. In addition, Kathleen McQuade produces a video of Bayley Place’s annual fall event, the Diamond Tribute Award Dinner, which usually honors someone in the community who has made a significant difference through his or her activities.
Outside of Bayley Place, the McQuades also put their faith into action at their parish and in the local community. Both serve as lectors and eucharistic ministers. In addition, Kathleen McQuade is an acolyte and a greeter. Last spring she was delighted to sponsor a young woman, Liz Gilbert, who was received into the Catholic Church at Easter Vigil just as she was 26 years ago.
At Frederick Douglass Elementary School in Walnut Hills, the McQuades both tutor children and serve as character coaches. For almost a decade, Kathleen McQuade has recruited Bellarmine parishioners and others to volunteer at the school.
Another way Kathleen McQuade gives back to the community is by producing videos for various nonprofit groups that she cares about at a fraction of what they would normally spend. In addition, Kinnaird McQuade is helping two Procter & Gamble retirees who started an after school program in Blue Ash for underprivileged children.
McQuade said making a positive difference in the lives of others is what motivates her. She said she is rewarded by the people she serves when she sees they are positively affected by an effort she has made.
Her husband said the smile on the faces of people they have helped means a lot. His only sadness comes when he sees people who have a lot and yet give very little to others.
His faith plays a role in everything he does, McQuade added, because when he thinks of what Jesus did for others and how little most of us do in comparison, it makes one want to do more.

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