When you fill your day with the philosophy that “kindness matters,” then peace and happiness are sure to dwell in your heart. This is true of Lori Danzinger, a lifelong member of Holy Rosary Parish in Lima.
Lori doesn’t have a specific story to tell. There are no “a-ha” moments to share. What she does have is a lifetime of faith and values that have molded her into the person she is today.
She and her husband, Joe, have a rich family history in this farming community. Surrounded by hills and corn fields in a peaceful, countryside setting, the Danzingers live in the house Grandpa Danzinger previously called home. Though meticulously remodeled from its early years, the house is filled with the charm and laughter you can only find within a faith-filled life.
Born the first of 10 children, Lori followed the example set by her parents, Charles and Elaine Sabelko. Parishioners of Holy Rosary Parish, they always made time to volunteer. Though busy raising 10 children and farming, “Dad was always there to help cut wood needed each winter to heat the church and school. Mom helped with the fish fries. They almost always said yes’ and made time to help,” Lori explains.
Raised in a family centered on Catholic Faith, Lori fondly remembers all 10 kids hopping into the station wagon when her parents took them to Mass each Sunday.
Both Lori and Joe attended Assumption Catholic School in Lima for grades 1-6. Joe was in the same grade and class. “I didn’t like him then,” Lori laughs.
In 1981, Joe and Lori were involved in a vehicular head-on collision. They were severely injured and three members of the parish were killed. “Faith and family bring you through those hard times,” she says.
Parents of three, they want their children to have faith to fall back on when things don’t go well. “It wasn’t something we thought about. Yes, we are bringing our children up in faith. Some people are missing out on that. They’re looking, but don’t know what for. With faith comes that sense of wanting to do for others. It gives that sense of peace that you feel good about yourself. It keeps you on the path,” she explains.
Lori is passionate about others: “Even if only for an hour, it helps. There’s a sense of fulfillment and doing good.” Her inspiration was an elder parishioner, Pat Bauer. Pat has since passed away, but Lori continues to be inspired by his quote, “God doesn’t ask what our ability or inability is, but our availability.” Lori believes, “It’s important to pull joy and faith from these kinds of people”
Family is very important to the Danzingers. Their three children live in the area and Joe and Lori are blessed with six grandchildren. Seeing joy radiate from Lori on one particular morning, when two of her grandsons were visiting, is a testament to the importance of family in her life. Joe and Lori’s values can easily be seen in their grandchildren. Other family members are near, as Joe has three brothers living close, with one residing on the home farm.
Joe is a member of the Finance Committee and they both count money and are Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. Lori is active in the parish PCCW and volunteers for funeral and fish dinners. She’s also on the Fall Festival Committee. “That’s where I see so many volunteers. There are so many people behind the scenes. The Church wouldn’t be what it is without those people,” she says.
The Lima parishioners are very generous with their time. The men still get together every fall to cut wood for the church and school — which is their primary heat source.
“I’m learning at every Mass that I attend. The message of our parish priest, Father Paul Bosco, is very simple: Love your family and those around you. I like the camaraderie. I like everyone coming together to worship and be grateful for who and what we have. It helps with day-to-day living.
“I see a rich history in Lima,” she adds. “People are proud of their Church. They are hard-working and thrifty. People seem to always come together and unify for a cause.” An example is the new parish school, built in 1981, which was paid for within three years.
One of Lori’s favorite pastimes is attending the Thursday K-3 Mass during the school year. “I’m so uplifted at the children’s Mass. They sing like angels.”
“I’m very happy with my life,” she says. “I don’t have a story. There’s not a big moment. My life is simple. I want my children and grandchildren to have that faith.” Lori is passionate about her faith and it radiates with the joy she has for life and for others. Simple things. Simple life. Kindness matters.
Story and Photography By Sharon Sliwka