11 St. Joseph Parish photo
Fé Delariarte helps in many ways at St. Joseph Parish in Salem.
11 St. Joseph Parish photo
Fé Delariarte helps in many ways at St. Joseph Parish in Salem.
SALEM — Fé is the Spanish word for faith. It’s also the very-appropriate birth name for one dedicated parishioner at St. Joseph Parish here.

Fé Delariarte is a retired nurse who is a fixture on the parish campus, attending Mass, participating in a prayer group or conducting blood pressure clinics.

She can also be found maintaining the parish flowerbeds, a project she took on after noticing that the church block looked a bit drab.

“This is the Lord’s house and it should look beautiful,” she said.

With the help of Rob Green, Dennis Papke and several other parishioners, Fé added 75 flowering plants, transforming rocky patches of soil into a vibrant floral landscape. She takes care of the plants, and enlists volunteers to take over when she goes out of town.
Fé was also the force behind the construction of a grotto in front of the church. When she was a child, Fé’s older sister Candalaria became gravely ill with typhoid fever, and was given 48 hours to live. Fé’s mother spent hours on her knees in front of a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes in the hospital’s courtyard, praying for her daughter’s recovery. Candalaria is now 89, and Fé has a special devotion to Our Lady of Lourdes.

To get the grotto installed, she first got the permission of pastor Father Todd Molinari, and then enlisted the Knights of Columbus to help raise funds.

While on a pilgrimage to Lourdes, Fé lit a candle and prayed to the Blessed Mother, saying, “I want you to bet at my church, but I’m having difficulty. Will you help me?”

On her return to Salem, things fell into place and the Grotto was dedicated in 2012.

After Typhoon Haiyan, Fé rallied parishioners to send donations to the Philippines.

Fé is involved with a number of ministries at St. Joseph including the Medjugorie Prayer Group and Young Ladies Institute.

“We’re all here temporarily,” she said. “Eventually we all go home. So what we have here, we should give away. He gave it to me and I am going to give it back.”